Monday, 30 July 2012

On tour in Korea and Japan

Festival opening in Japan.

Iva, Elke, Kieran, Rew and I have now arrived in Okinawa to attend the opening of the Kijimuna festival on the 28th of July. While Bob and Anna are still teaching workshops in Busan and Seoul in Korea, we and our instruments were brought to Okinawa, Japan with great care by All Nippon Airways.

An example to follow for European airways? It’s just to put the flight case in a flight case!

The Kijimuna festival is one of the biggest events in the field of theatre for young audiences in 2012, and it hosts 81 performances from all over the world. Beside the performances there is also a wide range of workshops and a seminarprogram. This years festival also host the international Assitej meeting with delegates from 56 countries.

We are playing our first performance on the 30th and will be back with more info after the Japanese premiere of My Long Journey Home. 

Kjell Moberg – Co -Artistic Director NIE

Monday, 23 July 2012

NIE in a little town called Mseno...

On 1st July a large proportion of the NIE team met from across the world and congregated in a sports hall in a little town called Mseno in the Czech Republic, which is an hour north of Prague . The plan was to re-rehearse the trilogy of shows ('My Long Journey Home', 'Past Half Remembered', and 'The End of Everything Ever') before a tour to Japan and then the UK. With two new members to rehearse in it promised to be a grueling two weeks, but the company did wonderfully, and by the time the rest of us turned up for the Company Meeting on 12th July it was to find the group practicing new tunes on the accordion, running through last minute script edits, and honing their vollyball skills.

[photo Jiri N Jelinek]
*Before you start to wonder, there are no vollyball scenes in any of the shows... it's just a good way to relax at the end (or beginning or middle) of a rehearsal day! (Or any day really - you get the idea!)*

Bringing together a company such as NIE to one small Czech town is no mean feat, but the result was fantastic - we had in total 6 nationalities all together in one room for the Thursday meeting, and some people had travelled through the night to be there (thanks Jirka!). Business was conducted in an orderly fashion and swiftly resolved, leaving us plenty of time to watch a run through of 'The End of Everything Ever', which starts in true NIE fashion with a shot of Sliovitze (plum brandy) for each audience member (or 4 shots in the case of Anna who kept getting bombarded by Kjell). Despite interruptions by the local members of the gym and the odd off kilter note the performance was a success, and the whole company were then free to enjoy a slap up BBQ round the fire.

Although this all sounds like a lot of fun (which of course it was), it has been an incredibly useful experience for the company as we so rarely manage to all be in the same country at the same time, let alone the same room. It's allowed us to consolidate our thoughts on our regular practice and how the company functions on a daily basis, and also allowed us to discuss future projects in more depth. Those involved in the Trilogy have now flown off to Japan, and over in the UK office we're looking forward to having 'Past Half Remembered' visit us in September (17th - 21st: for more information visit our website So, with new shows in development ('Pim and Theo' and 'North, North, North'), and old ones to rediscover ('Berlin 1961' and 'Hansel and Gretel') it promises to be a very exciting 6 months in the NIE offices! Keep checking back for more updates...

[photo Jiri N Jelinek]