On Thursday 15th. of November in Leeds there was the launch of a pan European study exchange under the wonderfully pan-European title of APPLIED THEATRE IN PRACTISING INTEGRATED APPROACHES (ATIPIA).
The project is a partnership between:
Kava Kulturalis Muhely Egyesulet – Budapest, Hungary;
Leeds Beckett University – Leeds, United Kingdom;
Colaborative Reichenow e.V – Reichenow, Germany;
Asociatia Teatrala Shoshin – Cluj, Romania
Centre Artistique International Roy Hart – Malérargues France.
The launch was a long day of wonderfully theatrical presentations, minute planning and promise. It was strangely ironic to find ourselves in Leeds promoting an exciting European project at a moment in time when all the news there was so dominated by the panic of Britain’s tangled attempts to leave Europe.
Roy Hart Theatre, left Britain in 1974, because our work was considered too ‘undressed’ for the London of the day, where theatre was still perceived as a kind of ‘wooden cinema’, yet we were appreciated in Europe and we toured there a lot – It seemed obvious, we should go and live in Europe! so we started looking and eventually found our château, but the purchase of it and the transfer of funds to a foreign country and then visas for more than 40 persons was an impossible ask. Then suddenly Britain applied for membership of the European Union and our dream of Malérargues became possible. Thank you Harold Wilson, thank you Europe!
Our dream when we came to Malérargues in 1974 was to create a living theatre of reflection, research, creation and recreation ‘away from the world’ and it still is. The world has changed so much since that time and on many levels our revolution of the extended human voice has succeeded. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the alienation of the individual from soul and the alienation of art from life. Healing that gap is still the centre of the work and the inspiration for theatre at Malérargues and it is also at the root of the Erasmus+ project. All of the partners are working to heal the gap between theatre and life: Kava are recognised pioneers of applied theatre in Hungary; the School of Film, Music & Performing Arts of Leeds Becket University has excellent collaborative film and theatre projects with old people; Colaborative Reichenow e.V is an association of artists for social enterprise; Shoshin Theatre Association: the coordinators of the project are creators, developers and sustainers of artistic, pedagogic and social theatre projects.
The project will run over thirteen months during which time all of the partners will travel to study with each of the others within their particular approach to applied theatre, sharing their own methods and inspiration – the very nature of what the European Union represents, a bastion against populists and billionaires.