• Sara Templeman

Half life, a new show with Tangled Feet Theatre Company

Life expectancy in the UK is 80 years old. Most of Tangled Feet’s core ensemble and founding members will be turning 40 soon. It’s made us think about what life is like as you approach your expected halfway mark. Also what was it like half a life ago, and half that time again? What will it be like in another 40 years?

In this intergenerational show we ask different age groups these life questions. What’s your world like? What do you care about? What’s important? What do you look forward to? What will life be like in 10, 20, 40 years time?!

Half a life ago, the founding members of Tangled Feet met at Middlesex University and embarked on a massive journey together. 10 individuals all met studying for a drama and theatre studies degree and formed the company. All of us are still involved in the company in some way. We run everything ourselves from general management, artistic direction, finance, social media and marketing, production, casting, participation, fundraising to drama-therapy projects. What is at the core of our company is the individuals who have always put in that little bit extra, harnessed new skills to evolve as an ensemble, to grow and expand. Who knew 20 years ago we would still be going?

At the core of this show is our methodology which we have been developing from the start of Tangled Feet. A shared and devised process which used to take a long time to create, mainly because back when we started we had no money to pay ourselves, so we would sacrifice our evenings and weekends to make the work. There were some benefits in working in this way as it gave the time for work to marinade, breathe and grow. However we pride ourselves now on being able to offer fair and equal pay for all our ensemble and collaborators including interns. Artists should not have to work for free. Unfortunately that still often seems to be the case. Our shows now have a shorter R&D period and then a bulk of a few weeks of rehearsals and then it’s performance time. We wanted to see what it would be like to take our time again, if possible, developing a show as we used to, which features our founding members 20 years on. Some of us haven’t exercised our performance muscles for some time, some of us have appeared in nearly every single show! How do we still work together as a core? What’s changed? What remains the same? We have experienced all of our adult lives together both professionally and as friends. There have been marriages, births, divorce, death. Lots of life has happened. How does that affect how we create work and what will be the outcome? How are we all at our half life point?!

Over a whole year, we are developing Half Life in this original way, taking our time with short R&D periods. We are nearly half way through that process now and are collaborating with different age groups to help make the work which will premier in October 2019 at The Albany in Deptford. The performances will feature our core ensemble with chosen collaborators aged 10, aged 20, aged 40 and aged 80 to bring to life the experiences and stories of a cross generational cast. We can’t wait to see what we uncover.

For more information on Half Life, or to find out how you could get involved please visit The Albany's website Half Life will also be developed with other collaborators outside of London in 2020. More info can be found on Tangled Feet's website

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© 2019 by Sara Templeman