★★★★ “A bold, sharp debut from new dance company Geste Records”
★★★★ ”Well worth experiencing.” Hackney Gazette
★★★★ “Heartbreaking, funny and discomforting all at once.”
“Tom Cruise’s ridiculous media-friendly artifice is deconstructed, smile by smile, finger gun by finger gun.”
Tickets are selling fast for These are your lives. You can book online here.
We are looking for volunteers to help with the smooth running of events at The Yard. You’ll be able to see how our shows are brought to an audience, gain vital experience in a customer facing role, and get to meet with members of The Yard team. There’s complimentary tickets, and even a cheeky discount thrown in for you as well!
For more information, and to apply, please see our Work With Us page.
Cat Gray is the General Manager at The Yard. She looks after the building, bar and kitchen staff, books in our fantastic chef residencies, and is also our go-to finance whizkid. We caught up with her to find out what an average day looks like.
“I usually wake up at 7:15am, shower, have my compulsory cup of tea, and two pieces of toast with jam.
I’m out of the house by 8:45am and on the train for 9:00am. I like to read on my journey, and I’ll give most fiction a go, but I love a good mystery. I get to Hackney Wick for about 9:45 am and first things first: Heather, our marketing officer usually makes everyone a cup of tea – we’re tea addicts at The Yard in case you hadn’t guessed! Then I check my emails for anything urgent.
My day hugely depends on what we’ve got going on in the theatre or bar, but regular jobs for me include processing the bar and box office takings, paying suppliers, or I’ll be doing payroll or an exciting VAT return!
I normally make my lunch at home, and often it’s leftovers from the night before. (Yardies usually tease me about my leftover moussaka, but they’re just jealous.)
My afternoon can include anything from meetings with colleagues and staff I manage, to writing contracts for events or hires. At The Yard we do a range of events from film festivals, to club nights, to weddings, so there’s always a new challenge. Right now I’m working on updating our front of house procedures, and putting a volunteer pack together.
At 5:30 I brief our front of house staff about the evening’s performance. Then at 6:00pm it’s off home, or to the theatre- I’ll often have a press night to attend. Otherwise, I love eating out, and I’ve just got a new taste card, so I’m trying to work my way through the restaurants that accept them!”
We caught up with The Yard’s Artistic Director, Jay Miller, to find out more about the shows in this year’s Autumn Season, opening in September.
Here’s what he had to say…
We’ve announced two shows in the Autumn Season so far; These are your lives. and The Hundred We Are. Both shows explore identity, and the process of telling your own story – although they approach this in entirely different ways.
These are your lives. takes its starting point from an infamous interview of Tom Cruise that happened on The Oprah Winfrey Show a few years ago. Through a process of deconstruction, it becomes a show about the way in which celebrities manifest different aspects of themselves for different purposes. There’s a live choir to accompany the interview, dancers that emerge out of the set of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and a series of beautiful films; it’s a very visually interesting show for audiences. I guess what These are your lives. points at is how most people are no different from those celebrities: we all resemble many different people at different points in our lives.
The Hundred We Are, is a playful and very funny experiment with the theatricality of the stage. The actors are constantly making their character, their person and their identity in front of our eyes. The show is about one woman, played by three actors, who try to tell the story of her life. As the piece develops, the three women’s stories begin to contradict one another, and tensions emerge between them. I think this playful presentation of a life story is brilliant in portraying a very 21st Century phenomenon: the process of reinventing ourselves, of trying to make our personal story seem better than it is. I think watching the show we begin to see how our lives are not just one story, they are not coherent hollywood biopics, but rather a series of contradictory episodes. The show has bags of energy, with an incredibly beautiful set as well, and I’m really looking forward to it.
You can book for our Autumn Season here, and if you book before 26th August, tickets are just £10!
As These are your lives. is now in rehearsal, we thought it was time for you to meet the cast.
Brian Gillespie trained at University of East London/Columbia College Chicago in Dance and Theatre Studies. Brian is the artistic director and choreographer for London-based B-Hybrid Dance and recently produced his first show Between the Lines (Stratford Circus). Brian has worked professionally with companies and organisations such as Sadler’s Wells, About Face Theatre Chicago, East London Dance, LaughDance UK, Barrowland Ballet Scotland and more.
Jack Johns trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre includes; Muswell Hill (White Bear) Love Girl and The Innocent (Southwark Playhouse) Cover Her Face (InkyCloak) Othello (Bussey Building-nominated for best actor, Iago, Off West End Awards) Peter Panic (Pleasance) Git (Rich Mix) Brightest and Best (Half Moon) Through the Night (Finborough Theatre), My Previous Self (Wardrobe Theatre), Orphans (Trafalgar Studios), Peer Gynt (The Yard Theatre), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Circomedia, Bristol), Cinderella (Redgrave Theatre, Bristol) and Something Out Of Nothing (Bristol Old Vic).
Ottillie Parfitt studied theatre and clowning at the University of Alberta in Canada. New work that she has co-created and performed internationally includes: The Mole: A Tale of Wretched William & Murdered Mary (Skratcz Studios) and Fierce: A Grotesque Burlesque (co-produced by Fireraisers & Nightingale Theatre). Theatre includes: Some Girls (Teatro Technis),The Body (Nigel & Louise), You Me Bum Bum Train (YMBBT), Marked (Shunt Lounge), Iron Woman (nextfest), Frost With Bite (Northern Light Theatre), Lion in the Streets (Second Playing Space), and The Queens (The Corner Stage). Radio and television includes: Stormin’ Jack Norman (Reasonance FM), and Stalked (Acme Television). She was part of the original cast for This is your life. at the Yard Theatre, directed by Alexander Rennie in 2013.
Lilian Schiffer trained with East 15 Acting School in 2012. Theatre includes: In the Beginning Was the End (Somerset House), Hamlyn (Space Theatre), Cymbeline, An Absolute Turkey, and Rhinoceros. Radio and film i includes: Great War Diaries (BBC 2) and the award-winning feature film Rosenstrasse directed by Margarethe von Trotta. She was part of the original cast for This is your life. at the Yard Theatre, directed by Alexander Rennie in 2013.
These are your lives.
Incorporating a verbatim script courtesy of Tom Cruise, re-interpreted iconic film scenes and a live choral soundtrack, These are your lives. tells the story of celebrity; its birth, its life, its destruction and its resurrection. Set in a chat-show studio, identity becomes an illusion and performance compulsive in this dark and spectacular show about a man caught in the spectacular apertures of show culture.
£10 early bird tickets are available until 26 August. Click here to book.
These are your lives.
Tuesday 9 September – Saturday 4 October
Following a sell-out work-in-development run in 2013, Geste Records return with a dark and spectacular show about a man caught in the spectacular apertures of show culture.
Incorporating a script courtesy of Tom Cruise, re-interpreted iconic film scenes and a live choral soundtrack, These are your lives. tells the story of celebrity; its birth, its life, its destruction and its resurrection.
Tuesday 14 October - Saturday 8 November
Hobo Theatre in association with The Yard Theatre present this award-winning play by leading Swedish playwright, Jonas Hassen Khemiri.
Meet a trio of women: a young revolutionary, a middle-aged comfort junkie and an old truth seeker. Three individuals who are, in fact, the same person. Faced with this identity crisis, the three women battle to define themselves by re-telling the various versions of their life story. But whose story is true? And whose story will win?
Translated by Frank Perry and directed by Jamie Harper, this production reunites the team that previously collaborated on the critically acclaimed Invasion! (★★★★ “Perfect” – Time Out).
Early bird offer: Book tickets for either show before Tuesday 26 August & pay just £10.
With just one week left to catch Beyond Caring, see what our audiences have been saying about the show on twitter…
@Becca_DP I cannot recommend #BeyondCaring at @YardTheatre strongly enough. Really brilliant.
@WILKINSONLondon We highly recommend seeing #BeyondCaring @YardTheatre, Hackney Wick. Brilliant production, ends 26 July.
@miss_orourke Blown away by #BeyondCaring @YardTheatre, a really important piece of theatre that should be seen by everyone
#beyondcaring @YardTheatre is…quite something. Also, great @TheatreDialogue – thanks @jakeyoh & @maddydeliqette! (And to Maddy for cake)
@adhugheswriter Fantastic evening at @YardTheatre watching #BeyondCaring. Really moving piece of theatre that was scarily relevant.
@GavurinPaul Theatre rarely stimulates political debate. #BeyondCaring @YardTheatre an exception. Great piece from @paulmasonnews
The Yard’s Artistic Director, Jay Miller, was lucky enough to travel to Brazil in April with the British Council, in order to meet and share ideas with Brazilian artists, across cultural industries.
In this article, which Jay wrote for Exeunt Magazine, he looks back on the inspiring people he met during his time in Brazil, such as Marco Faustini, who founded the The Agency, and Rodolpho, who started the theatre ‘Satyros’ project in President Roosevelt Square.
Read the full article here.
We caught up with Rhys Denegri to see how he’s been getting on as the newest member of The Yard team…
Rosanna: Hi Rhys, you’ve recently joined the ranks at The Yard as Technical Manager; how have you found it so far?
Rhys: It’s great! When I first got here, I felt a bit like a kid on a treasure hunt, sorting through what I had to work with and finding all sorts, in numerous hiding places all over.
Rosanna: Whereabouts are you from originally?
Rhys: Originally I’m from Essex, Braintree to be exact, which most people have never heard of…
Rosanna: I think I…nope – sorry. What were you up to prior to joining us?
Rhys: Before coming to The Yard I was working at the Hawthorne Theatre in Welwyn Garden City, as well as doing other casual work in London.
Rosanna: What’s the most demanding show you’ve had to work on as a Techie?
Rhys: The most demanding – I’m not sure – there’s lots of demanding parts to every show, but I suppose for me it would have to be when I was at RADA – I worked on the set for the directors’ shows in repertory; three shows, with two every night in rotation. In one venue. One had a floor to ceiling wall that cut through the middle of the stage. Another consisted of five very large platforms of supported cardboard boxes, with over-lapping drop boxes and flying structures all over the place.
Rosanna: Sounds complicated! What do you like to get up to when you’re not at The Yard?
Rhys: Dancing! Whenever I can get the chance to dance, that’s what I’ll be doing! It’s just so relaxing to be moving to the music of that moment.
Rosanna: Well, there’s plenty of opportunity for dancing at The Yard. What kind of dancing do you do?
Rhys: I do eight different styles of dance; Ballroom, Latin, Modern Sequence, Old Time, Ballet, Tap, Modern Jazz, and West Coast Swing.
Rosanna: Wow! And what does ‘Modern Sequence’ entail?
Rhys: Modern sequence is a specific routine repeated every 16 bars within a piece of music – so everyone on the floor is dancing the same moves, which makes it hard to stand out – you have to have excellent technique.
Rosanna: So will we be seeing you on Strictly anytime soon?
Rhys: No, I don’t think so. I do the odd competition from time to time though. The last one I did was in Blackpool, and me and my partner ranked in the top ten nationally!
Rosanna: Well done – that’s amazing. Thanks Rhys, I’ll let you get back to your rummaging now.