Rendezvous In Bratislava
By Miriam Sherwood
With music by Thom Andrewes and Will Gardner
Shows: 8th and 11th November 2018
Miriam and her granddad are making a cabaret together. They’re the perfect double act: he’s got the stories, she loves telling them, and they both have a flair for the theatrical. The only problem is they’ve never met. (He’s been dead for 37 years.)
Jan ‘Laco’ Kalina was a dramaturg, satirist, collector of jokes and writer of cabarets, born in Czechoslovakia in 1913. A Slovak Jew, he survived the fascists only to be imprisoned by the communists, who believed him a threat to the regime.
Digging through objects and stories from Laco’s remarkable life, Miriam searches for her granddad’s voice through his own jokes, skits and songs, conjuring up an archival cabaret that reverberates with laughter from a very different place and time.
With original music and a live band of Slovaks, Rendezvous in Bratislava traces family connections across national, historical and political borders, and celebrates the power of laughter in troubled times.
Miriam, Thom and Will have been friends for over 10 years. They have worked on lots of music and theatre events together, but Rendezvous in Bratislava is their biggest yet. They are excited to be touring it with their Slovak and Czech band, who helped them to develop the show.
Miriam makes theatre, using oral histories, documentary material and music to find inventive ways to tell true stories with the people who lived them. In 2014 she created durational performance Eardrum, inviting passers-by to share embarrassing stories with strangers at festivals across London. Her next show The Real Reasons We Drink (2015) told the personal & social history of a 150-year old London pub, presented by and to its regulars.
Thom is a British composer, currently based in Leipzig, Germany. His work includes an opera about Boris Johnson, White Haired Boy (2014), MLR, part of a collaborative project with the charity Freedom from Torture, and Karolaoke, a cross-genre take on the sing-along carol concert, presented by indie-pop orchestra The Coveryard. Thom also writes about music at The Biting Point and The Night Mail, and his book We Break Strings: The Alternative Classical Scene in London (a collaboration with photographer Dimitri Djuric) was published by Hackney Classical Press in 2014.
Will is a composer, arranger and pianist based in London. As a composer, Will combines vocal samples with intricate arrangements to create an often melancholic pop sound. Aside from Rendezvous, Will’s music has been used in art projects by Vera Lehndorff and German director Christopher Roth, and he is currently working on an album with upcoming producer/composer Benedict de Vries. Will has worked with composer Jonathan Bepler on Matthew Barney’s River of Fundament, arranged for Mercury Prize winners alt-J, orchestrated for composer Adrian Corker on a new Sky Atlantic TV series Tin Star, and assisted composer Terry Davies on Matthew Bourne’s ballet The Red Shoes.
Developed at Battersea Arts Centre
Supported using public funding from Arts Council England
Supported by JW3
Created by: Miriam Sherwood
Composer and Music Co-Director: Thom Andrewes
Composer and Music Co-Director: Will Gardner
Musicians: Martin Jeriga, Maria Rehakova, Lucie Steiner
Dramaturg: Catherine Carter
Associate Director: Zoë Tweed
Designer: Becky-Dee Trevenen
Lighting Designer: Joshua Gadsby
Choreographer: Anna Tringham
Translation: Julia Sherwood
Additional Sound Mix: Benedict de Vries