La Luna, the all new creation from cutting edge arts company Kriya Arts, puts women’s theatre and the environment at the fore with this sell-out run of four dates during the Brighton Fringe Festival 2019. Involving women from all over Europe, this ceremonial production celebrated the four luna phases of the dark, waxing, full and waning moon throughout the month of May. Hosted outdoors in a stunning setting, La Luna wowed audiences with songs, dances, spinning, light shows, bat detecting and of course, plenty of magic. Watch this space for further La Luna dates…
The Pop-up Museum of Ordinary People (MOOP) which won the Brighton Fringe Visual Arts award in 2018, returned to The Brighton Fringe this year for a sell-out run of three nights.
The Museum of Ordinary People hosted three events at the Phoenix in Brighton, on the 7th, 14th and 21st of May under the themes of Found, Connected and Legacy. This year, they added a live component “that celebrates the stories and lives of ordinary people, considering how to present narratives in new and combined mediums.“
The award-winning Museum of Ordinary People (MOOP) returns with a series of events that delve into last year’s exhibits, exploring how collections of everyday objects and archives of ordinary people’s lives developed into artwork. See some of the powerful pieces and hear from the artists firsthand about the stories they represent.
Each week, two of the artists from last year's MOOP will re-imagine their exhibit and create a 45 minute event that explores the artwork further. This could be a talk, performance, soirée or video installation. Every night, like every MOOP exhibit, will be unique.
4th, 12th, 18th & 26th May @ 10pm - 11.30pm
A ritualistic celebration of each moon phase throughout the marvellous month of May. The dark moon welcomes in the festival, setting our intentions for the month ahead. With the waxing moon we'll builds these dreams, reaching juicy fruition at the full moon. And then... With the waning moon... We will reflect. Each is a stand alone ceremony or you could come to all four.
Book your tickets here.
For those who weren’t able to make it along to MINI MOOP: CHRISTMAS - our pop-up exhibition at Brighton’s Jubilee Library – here’s a link to a small selection of the 40 ordinary people’s stories it presented.
This exhibition captured the depth and diversity of emotions the festive period can evoke from different people - Christmas isn’t a jolly time of year for everyone, and we wanted to acknowledge that.
This MINI MOOP also showed how powerful everyday objects can be when it comes to triggering memories, and how powerfully they resonate with others to provoke empathy and understanding - tying all of this together with a Christmas theme.
A heartfelt thank you to all the ordinary people who shared their stories, memories and objects with us.
Enjoyed an incredible mini-tour of Sisterhood in Brighton, Glastonbury, Bristol and then back to Brighton again, performing in locations where witches had actually been put on trial back in the day and which turned our performance into an act of healing. We also got to meet our hero Lisa Lister, the woman whose book ‘Witch’, the book that inspired the basis of the play…
Hey folks! The award-winning Museum of Ordinary People (MOOP) returns to Brighton in December for a special exhibition – and we are calling out to members of the public to help us create it.
From December 5th-19th, MOOP will host a pop-up exhibition at Brighton’s Jubilee Library called MINI MOOP: CHRISTMAS and will be an exploration of people’s Christmas memories, told through everyday objects.
We are seeking to borrow items from the public that we can include in the exhibition.
Are you able to contribute any of the following?
- A Christmas decoration with a story behind it?
- An object that represents a story about Christmas with your family / What Christmas means to you
- An object or photo that represent Brighton’s festive traditions from the past?
“This angel was made by my great grandfather when he was a child and has been passed down through my family. I never met my great grandfather, he died before I was born, and this angel always gave me the heebie jeebies when i was younger, but now I treasure it.”
“Christmas reminds me of huge meals, eating more than I need, and sleeping it off afterwards. This gravy boat only ever comes out at Christmas. It makes me think of the sour smell of brussel sprouts, and of soggy yorkshire puddings covered in thick gravy – the way my dad makes it – and snoozing on the sofa during the Queen’s speech.”
“This photo is of the switching on ceremony for the Brighton Christmas lights on Western Road in 1959. I proposed to my wife by the Clock Tower, I got down on one knee on the icy pavement. She clasped her red-gloved hand to her mouth in surprise. The lights have changed so much since then, but they still remind me of the nervous excitement I felt that night.”
Objects do not have to tell a happy story, the festive time is not easy for everyone, and we are also interested in objects from contributors who do not celebrate Christmas.
If you have any object and story you would like to contribute, please message me directly, or the museum at:
MOOP's next talk is on Action and is back at The Spire on the 1st October. The last one sold out almost instantly, so get in there quick... There are many dynamic local people who have done extraordinary things for Brighton's community, and a few of these will take to the stage and share their uplifting stories. They'll also discuss how big changes start from small actions – and how we can all action our own ideas for social change.
STUDENT NEWSPAPER REVIEW BY ATHINA FRANTZANA, AUGUST 5, 2018
With Sisterhood, acclaimed theatre company Kriya Arts wants us to know how Joan of Arc felt and to make us realise that the world has not moved as far as many think from the time when women were burned for witchcraft. It’s time for women to wake and stand for the Sisterhood!
God chose a woman – Mary – but the church tends to forget about it. Daughters usually look after parents, because parents want their sons to be emotionless. People label women with no children useless, but sometimes it is not even a woman’s choice. Why? Sisterhood calls all women who feel oppressed in any way to stand together, to challenge the patriarchy and to spread the word for respect to each other.
Sisterhood is about three women who tell us their personal stories, their concerns and their dreams. A woman in her early 20s, who wants to escape from getting married to a man picked by her father, a woman in her 40s, who feels incomplete because of not having had a baby, and a woman in her 60s, who has lived her life the way she wanted and keeps the other two strong and united.
Three different stories unfold in the 1600s and reflect the position of women today. Not much has changed. With an inspirational song, the three women welcome the audience to their world. The simple but well-made scenery sends the audience back in time. The unexpected Back to the Futurestyle resets to modern time keep the audience engaged and looking forward to the next one. The transitions in time emphasise the minimal changes of women’s position throughout history and give you plenty of food for thought.
The natural and warm performances by all three actors will make you feel part of the Sisterhood, and identify yourself in some of their stories. The story of the middle-aged woman Alice, played by Jolie Booth (who is also the writer and producer of the play), presents perfectly the confusion of a woman who tries to become pregnant and the unfair way she has been treated in comparison to her husband. The innocence and the expressive eyes of the younger woman (Kitty, played by Coco Maertens) will make you start dreaming and planning of a better life along with her. The strength and wit of the older woman (Marjorie, played by Jules Craig) will keep you hanging on her lips for her next story and piece of advice. Finally, the atmospheric background sounds created by the eccentric musician’s live performance (Sophia Craig-Daffern) blend in perfectly with the scenery and the occasional transitions in time.
Sisterhood is a fun, touching and inspirational play with great performances and interaction with the audience. If you are looking either for a thought provoking play with good jokes and historical references or for a warm place where you want to feel like you are out with your gals chatting and drinking cocktails, Sisterhood is absolutely the show for you. The Sex & the city of the 1600s that you will not want to end!
If you are looking either for a thought provoking play with good jokes and historical references or for a warm place where you want to feel like you are out with your gals chatting and drinking cocktails, Sisterhood is absolutely the show for you.
Sisterhood - Groundbreaking Work
Great Review for Sisterhood from Fringe Review
Festival: Edinburgh Fringe
A beautifully rendered, essential play, exploring the role of male domination, misinformation, sexual abuse, and age discrimination through the lens of the past but contrasted with moments drawn from the modern day.
Three women await a dark fate within the confines of the church, discussing the fragility of their male accusers, the necessity of their male counterparts, and the injustice of their male dominated existences. It is the 1600s and these three women, of three distinctly different ages and statuses share the same path to the flames, having been accused and convicted without judge or jury as witches. Aided by a simple, austere bench contrasted with the indulgent trappings of the church, a stain glass window and an ornate but imposing silver wooden door, augmented by a transcendent soundscape of ethereal music played live on singing bowls and percussion instruments accomplished by a virtual siren whose appearance is so otherworldly as to make it appear she herself is the embodiment of the divine feminine which our wayward women discuss at length, Sisterhood spreads out before us, gently yet relentlessly unfolding, encompassing the female experience of domination and subjugation under male control.
At its core Sisterhood is a superbly written, intelligent, and essential play, masterfully portrayed by its three actresses, exploring the role of male domination, misinformation, sexual abuse, and age discrimination through the lens of the past but contrasted with moments drawn from the modern day. This feat of time travel is accomplished fluidly if not entirely seamlessly with the use of projections, black light paint, and yarn which transforms not only the actors but the entire stage, allowing the audience to see the connection between past and present. Rather than jarring the audience from the action of the play, these moments out of time and space feel natural, representing both the connectedness of women through the womb, the very seat of women’s power, but also shining a light on the very short distance we have traveled between the past and present.
The text of Sisterhood is absolutely gorgeous. With unhurried pacing, and shared moments of levity, grace, and conspiracy, our three women explore the offenses which have brought them together. I would venture to say that this is one of the best play scripts I’ve seen at the Fringe, and I was moved beyond speech by the end with the raw, potent truth of the narrative, revealing moment upon moment offenses so familiar as to feel almost commonplace to a modern viewer, and we realize the curses, prayers, and spells which these women have cast are nothing more than the wishes, wants, and desires of all women, turned against them by the priest whose power rests in his ability to suppress. Exploring the seat of women’s power, one of the women describes her postmenopausal power of invisibility not as the curse we see today but as a freedom to go where she wants and do as she pleases. Themes such as women’s prescribed roles as wife and mother and diminished role after child rearing as “empty nester” or even “spinster” are explored through thoughtful, insightful, and ultimately heartbreaking dialogue and personal anecdotes.
Brilliantly nuanced performances augment what is already a beautifully rendered, artful narrative, exploring the absence of the divine mother in the Christian myth, as these women create their own holy trinity spending their last moments praying to the mother Mary in their own metaphorical Communion.
It is clear that every element of this production was considered, save for one and it is my only complaint. I believe that this production may have mistaken their mission for their marketing and for that I cried a silent scream because this is a piece of theatre and in fact a communal experience that deserves an audience, one which this reviewer freely admits she almost missed. I would dare to call it essential.
Published August 15, 2018 by Tasty Monster Productions
In the run up to Sisterhood hitting the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on the 1st August, I've been interviewing archetype Eve to see what she has to say on our current relationship with her, how things have been going with Adam and what she thinks we need to do from here...
In the archetypal realm, do you feel that there is a mobilisation amongst the feminine archetypes? Is a paradigm shift occurring?
Well, there is a constant paradigm shift occurring. If you think of a kaleidoscope, tiny little shards of reality are constantly shifting. It seems small and inconsequential at first, but a few tiny shifts happen and then suddenly the overall image is completely different and new.
Are you despondent or tired of humanity?
I’m the original mother and no matter how awful humanity has treated me, I still love you and look forward to the day you stop blaming me for everything and return to me.
Will you forgive us?
Of course I will… You’re my child and I love you. I just want to hang out and be part of your life again.
Can we come back from here?
Yes. But the sooner the better because you’re becoming an addict. The further down this road you go the harder it is going to be to come back. You’re not ruined yet, but it’s already not going to be easy. You need to make the choice to change things and then put the work in to make it happen.
What do I need to do?
Look after yourself better. Stop thinking about yourself the whole time and start thinking about how you can be of service to others… What is your contribution? The sound of your unique note. What are you bringing to the table and how can you live that as fully as possible? Take care of your health. Eat well. Keep your home tidy and clean. Don’t spend all day in front of a screen. Go for lots of walks and be outside. Take time to sit and breath and do nothing. Get plenty of exercise. Don’t work all the time. Go on holiday. Follow your passions. Fall in love hopelessly again and again and again. Love your self and everyone around you the way I love you.
He’s tired. I haven’t seen him in a very long time.
Does he feel any love or compassion towards you?
Yes, deep down. I know he misses me, but he had a point to prove that he could do better than me and didn’t need me. And for a long time, he was right. But now he’s forgotten how to express himself without shouting and he’s shouted himself hoarse and is run down and worn out. He’s destroyed everything he loved in the name of power and he’s either going to obliterate himself or he’s going to have a nervous break down or he’s going to have to chill out. Either way he certainly can’t go on like this for much longer.
Would you ever take him back?
Our dance is as old as time and we are one thing experiencing each other subjectively as separate aspects, but we are not separate. We are the same infinity. He’s in me and I’m in him. It’s a tango… And there is no tango without him.
Have you anything else you want to say?
I have all the love in the world for you my child. But you are not my first and you will not be my last. Your time here is short, so make the most of it… What legacy do you want to leave behind? How do you want to be remembered? You’re 21 now, you’re a grown up, so who you going to be in the world?
And take more mushrooms.
Sisterhood is a new play/spell invoking the power of the divine feminine by reclaiming the deep horror of the witch wound & by spinning out our shared web of stories. @ThePleasance 1-26 August, 12.45pm #wakethesisterhood #worldwidewomensweb #Sisterhood #EdFest18
It is just a month to go until the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and I'm taking Sisterhood, my first big production that I've created, up there along with the help of an awesome group of fierce and talented women. It's terrifying and exciting. Sisterhood has been born out of a myriad of conversations with a variety of different wonderful women, both over social media and in person, about subjects like fertility, motherhood, #MeToo and gender identity.
It became clear through these conversations that something was stirring in the world of the divine feminine and that it is time for us, as HER embodiment's on earth, to get our hands dirty and stand up loud and proud for what is important to us and what we believe in. But to do this we need to know that it is safe, because it hasn't been safe for a very long time. Creating Sisterhood has been hard and scary and exposing but it felt like vital, brave and powerful work. I can't wait to take it to Edinburgh. But I do need your help.
I know it's not the first time I've asked for money this year, which makes it harder to ask again now, so I'm only doing it because I really need to. It costs so much money to take a show to the Fringe and I've nearly raised enough to cover these cost, apart from the last few, so any help you can give will be ever so warmly received. There's some super gifts for your pledges too, which means you get something out of it as well, but mainly you'll be helping me to take this show out there into the world and hopefully energise some women out there who have not yet been told that they are a unique and beautiful part of a world wide women's web, one that is waking up and growing every day in power and that we've got their backs. Let's go let them know.
This is super hard as obviously there are so many. I’d rather do a top ten if I could and I’m totally cheating here as some of these choices are double acts. I’ve gone with women I don’t know personally, other than perhaps in a vague professional way. Of course, I’ve worked closely with incredible female performers who I do know personally, women such as Jess Thom AKA Touretteshero, who is an unstoppable force for good in the world and Jess Mabel Jones who is so talented and gorgeous it makes me moist, but I think it would be best to stick with women I know less intimately to avoid any conflict of interests…
So in no particular order:
Part of the inspiration for Sisterhood has been a vision I had of a World-Wide Women’s web that feels like it is beginning to glow because Mumma Earth is waking up (and you know you’re in BIG trouble if you’ve woken up Mumma)… This web is covered in dew drops and some of the drops are lighting up gold. This golden light is then spreading along the web and lighting up other women in its wake. Betty Grumble is a BIG old beautiful globule of light on this web and she nourishes the hell out of me. Betty is a sex clown, a shaman, a huge heart and beacon of love. I adore her. Follow her on Instagram. You will not be disappointed.
I’ve only seen Olivia perform once in The Furies with Kiln theatre company. A gig inspired by Clytemnestra’s Greek revenge myth, casting her ‘FURIES’ of vengeance as front women of a rock band. Olivia was this androgynous, Noel Fielding type character who I couldn’t take my eyes off. All the Kiln ladies are awesome performers, but basically, I have a massive girl crush on Olivia and when I saw her afterwards out of costume I couldn’t believe how different she looked. So then of course I had to internet stalk her and I discovered all her work is brilliant. She’s a proper talent, a huge inspiration and I want to know her.
This is cheating as there are two to three women in this company, but I don’t care. Two Man Show is a big inspiration for Sisterhood. I loved their opening Priestess introduction to history of how patriarchy came to be and Abbi Greenland’s monologue at the end about being a ‘Man woman’ is, in my opinion, the best female monologue ever written. They can dance, they can sing, they can play a variety of instruments and their lighting, costume and set designs rock. Smashing.
Mary Higgins and Ell Potter, HOTTER
Also cheating, but still don't care... This was my favourite ‘wild card’ Edinburgh show ever. We just went because of a flyer that had been thrust into our hands and the show was a proper little treat. We laughed, we cried, we danced on the stage. It was simple and full of compassion and the two women were both authentic human beings that weren’t all ego and pomp, but big shocking pink hearts. I think the show is in Edinburgh again this year, it’s certainly touring, so if you can go see Hotter then do it.
Another woman I want to be my friend (I want them all to be my friend)... I first saw her in Islands and she was this twisted, grotesque and hilarious evil bitch. I loved the show and was shocked to discover afterwards that it had been slammed by the critiques. I mean seriously, WTF? I then discovered how big a deal she was and that she also had a one woman show on during Edinburgh Fringe that year; You’re Not Like the Other Girls Chrissy. I went to watch it the next day and what a shocking contrast. It was utterly charming, whereas Islands had been more like an episode of Bottom. I love it when performers can surprise and stretch in opposing directions like this. She’s another hero to me. And such a sweet soul.
Latest Magazine gives Sisterhood five stars for it's first outing as a work in progress scratch performance at the Marlborough Theatre as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival. Next up... Edinburgh!
We won the The Brighton Fringe Visual Arts Award in Association with HOUSE and AOH, for the Museum of Ordinary People at The Spire as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival 2018. This was an incredible surprise and a huge thanks for all the hard work that went into making this extraordinary event come together.
It's actually happening and it is so very exciting. Thanks to funding by Arts Council England the creation of Jolie Booth's new show Sisterhood is going ahead in 2018. Jolie will be working with an incredible team of women to explore the paradigm shift of moving from an analogue world to a digital one, exploring the current state of feminism during this transition and celebrates the power of female friendships and mentorships, through the eyes of three generations of women. The team are going to squirrel themselves away for a residential weekend in April to create the main body of the show ready for an initial scratch performance at the Marlborough Theatre on Sunday 22nd April at 3pm and a full preview performance in the Brighton Fringe Festival at the Marlborough Theatre on Sunday 3rd June 7.30pm. Do come along if you can.
Now let's meet the team...
Andrea Brooks (performance creator) - Director extraordinaire. Teaches MA acting at E15. Jolie met Andrea through the New Deal (a benefit scheme created by New Labour that was actually brilliant) where she was given to Jolie as a career mentor. The piece of paper she wrote out for Jolie at their first meeting went on to become her life and they've been friends and on many adventures ever since.
Caragh Kelson-Bailey (performance creator) - Creative, witty and utterly gorgeous. Jolie met Caragh for the first time when she was thirteen and Jolie found her massaging her husband under a cart with a gaggle of other thirteen year olds, who she chased away with a large noisy bell. Caragh stuck around regardless though and they've been friends and on many adventures ever since.
Alberta Jones (production designer) - Has created many stunning sets for theatre shows over the years including TESTOSTERONE's fabulous set for Rhum and Clay (which is how Jolie met her) and also Jolie's treasured set for HIP. Jolie is very excited to be working with Alberta again.
Mish Maudsley - Jolie and Mish cut their teeth together as part of a new media collective called Nothing To See Here back in the early noughties. Jolie was learning to be an actress and a producer whilst Mish was learning to be a designer and artist. Their careers have grown together and Mish designed the logo for Jolie's wedding, which is now her tattoo, Jolie's book cover for her published novel and most of the marketing print for the shows she's worked on over the years.
Jamie-Rae Tanner - Statistician extraordinaire. Jolie met Jamie via the Bristol / Glastonbury Festival crew of the Croissant Neuf stage, who are all like a second family to Jolie. They are still getting to know each other better, but have a mutual respect for each other's adventurous spirits and strong wills
Jess Bernberg - A female lighting designer recommended to Jolie by the brilliant Geoff Hense from Arcola. Jolie was looking for a brilliant and daring designer, preferably early on in her career and Jess was sent her way.
Jolie will be blogging the development of the show as the process unfurls. To date the Research and Development funding has been secured, the residential and scratch performance have been booked, the preview in the Brighton Fringe has been registered and tickets for this are now on sale, and a slot at the Pleasance Beneath at 12.45pm each day throughout the Edinburgh Fringe has been confirmed and tickets for this will be on sale shortly. It's all happening, which is terrifying and terribly exciting.
We had the most incredible time taking our fabulous production TESTOSTERONE by trans writer Kit Redstone and theatre company Rhum and Clay to the awesome Feverestival Campinas this February with help from the British Council. We have never fallen in love with so many people so quickly...