An abandoned municipal market in Brighton, a secret forest location in Norfolk, an old warehouse in Shoreditch, and an open air stage at Latitude. When our new production of Bow Down opens this May, audiences are in for a treat in more ways than one…
A company directorial debut for our new Artistic Director, Frederic Wake-Walker, Bow Down has an unusual origin. Written and devised by Tony Harrison and Sir Harrison Birtwistle in 1977 during a six-month strike at the National Theatre, the lack of technical and stage staff meant that the piece had to be incredibly simple to stage and use very sparse resources.
The result is a work that is raw and ingenious in its use of text and music with a fascinating structure. Essentially a devised piece based on classic folk tale of the two sisters in love with the same man and torn apart by jealousy – the original cast was made up of actors and musicians (including Brian Cox) and the existing score is a notation of that devised process.
This allows us a great deal of freedom in how the piece can be performed, very handy when taking a new production to four very different and unusual performance spaces.
For Bow Down, we have assembled a cast of young, multi-disciplined performers and over the coming weeks with rehearsals in full swing, we will take a peek behind the scenes to find out what the cast are up to and how the production of Bow Down is coming to life…
Bow Down is being produced in association with London Sinfonietta
Our latest blog posts:
Meet the cast of Bow Down
Mana Shibata: On meeting Sir Harrison Birtwistle…
Bow Down: behind the scenes video
Finding my rythm in Bow Down
Rehearsing Bow Down: an atypical process
Going beyond the music with Bow Down
Bow Down: a special kind of fairy tale
Beyond the story: the set and locations of Bow Down
Bow Down performance spaces
Bow Down in pictures