Unperforming is a funny live art night hosted by Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins that was presented in the theatre at Laurels in Whitley bay, with sketches, performances and more from artists across the North East.
Unperforming has been teetering on the edge of comedy and live art for ten years, appearing at venues across the country including Milton Keynes Arts Centre and Artsadmin. This special edition brings together longtime collaborators Louise Ashcroft and Fritha Jenkins, who have been working with The Newbridge Project, to join forces with artists in the North East to create an evening of comic possibilities, humour and performance.
This one-time-fun-time evening was packed with beach rockings, stone beards, hairobics, blow drying popsicles, indecisive social posings and much much more!
About the artists:
Louise Ashcroft is an artist who tells funny stories through video, performance, radio, bad watercolours and sculpture. Often, her work involves analysing sociological content (like the Argos catalogue, call centres, tech culture, the reproductive industry or breakfast), contextualised by her own personal experiences. Her TEDx talk Shopping and Subversion is available online, and she has made several 'Boring Talks' for BBC Sounds. Louise has exhibited at Frans Hals Museum (NL), Museum of London Lates, Tate Learning, Wellcome Lates, BQ Berlin, Arebyte, Bobinska Brownlee, Open Space Contemporary, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Artsadmin, Turf Projects, Duckie, Coastal Currents Festival, Supernormal Festival and Latitude Festival. She teaches Fine Art at Goldsmiths, London and cofounded the free peer-led art school AltMFA in 2010.
Fritha Jenkins is an interdisciplinary artist working across performance, film and video, music, digital platforms, sound, sculpture, gesture, text, and installation. They’ve performed and exhibited work widely, including at Fringe Film Festival, Frans Hals Museum, ArtHouses, Blenheim Gallery Leeds, Toynbee Studios, Pumphouse Gallery, Art Night London, Chisenhale Dance Space, Modern Art Oxford, Guest Projects, Supernormal Festival. Collaboration in one way or another is integral to their practice. Fritha has facilitated goings ons - alone and with others; in parks, along rivers, in universities, community centres, hospitals, care homes, kitchens, schools and theatres. In 2020 they received an AN bursary and in 2018/19 were a recipient of the Pete Lloyd Lewis Award, Chisenhale Studios. Fritha has an MFA (Distinction) from Ruskin School of Art, Oxford University, a BA(Hons) in Fine Art (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and co-founded AltMFA (DIY artist led alternative MA).
Jacqueline Wood has been improvising with The Suggestibles school of Improv for 7 years. With No script or rehearsal and suggestions from the audience anything can happen!
Lucy Heaton is an adamant performance-maker, who likes it when props and staging get the better of her. When a beard pins her to the ground or when stairs dictate the tempo for speaking, so a downward-bound body is beholden to a syllable. Last month, she was arranging vantage points and verbal games into a vertical and horizontal score (umpire seat galore). How vertiginous! Last season was her premier as a drag king, wielding a hefty marble beard, prompting deep thinking and with a flailing finale. She is motivated by a desire to express and share queer exuberance, and its cousin queer exasperation. Her work and momentum, are filled with power dynamics and power-ups.
Gen Mungo is a multi-disciplinary Artist exploring play and performance as a means of subverting limited- belief-systems. Collaborating with unknown forces and befriending non-human actants through embodied relation of them-selves.
Amy Finch is into little pauses
Zoe Kendall performs comedic lyrical songs, about taboos, loneliness and absurdity. They do this through the character Appy, whose story has slowly progressed with each performance. “Not Yet” will reflect on where Appy exists and the place they call home.
James Wilkinson aka Travillian Blake will offer steps towards greater positivity and general life embetterment. Why be bitter when you can be better? When life breaks you… make… brocade… no, no you need broke - aid… er… be woken, not broken!
Simon Raven (b 1978) studied BFA Ruskin School, Oxford University, MA Royal College of Art, London. My darkly comedic work in performance and other media is informed by disability studies and lived experience of bipolar disorder, a condition characterised by extreme shifts in mood and ability.
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