Set in a fullsize boxing ring, this physical performance investigated the intricacies of courage and honour, ritual and spectatorship. The show explored boxing and its place in British psyche, conveying the emotional, physical and psychological challenge of a boxer’s experience.
The compere introduced his fighters for the evening’s spectacle. The audience were invited to take the side of the champion or challenger as the boxers displayed their pugilistic prowess. Stories of boxers and their families collided in the ring to a pumping soundtrack against a backdrop of urban art. Pounding break-beats filedl the space as the fighters entered the ring to the raucous delight of the crowd.
In 2009 Luan Taylor directed two work in progress performances, site-specific to Brighton Boy’s boxing club, and the Lion club in Shoreditch. This process greatly influenced the development of Gloves On.
As part of the creation of the show in 2010 Luan and Ragroof continued the community outreach aspect of their creative process; researching, interviewing and archiving legacy material. The company works with local boxing clubs with the aim of involving young, local boxers in the performance, in their community.
In April 2012, Luan and Ragroof took up residence in the Blackwood Miner’s Institute, Caerphilly, working with local boxers, and NEET youth, who then performed in Gloves On.
Shall we dance?
A show inspired by older people’s memories of the dancehall era.
The audience is transported back to a time when the intricate rituals of courtship were played out on the dance floors of village halls and grand ballrooms alike.
Shall We Dance? Encore! takes the audience on a journey from the 1920s to the 1950s; creating a rich tapestry of dances and dancehall scenarios inhabited by a diverse and eccentric cast of characters. Originally composed soundscapes entwined with old favourites and interspersed with recorded memories deliver a memorable soundtrack for a visual feast.
‘I met my husband on the dance floor; well you did. Some girls might ask for a dance,
but I didn’t like to do that. If they wanted me they would have to come and get me.’
Sheila Lemon, Brighton
Make do and Mend
Luan Taylor directed and performed in Make do and Mend - A gentle, uplifting performance based on the reminiscences of older people’s war-time experiences. Stories are retold through the narrator, the Button Lady. When her button tin bursts open, a string of theatrical vignettes come to life, embodying the love, loss, joy and community spirit that tied England together.
Make Do and Mend will appeal to anyone who has thought back to a time in their lives and wanted, even for second, to try and relive those moments.
Make do and Mend was performed many times throughout the UK including,
Watch This Space Festival, National Theatre, London, Coastal Currents, Hastings, Streets of Brighton Festival, The Liberation 60 Festival, Jersey, Hillingdon Bigfest, A Big Day Out, Clacton-on-Sea and The Liberation 62 Festival, Jersey.
Stadium Legends celebrated the history of Colchester Football Club within the community, and the difference football has made to people’s lives within it.
There were three different strands to the project, one group made a film, another worked on art pieces and Luan Taylor and Marion Duggan were commissioned to work with the reminiscences of the club members and create a performance.
They worked with 2 school groups (one from primary and one from secondary education), fans of the club and mental health provision users. Together they captured the memories of past and current players, managers, fans and other people from the club's history.
They brought people's memories to life by making bunting decorated with the writing of people's stories ('memory bunting'), training the school children to carry out their own interviews and creating a sound track using snippets of sound from the interviews. They then used this material to make a performance with a large group using the stories gained in the interviews. As a group they explored different spaces within the football ground to gain inspiration for the performance.
The project highlighted the power of football to bring together communities.
Supported by Creative Partnerships and Colchester United Community Sports Trust.
Delience des Vies a Visage
Ragroof were commissioned by Zap Art Brighton to work with French Theatre Company le cercle de la litote to work on a trans-generational show under the direction of Luc Perrot. Family stories were at the heart of the performance, gathered from both rural and town-living people in Brighton and France.
With each of the families, we gathered the stories from three generations; these interviews were recorded and formed the basis of the work. They were typed up word for word, and both the French and English actors then sifted through the text in agreement with the interviewees.
Photographs were taken of the families and these were made into the scenery/ backdrop for this outdoor show.