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THE PASSION PROGRAMME

 

12 - 30 April 2016


•The Passion Programme

Mas Productions and nitroBEAT in association with Soho Theatre.

The Passion of Lady Vendredi at Soho Theatre, 11th - 30th April 2016

Devised by Jonathan Grieve and the company.

“When we open our hearts we are as afraid of what we let out as what we might let in.”

PERFORMERS

Nwando Ebizie
Ignacio Jarquin
Moss Beynon Juckes
Fabiola Santana
Jennifer MT White

BAND

Duncan Hillman
Randy Lester
Rosie Turton
Gerardo De Armas Sarria

CREATIVE TEAM

Director - Jonathan Grieve
Lighting designer - Shane Button
Sound Designer - Gabor Halasz
Production Manager - Carrie Hitchman
Stage Manager - Hannah French


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The Passion Of Lady Vendredi

#ladyvendredi

INTRODUCTION

You are invited to immerse yourselves in our urban rituals, or to stand quietly itching to move as they are enacted. What you will experience is a piece of immersive theatre… it is a live gig… it is a piece of popular live art… it is a contemporary ritual.

The Origin Story

Lady Vendredi is from a parallel dimension called Nri. The biochemistry of this Universe is slightly different: people are green and photosynthesis takes place in a similar way to plants, using quantum entanglement to gain energy. In Nri the dominant religion is most similar to our African ancient religions or to Haitian Vodou.

Christianity is a fringe religion, thought of as a bit quirky and exploited in the parallel dimensions version of Nollywood cinema where people pray to an invisible white god. In the esoteric religion that Lady Vendredi was born into, belief is considered as just a tool for changing reality.

Her Powers

Lady Vendredi learns to collapse wave functions at will, she can play with the probabilities of sub atomic particles, moving them in four dimensional space and time. Realising that she can manipulate time and space, she manages to breakthrough into our dimension.

Her Mission

In our world, she finds injustice, pain and a world of dogma, self-righteousness, factions and nations of True Believers dead set on destroying each other. To remedy this she forms a secular scientific non-religion called ‘The Daughters of Manifestation’.

The intimacy that can be nurtured through this kind of process is invaluable to humanity. It is absolutely crucial in so much as it gives humanity a forum through which it can clearly understand the innate ability to choose its beliefs and how it orientates towards positive or negative actions.

From The Second Book of Eris (Handbook for the Daughters of Manifestation)

Sounds and Dreams: Discovering that in this dimension she has manifested a musical talent, she travels to Cuba, Lincoln and Stoke Newington to gather a group of musicians to play her music. Finding so much beauty in the music of our world she sleeps and dreams and in the mornings, the sounds of the rhythms of Haiti and West Africa, the melodies of Pergolesi, the bass thumping’s of old analogue synths and the experimental cries of Jazz trombones emerge.

The Journey

Before working with co-producer’s nitroBEAT and finding itself as a secular urban ritual at Soho Theatre, this show previously incarnated as trashy performance art live PA’s in Hackney and Italy as an experimental dance, hip hop, voodoo gig, in a Gallery in Bethnal Green, as a piece of occult performance in Leicester, an immersive jazz gig at Latitude, a Lady Vendredi gig at The Royal Festival Hall and a Battle Cry for two nights at the Roundhouse in Camden.

We are working with six dances and six rhythms from Haitian Vodou dance that have been taught to us by Zsuzsa Parrag who studied Haitian dance in Port-au-Prince with Florencia Pierre dance teacher and Vodou priestess. Mas Production’s work with her began in August 2013 at the inception of the current project.

Mas Productions

Feedback

We’d love to hear your feedback on the show – email us communications@nitrobeat.co.uk or reach us on Twitter or Facebook

#ladyvendredi

Acknowledgements

Supported by Arts Council England, PRS Foundation and Steve Reid Foundation

Music Advisers - Giles Peterson, Floating Points and Brownswood Records

Profile Photos by Dimitri Djuric

Radio

Tom Robinson - BBC Mixtape feat. Lady Vendredi

Gilles Peterson – feat. Lady Vendredi

BBC Radio London - Dotun Adebayo interviews Lady Vendredi

Soundtrack

The Passion of Lady Vendredi is now available to download

Interviews and Reviews

Female First interview with Nwando Ebizie

Meet Innovative Artist & Music Dynamo, Lady Vendredi

•Videos

The Passion of Lady Vendredi - Audience Trailer 2016 

'A voyage through the sublime'

After an explosive opening night of The Passion of Lady Vendredi on 12 April, audiences were queuing up to give us their thoughts!

•Nwando Ebizie

Performance artist, musician, producer, DJ

What Time Is It?

On her single “What Time Is It” Lady Vendredi and her band, the Vendettas create a cacophony of juxtaposed sounds blending elements of vodou and samba rhythms plus space jazz horns. It all adds up to a wonderfully quirky symphony.

Director: Matthew Charles Robinson

Lady Vendredi - Papa Legba Video

Directed by Richie Simkins.

From the Soundtrack to The Passion of Lady Vendredi at Soho Theatre until 30th April.

EP out now on Bandcamp.

•Photo Gallery

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•Profiles

Nwando Ebizie is an experimental performance artist, musician, director, producer, DJ and dancer whose hails from Nigeria, and whose unique creativity and artistry is taking the world by storm. With an education from University College London, she is classically trained in piano, electronic music production, physical theatre, and a variety of dance forms ranging from contemporary to aerial arts.

When she created her Alter Ego, Lady Vendredi, a cult music icon, mythopoetic super heroine and vodou priestess popstar from another dimension, she truly hit the ground running. Her singles What Time is It, Beat Freak and Dirty Chicken have a following and her audience numbers are rising by the day. Her sound encompasses traditional Haitian voodoo grooves through to global bass, jazz, hip-hop, African Tribal and experimental music. She has worked with a wide range of world-class musicians, artists and producers including LV, Guillermo Gomez Pena, Peaches, Princess Superstar and DJd, touring with them around the world and only making her CV that much more accredited.

Her work eschews boundaries, yet exudes immense discipline. Along side theatre director, Jonathan Grieve, Ebizie operates the new and experimental theatre company, Mas Productions, where they research, teach and perform ‘secular ecstatic art’ from which The Passion of Lady Vended evolved.

close

A director, deviser, writer and musician, Jonathan Grieve first began his artistic journey as a young man who played in several Mod bands in the early 80’s. His ultimate beak-through in music was his creation of the experimental band Contrastate in 1987, releasing multiple albums and touring until 2000.

His love for experimental music and interest in theatre inspired him to create a successful company called Para Active Theatre in 1994, which he was also the Artistic Director of for thirteen years. He later came across Artaud, Grotowski, Eugenio Barba and Peter Brook who energized him to pursue an education in theatre. He attended The University of Birmingham to study Drama of Theatre Arts in 1989. He participated in training workshops with actors from the Grotowski's Laboratorium, Roy Hart Theatre and The Odin Teatret. Grieve also had a brief flirtation with dance theatre and dramatherapy before forming Para Active Theatre. Para Active Theatre created an outlet for a series of innovative productions combining the work of Grotowski, Barba, martial arts, Indian dance, Martial Arts, music, vocal training, improvisation and interactive performances. He has taught at numerous universities and has been a visiting director at Rose Bruford College since 2004.

Grieve has directed over forty productions including a guest director credit on the five-star, 6 hour long, over night production of Hotel Medea at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011. He is currently the director of Mas Productions.

close

Born in Mexico City, Jarquin has explored the world with his art, gathering new knowledge and leaving his mark in each country he ventured to. He studied classical music at Vienna University, but is also an avid singer, actor and vocal coach, who earned an Orchestra Conductor diploma, with Distinction, from the Vienna Conservatory in 1991.

After his professional début as a répétiteur and conductor at the Stadttheater in St Pöltenwhere, he moved to Paris where he founded and directed his own Orchestra and Opera Company. With his worldly training and natural talent, Jarquin was head hunted to design and create massive corporate events for the French TV Channel TF1. In 2004 he began focusing more on his singing, and in later years found himself in the presence of voice masters Carol Baggott-Forte and Rachel Bersier, organizing Master Classes in advanced singing technique with Bernier in France and Germany. In 2006 he made his début as an actor-singer in the award-winning production of The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster: Ten Thousand Several Doors.

As a singer and performer in the UK, Jarquin has crafted several classical roles as well as two new monologues based on the life of Enrico Caruso, and a One Man Opera with music by Michael Finnissy, both receiving four stars at the Edinburgh Festival. He is now delighted to be working on the Passion of Lady Vendredi where his creative juices can flow to no end.

close

Born in Sydney, Australia, Juckes graduated from Roehampton University with a BA in Dance Theatre and Live Art. After graduation, she went on to create and produce her own work with a co-created independent ensemble, Hand to Mouth, who performed at the Cockpit Theatre and Shoreditch Warehouses, between 2006 and 2007, showcasing their devised theatre works, Disguarded, and Product 1. She has gone on to perform in Documenta 13, an art exhibition, The Tate Modern, Sophiensalle, and The Round House, working with Tino Sehgal, Javier Cura, Jule Flierl and many other acclaimed artists. Down the road she began to teach voice movement related workshops to emerging artists around the world.

Her alter persona, ‘Mamatrix’, is what she would call the love child of Gaddafi and Amma, and her inspiration to perform so passionately onstage. To her, ’Mamatrix’ is the epitome of self love loathing and capitalistic logic who was born to put the sun and moon together through a love affair with Baphoma, a Deity from the Middle Ages. She believes ‘Mamatrix’ to have been born from her experiences as an artist, dancer, composer, graphic designer, choreographer and mother.

close

Santana is a highly trained contemporary dancer who The Independent says “floats through a dreamy sequence of steps.” She has worked in a number of acclaimed performances such as Triptych, MANJUSAKA, and Hotel Madea, a five-star immersive performance that began at midnight and finished with breakfast. Her expertise has allowed her to head and facilitate workshops both locally and internationally while continuing her MA research in Contemporary Dance, specialising in the embodiment of imagery as a catalyst for creativity and artistry.

Santana is another cast member who generates a lot of her powerful stage presence from a very unique alter ago, Paracossada. To Santana, “Paracossada lives in a window inside Fabiola Santana's third eye. Born out of St. Fabiola and Pareidolia she seeks liberation from the social expectations that are fed or imposed to women. Paracossada is summoned to lift the veil of illusions and to defend women from abuse and mistreatment from others or themselves. She’d rather die than become someone's possession. Bequests freedom, creativity, love, war and truth. You can always find her in the underworld. Her love can be as lethal as her impetus for freedom, if mistreated she will smother you with love until you wither.”

close

From Sierra Leone, Muteteli, has successfully showcased her work across the globe. After graduating from The University of Surrey, Roehampton, with a degree in Dance Studies and Philosophy, she ventured to Helsinki to train at The Mime Centre and gained a Diploma in Physical Theatre and Mime. A few years later, she attended Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris, an extremely prestigious French clown school in Étampes.

Muteleli along with a few other graduates founded a company and produced their first professional show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005. Since then, she has performed solo shows for The Roundhouse & Stratford Circus, and devised work at Southwark Cathedral, Amnesty International and Camden Peoples Theatre. She is also the co-founder and curator of Studio 180, artist studios and events space in London.

She generates much empowerment for her role in The Passion of Lady Vendredi through a story she likes to call ‘Maid Myracles & Marilyn in the Mud’.

“One day a bride married hate and so became fearless. She suffered tirelessly tied in chains, her only salvation being a stained glass window onto the world. This unlikely pair created a death star child and so the bride had to learn how to love death. Through this sacred quest and her lunar warrior training she became able to transform pain into beauty…"

close

Duncan heard an old field recording of African drumming on the radio as a small child. The experience left an indelible scar seared across his mind which has led him into all sorts of avenues as he retraces those rhythms and sounds in an effort to understand. How was it possible to be so electrified by the tiny sound coming out of a small transistor radio perched beside the kitchen sink? Lady Vendredi's voodou ceremony is simply the latest step along the way to unlocking the secrets of the past and opening doors into the future.

close

Rosie Turton is a London based trombonist and composer and a graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (TCM Trust Scholar 2011-2012). An active musician on the London music scene, Rosie is involved in a variety of bands such as Nerija (nominated for Jazzfm Breakthrough Act 2016), Mimika (winners of the Love Supreme Discovery Competition 2014), Dojo, SE Dub Collective and Op Sa! Balkan Band. As a composer, currently Rosie writes for Nerija and her own projects. In 2012 she was commissioned by Sound and Music to write music for their event '20x12' at The Southbank Centre. In 2015 she was commissioned by Shiva Nova to compose a piece of music influenced by Jazz and Indian Classical music, performed at Kings Place October 2015.

close

Gerardo is from Havana, Cuba and came to the UK in 2010. He grew up in a family and neighbourhood that are deeply involved with Afro Cuban cultural representations (Rumba, Palo, Abakua, Yoruba amongst others). At the age of 20 he began his training in Afro Cuban percussion alongside singing professionally. He has played with a number of groups including Columbia del Puerto, OBBA ILE, IROSO OBBA, Danza Cuba and Yoruba Andabo - which is a company made up of seventeen artists, including singers, percussionists and dancers who professionally perform the most important genres of both religious and profane music within the Africans roots of Cuban culture. They are one of the most important Afro Cuban Group worldwide and won the Latin Grammy Award in 2001. Since arriving in the UK, Gerardo has played with a number of London groups; The Lucumi Choir, Lokki Terra, Cuban Afro Beat, Nomad Collective and Ministros de Havana (Cuban Rap and Carlos Acosta’s Tocororo Suite of Cubania, performed at the Royal Opera House (2014 and 2015). Other venues include; Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Café, London Jazz Festival, Womad, Drum Camp, Brighton Festival and Manchester La Timbala. He has also performed across Europe and Canada.

close
close

Nwando Ebizie is an experimental performance artist, musician, director, producer, DJ and dancer whose hails from Nigeria, and whose unique creativity and artistry is taking the world by storm. With an education from University College London, she is classically trained in piano, electronic music production, physical theatre, and a variety of dance forms ranging from contemporary to aerial arts.

When she created her Alter Ego, Lady Vendredi, a cult music icon, mythopoetic super heroine and vodou priestess popstar from another dimension, she truly hit the ground running. Her singles What Time is It, Beat Freak and Dirty Chicken have a following and her audience numbers are rising by the day. Her sound encompasses traditional Haitian voodoo grooves through to global bass, jazz, hip-hop, African Tribal and experimental music. She has worked with a wide range of world-class musicians, artists and producers including LV, Guillermo Gomez Pena, Peaches, Princess Superstar and DJd, touring with them around the world and only making her CV that much more accredited.

Her work eschews boundaries, yet exudes immense discipline. Along side theatre director, Jonathan Grieve, Ebizie operates the new and experimental theatre company, Mas Productions, where they research, teach and perform ‘secular ecstatic art’ from which The Passion of Lady Vended evolved.

close

A director, deviser, writer and musician, Jonathan Grieve first began his artistic journey as a young man who played in several Mod bands in the early 80’s. His ultimate beak-through in music was his creation of the experimental band Contrastate in 1987, releasing multiple albums and touring until 2000.

His love for experimental music and interest in theatre inspired him to create a successful company called Para Active Theatre in 1994, which he was also the Artistic Director of for thirteen years. He later came across Artaud, Grotowski, Eugenio Barba and Peter Brook who energized him to pursue an education in theatre. He attended The University of Birmingham to study Drama of Theatre Arts in 1989. He participated in training workshops with actors from the Grotowski's Laboratorium, Roy Hart Theatre and The Odin Teatret. Grieve also had a brief flirtation with dance theatre and dramatherapy before forming Para Active Theatre. Para Active Theatre created an outlet for a series of innovative productions combining the work of Grotowski, Barba, martial arts, Indian dance, Martial Arts, music, vocal training, improvisation and interactive performances. He has taught at numerous universities and has been a visiting director at Rose Bruford College since 2004.

Grieve has directed over forty productions including a guest director credit on the five-star, 6 hour long, over night production of Hotel Medea at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011. He is currently the director of Mas Productions.

close

Born in Mexico City, Jarquin has explored the world with his art, gathering new knowledge and leaving his mark in each country he ventured to. He studied classical music at Vienna University, but is also an avid singer, actor and vocal coach, who earned an Orchestra Conductor diploma, with Distinction, from the Vienna Conservatory in 1991.

After his professional début as a répétiteur and conductor at the Stadttheater in St Pöltenwhere, he moved to Paris where he founded and directed his own Orchestra and Opera Company. With his worldly training and natural talent, Jarquin was head hunted to design and create massive corporate events for the French TV Channel TF1. In 2004 he began focusing more on his singing, and in later years found himself in the presence of voice masters Carol Baggott-Forte and Rachel Bersier, organizing Master Classes in advanced singing technique with Bernier in France and Germany. In 2006 he made his début as an actor-singer in the award-winning production of The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster: Ten Thousand Several Doors.

As a singer and performer in the UK, Jarquin has crafted several classical roles as well as two new monologues based on the life of Enrico Caruso, and a One Man Opera with music by Michael Finnissy, both receiving four stars at the Edinburgh Festival. He is now delighted to be working on the Passion of Lady Vendredi where his creative juices can flow to no end.

close

Born in Sydney, Australia, Juckes graduated from Roehampton University with a BA in Dance Theatre and Live Art. After graduation, she went on to create and produce her own work with a co-created independent ensemble, Hand to Mouth, who performed at the Cockpit Theatre and Shoreditch Warehouses, between 2006 and 2007, showcasing their devised theatre works, Disguarded, and Product 1. She has gone on to perform in Documenta 13, an art exhibition, The Tate Modern, Sophiensalle, and The Round House, working with Tino Sehgal, Javier Cura, Jule Flierl and many other acclaimed artists. Down the road she began to teach voice movement related workshops to emerging artists around the world.

Her alter persona, ‘Mamatrix’, is what she would call the love child of Gaddafi and Amma, and her inspiration to perform so passionately onstage. To her, ’Mamatrix’ is the epitome of self love loathing and capitalistic logic who was born to put the sun and moon together through a love affair with Baphoma, a Deity from the Middle Ages. She believes ‘Mamatrix’ to have been born from her experiences as an artist, dancer, composer, graphic designer, choreographer and mother.

close

Santana is a highly trained contemporary dancer who The Independent says “floats through a dreamy sequence of steps.” She has worked in a number of acclaimed performances such as Triptych, MANJUSAKA, and Hotel Madea, a five-star immersive performance that began at midnight and finished with breakfast. Her expertise has allowed her to head and facilitate workshops both locally and internationally while continuing her MA research in Contemporary Dance, specialising in the embodiment of imagery as a catalyst for creativity and artistry.

Santana is another cast member who generates a lot of her powerful stage presence from a very unique alter ago, Paracossada. To Santana, “Paracossada lives in a window inside Fabiola Santana's third eye. Born out of St. Fabiola and Pareidolia she seeks liberation from the social expectations that are fed or imposed to women. Paracossada is summoned to lift the veil of illusions and to defend women from abuse and mistreatment from others or themselves. She’d rather die than become someone's possession. Bequests freedom, creativity, love, war and truth. You can always find her in the underworld. Her love can be as lethal as her impetus for freedom, if mistreated she will smother you with love until you wither.”

close

From Sierra Leone, Muteteli, has successfully showcased her work across the globe. After graduating from The University of Surrey, Roehampton, with a degree in Dance Studies and Philosophy, she ventured to Helsinki to train at The Mime Centre and gained a Diploma in Physical Theatre and Mime. A few years later, she attended Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris, an extremely prestigious French clown school in Étampes.

Muteleli along with a few other graduates founded a company and produced their first professional show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2005. Since then, she has performed solo shows for The Roundhouse & Stratford Circus, and devised work at Southwark Cathedral, Amnesty International and Camden Peoples Theatre. She is also the co-founder and curator of Studio 180, artist studios and events space in London.

She generates much empowerment for her role in The Passion of Lady Vendredi through a story she likes to call ‘Maid Myracles & Marilyn in the Mud’.

“One day a bride married hate and so became fearless. She suffered tirelessly tied in chains, her only salvation being a stained glass window onto the world. This unlikely pair created a death star child and so the bride had to learn how to love death. Through this sacred quest and her lunar warrior training she became able to transform pain into beauty…"

close

Duncan heard an old field recording of African drumming on the radio as a small child. The experience left an indelible scar seared across his mind which has led him into all sorts of avenues as he retraces those rhythms and sounds in an effort to understand. How was it possible to be so electrified by the tiny sound coming out of a small transistor radio perched beside the kitchen sink? Lady Vendredi's voodou ceremony is simply the latest step along the way to unlocking the secrets of the past and opening doors into the future.

close

Rosie Turton is a London based trombonist and composer and a graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (TCM Trust Scholar 2011-2012). An active musician on the London music scene, Rosie is involved in a variety of bands such as Nerija (nominated for Jazzfm Breakthrough Act 2016), Mimika (winners of the Love Supreme Discovery Competition 2014), Dojo, SE Dub Collective and Op Sa! Balkan Band. As a composer, currently Rosie writes for Nerija and her own projects. In 2012 she was commissioned by Sound and Music to write music for their event '20x12' at The Southbank Centre. In 2015 she was commissioned by Shiva Nova to compose a piece of music influenced by Jazz and Indian Classical music, performed at Kings Place October 2015.

close

Gerardo is from Havana, Cuba and came to the UK in 2010. He grew up in a family and neighbourhood that are deeply involved with Afro Cuban cultural representations (Rumba, Palo, Abakua, Yoruba amongst others). At the age of 20 he began his training in Afro Cuban percussion alongside singing professionally. He has played with a number of groups including Columbia del Puerto, OBBA ILE, IROSO OBBA, Danza Cuba and Yoruba Andabo - which is a company made up of seventeen artists, including singers, percussionists and dancers who professionally perform the most important genres of both religious and profane music within the Africans roots of Cuban culture. They are one of the most important Afro Cuban Group worldwide and won the Latin Grammy Award in 2001. Since arriving in the UK, Gerardo has played with a number of London groups; The Lucumi Choir, Lokki Terra, Cuban Afro Beat, Nomad Collective and Ministros de Havana (Cuban Rap and Carlos Acosta’s Tocororo Suite of Cubania, performed at the Royal Opera House (2014 and 2015). Other venues include; Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Café, London Jazz Festival, Womad, Drum Camp, Brighton Festival and Manchester La Timbala. He has also performed across Europe and Canada.

close
close

•Order of MAS

1. Purification Rites

2. Opening of the Gates
“Give me just one chance, to look into your eyes. Crosses crossed on our back let us cross the other side.”

3. The Womb Mas Life and the myth are one!
“Love oh love oh love oh love
Love oh love oh love oh love
Love oh love oh love.”

The House of Flow and the Blessing of the Intimates

Initiation of the Novice

“Take these fragments and hold them close wrap them in your version of forever we kneel down together we kneel down together.”

The Confession of the Willing Sacrifice to Mama

4. The First Miracle
“Don't tell me Eris sowed discord stick a pig 23 on free Fridays gorge.”

5. Black Madonna and the Transformation of Pain into Beauty
“I need your approval before I open magic doors.”

6. Venus in Chains Cries Tears in the Rain
“Let the storms come, let them come, let the storms come let them come.
Let the storms come, let them come, let them come.”

7. The Willing Sacrifice and the Opening of the Heart
“cuz you’re the sacrifice for our future fate
you are the reason why we are all here today
you're the offering to begin the wave
you’re the one we ain’t gonna save.”

8. A Healing of the Heart

9. The Lord of Eroticism
“Take your ding take your ding and dong it!“