This original audio drama was created and performed during the global Covid-19 pandemic in collaboration with 13 emerging artists, located in three countries, over just four weeks, from concept to festival premiere.

Bad Questions

It was seemingly by chance that in late 2019, as part of a new work creation residency, both Doppelgangster lead artists Dr Tom Payne and Tobias Manderson-Galvin brought with them a copy of the same book and the same idea to propose to each other: That the company should invest its resources towards the development of a post-dramatic stage adaption of Albert Camus’ The Plague (1947). Months later – as a global pandemic began to sweep the globe – the idea became both impossible and tragic.
Following major stage works in ’18 and ’19 on themes of pollution, land management, and government corruption, the idea had been to develop a show that could act as a warning instead of as direct action. Instead, with the prophecy fulfilled, other – better – questions needed to be asked.

Commissioning Festival

Off the Shelf Festival of Words is one of the largest and most accessible literary festivals in the UK. Every year it brings the biggest names in literature and the arts to Sheffield. Previous festivals have included appearances by Sandi Toksvig, Nick Hornby, Tony Robinson, Kate Adie, John Pilger – to name just a few. Since 1991, OTF has established itself as one of the highlights of the cultural calendar in Sheffield. Its core mission is to bring literature and the arts to all parts of the community. Bad Reputation was a special commission as part of a programme curated by the Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University.
La Mama North is a festival of new digital theatre created by students from La Trobe University, Bundoora for Melbourne Fringe Festival 2020. A co-production between La Mama and La Trobe University.

Bad Timing

The 18 episode series was launched across October and November 2020, as part of the online component of Sheffield’s Off The Shelf Festival of Words, and La Mama North, Melbourne. 
The project was company’s response to themes of isolation, alienation, and social disconnection during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic; informed by the experiences of young artists in varying degrees of lockdown in the cities of Melbourne and Sheffield.

Bad Company

This project featured an ensemble of students from across the BA (hons) Degree in Acting and Performance (Sheffield Hallam University) and BA Creative Arts students (La Trobe University, Melbourne). The intensive four-week process provided the students with an opportunity to work on a professional production – with processes adapted due to the pandemic lockdown and enhanced through digital methods to create opportunities for international collaboration. Working with an established international performance company, the students developed industry-level devising and contemporary performance skills and contributed to an important conversation about the nature and method of theatrical production in the COVID-19 era.

Bad Elements

Doppelgangster worked closely with professional collaborators and a combined Sheffield Hallam and La Trobe student ensemble in order to make a unique and development driven show that explored themes associated with pandemic lockdowns as experienced in the geographically distant cities of Sheffield and Melbourne.
Students undertook research and writing tasks, and developed an an understanding of the ‘mechanics’ of the company’s unique making process.
Facilitated by a dynamic team of Doppelgangster artists, who acted variously as research guides, directors, playwrights, acting and vocal coaches, designers, and composers, the students took the role of live artists and collaborators.
The young artists involved were asked to perform, to act, to be themselves, and to portray others. Direction was given in the preparation and development process, including the shows online development, the creation of text, and technical production.
Doppelgangster often play themselves and others in their works. The company were invited to do the same.
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