Coming at the end of the month, Tickle Me Morbid Productions (created and run by our very own Benji Dotan) and Lumen Arty Ltd. launch their brand new arts event – Verbal Menace – at Foodies.rocks, in association with On Stage Northants.
Here, Benji talks about his inspiration behind the event, and what he hopes to achieve.
Verbal Menace is one of 4 shows that we are hoping to regularly host at Foodies.Rocks as an annual line up.
The concept for Verbal Menace is a show that speaks the mind of every individual that wants to reach out and be something; it’s about showcasing your unseen, untested, unexplored side. It’s about unleashing your passion and evoking a reaction that hits hard but also inspires.
I came up with the concept about 2 years ago when working with other creatives, launching a fundraising show for a couple of tours. The shows, “Project V” started off as basic variety show and eventually transformed into these unique intimate sessions incorporating structured elements with spontaneous improvisation, network segments and innovative lighting, music and sound. It was also a testing ground for undiscovered talent and unedited, unrehearsed sketches.
I wanted to create a Verbal or V series that cater to specific demographic demands.
– Verbal Menace; A diverse, showcase event blending live acts such as sketch comedy, stand up, acoustic, poetry, theatrical and rap with screenings of sketch shows, music videos and engaging opinion pieces
– Verbal Solace; A relaxing atmospheric evening of ambient sounds, tranquil lighting effects and soft spoken word, poetry and storytelling.
– Verbal Justice; A live performance event for expressing views on society, politics and the latest subjects that affect our everyday lives.
– Visual Headspace; An exhibition of light, escapism and imagination.
Northampton is a creative and artistic town but much of it is underground and quite secretive at times. We are improving as an arts community, and many companies and curators are collaborating, realising the potential of producing quality events and productions here because of the ongoing regeneration. There is a demand for more projects and opportunities as well Northampton’s perfect placement as a town in-between London and Birmingham. The scene is evolving and burgeoning and we are all ready to pounce, ready to prove that we have ideas worth investing in.
Verbal Menace is my first output since moving into my new studio at the Innovation Centre as part of my Social Outreach programme. I’m hoping this event will provide a platform for others. The show is being developed in association with a bunch of local creatives, where I am not only learning vital new skills from them, but also borrowing equipment and using their skills to make the show a success.
Creative careers can often be seen as an individual pursuit, but I know, through my own journey and my developments, I am nothing without the support of my colleagues and peers – those who I have volunteered and worked alongside with, honing my craft and taking advice. We are a community and giving back is part of my objective but also collaborating, because sometimes an idea and a concept can be strengthened by others with a fresh mind and perspective.
In the last 8 years I have created shows in Northampton, London, Buckinghamshire, Birmingham and the Edinburgh Fringe. My last two plays “Uplifted” and “Hate the Happy” sold out at the Etc Theatre (Camden) and Cockpit Theatre respectively and received solid reviews in 2015 and 2016. I believe in my projects, (someone has to… haha) but I believe in the messages. Even through comedy, I enjoy moving an audience with relate-able subjects, but ones that have a slant on them, ideas that you sometimes get scared to open up about in real life and observations that we all deal with but are highlighted in an exaggerated and irreverent way. I enjoy performing as an actor, but also feel the buzz of producing content that unfolds right in front of me and is my vision which can be shared universally because they are inspired by my experience with a variety of different mindsets and personalities.
What else can you expect from Verbal Menace?
Well, besides observing me run around like a headless chicken, smiling and twitching and making sure everything is sorted out, (If I’m wearing my waistcoat the wrong way round, do please mention – This is my first live showcase event in 3 years) You will have the pleasure of experiencing the following:
- A creative lighting display by Samantha McNern of Lumen Arty Ltd. Fresh off her successful lighting exhibition at the NN Gallery in March, with her interactive “Urbience” and “Shadow Bath” displays as well as some brand new, exclusive displays.
- Tables covered in art paper so you can draw on them and network with others
- A photography session
- FREE DRINK with every ticket and Happy Hour offers
- Gaming sessions (Tekken, Table Football, Giant Jenga)
- Artists portfolio wall
- Comedy skits projected on the wall
- A special segment involving a mixed variety of acts interacting with each other for an exclusive performance.
(If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, I may hire some belly dancers and Shaolin monks pushing a bus with their eyelids for your entertainment… WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT PEOPLE!!!! Ahem…)
Come to Foodies.rocks on the 22nd July between 7.30-8pm (acts start at 8pm) – Tickets are £5 (Free drink with ticket.) And have fun. Explore, Engage and Discover.