Three kids are in trouble. Well, what do you expect if you knock on the door of an inter-dimensional portal and run away?
The year is 1982. Callum spends most of his time hanging out with his sister and his best friend. Bored one day, they try to get into his uncle’s mysterious attic and suddenly find themselves opening a door onto a parallel dimension: the city of Vernopolis, where no one has fun anymore. By means of Dip Dabs, walkie talkies and magical bandanas, we are taken through the Improbable and the Unlikely, via the Intriguing and the Unethical, all the way back to where we started – not much older, hardly any wiser, but glad we went.
Along the way expect a play within a play, epic songs, outbreaks of opera, hip hop, and other incompatible styles in this unashamedly retro adventure for all the family.
Originally commissioned by The Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter.
Directed by Mercè Ribot & Patricia Rodríguez
Devised and performed by Dan Armstrong, Lucy Bishop & Duncan Cameron
Written by Mercè Ribot & Patricia Rodríguez in collaboration with Matt Harvey
Design by Sophia Clist
Sound design by Dan Lees
Music composed by Dan Lees with additional content by Joe Darke and the company
Lighting design by Seth Rook Williams
Production Manager Elaine Faulker
Stage Manager Charlotte Evans
R&D Collaborators Joe Darke, Madeleine Hyland, Fionn Gill
Photography by Matt Austin
With huge thanks to Wendy Petitdemange at Activate, Sophie Moysey at Pound Arts and Sarah Turner-Higgins at the Bay Theatre,
Weymouth College and Tim Bell and Chloe Whipple.
What IS Derailed?? We are about to start the next stage of development for our latest show Derailed and we want to share our process with you.
*Please note that there are a few spoiler alerts.
Interview by Andrea Holland
What was your main inspiration for developing “Derailed”?
Patricia: Creativity comes from the most random places. Sometimes you start with an idea, in this case, it was the derailment of the train in Santiago (2013). Then, when you verbalize that idea, you actually realise there might be other things that are more appealing, more attractive and more engaging. Then you ‘derail’ (excuse the pun) into different ideas. That was the starting point, then the better idea comes through which was inspired by that initial idea and so on.
Merce: So in our case the starting point was the accident. And and then we started asking ourselves: who was responsible? Was it just the driver? Was it the government for not putting safety measures in place? And it got us thinking, OK, this isn’t as simple, this has got more to it than we anticipated. It’s about citizens, the government and their relationship. Then conversations about activism arose, about how can we, as individuals, hold our governments accountable. And do WE actually have enough power? What are our tools for doing that? And we started to look at our own lives to share our hopes, desires and feelings about a better world.
Why did you choose to make it autobiographical?
Merce: Because we wanted to talk about a really big topic “changing the world”. And the only way you can really tackle this is by going into detail, by looking around you, thinking how am I, in a world of millions, contributing to making it better? And, can my little actions have such an effect that they will eventually work towards positive change?
Patricia: Also because we like to think of making it engaging, attractive for the audience. And after many hours of talking about it and improvising on it, our final conclusion for this particular process was that actually our own stories were the most exciting to tackle the topic. We can talk of activism better from our own experiences, if not, it becomes too broad, too distant.
Merce: there is someone that at some point becomes big and relevant and people follow them. But the real changes have to be powered by normal people in order to succeed.…Continue
Founded in 2010 by award-winning performers Patricia Rodríguez and Mercè Ribot, we use elements of physical theatre and improvisation to create highly participatory productions that are emotionally rich and slyly humorous.
Supported by producer Bridget Floyer, our critically-acclaimed shows have toured to venues across the UK as well as internationally (including the US, Spain, and Poland). Little Soldier are mentored by leading physical theatre company Spymonkey and have been supported by leading arts venues such as Jacksons Lane, BAC, Greenwich Theatre, and HOME.… Continue
Little Soldier are not a theatre company. They’re a band. They only have one song. And nobody really knows what the words mean. But they want to play it loud. They also want to change the world. The only problem is they’re not musicians. Mercè studied politics and used to be hopeful but now she is mostly angry. Patricia just turned forty and wants her son to have a mother who has made a difference. Dan wants the world to be better, but he is not the type to share his private stuff. Thomas… Well, in fact, Thomas is a real musician, but he lives in Glasgow so he can’t meet for band practice.
Welcome to the revolution.
It’s gonna get messy.
Little Soldier presents a preposterous theatrical attempt to change everything. An incomprehensible punk rock protest album. A joyous autobiographical journey through activism… and a mirror ball helmet.
Commissioned and co-produced by
THE STAGE AWARD WINNER
‘Straight-up, funniest most charming theatre company I’ve come across in an age’ Andrew Haydon, Postcards from the Gods
Edinburgh Festival 2014: The shows you can’t live without. THE GUARDIAN
Inspired by Don Quixote’s wanderings, two feisty señoritas and a downtrodden Englishman embark on a journey through Spain taking on one of the most accomplished works of fiction ever written. Accompanied only by an otherworldly virtuoso guitarist whose presence there makes no sense whatsoever, they will lead you to joy, pain and ultimate wisdom. A madcap rendition concluding with a common sentiment: “These guys did not read the book”.
Little Soldier presents a hilariously inventive adventure of immense proportions, to be taken with a pinch of salt and a handlebar moustache.
The show is produced in association with Jacksons Lane and supported by Arts Council England and the Spanish Embassy in the UK.
★★★★★| THE STAGE
Technically brilliant and jaw-droppingly entertaining.
The three players put the audience in fits of laughter.
★★★★| TIME OUT
Hilariously dirty adaptation.
An unpretentious, inventive and smartly silly delight.
★★★★| A YOUNGER THEATRE
Hilarious and undeniably charming.
★★★★| THE SKINNY
Their display of physical comedy ranges from charmingly traditional to brilliantly innovative.Continue
‘impeccably-timed physical theatre’ -The Stage
Winner of the Argus Angel Award at Brighton Fringe 2013, ‘You and Me’ is a funny yet touching story which explores old age with humour, imagination and tenderness.
Two elderly sisters live in a foreign land against the backdrop of a battered rug and a mountain of mysterious boxes. They share an existence of outrageous defamation, tender reminiscing and pure madness, careering between affection and annoyance. But is their behaviour just eccentricity or something more destructive?
You and Me is based on original script ‘Tu i jo’ by Roger Simeon. Adapted and directed by BBC performing arts fund winner Bryony Shanahan, the show opened at Rich Mix in 2012 and enjoyed a successful month run at the Blue Elephant Theatre. In 2013 ‘You and Me’ has toured the UK and was presented at PAM Festival (New York).
Brighton Fringe Argus Angel 2013
★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ Fringe Guru
★★★★ Views from the Gods
★★★★ Exeunt (Exeter)
‘impeccably-timed physical theatre’ |The Stage
‘a compelling masterstroke of physical comedy’ |A Younger Theatre
‘masterpiece. Stellar performances. The best of the Fringe’ |The Argus (Brighton Fringe)
‘Beautiful, strident harmony’
★★★★ Exeunt (London)
‘Refreshingly different. Character acting at its best.’
★★★★ Everything Theatre
‘very funny show; great moments of surreal lunacy’
★★★★ Fringe Guru
‘You and Me takes some difficult themes and makes them thoroughly entertaining’
★★★★ Views from the Gods
‘funny, insightful and poignant piece ‘
★★★★ Exeunt (Exeter)
‘Rodriguez and Ribot are consummate performers’ | Female Arts
‘A bitter-sweet comedy’ | Artez Blai. SpainContinue
“Rodriguez’s conviction and the power of her despairing delivery makes it compelling” -The Scotsman
Pakita joins a “lonely hearts” group unfolding an unexpected confession. From broken hearted lover to psychiatric patient, Caballero paints a picture of love and addiction before unveiling an audacious final act in which life imitates art in the most tragic way.
In 2010, Greenwich Theatre co-produced Pakita: Stimulating, Bitter and Necessary, by award winning playwright Ernesto Caballero. This show- performed both in English and in Spanish- enjoyed very successful runs at the New End Theatre in Hampstead, Sala Triangulo (Madrid) Teatro Latea in New York and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
‘Patricia Rodriguez delivers a powerfully engaging and believable show …the barrier between the audience and the performance disappears, Flawless, outstanding.’-Three weeks
‘Rodriguez has a natural ability to bring her emotions to the surface and manages to create a wonderfully layered and enormously watchable character.’
“Pakita: a charming, captivating one woman show. Powerful text, pulls in the audience with an intense performance.”
‘Patricia Rodriguez, a young Spanish actress who seems to revel in the performance and who exudes so much vulnerability, charm and sense of humour.’
-Ham and High