At Nutkhut we love it when old meets new – so when Mike Mclean pitched to us to shoot our recent production ‘Dr Blighty’ with his 100 year old Kodak No2 Camera, we couldn’t think of a more beautiful way to shoot our contemporary production. We caught up with Mike to find out more about the project…
“This project idea came when I saw a friend, Finn Hopkin, post images from the first evenings show on social media. After reading the Brighton Festival programme information and doing some further research, I decided it would be an interesting and challenging project to take photographs with a film camera that was made from the same era, circa 1918.
The Kodak No2 Folding Autographic Brownie is a beautifully made iconic Kodak folding type camera that only has two settings, aperture and shutter speed. But then again, what more do you need? Kodak made millions of these and similar cameras in the pre and post war period.
I first went down on the Friday evening and was introduced to Ajay by the official event photographer, Alex Bamford. Working at night with a folding camera with a very dim mirror viewfinder is tricky as you cannot compose the image at all, it’s just lining up the camera with a fingers crossed strategy.”
Lara trained at Birmingham School of Acting.
Having trained at the Birmingham School of Acting – Lara performed across the UK, whilst also being a leading figure in the fight against breast cancer.
This year she was proud to be in Nutkhut’s immersive production ‘Dr Blighty’ at the Brighton Festival to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and the 74,000 Indian Soldiers who gave their lives for the freedom of this country. Lara played one of the Brighton Lasses, a role close to her heart being a local lass herself. This was a theatre experience of a lifetime working with such a wonderful eclectic team and an incredibly humbling experience honouring those brave souls.
Lara is currently working on her first one-woman show based on a blog she wrote called ‘Get Your Tits Out!’ of her experience of the many highs and a few lows of having breast cancer back in 2014.
Lara’s favourite things are her Jack Russell terrier Edward and the word Spandex.
Her ultimate room 101 has to be those dangly fake plastic topiary balls people hang outside their front doors. “I mean… Why?!”
Hailing from the Bangladesh in Chittagong region, at the age of five Bishan had an overwhelming passion for dance.
Bishan has studied dance at the famous Shilpocala Dance Academy, one of the leading academies in South East Asia where he trained in classical Indian and Bangladeshi folk dance & Contemporary dance, as well as popular western Dance like jazz and Ballet. After finishing studies Bishan came to the UK to further his education in dance.
While In the UK Bishan studied dance at Weymouth College while at the same time touring across the UK doing stage and TV shows. Bishan has been a regular performer for many of the Asian satellite channels – being broadcast across Bangla TV, Channel S, Channel I, Zee TV, NTV and also Star Plus.
Bishan was tutored by Akram Khan, a global leading contemporary dance master.
Bishan wants to pass on his passion for Indian dance in the UK through his Bollywood dance classes. His vision is simple and deep, to promote Bollywood contemporary dance based on Indian ideologies, Dance is fun, Dance is energetic, Dance is liberating, Dance empowers, Dance means passion and love.
Arts Council England support Nutkhut’s National initiative of incorporating Mela into the wider Outdoor Arts sector.
The Arts Council has announced an investment to support Made in Mela: a national partnership to integrate Mela into the wider outdoor arts sector.
A programme of high quality work will reach family audiences through Melas in Luton, Manchester, Newcastle, London, Tunbridge Wells and Sandwell & Birmingham.
Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England, said:
“The Arts Council is dedicated supporting and promoting art forms which reflect the nation we serve. Nutkhut’s project is an important step towards recognising the south Asian celebration of Mela as a vital part in our collective culture. Hundreds of families and children across the country will be introduced to it in the best possible way.
Khairul Alam, Chair of Manchester Mega Mela said:
‘This unique opportunity recognizes the impact Mela has made on the cultural landscape of the UK. For almost 30 years, Mela has quietly existed on the fringes of the arts sector, but has remained an important and central moment in the lives of our communities – this initiative brings Mela in to the mainstream.”
Ajay Chhabra co-Artistic Director Nutkhut, said:
“Mela brings people together. Made in Mela is an exciting programme to support, develop and strengthen the outdoor arts sector, through artistic exchange, professional development and opportunities for all audiences to experience the best of diverse outdoor work nationally.”
The funding is part of the Arts Council’s Strategic Touring Programme, which aims to give people better access to quality work in a range of venues to reach more people across the country, targeting places with low levels of art engagement and those that rely on touring for arts and culture. It welcomes applications for a wide range of arts on tour including, in particular, mid-scale theatre, inbound international work, and more work by and for people from diverse backgrounds.
In this round of the fund, there are nine successful applicants from London with a total investment of £1,389,779.
Information about the programme and application deadlines for future rounds can be found here.