First Homemakers details revealed

Details of brand-new online works by Bryony Kimmings, Ad Infinitum, Plaster Cast Theatre and Chris Thorpe & Yusra Warsama, commissioned in response to the coronavirus outbreak, have been announced.

The works were all commissioned by HOME as part of their Homemakers series, where artists create new works in isolation for an audience also isolated by the coronavirus lockdown. They will go on sale via the HOME website on Friday, May 1, and most will be available to experience from the same day.

Bryony Kimmings’, I’m Falling In Love With You And It’s Making Me Do Stupid Things, looks at being single and lonely in lockdown. The audience will follow Bryony through one long, lonely night after she finds the email address of a potential lover in a pile of belongings she has been sorting and decides to make an approach. Stifled creativity and memories of a simpler, freer time collide with white wine and boredom as Kimmings unravels from cute cutie to hard-drinking party girl through a range of familiar female stereotypes, none of which are getting the desired response.

Ad Infinitum, whose Extraordinary Wall Of Silence was a hit when it appeared at HOME in February, have created a triptych of video shorts titled A Small Gathering. With non-verbal delivery, the surreal shorts have a black humour that’s surprising and thought-provoking. This is the first time the company have worked with film, and the works were created using mobile phones, home cameras, and torches. Ad Infinitum’s co-artistic director, Nir Paldi, said: “Seeing as we have never used video in our 12+ years of theatre making this has been a big leap of faith in a complicated period of time.”

Plaster Cast Theatre’s new work, Homelands explores what happens when everything you know has been turned upside down. In a limited series of 50 hand-written short stories, sent by post to ticket-holders, participants are thrown into the centre of an imagined world and asked to creatively respond to the upheaval they find themselves in. The stories are set in a variety of imagined worlds and audience members will be able to choose which world they wish to experience based on their mood.  Plaster Cast Theatre were recently seen at HOME with Sound Cistem as part of the PUSH Festival.

Further works yet to be announced include a piece by Javaad Alipoor, plus the results of three open-call commissions and details of additional national commissioning partners.

Kevin Jamieson, Head of Programme at HOME, said: “In these very challenging times performing art venues can’t operate as business as usual. Our Homemakers project allows us to commission new work from a diverse array of live art makers from all over the country to explore new ways of making art that continues to push boundaries. These projects will range from playful to thoughtful, interactive to personal, and we are looking forward to finding out how theatre can continue to connect people, artists and audiences in these isolating times.”

The works will be available on the HOME website from Friday, May 1, on a ‘pay-what-you-can’ basis, with ticket prices available at levels from free to £100. Any contributions through the pay-what-you-can model will be divided equally, with half paid to the commissioned artist and half reinvested into the HOME Response Fund. It will be made accessible to the widest possible audience through captioning, audio description, and providing relaxed versions where appropriate.

This project has been made possible thanks to HOME’s Response Fund, set up in the wake of the announcement that arts venues across the country would close due to the coronavirus, and designed to protect HOME’s financial stability and allow them to support artists and colleagues from across the industry.

The incredible reaction to the Response Fund allowed Homemakers to be announced less than a week after HOME confirmed it would have to temporarily close its doors to the public.