Shoot Festival 2017

The Triple Bill

B2 Belgrade Theatre Coventry


SHOOT Festival is in its second year and thriving. Founded by Paul O’Donnell and Jennifer Davis in 2014, it is part of the Belgrade’s Springboard Programme to support early career artists.

Three, maybe four, ‘plays’ were presented back to back which were varied in the extreme but each seemed more enthralling that the last.

First Letters from the Front by Glow, Gloria and Francis Lowe, taken directly from a book published by Bagshawe Books and detailing letters between new lovers Geoffrey Boothby and Edith Ainscow from 1915/6 separated by war.

It married digital media with direct storytelling, was beguiling in its simplicity but spoiled to a great degree by Francis’ really soft voice that made it so hard to hear Geoffrey’s wonderfully witty letters.

Next was Beat, from Ben Morley of Kinfolk Collective with the stage arranged with a row of headphones; each of which was used to tell a different part of the story of new love. He narrated as he danced the meanings behind each part with a warm and funny internal monologue.

Susie Sillett

Susie Sillett's Sleepless Dreams

Then the wonderful Wolf, a three-piece dance based on Red Riding Hood which offered a sophisticated narrative that the Wolf would have been a better option than some humans she might meet! This made for a very interesting and gripping story line that highlighted the limitations put on women by society and therefore put them in more danger. Sadly inadequate information makes it impossible to say who danced what but I’ll guess that Red Riding Hood was Miriam O’Brien, Wolf Liam Lewis and Man Ashley Jordan.

Finally and, I have to say to my mind, best was Susie Sillett’s Sleepless Dreams; a modern fairy tale set against a background of war where the women went to fight because they were cheaper and left small children such as heroine Lucinda to mind the other children and sort out domestic affairs as well as bigger problems such as a greedy king with a passion for empire. Her brave stance costs her her family, her liberty and her childhood. This is truly gripping storytelling using song, dance and humour - and one to watch for the future.

More is planned for Sat 18th March in the Shop Front Theatre and the Sound Stage in Shelton Square in Coventry – all free from 12 noon to 7.45pm.

Jane Howard


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