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The Spring Season’s over and we’re already thinking about next year!

It would really help us if you could spend five minutes filling in the attached Survey so we can see what you liked and what we could improve at Axis.

Click here to fill in the Survey and be in with the chance of winning tickets to a show of your choice next Season.  Deadline for entry into the Prize Draw is Friday 31 March

Thanks for all your support this year. We look forward to seeing you in the Autumn Season.

Interview with Cabin Fever, Manchester Met graduates Jamie Pritchard and Ed Roberts

We were lucky enough to sit down with funny men Cabin Fever to chat about Double-0, real life and what it’s like to be from the Midlands.
(Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited and sections of the original interview have been omitted for grammar/clarity. If you wish to hear a bit more of the interview, you can do so here:

Jamie: Hello we are Cabin fever and we’re performing our new performance ‘Double-0’ here at the Axis Arts Centre on the 9th of March 2017, come and watch.

Ed: It’s at 6:45

Jamie: Pm

How did cabin fever form?

Jamie: So the company came about in march 2015, St paddy’s day. We were having a few ‘beverages’ outside the white horse pub in Nantwich

Ed: This is when we were studying CTP at MMU.

Jamie: Yeah we were students at the time. Our 3rd year was approaching and we had to decide what we were going to do for the open projects, and one of the major snooker tournaments was on or had just finished around that time… It was you, actually-

Ed: Was it me?

Jamie: It was you, who had the idea initially to get a snooker table.

Ed: Does that mean if we like, separate and get a divorce, I get ownership?

Jamie: 50/50… So, the idea came about there and we decided to work together on it for Open Projects in our final year.

Ed: Well for 2 years we had worked together on every piece bar one didn’t we? We worked together through second year and third year, but the first proper piece as Cabin Fever was 5 minutes 20 seconds.

Tell us a bit about ‘Double-0’

Jamie: Double-0 is a piece which on the surface is about James Bond; the James Bond world, the James Bond franchise which this year is 55 years old. As the piece goes on I suppose you could say it becomes less about commander Bond and more about Ed and myself; our connections, our relationships with each other and our heritage.

Ed: It plays on a lot of Nostalgia, but it’s a nostalgia of things from before our time, which is a bit of a bizarre thing. We’re playing music from before we’re born, talking about actors who were in their heyday before we were born, films from before we were born… which is an interesting confusion really, when we’re talking about something that happened in 1973 and we obviously weren’t around then. It talks about what it means to look up to these masculine role models as a man. It explores whether the people we looked up to as kids, thinking “They are what a man should be,” whether they actually were potentially a negative influence on who we are.


What have you enjoyed most about creating Double-0?

Jamie: What I’ve enjoyed most is that it’s pretty much a follow on from our previous performance 5 minutes 20 seconds, which has let us find more stories and narratives that co-incidentally or un-coincidentally connect us together as a duo.

Ed: 5.20 is all about us and our background and formed from stories about the midlands, but this piece is even more…

Jamie: Rooted.

Ed: Yeah, it can’t have come out of anywhere else. It couldn’t have come from anywhere else physically. That’s nice, as two guys from the midlands to be able to put it on the map.

Jamie: It means that every time we meet up, we’re able to take ownership of it even more. We’re finding even more snippets of things that have brought us together each time, so each rehearsal we discover a little something we didn’t know. That’s really nice.


What have been your biggest challenges as artists?

Jamie: Now that we’re not students, the challenges have been just things we’ve maybe taken for granted when we were students. Things like having access to book rooms, to use the tech, just everyday things that you take for granted.

Ed: Now we’re not living 2 minutes away, now we’re an hours drive from each other, and because we’re rehearsing in Crewe… how long does it take you to get here?

Jamie: From my house, say an hour and ten?

Ed: And from mine, say three hours? That’s six hours total, here and back.

Jamie: That’s a lot of petrol… The challenges have really just been the realisation of having to go from student to adult I suppose. Simple things like finding days in the week when we’re not both working to meet up.

Ed: And the pressure of doing it outside of an undergrad, because on the course if you failed it was a bit like ‘Oh, okay, I get a bad mark’ but now if we fail… we really fail in the real world. That added pressure – and it’s good, to have that, because it’s exciting, but it’s exciting in the way that jumping out of a plane and not knowing if your parachute works… you find out on the way, one way or another.


What have you done since leaving MMU?

Ed: We’ve been getting back into real life again. That weird place where you’re a graduate but you’re living at home.

Jamie: We have to work for a living now, instead of relying on loans, so we’re just doing jobs to keep ourselves getting by, but at the same time trying to keep this partnership going on. It’s been nice, but challenging.


What advice would you give to current first years?

Jamie: The main piece of advice: utilise the facilities that you have. Don’t take them for granted. The technicians are an absolute wonder and if you need anything, go and talk to them. Utilise the spaces you have because once you are gone… you’re gone and it’s much harder.

Ed: Be adventurous with your ideas. In my first year I put a car in the space, in second year we built a platform from one side of the space to another, in third year we put a 15 tonne snooker table in the space and then we built a 15 foot long by 8 foot high wall which moved around. Be adventurous, because once you get out of here, when you are new on the stage… it is a big risk to say to people “we’re going to do this show and it’s got all this tech.”

Jamie: Go see as much stuff as you possibly can. There’s gonna be stuff that won’t relate to you, that you won’t find interesting or relates to you, but that’s not a bad thing because you can work out what you don’t like.

Ed: Don’t pigeon hole yourself into your course though. Don’t say ‘I do CTP, so I’m only going to see contemporary theatre.’ Go and see all different mediums; everything you can, because you will get ideas. We use a lot of music. We didn’t study music, we don’t do music but it has massively influenced us. When you are back at home if you’re not around here, go to your local venues and support it, see what’s out there. Odds are, you will see something that completely shifts how you view theatre.


What’s next for Cabin Fever?

Jamie: We want to do a trilogy. It started with 5 minutes 20 seconds.

Ed: Which we intend to expand to an hour long piece.

Jamie: The next is this piece, which we’re doing 9th March here at the Axis (Editor: For free). Then thirdly, the final piece of the trilogy is going to be a piece even more so about the midlands. It will explore our relationship between each other even more.

Ed: The two current pieces expose the similarities and differences between us as people, but the idea for the final piece will push our relationship to breaking point.

Any final things you like to say?

Jamie: We had this discussion a few months ago – everything nowadays seems to be about (and no disrespect to these places) but either right up the North or down in London.

Ed: People identify themselves as being Northern or Southern, and we’re not. We’re from the Midlands.

Jamie: We’re proud of that, and we want to sing and dance about it.

Ed: Absolutely, and to give it a voice on stage, because these are places which haven’t really been talked about. As if there’s just a gap between Manchester and London which you wander by on the train. It’s not. It’s where we’re from, there’s so much to talk about and that’s what we intend to do.


Cabin Fever : Double-O is at Axis Arts Centre on Thursday March 9, 2017 at 6:45 pm. Tickets are £8 (£5 students and all concessions) available online (booking fees apply) or in person at Axis Box Office (no booking fee)

Interview with Manchester Met Graduate Bryn Aled

We caught up with Bryn Aled, who graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2016, with a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Dance, and was the recipient of the Award for Academic Excellence and the Ade and Ravenscroft Award of Outstanding Excellence.

Tell us about Transitions? How did you become part of the company?

Transitions is the first postgraduate dance company designed to be a bridge between undergraduate training and professional dance careers. In order to become part of Transitions, I first had to create a personal statement and complete an online application to Trinity Laban. I was then invited to the preliminary auditions where we participated in technique classes, rep classes and creative classes. This was followed by an interview and a recall audition which was a similar format to the first audition.

What have you enjoyed most about creating these dance pieces?

Challenging my perception of what a choreographic process requires. We have had three very different processes (working with the three choreographers) that have asked for very different skills and methods of working.

What have been your biggest challenges?

This is a difficult one. There have been many challenges; from technical challenges involving my technique and physicality, to challenges involving pacing myself with regards to rest and independent rehearsals so I am not suffering to much from fatigue and exhaustion.

What have you done since leaving MMU?

The first this was to take a long holiday to Cuba during the summer. I then moved to London and collaborated with three choreographers (one from Brazil, one from Israel and one British choreographer) to create three original works. Through Transitions, I performed in the Bonnie Bird Theatre (also known as the Laban Theatre) for the first time and have completed my ‘Advanced Technical Practices’ assessment, exploring Cunningham, Limone and Release techniques. I’ve also participated in regular tumbling classes, had two professional dance photoshoots, and so much more!

 If you could give a piece of advice to a 1st year just starting out here, what would it be?

To work hard, never doubt how much you are able to achieve. Don’t compare yourself to others, but instead track your own individual progress. And most importantly take every opportunity you have during your undergraduate training, you have amazing resources so USE THEM!

 What is next for you?

After completing this period with Transitions Dance Company and gaining my masters in dance performance, I will be looking to further my performance experience auditioning for opportunities to work on individual projects and for different companies. This also includes the possibility of an internship/shadowing some companies to gain more in-depth knowledge of what these companies require of their dancers.

Transitions Dance Triple Bill is at Axis Arts Centre on Tuesday 7 March at 7.30p. Tickets are £8 (£5 students and all concessions) available online (booking fees apply) or in person at Axis Box Office (no booking fee)

We have a vacancy for a Community Artist & Facilitator

Project, Role and Application Information

Vacancy: Community Artist & Facilitator (Freelance)

Closes: 5th September 2016

Interview: Thurs 15th Sept

Location: North West, Cheshire / Warrington

Type: Part time (Freelance)

Salary: £12k – approx. 14hrs a week with additional hours required around festival dates. (£12k equates to 928 hours at Grade 5 or 687 hours at Grade 7, depending on applicant’s experience)

Dates: Start October 2016 – Complete Sept 30th 2017


Project Description

Axis Arts Centre is recruiting an experienced community artist and facilitator to lead on ANIMATE! a 1-yr programme of performance events that will celebrate the rich and diverse nature of performing arts in Cheshire and Warrington. ANIMATE’s community artist will support communities in the Weaver valley region to create site-specific work at various heritage sites, including four festivals at Winsford, Middlewhich, Northwich & Frodsham. Through running a series of creative workshops in community settings that will inspire participants to consider their local landscapes in new ways, the artist will artistically inspire too, through introducing creative practices new to the community groups involved.

ANIMATE! is the creative programme developed as part of a large Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Scheme launched in 2014 called Saltscape. Saltscape brings together partners and communities to ensure that the distinctive character of the Weaver Valley landscape, shaped by the presence of underground salt and human interaction throughout its history, is managed and celebrated cohesively for future generations. ANIMATE! aims to work with 600+ young people, student and community artists and reach 4000+ audience members.

For more information on Axis Arts Centre:

For more information on Saltscape:

Download the full project description, responsibilities and information on how to apply here.

Artscool 2016 – 27th June – 8th July 2016


Celebrate aspirations, achievements and creativity with our arts festival for schools

Artscool 2016 –  27th June – 8th July 2016

Artscool is a highlight in the school calendar for many, offering a festival fortnight of high quality arts activity on MMU’s Cheshire campus in Crewe.

Aims of Artscool:

  • Perform in our professional studio theatre in the Axis Arts Centre, with tickets available for friends and family
  • Become an artist and exhibit your schools art work in our dynamic and purpose made Artscool Gallery
  • To share and celebrate pupil work to instil confidence and positive experience trying new activities
  • To raise aspirations by introducing students to creative and exciting learning
  • To contribute to the key skills development through engagement in the arts
  • To use the arts to engage and challenge

Pupil, Teacher and Parent comments from Artscool 2015

 “Great variety of activities. The exhibition of schools work is excellent, so well presented – we’ll be back!”

“Amazing, Fantastic, Brilliant”

“Best day EVER!!!!”

“Wonderful and Inspiring”

“I really enjoyed today! I loved everything and I want to do it all again”


Find out more on the ArtsCool website

Stan’s Cafe – A translation of Shadows

Stan’s cafe comes to the Axis Arts centre on the 13th of October.

The Axis Slam

Beatfreaks/Inna Voice/ Ciaran Hodgers and others battle it out to be the next Axis Slam Champion. Be there 20th October 7.30pm

Tim Exile pre-show artist talk.

Tim Exile’s pre-show talk begins at 6.30, music starts at 6.

SHED opens 8th October

Axis Arts Centre Helps to Strengthen Approaches to Rural Touring Performing Arts.

Axis Arts Centre in Shropshire and Neighbours Rural Touring Pilot. It has been an exciting and innovative research and development project brings performancecompanies/artists, programmers and venue promoters together to explore and develop new, more sustainable models of creating and presenting work through open debate and dialogue.

SNRTP also offers a bespoke mentoring programme to selected performance
companies/artists and the opportunity to improve their position in the rural
touring circuit.

This project is run in partnership with PANDA and Arts Alive and funded by Arts Council England.