Director Lu Kemp worked on Have Your Circumstances Changed? in collaboration with older men from Islington and Elena Peña, Cis O’Boyle, Ben Lewis and Jamie Vartan.
The performances emerged from a specially developed cookery school run by chef and actor, Paul Cawley. Project partners Age UK Islington, St Luke’s Community Centre and Vital Arts invited older men from their networks to attend basic cookery classes at St Luke’s Cookery School and in the Occupational Therapy unit at Mile End Hospital.
Paul Humpoletz was born in London of an Austrian father and Hungarian mother and studied at the Rose Bruford College, where he gained an Honours in Acting. He has worked in most of the major repertory companies including 3 years at Dundee, as well as the London Fringe and West End, plus world theatre tours and many performances in Europe. He also has a one-man show which he has toured extensively in the UK and abroad. His television and film appearances are numerous, and he has done a great deal of radio and voice-over work. He is a member of Visible Theatre Ensemble and has just appeared in their very successful production of Who Do We Think We Are? at Southwark Playhouse.
Dudley Sutton, since 1957, loves directors and writers of ideas, such as Joan Littlewood; Sidney J Furie; Joe Orton; Ken Russell; Derek Jarman; Fellini; Sally Potter; Anya Tchernakova; Andrew Kötting; Gisli Öm Garðarsson; Tom Morris; Nick Love, and Cornwall's Miracle Theatre, Neil Haig. He has done masses of TV since the days of 'live' with Z Cars, Armchair Theatre. The Wednesday Play, subsequently in Lovejoy, The Beiderbecke Tapes, and many soaps, cop and hospital dramas. He wonders why, after 55 years ducking and diving to avoid what his old mentor Joan Littlewood called 'The Sad Brothel Of Type-Casting,' he has yet to be cast by the BBC in a single day's work in a costume drama. Why? Always pleased to be with whatever is happening now, he joins Lu Kemp at Artangel, before which he is off to wear another hat as performance poet, story-teller, and songwriter at the St Ives Literary Festival.
Roddy Maude-Roxby is an innovator in theatrical improvisation and mask, notably working with Mark Rylance at the Globe Theatre. He trained as a painter at the Royal College of Art and is a founder member of Theatre Machine and Alice’s Diner. His theatre appearances include If So Then Yes (N.F. Simpson, Jermyn Street Theatre); I am Shakespeare (Mark Rylance, Chichester); The King of Hearts (Hampstead Theatre); The Invisible College (Primitive Science, Salzburg Festival) ;Victory Over The Sun (Barbican); The Double Wedding (Rose English, Royal Court); Magic Olympical Games (National Theatre); The Public (Stratford East); The Three Sisters, Erpingham Camp, Transcending, The Performing Giant and Man is Man (Royal Court); Habeas Corpus, Salad Days, J.B, One Way Pendulum and One to Another (West End London) and The Knack and Help Stamp Out Marriage (New York and Broadway). Film appearances include Edgar in The Aristocats (Walt Disney); Unconditional Love; Shadowlands; White Hunter Black Heart; How to Get Ahead in Advertising; Playing Away; Tumbledown; Plenty; and Greystoke. Television appearances include The Goodies; Rowan and Martin's Laugh In; Not Only But Also (with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore), Wives and Daughters; All or Nothing at All; Parallel 9; First and Last; Number 27; Those Glory Glory Days; and What The Dickens. He has performed at The Establishment (with Peter Cook, London and New York) and was winner of the Theatre of the Year Award (Best Comic, New York). Roddy was an officer in the RAF in an earlier version of himself.
Luca Toomey is thirteen years of age and attends secondary school in Hackney. Previous credits include Mike Teavee in the original cast of Sam Mendes' Charlie and The Chocolate Factory at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He has performed at a number of Arts Festivals in London, celebrating theatre & dance.
Mitchell Jelley is nine years old and lives in North London. Previous credits include Opera North’s production of Carousel, and Young Simba in the UK tour of Disney's The Lion King.
Kareem Onyiukah has been a member of the Young Actors Theatre since he was six years old. He started his acting career appearing in Reggie Yates’ directorial debut Patriarch, a short film about the responsibility of fatherhood, and has worked with Yates again since on a music video for Blu Magic. A talented street dancer, Kareem also recently filmed a music video for Loic Nottet who is the Belgian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, 2015. He has appeared in a series of promos for Birds Eye Ltd as a Mini-Chef and corporate educational DVDs. Kareem is delighted to be making his stage debut in Artangel’s Production of Have Your Circumstances Changed?
Kailuca Koniak is eleven years old, lives in London and is a member of the Sylvia Young Agency.
Khalil Vaughan has been a member of the Young Actors Theatre for two years and has had roles in several productions, including the short film Tulip Fever with Director Ibi Vaughan, the promo of School’s Out for Nickelodeon, and a series of promos for Birds Eye Ltd as a mini-chef making meals from their basic products. He enjoys cooking in real life, as well as football and acting. He also provided one of the voiceovers for the upcoming Joe Wright feature film Pan. Khalil is delighted to be joining Artangel’s production of Have Your Circumstances Changed?
Guillermo Bedward is eleven years old and lives and goes to school in Marylebone. Through the Sylvia Young Agency he has worked on several productions including the upcoming Warner Brothers feature film Pan. He has also recently played the lead character in the film A Child's Eyes for the NHS, and has appeared in commercials. Have Your Circumstances Changed? is Guillermo's first theatre performance.
Lu Kemp is a theatre director and dramaturge working in new writing, physical theatre and dance. She is Associate Artist with the award-winning theatre company Inspector Sands for whom she will direct The Lounge in 2016, a new show exploring attitudes to ageing. Lu trained on the LEM at Lecoq, Paris, and with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, New York. Previous work for Artangel includes collaborating with Elena Peña on the sound-design of Saskia Olde Wolbers's Yes, These Eyes are The Windows.
Ben Lewis is a writer for theatre, radio and TV. He is co-Artistic Director of Inspector Sands, jointly creating their shows, A High Street Odyssey (Without Walls/Watford Palace/GDIF); Rock Pool (Take Art/Farnham Maltings); Mass Observation (Almeida); If That’s All There Is (Lyric Hammersmith/Traverse Theatre); and Hysteria (Total Theatre Award, Southbank Centre/BAC), which have toured extensively in the UK and internationally. He directed and co-wrote The Village Social (National Theatre Wales); Sue: The Second Coming (Soho Theatre/Bristol Old Vic); My Name Is Sue (Total Theatre Award, Soho Theatre/UK tour). Other writing credits include: Don Quixote (Òran Mór); Psychobitches (Sky Arts); Outlaws (BBC3); Tiny, Blue Sky Thinking and The Meet-Cute (BBC Radio 4).
Cis O’Boyle is a theatre maker and lighting specialist. Art works have recently been included in the 'One Beam of Light' exhibition at the ICA, London and 'The Tiny Peep Show' at Latitude and Wilderness festivals. She has recently designed the lighting for Mahogany Opera Group production Gloria – A Pigtale which toured to venues including the Royal Opera House and Bregenz Festival; Jubilee Opera’s production of A Time There Was at the Britten Centenary celebrations, Aldeburgh; Saskia Olde-Wolbers's art project Yes These Eyes are The Windows produced by Artangel; Early Days (of a better nation) produced by Coney; and the Earfilms feature film international tour. Productions O'Boyle has worked on have been awarded two Fringe First Awards, the The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and have been included in four British Council showcases. Current work includes the IK Prize exhibition for Tate Britain and touring arts centre Idle Women.
Elena Peña is a sound designer and her previous work for Artangel includes Yes, These Eyes are The Windows by Saskia Olde Wolbers. Theatre productions include The Christians (Gate Theatre); Islands (Bush Theatre); Storylabs (Tricycle Theatre); You Have Been Upgraded (Unlimited Theatre); Patrias (Edinburgh International Festival); The Kilburn Passion (Tricycle Theatre); Girl’s Guide To Saving The World (HighTide); Not Now Bernard (Unicorn Theatre); Macbeth: Blood Will Have Blood (China Plate); Pim & Theo (NIE / Odsherred Teater, Denmark); A High Street Odyssey (Inspector Sands); Flashes (Young Vic); Arabian Nights (Tricycle Theatre); Mass Observation (Almeida Theatre); Brimstone & Treacle (Arcola Theatre); Gambling (Soho Theatre); The 13 Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo (RSC); Quimeras (Sadlers Wells, EIF); Unbroken (Gate Theatre); Plasticine (Southwark Playhouse); Under Milk Wood (Northampton Theatre Royal). Works for radio include 12 Years, The Meet Cute and Duchamp's Urinal (BBC Radio 4).
Jamie Vartan has worked extensively as a theatre designer in Ireland and the UK, with representations at Prague Quadrennials in 1999, 2007 and 2011, and at World Stage Design 2013 (WSD2013 Best Set Design Award). He worked for three years on The Lost Child Trilogy (David Glass Ensemble), including residencies in Vietnam, Indonesia, China, the Philippines and Colombia, followed by an installation at the October Gallery, London, based on his work from the overseas residencies. Other work includes Bondagers (Edinburgh Lyceum, director Lu Kemp); Misterman (Galway Arts Festival 2011) starring Cillian Murphy (Irish Times Best Set Design Award 2012, Evening Standard Best Set Design Nomination) with transfers to New York (St Anne's Warehouse) and NT Lyttleton. Other work includes Ballyturk (Galway Arts Festival 2014 and NT Lyttleton) and a new opera The Last Hotel, for the Edinburgh International Festival 2015.
Tim Spooner is an artist working in performance, design, painting and sculpture. His work uses materials and objects in ways that reveal unexpected properties. His most recent work, The Assembly of Animals, combines performance with sculpture and has toured in the UK, France and Belgium, and has been selected for this year’s British Council Showcase at Edinburgh Festival. Another current work is The Telescope, which uses a microscope camera to reveal a universe of miniature objects manipulated using magnets, electricity and chemical reactions. This has been performed in diverse contexts in the UK - theatres, galleries and symposiums (including Whitstable Biennale, Whitechapel Gallery, Cambridge Junction, Manchester Science Museum), and in France and Italy. Previous work has been supported by a b-side Festival commission, a Chisenhale Dance Space commission, an Artsadmin Bursary, the Juliet Gomperts Trust and the National Theatre Studio. Tim is an Artsadmin Associate artist.
Ben Irwin studied at the bottom of his garden in the shed. He works with a eye for the weird and wonderful, creating props, sets, puppets, magic and illusions for theatre, circus, film, TV and promotions. He can be always found, happy with a bag of tools and some materials to play with.
Mess Hall - Cookery School. In 2013, director Lu Kemp and Artangel began developing conversations about the meaning of care, health and wellbeing for older men in the UK. In particular, this was inspired by tales of men in their 80s learning to peel their first onion or being coached over the phone to make a meal following the death of their partners. These small details of everyday life demonstrate the consistent necessity to adapt, even into our final decades. Yet even more fundamentally, they reveal the untold stories of the mothers, partners, children and care-workers that provide the majority of care in our society. The project began by asking what happens when the care provided by families and the state disappears, and how we will begin to address this as our ageing population continues to grow.
These conversations led to the establishment of a weekly cookery course for men aged over 65, taught by professional chef and actor, Paul Cawley, at St Luke’s Community Centre in Islington. The men who joined the group came along through outreach workers at St Luke’s and Age UK Islington. Many had little experience of cooking, and as we came together to roll pastry, chop onions and experiment with spices, a community began to form.
The cookery classes provided a learning environment, social space, and an opportunity to exchange the difficulties, pleasure and issues around ageing and care for older men. In addition to the cookery class at St Luke’s, we ran further classes at Mile End Hospital with long-term patients and occupational therapists, directly seeking to work within a state-run institution. In both the classes at St Luke’s and at Mile End hospital, conversations would emerge over simple obstacles, such as the difficulty of opening ready rolled pastry packets with arthritic fingers, or how to carry a cup of tea on a walking frame. These dialogues were frequently difficult and troubling, though often eased by humour.
A simple meal, or ingredient can carry a wealth of emotional and symbolic meaning for the duration of a life. Though many of the stories from the classes described individual experience, connections frequently emerged, bubbling away alongside the pots of stew or soup.
With thanks for the time and commitment from the following men who joined the cookery school: Babatunde Awonunsi, William Bunker, Chris Chainey, Stephen Coke, Anthony Copeland, Ivo Fantini, Kurban Haji, Horst Ingo Hay, Cyril Ismond, Valdemar Kalinin, Alf Marks, Edward McCairn, John Munday, Claude Penchina, Ron Savill, Alan Smithers, Graham Swift, Allan Tunbridge, Gordon Warrell
Chef: Paul Cawley trained as a chef at Ealing Technical College, and The Strand Palace Hotel. Over the next decade he worked across London, and as a private chef to a Duke and on a millionaire’s yacht. He then retrained as an actor at The Drama Studio, London. Since then his work has included appearances at The National Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Minerva Theatre Chichester, Sheffield Crucible, The Rose Theatre, Gate Theatre, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, BAC, Theatre 503, The Finborough, National Theatre Studio, Strand Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, and King’s Head Theatre. On screen, he was most recently seen playing Alan in both series of The Wrong Mans on BBC2, other recent credits include, Eastenders, Doctors, and Spooks, and he will be seen later this year in Partners in Crime on BBC1.
Vital Arts is the arts organisation for Barts Health NHS Trust, charitably funded to deliver arts projects for the well-being of patients, staff and the wider hospital community. Over one million people attend the six hospitals within our trust each year, looked after by 15,000 members of staff. We see these important civic spaces as ideal places to introduce a new audience to contemporary art. Vital Arts was founded in 1996 and has grown into one of the UK’s leading arts and health organisations, with an international reputation for producing pioneering arts programmes that transform the experience of being in hospital for patients and staff. We commission artists, musicians and performers to help improve the hospital environment for patients. We manage two art galleries which ‘bring the outside in,’ and an extensive contemporary art collection. We forge links with the hospital community through our diverse programme of artists’ residencies, public art commissions and arts education projects. Recently commissioned artists include Peter Liversidge, Hurvin Anderson, Richard Slee, Roger Hiorns, Adeela Suleman, Ruth Claxton, Darren Almond, Richard Wentworth and Morag Myerscough.
St Luke's Community Centre is an old and well-established charity dating back centuries. We serve the community which lives in and around the former parish of St Luke's, Old Street. Nowadays, this comprises the London Borough of Islington's ward of Bunhill, and small pockets of Hackney and Clerkenwell, and the City of London. Often we work outside these ancient boundaries where we have secured external funding and the work fits in with everything else we do. We own a large community centre in a very deprived part of London. The building provides a space for local people to gather and socialise, and for us and other organisations to deliver services and activities to the local community. We also work outside in the community supporting other groups and running community events. Our charitable aim is to improve the conditions of life for the people living in the area of benefit. We believe that providing a community centre and services in the area will help break down barriers within the neighbourhood. We will contribute towards the area being welcoming, safe, healthy, alive with activity, and neighbourly.
Age UK Islington was established in 1963 to promote the well-being of local older people. We aim to ensure that older people in Islington maintain their independence and are able to enjoy freedom of choice and equal opportunities. We provide free information and advice on a range of issues for over 55s, we help people to regain or maintain confidence to live safely and well at home, perhaps after a period of hospitalisation, and offer practical help with essential jobs around the house. Islington is one of the top ten most deprived boroughs in the country with older people suffering the greatest deprivation. The vast majority of our older residents live alone and often do not claim benefits despite requiring them. These causes of need can be compounded by dealing with the complexities of the welfare system, struggling with housing problems, literacy issues and social isolation. As with many inner city boroughs, Islington has large immigrant and refugee communities, many of whose older members require extra support when faced with difficulties in a country where they may never have planned to grow old. Following a period of hospitalisation or bereavement the more affluent older people in Islington may also need support coping and re-building their lives.
Chef and Tutor: Paul Cawley
Cookery School Participants: Babatunde Awonunsi, William Bunker, Chris Chainey, Stephen Coke, Anthony Copeland, Ivo Fantini, Kurban Haji, Horst Ingo Hay, Cyril Ismond, Valdemar Kalinin, Alf Marks, Edward McCairn, John Munday, Claude Penchina, Ron Savill, Alan Smithers, Graham Swift, Allan Tunbridge, Gordon Warrell
Actors: Mitchell Jelley, Kareem Onyiukah, Luca Toomey, Paul Humpoletz, Dudley Sutton, Roddy Maude-Roxby, Kailuca Koniak, Khalil Vaughan, Guillermo Bedward, Luis Collyer
Creative Team: Lu Kemp, Cis O'Boyle, Elena Peña, Ben Lewis, Jamie Vartan
Associate Director (understudies): Mercy Ojelade
Cookery school workshops: Mark Storor
Rehearsal stage management and production: Rachel Stringer
Performance stage management: Rachel Stringer, Benedict Hudson, Fana Cioban, Linda Peterkoba
Chaperones: Sophie Cathersides, Eleanor Dowling, Chloe Louis Marshall
Production manger: Rachel Shipp
Props Sourcing: Rachel Stringer
Props: Tim Spooner
Props: Ben Irwin
Sound Technician and Installation: Federica Lippi
Production support: Lauren Philp and Louis Vincent
Costume and set: Sarah June Mills
Design Assistant: Avra Alevropoulou
Build: Jim Cain, Denis Buckley, Nigel Edwards and Ben
Photography: Manuel Vason, Ludovic des Cognets
Film: Matan Rochlitz
Front of House team
Gratitude and admiration to all staff and volunteers at St Luke’s Community Centre, Katie Clark, Sofia Larrinua Craxton, Graham Reeves, Maria Agiomyrgiannaki. Special thanks for the kindness of Diane Cooke and the staff and volunteers at Age UK Islington.
Thanks for the help and insight of Catsou Roberts and Rachel Louis at Vital Arts. To the staff and Occupational Therapists in Mile End Hospital especially to Fiona Danks, Catherine Murphy, Ellie Dunn, Alex Walter, Hannah McGovern and Kezia Moore.
Thanks to the generous advice and support of Seb Brennan and Sylvia Young Agency and Dyana Daulby at Young Actors Theatre Islington.
Thanks to the children’s parents for their patience and commitment and to Eleanor Dowling for becoming part of the team.
With gratitude for the accommodation, welcome and support from Charles Moran and all at Cube-Space, to Tim Sperryn, Anita Lillefosse, Grace Dingley, Thom Clark, Javier Suarez, Jude Young, Kayla GlenKerry, Roach.
Thanks to Theatre Delicatessen for providing rehearsal space
Thanks to David Slater, Rebecca Swift and all at Entelechy Arts
Thanks to Leo Odgers and Owen Whitelaw
Special thanks for the on-going support from Feonic, Brian Smith, Anna Hart, Mark Storor, Babis Alexiadis, Grant Davis and to Rachel Wareham for the kitchen.
This project has been made possible with the support of Calouste Glubenkian Foundation, Islington Council and Word 2015. With particular thanks to Suzanne Lee, Aroha Rangi, Pete Courtie, Angeles Gordo, Wilf Langridge, Isabel Lucena and all the Sharing the Stage cohort.
Mess Hall and Have Your Circumstances Changed? are produced by Rachel Anderson with Larne Abse Gogarty for Artangel.