Master of improvisation and internationally renowned for his dynamic performances, Ben Haggarty slips behind the lights into the dark side of fairground, where you risk getting more than you bargained for. Via a freak-show and moonshine bar, this intense, physical and alarming performance journeys through the ambivalent mythology of the Sandman, an iconic figure who continues to resonate within literature, film, music and popular culture - Ben Haggarty has created another masterpiece to challenge the boundaries of contemporary performance storytelling.
Mr Sandmann is a dramatic exploration of the imagination, playing with a tense dynamic between first person and third person narrative in performance. Flirting with Americana; drawing on urban legend, fairytale and folklore, and paying oblique homage to Heinrich Von Kleist, ETA Hoffman, Hans Andersen and Nick Cave, Ben Haggarty surrenders his sanity to the magnetic pull of a ravenous moon.
Mr Sandmann is ideally suited for performance in black box theatre spaces, to diverse metropolitan adult audiences, and will appeal to literary, performance storytelling, fringe and experimental theatre audiences alike.
Costs are in the region of £350 plus expenses.
Previous performances of Mr Sandmann include at the Soho Theatre, the Barbican Centre, Chapter Arts Centre, Cheltenham Literature Festival and Cambridge Storytelling Festival.
Mr Sandmann is in permanent repertoire and is available throughout 2010 and 2011. Please enquire with specific dates.
Having been trained in mime and theatre direction in the 1970s, and apprenticed as an image-maker with Welfare State, Ben Haggarty began telling stories professionally in 1981 - becoming a central figure in the re-visioning of storytelling as a contemporary performing art in the UK.
Today, Ben is a world-class performance storyteller, internationally respected for his playful, lively and challenging performances, for his knowledge of stories and diverse narrative traditions. His performances, including ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘The Fly’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, his programmes of fairytales for grownups, and most recently ‘Mr Sandmann’, have earned him acclaim across the English-speaking world.
‘... and what a story this one was – it unravelled itself mischievously in Haggarty’s quietly skilful telling.’
The New Statesman
‘Haggarty tells his stories with enormous relish and gusto.’ The Independent
‘Haggarty’s telling is an adroit mixture of the imposingly epic and the reassuringly rhythmic,
tempered by a twinkle that admits to the story’s heightened nature, without mocking it’
‘He knows how to harness the audience’s imagination offering up the story’s epic twists and turns
in a way that animates them without over selling them’
Mr Sandmann is ideally suited to black box studio theatre spaces, and other fairly neutral performance spaces.
Minimum get-in (prior to house opening): 2 hours
Performance length: approx 125 minutes including 15 minutes interval. The performance is in two parts of approximately 1 hour for the first half and 50 minutes for the second.
Target audience: Adult (not suitable for children under 16 years - Mr Sandmann contains adult material, sexual references, violent and disturbing imagery, and challenging philosophical ideas).
Performance area: minimum dimensions: 5 metres width, 4 metres depth, 4 metres height.
Set: Black drapes. (If not available, free standing supports and fire-retardant drapes will be provided be the artist)
The artist uses a small fairground (pipe) organ on stage supported on its own stand.
Lighting: There are three basic states: a preset, a performance state without festoon lights, and a performance state with festoon lights. There are only two lighting cues.
The performing area is centre stage and downstage centre and left. To be lit with salmon and straw gels. A small fairground (pipe) organ on a stand, is positioned upstage right and needs a ‘special’.
The artist will provide 2 x lengths of coloured festoon lights (total length adjustable between 10m and 30m), to be strung at (approx) 3-metre height across the stage, suspended from x 4 points (diagram can be supplied). Alternatively these can be supported from the stage using stands that the artist will supply.
In venues without theatre lighting, a very basic 4-lamp portable lighting rig can be provided, which the artist will transport and erect - provided an additional member of staff can be accommodated overnight (twin room with artist).
Sound: In smaller venues (up to about approx 150 seating capacity) the performance can be self-sufficient with acoustic spoken word and music.
In larger venues, where audience capacity and venue demand full amplification, requirements are as follows, and a sound technician will be required:-
1 lavalier type microphone (Ben)
1 microphone for pipe organ
The artist will provide pre-recorded sound to be used as ‘walk in’ and interval music on audio CD.
For further information, and to book, please contact the programme manager, Kate Norgate
07791 157 437