Can you hear me running? opened on the 4th of October – 23rd 2016 at The Pleasance Theatre London.
photo by Graham Saville.
Can You Hear Me Running? is beautifully written by Harper and lovingly performed by Breckon Richards. She keeps it real throughout, she has an extraordinary capacity to draw the audience in and gets us to share the downs and the ups, the flat and the bumpy and, of course, the music and the silence of her highly personal experience. And having had to put her body, involuntarily, on the line, Loo bares her soul so that we can all take a little piece of it away with us and either count our blessings or be encouraged to stand up to our privations. LONDON THEATRE 1 – Peter Yates 5 ***** review
Can You Hear Me Running? is an uplifting story about one woman’s refusal to give up, no matter what. It gives us the opportunity to pause and think about how easily we take our own voices – and the ability to communicate with loved ones, friends and colleagues – for granted. And its conclusion lifts the heart and makes us believe, however briefly, that anything’s possible. I was almost persuaded to give running a go… THE BLOG OF THEATRE THINGS
photo by Graham Saville firstname.lastname@example.org
Engaging one-woman show combining energetic storytelling and rich visualsThe Stage
Many people who go to the show may not have run, ever. If, however, you are a runner, expect to laugh and cry as you join Louise on her marathon journey. She expresses the ups and downs of the training, and race day, with such subtle humour and depth that will leave you in tears. As she questions herself and her life, it touches on a part deep inside all of us. Tina Chantrey at Women’s running magazine. 5 ***** review.
It felt uncomfortably real. There was hope, tragedy, humour and despair. Basically, life. At the end, I felt as though a sliver of another life had been given to me. Understated yet moving, an honest and energetic show.
Can You Hear Me Running?
★★★★ “Understated yet moving, an honest and energetic show”
Guest Review by Sarah Tinsley
Publicity image and poster created by Graham
Promo film made by Peter Callow
Can you hear me running? began as a collaboration between actress Louise Breckon–Richards and writer Jo Harper in 2012.
Over two years, they collated all the material and Jo started to write a script based on Louises’ experiences.
‘You have a sulcus vocalis. There’s a groove like furrow on the edge of your vocal chord on the right side. Your vocal chord is bowed so it’s not able to close properly, so we can’t hear you. Um, I can operate. You may not be able to sing professionally again’.
In June 2014, Jo and Louise were invited to show an extract of the piece at Tamasha Theatre’s Regional Voices scratch night to which it received a great response.
One of the comments from the Tamasha scratch evening:
– Excellent. This is really wonderful material and Louise is a great performer. Now they should go forward with this piece and look at bold ways to stage it- using projection, maybe a lot area for the running. Really great, powerful show, well written- great shape to it.- I have full confidence in it.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
In May 2015, they were awarded Grants for Arts, which enabled actress Louise Breckon – Richards, writer Jo Harper, Director Steve Grihault, projection designer Eva Auster and Music composer and director Dan Glover to research and develop the piece and find imaginative ways to tell the story.
This period of time resulted in an hours worth of material that we showed as work in progress to two invited audiences on different nights, one at the Park Theatre and one at The Pleasance. Sept 2015
As part of our research we asked the audience to write down some of their responses. Here are just some of them:
Really strong and engaging, incredible of only ten days! Dynamic script.
- The collaboration of two themes was extremely powerful and thought provoking.
- I engaged in the dialogue between self, identity and expression. The strengths were the observations of the relationship between the voice and projection of self.
- The play tempered raw introspection with anecdotal humour and balanced well the ethos, pathos and logos. Cathartic and empowering.
- I related to the idea of losing the thing you develop your identity around.
- It was beautifully crafted, performed. I was inspired and touched and informed and uplifted.
- The voice is central to our persona.
-You told a rather technical story and yet you were able to keep the human connection. A human triumph. You conveyed the devastating effect on our lives of seemingly tiny incidents.
We were thrilled to be awarded further Arts Council funding (Grants for Arts) to develop the show to full production in October 2016 and it had a successful three week run at The Pleasance Theatre London in the stage space. Steve Grihault, the director, now expanded the team to also now include Steve Kirkham as movement director, Adrian Gee, designer, Tom Turner- lighting, Tamar Saphra as assistant director and Sophie Johnson as our Stage manager, as well as all of the the rest of the original team. Throughout the three week rehearsals we worked in a collaborative way with each person adding their valuable ideas.
Rehearsals Sept 2016
Having a set designer Adrian Gee, now gave us a beautiful landscape to play with to enhance Eva Auster’s projection and Tom Turner added much needed lighting to create each moment in the space.
photo Graham Saville
To help us with the movement in the piece we had the pleasure of working with Steve Kirkham who gave a much needed physicality to the piece and helped us express the journey and the story in a way we’d not yet explored. The results were amazing. He brought an open, dynamic energy that only added to the direction and world of the play.
Music and the voice are central to the story and Dan Glover, our Musical Director and Composer for the production created a strong, moving score for the piece as well as playing every night on stage. This added a powerful layer to the production, supporting the narrative and feel of the play.
photo Graham Saville
We would love to share Can you hear me running? with other parts of the country and even reach beyond the UK in the near future. Watch this space and hopefully we will ‘run’ again. Special thanks to all who have helped us reach this far.
Can you hear me running team ( only missing the amazing Steve Kirkham) left to right. Steve Grihault- director, Designer Adrian Gee,Lighting – Tom Turner, Louise Breckon – Richards – performer, Dan Glover MD and composer,Sophie Johnson- stage manager, Tamar Saphra- assistant director, Jo Harper – writer, Eva Auster – projection design.
Taken by Graham Saville Oct 4th 2016 at The Pleasance Theatre London. Stage space.
Can you hear me running? is a story about overcoming adversity and finding a new voice when your old one is broken.