Interview: Will Dickie on ‘Team of the Decades’ #WalkieTalkies

Will Dickie is bringing his electrifying team show for 10 people, 1 coach & 1 captain to Hackney Wick for Walkie Talkies from 24-26 July.

See below for the trailer and interview with our team captain Will!

You investigate and communicate ideas, thoughts and feelings through physicality, exploring this through martial arts, Butoh dance and Actor Training. What made you move in this direction?

At school I did drama and played rugby, and the teachers were always negotiating my time between training and rehearsals…the rugby coach at school, Steve, was an amazing man, very supportive and open minded. He used sports to help us look at our relationship to ourselves. He didn’t really care if we won or not but on how we played! Whether we were true to our potential. I thought rugby was for me but at university it was a very different. I remember wearing a bra and pants and vomiting into a large bin in the centre of a rugby club in Devon and thinking that it wasn’t really for me…who IS that for!? Very luckily – thank god – at that time I met Phillip Zarrilli. He’s a theatre director who teaches Asian martial and meditative approaches to performance. And so I found out how to merge the physical and the creative and never looked back. That stuff eventually took me to India to practice there and meet Siva Kumar, who is my martial arts guru.

Siva Kumar, Steve and Phillip were all interviewed for this work, along with my Dad. Their words can be heard through the tape player I carry about like a rugby ball. They’re the 4 male role models of my life so far! and they all say beautiful and intriguing things about strength, weakness, fathers and manliness.

So, you are inviting your audience to take part in a game, but it seems like a very different kind of a game, one that moves between the physical and the emotional. It sounds intense! Will the audience be taken through their paces; will they feel the burn?

The team is well drilled by their coach en route to the park, and should develop a keen sense of space and group manoeuvrability. Out on the park that is put to the test through a series of contemplations on the landscape and on manliness, punctuated by motivational squeezing, back patting and head tapping. There is a more aerobic section to the match, but coach is on hand to guide all players – ability is not an important criteria within the team outlook and auxiliary roles are on hand to be distributed. Emotionally it’s a different ball game and the team will have to grit their teeth and get through that however they can.

The title suggests an exploration of generation as well as physicality. Your previous piece, Memories of Suburbia, involved your Nan and her musings on life. It sounds like family is a very important driving factor in your work; do you feel that enough art is made about everyday life and families?

There’s quite a bit I’ve seen of late. Laura Bradshaw, Jo Hellier and I were all on at Luminate Festival in Glasgow with our grandparent pieces. Last year I saw Pete Lannon perform with his dad at Buzzcut, there was Dad Dancing at BAC and I worked with Rosana and Amy Cade on their work – Sista. I guess the big challenge is to use that personal stuff to create for people outside of the family – less therapy, more expression! With TotD my dad started the whole thing, it was his gift of the helmet I wear in the show that got me thinking about the protective and isolating aspects of manliness and male relationships. I walked about the high street with it on and felt safe and alone at the same time. What interests me is the cultural stuff around family we have in the UK. My Portuguese and Argentinian pals were talking about family life, and how it’s a very UK thing for people to leave home so early, for uni and so on. I think the dark spaces in UK families are instinctively attractive areas for artists to delve in to.

Playing this out in public will of course attract a secondary audience of passers-by. How important is this secondary audience?

All the landscape is our pitch and all its users are part of the fixture –  be they fans, team mates or even opposition. During practices and proper runs coach and I have accumulated numerous extra players of all ages that have just got stuck in. We are ready for all who want to join and whatever they want to contribute becomes part of the thing. Of course there are those who notice nothing and become beautiful parts of the picture, whilst others amuse with bewildered looks. I always get a nice buzz from a good pop as I high five a dog walker or on hearing friendly toots from passing car horns. Workmen in trucks tend to be the most animated, often shouting what I can only assume is encouragement from behind their large steering wheels.



As we come to the end of June, what better way to end it than to give you an insight into the mind of Fumix so he can tell us all about Comadisco and the upcoming special night this Saturday ft. Wolf Müller aka Bufiman & In Flagranti.

1. How did Comadisco Start?

In 2005 at a small club, which used to be a public toilet near Brick Lane, called Public Life with Fumio(me), Marco and William as a weekly Wednesday night party. Three of us met at a party called Nag Nag Nag that was at Ghetto in Soho on Wednesday night. Electroclash boom was at its height and we were all into Italo, electro and techno at a time so naturally bonded and decided to start a party. None of us, including lots of our friends, had a Monday to Friday jobs so Wednesday night it was. We’ve been organising parties whenever and wherever we felt like since.

2. Tell us about Comadisco’s night out

We’ve never had a goal or tried to make a career or tried to make money. To me and Marco, music comes first and foremost. But then again loads of our friends are into partying more than music so in the end it’s just a fun night where all our friends can come together and be stoopid with new added faces every month.

3. What can you tell us about Wolf Müller aka Bufiman & In Flagranti playing alongside you this Saturday?

They are just another producers that we have been a fan of. And they seem to have a very distinctive and interesting record collection so we booked them.

4. How would you describe your taste in music?


5. What are the key ingredients for a night out?


Make sure you head down to us this Saturday, to meet Fumix on the dance floor
FREE ENTRY B4 10pm | £10 AFTER 

Jerwood First Drafts Season Announced

The Jerwood First Drafts 2015 programme has enabled The Yard to give its first commissions to new theatre writers. The programme supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation is an important catalyst for artists’ ideas, offering resource, support and a unique space for this new work to flourish.

‘It feels important that we expose these stories, they feel both profound and intimately personal, told by artists who have a hunger to share something with you.’ 

Jay Miller, Artistic Director

For three weeks in July you will be able to exclusively hear first script readings and see more visually performed sharings from an eclectic line up of artists; Dickie Beau, Simon Bowes, M.J. Harding, Deborah Pearson & Somalia Seaton. All of these writers will explore how writing can be made for theatre.

The ideas in a nutshell are:

  1. Simon Bowes: Fleeting views of a city at night come out of their anonymous dark.
  2. Deborah Pearson: How do you acknowledge the exceptional situation of being white, from the inside, without saying all the wrong things?
  3. Dickie Beau: Who are you in your family? Are you the quiet one? The clever one? The clown? Can you ever escape?
  4. Somalia Seaton: What happens when a woman cannot produce life?
  5. M.J. Harding: A musical about a fictional immigration removal centre.

In 2015 The Yard has increased its ambition to celebrate and champion fresh, raw and new ideas like these, from conception through to full-scale productions.

Our commitment to nurturing new talent has borne successes such as the sold out in-house run of Josh Azouz’ The Mikvah Project & the successful transfer of Alexander Zeldin’s Beyond Caring to the National Theatre. These shows demonstrate our commitment to providing a professional space for new writers to bring innovative and challenging, yet accessible, ideas and writing to the wider world.

We hope to welcome you to our warehouse space in Hackney Wick if you’re: a critic, an artist who would like to develop work with us, a theatre student, a new writing enthusiast, or are simply curious about how The Yard develops and programmes its work from the early script to a full scale production.



We are happy to announce another fantastic line up for your summer weekend nights.

This week in The Yard we have Good Block with special guests Comic Slop and Comadisco ft. Wolf Müller aka Bufiman & In Flagranti.

Good Block are excited to welcome Leeds based Cosmic Slop to The Yard, this Friday night.  The renowned parties raise money for arts and education charity MAP which helps young people get back into mainstream education. With previous nights at Plastic People and monthly events in Leeds on their custom built system aka “the greatest sound system in the world” as quoted by Floating Points. Alongside residents Tom and Mike, the Slop faithful have been treated to hugely eclectic sets by the likes of Floating Points, Four Tet, Alex Nut, Love on the Run, Jon K and Kelvin Brown.

PLUS fruity nuggets from your favourite Good Block DJs


Good Block Mix 30 by Mike Greenwell by Good Block on Mixcloud

This Saturday get ready for seven hours of kaleidoscopic at Comadisco’s summer fête ft. Wolf Müller aka Bufiman & In Flagranti.

Wolf Müller aka Bufiman: Touching on all things wild, panoramic and cosmic, Jan has been cultivating his unique production styles on a various aliases for the last couple of years.

In Flagranti: Has been a close friend of us for a while now and whenever you have him around for a tea it turns into a party. Perfect guest for Comadisco I’d say.

So come join us from the hours 9pm till 4 in the morning – NOTE: FREE B4 10pm | £10 AFTER.



This week we have the return of some our faves; Knickerbocker and 0800 Dinosaur for their 2nd and 3rd edition of what they do best.

Knickerbocker #1 was so good we couldn’t resist but to have them back for round #2 this Friday night. The Yard just loves Knickerbocker and their carefree attitude on how not to fit in society. Knickerbocker is all about the weird and wonderful, they accept all while play the very the best in Pop, Indie and Electronica.

DJs on the night: Aaronzimbra  & Alex Lawless

SPECIAL GUEST DJ: Jamila Johnson-Small (Project O)

Host: KATY BAIRD – Best door whore in town (*Wink*)

Expect Lots and Lots of; Queers, Dancing and Tequila with a special orange and cinnamon twist.  

0800 Dinosaur will be back for their 3rd edition, Saturday night. 0800 Dinosaur is a night that doesn’t give much away before their event. The experience of their BIG BANG of a night is always a treat.


Expect: Sounds for the ears, nag for the nose, fruit for the tongue and your own pretty selves for the eyes.      

For all upcoming Music Nights – CLICK HERE



#NOW15 Interview #16: The Conker Group

The conker group 2

The Conker Group will bring their characteristic charm to an inventive new show exploring choice, security and what could lie in store for all of us to witness. Tara Robinson spoke to us about the show…


What’s your journey been getting to NOW’15, what brings you to The Yard?

We applied through the open submission process with this project, which we had developed a rough version of for a festival in The Hague last year. We wanted to rework it and build more direct engagement with senior members of the community into it. We targeted The Yard because we are excited about its artistic programming and the space, and also because we were interested in the potential for bringing older members of the surrounding communities into it. We’re now working with AgeUK Tower Hamlets as part of the project.

Tell us about your show. What makes it new and why should someone come and see it?

It’s a piece that looks at how we think about old age. Really it’s about our fear of it and our lack of preparation for it. Our wish to hide ourselves from it. It features two young lads and an overhead projector, and a guest performer from the local community, different every night. This guest will be invited through our workshops in Tower Hamlets and will have never seen the show before. Exciting and scary. The unknown possibilities of this will affect each performance differently and this is one of our huge excitements about the piece. It should be funny and mischievous and, we imagine, totally relevant for just about everyone, for obvious reasons.

The show is a collaboration between Tara Robinson, Tom Penn, Seiriol Davies and Edward Lewis. Our meetings involve a lot of laughter so we have high hopes for our product being incredibly serious…

Describe your show in three words…

Mischievous, Charming, Thought-provoking

Who or what inspires you?

– Everyday moments that make us laugh; each other.

– The seniors we’ve met and Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal.

– Tim, Chris, The Bulbs, Caroline, Chris, Andy, Gavin, it goes on… a beautiful list of brilliant theatre makers who give every day over to thinking about what they’re saying and what form they’re going to say it in.

What other shows in NOW’15 are you most looking forward to?

Actually all of them. As a bunch. As a richly varied and daring collection. As participants we get a free ride to see absolutely everything and we’re quite pumped about the possibility of doing just that.

Project ‘O’, our partner show, is really exciting us though as we’ve had little glimpses into its world. Its energy will be quite markedly different to ours, which we think will make for a really juicy evening of live performance right at the end of the festival and in the middle of summer.

5 Things To Do in Queen’s Yard, Hackney Wick – #YardLife

Despite the unpredictable weather, summer is pretty much here and Queen’s Yard is the perfect place to explore whether the sun is out or not.
Here’s our insider guide to the best of the most royal yard in all the Wick (except King’s Yard of course):


1. The Yard

Well you didn’t think we’d ignore ourselves did you? For summer unit 2a has a bumper summer programme line up of new writing, curious adventures starting at the theatre & the park. Plus don’t forget our late licence! We a huge variety of late night contemporary music nights on Friday & Saturdays.


2. Crate Brewery, Brewshed & Alfred Leroy

Head to The White Building to get a home-brewed pint & a gourmet pizza by the canalside. It’s gorgeous in the summer and really makes us feel happy to have an office in the building. Don’t miss their hidden speakeasy the Brewshed & their new beer boat ‘Alfred LeRoy‘.


3. Howling Hops

The new kid in Queen’s Yard at unit 9a opened last week and we were so excited to go to the launch. We taste tested their fine own brew of course and relaxed on the outdoor area.


4. Everything in Colour

Want to feel good about the clothes you wear? Recent Yard neighbour Everything in Colour bring an ethical fashion workshop, store and new flavour to Queen’s Yard.


5. Burgerhub

The most massive burgers you will find. These ladies will sort you out!


ps. If you’re looking for:



This week is very special as we have one of our Yard locals Unwanted in the building with Chris Gee solo on Friday and the rest of the Unwanted family on Saturday.

Chris Gee will be gracing us with his musical genius this Friday night with the special support of Mr Venom & Franklin from Unwanted. This will be Chris’s third set at The Yard playing the sound of Africa. Africa will be trickling through Chris Gee’s DJ sets. From hip hop-house bumps to garage-techno thumps with a positive feeling from 10pm – 3am. 

Tribal Inna by Chris Gee on Mixcloud

Unwanted will be arriving from terminal 3, the tropical express from Ghana this Saturday.  Locals will come fast and let us all unite to witness the eruption of Afro-Jazz-Highlife-Funk fusion special guest… PETE OntheCorner plus fresh from their show Lost Boy Sketches, FATLiP to warm up the crowd from the 10pm till midnight.

Pete OnTheCorner took up DJ’ing his eclectic selections whilst on a beat odyssey exploring the rhythms & scenes across Africa. He graced tropical paradise venues on the East African islands of Zanzibar.

Come to The Yard this weekend and experience nothing but positive vibes and BIG Love with your Yard Local favorites.

Unwanted Family Podcast 008 – Dom Servini by Unwanted on Mixcloud



This week we have Bushes (Friday) and De Heats (Saturday) giving us an eventful weekend of music, dancing and conversation.

BUSHES will be kicking off things this Friday with Salon Des Amateurs and Themes for Great Cities crew Rearview Radio & LLDJ.  Plus Alex Egan of London’s Phonica records and resident Danny P.

Disco, Afro-cosmic, Jazz, Ambient & House ALL NIGHT LONG, full of friendly faces & positive vibes.


The Yard finally welcomes back DE HEATS.

Gary the Tall will be making his return back to us since last year September. Gary will not be alone this time, he will be joined by none the other DJ RUFUS & Bambi and Johnny Panache. This trio will be giving us a pulse-pounding night full of new wave and industrial.

#NOW15 Interview #15: FATLiP

We caught up with Dana, Jack & Toby aka FATLiP to talk about their new album Lost Boy Sketches, which they are presenting at NOW ’15 from 9-13 June. Here’s what they had to say…

What’s your journey been getting to NOW’15, what brings you to The Yard?

FATLiP - Week 9 - NOW '15 Festival at The Yard Theatre - Image design Petra ZhivkovaToby: When we first got together we wanted to see what happens when you blend storytelling and music. After a few performances people seemed to be as excited by it as we were, next thing we know we’re on tour performing at festivals and art centres all over the UK; getting awesome feedback from the very people that inspired us.

Dana: We wanted to find somewhere that would help us shape this thing we’ve created; and the Yard was our dream venue. In an attempt to document what we were doing Jak and Toby made audio recordings at midnight and shot a video in Tesco at 3 in the morning. I then packaged it all up in a rouge application full of swear words… and next thing we know we get a phone call from Jay Miller.

Tell us about your show. What makes it new and why should someone come and see it?

D: To quote one of the characters: “All we want to do is write one classic”.

Jack: Lost Boy Sketches is the story of two characters whose lives and experiences are both unique and universal. Using live music and storytelling, the piece encapsulates the fears, irony, and confusion of growing up.

T: For some it might be an obliquely slanted mirror; for others it might just explain a few things.

J: What excites us is the fusion between words and music. They don’t feel like separate entities yet music venues call us a band and theatres call us a company… as a collective that’s pretty exciting.

D: Yeah, it’s as though we’re both attracting and resisting categorisation: like there is something both familiar and new to experience at the same time.

Describe your show in three words…

All: Loitering with intent

Who or what inspires you?

J: Anger and frustration is very much the catalyst, followed by the excitement of anything and everything we interact with: a piece of music, a graffiti tag, a particularly great episode of Breaking Bad…

T: We’re inspired by new interactions: complicated, fleeting, with strangers, friends, landscapes, snippets of sounds. You can’t underestimate the influence they have on what you create in reaction to how your feeling at that time, which is what, makes them so fascinating.

J: We’re also inspired by journeys: lots of the show was written or composed in our heads while on the move: on trains, down back alley, bars, forests, waking up on strangers floors It feels like there is so much to say, discover and push against all at the same time: you’re constantly intrigued by something you have to play with.

What other shows in NOW’15 are you most looking forward to?

J: To be honest? All of them!

D: and we mean that because we are really looking forward to seeing all of them; it’s such a well balanced and diverse programme of work from all sorts of interesting voices. Each time we read through what else is on our favourite changes.

T: At the first festival meeting when we met the other companies, we found ourselves having to sit up and take notice. Every show sounded like something that really needed to happen, and that’s why we’re so excited to be a part of it.