Wednesday 28 September 2016

ACTORS! From The Mouths Of The Gods - Sheffield and London


So, for our new show in Edinburgh we thought it'd be interesting to see what happened when a new actor performed FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS each day. We posted this blog asking if any actors fancied being a part of the adventure. So many wonderful people got in touch. 

To date, FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS has been performed by over 30 actors and over 30 audience members who have volunteered to be in the show.

We have 8 performances to go. 2 in Sheffield and 6 in London. 

FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS is a show about Freewill, Determinism and Kissing. It's a show which should be performed by 1 actor and 1 audience member picked from the crowd. It's a show which should be as unlikely as possible, or probable.

So, as part of the probability of the show, we're opening an invitation for up to 8 more actors to perform the show.

Now, there are some things to chat through. But the whole thing will take up maybe 1hr45 of your time. The show is 1hr and you'll need minimal prep before hand. However, you will need to be able to sight read, welcome an audience and be nice and friendly. You'll need to be able to work with the rhythm of a text. You will receive a set of instructions and a script maybe a day before. The show is all performed in a studio theatre.

And then there's the kissing...we'll talk about that. But you'll need to be over 18.

If you want to chat, or are interested in performing the piece then please get in touch. Drop Veronica a line on

And, just to be clear, we'd be asking you to volunteer that 1hr45mins of your time. If no-one fancies it, then we have 4 actors who will rotate across the performances. So it's not something we're relying on, but something we think could be rather exciting to keep playing with.

Let us know if you fancy it. Let us know what sort of performer you are and what you've been up to.

SHEFFIELD: 4th - 5th October with Theatre Delicatessen 
LONDON: 11th - 16th October with Greenwich Theatre

And a huge thanks to the wonderful bunch of people who have picked up the script so far. 

Delia Olam Haley McGee Christopher Morgan Roseanne Lynch Jack Quarton Chris Stokes Tom Jancis Angela Milton Jon Brittain Sarah Evans Connor Going Therese Ramstedt David Jarman Amie Burns Walker Dick Bonham Isabel Schmier Jamie Birkett Joanne Hartstone Rob McGough Julia Kass David Calvitto

Veronica Hare

Holly Beasley-Garrigan

Dominic Allen

Alexander Wright

Ben Gilbert

Samuel Pike

Hal Kelly

Freya Bardell

Saturday 6 August 2016

Hannah Davies Recommends...

We asked Hannah Davies what she was doing up in Edinburgh, and what she's most excited about seeing...

- Who are you and what do you do / what have you done

I'm a theatre maker, writer, and performer based in Yorkshire. I trained as an actor at Mountview, and studied playwriting at the Royal Court Theatre. I've worked as a writer with companies including Ice&Fire, Trestle, Company of Angels, York Theatre Royal. I am a co-director of Common Ground Theatre. More recently I have started performing as a spoken word poet. I am the winner of the Newcastle Northern Stage Great Northern Slam 2016, and the Say Owt Anti-Slam Winner 2016.

- What are you doing with The Flanagan Collective this year?
I've directed Snakes & Giants currently at Summerhall, every day (apart from 15th) at 7pm

- What would you say the show(s) are about
Snakes & Giants is a piece about the landscapes of our lives, our selves, and our relationships. It tells two very different stories - one mythic and one urban -  which are brought together by a sense of place; we meet the two main characters on the edge of a cliff. The play is an atmospheric piece that asks questions about how we create a sense of belonging, and about where and how we create and nurture a sense of home. It is a fusion of spoken word, choreography and song. 

- What's your favourite secret bit which other people might not notice?
There are some incredibly beautiful turns of phrase in this play. One of the characters in the piece is a one time giantess who has shrunk herself over the years, and is now 'roaming and heartless.' One of my favourite lines in the play is where she is described as being made up of 'old love and dinosaur parts.' 

- Favourite place to hang out at the Fringe
I can't resist a charity shop. Edinburgh has loads. This makes me happy. And always in need of a bigger suitcase to get all my bargains home.

- Why or how is the fringe good / important
I love the opportunity to see things that challenge, provoke and inspire me. Getting the chance to see shows and performances in a huge variety of styles and genres is exciting and important for artists. Art is important. Expression is important. Sharing ideas is important. 

- 3 tips for having the best time
See your mates. See shows. Drink fancy gin. I had one with basil in it last night. Well tasty. 

Can you please recommend 5 shows other people should see at the festival?

Really looking forward to catching Animal: Are You a Proper Person at the Gilded Balloon Teviot 17:30. The Tongue Fu team are exceptionally good spoken worders and I can't wait to see this.

Another poetry gig that deserves a look in is the Say Owt Slam. Awesome hosts Henry Raby and Stu Freestone promise a feast of wordery on the free fringe.

My great mate Peter Darney has an incredibly urgent piece on at C Too: 5 Guys Chillin' every night at  11pm, which is an urgent and confrontational piece about the emergence of the chemsex scene. 

Other things I'd like to catch are Rash Dash Two Man Show at Summerhall

And Adler & Gibb also at Summerhall.

Also don't miss the other Flanagan Collective shows. Obvs. From the Mouths of the Gods and the exceptional Dominic Allen's one man show A Common Man.

Thursday 4 August 2016


The Flanagan Collective 

with Greenwich Theatre and Joanne Hartstone

Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016

‘Ruddy gorgeous’ The Guardian / ‘Stratospheric’ The Herald

***** The Scotsman / ***** The Skinny / ***** ThreeWeeks / ***** A Younger Theatre
***** Broadway Baby / ***** Public Reviews

Following last summer's premier of FABLE - which transferred to Adelaide, London and New York - we return to Edinburgh with three shows: SNAKES & GIANTS, A COMMON MAN and FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS

A young woman dances wildly on the edge of cliff. 
A lady older than the hills stands outside a closed, dark pavilion. 
Both are looking out to the horizon. There is a storm coming.
SNAKES & GIANTS is a show about where we belong, about loss and about loneliness. But it’s also a show full of love and longing and a lot of soul. Created by a stellar team of theatre makers, the show pushes the form we’ve been developing with BEULAH, BABYLON and FABLE. SNAKES & GIANTS winds together storytelling, movement and a heavy, soulful soundtrack. 
Written by Alexander Wright (Fable, The Boy James)
Directed by Hannah Davies (Githa, The Lumberjills)
Devised & Performed by Holly Beasley-Garrigan (Dumbstruck) and Veronica Hare (Fable)
Music & Sound by Jim Harbourne (Feral, Leaper)
Lighting Design by Alex Brown (Bob)
SNAKES & GIANTS is performed at Summerhall at 7pm, 3rd - 27th August (not 4th or 15th) 


Tom Paine is angry. Dominic Allen is angry too. 
Dominic Allen revives his remarkable solo show about Thomas Paine - who changed the world twice, built the first ever iron bridge, and died with only 6 people at his funeral. A show about one of the forgotten founding fathers of the USA, told entirely without hip-hop.
We premiered A COMMON MAN: THE BRIDGE THAT TOM BUILT in 2013 to critical acclaim. Since then the show has gone on to tour and play at festivals across the UK - including in Tom Paines’ home town of Thetford. 
However, as the political climate in both the UK and USA gets darker, Tom Paines’ remarkable story of belief and revolution becomes more relevant than ever. 
Written and Performed by Dominic Allen (Outland, Lorca Is Dead)
Directed by Joe Hufton (Scarlet, The Collector)
A COMMON MAN: THE BRIDGE THAT TOM BUILT is performed at C NOVA at 8.15pm from 3rd-29th Aug (not 6-7th, 20-21st, 25th, 27th)


Performed by 26 different actors and 26 members of the audience, this is a show about freewill, determinism and kissing. Inspired by a probabilistic theory of freewill, as imagined by the Australian mathematician Tom Smith, the show will have have a wildly different and random pairing of performers each day. 26 actors have responded to a call out to perform the show and, at the start of each show, an audience member will volunteer. It’s a show about how unlikely it is that we’re all here, and about how we turn something fictional in to something real. 
Written by Alexander Wright
Devised by The Company
FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS is performed at 4.55pm at C NOVA from 3rd-29th Aug (not 15th)

THE FLANAGAN COLLECTIVE is led by artistic director Alexander Wright (Belt Up Theatre, York Theatre Royal) and works with a wide range of artists, producers, makers and performers. Since we started the company in 2011 we have created folks musicals, installations, festivals and happenings across the UK. In 2015 we transferred FABLE to New York for our first Off-Broadway run, before heading to an award-winning season at Adelaide Fringe Festival with Producer Joanne Hartstone. We have been working with Greenwich Theatre for a number of years to create and share new work.

For more information on us, our work, or what we’re up to then do get in touch. 
For press requests or or tickets please get in touch. 
For industry tickets or for more information on the shows then please get in touch.

Equally, if you fancy a beer or a coffee for any reason, then get in touch too. 

We hope you all have a cracking festival.


Friday 29 July 2016

Actors Assemble - From The Mouths Of The Gods

Friends. We're on the hunt for some help with an experiment. 

This summer we have three shows playing up at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Snakes & Giants at Summerhall - a brand new show. A Common Man returns to C Venues. 


FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS is a show about Freewill, Determinism and Kissing. It's a show which should be performed by 1 actor and 1 audience member picked from the crowd. It's a show which should be as unlikely as possible, or probable. 

So, as part of the probability of the show, we're opening an invitation for up to 26 actors to come and perform the show with an audience member. 1 actor per performance, and 1 audience member picked from the assembles crowd. From the 3rd - 29th Aug (not 15th).

Now, there are some things to chat through. But the whole thing will take up maybe 1hr45 of your time between 4.15pm-6pm. The show is 1hr and you'll need minimal prep before hand. However, you will need to be able to site read, welcome an audience and be nice and friendly. You'll need to be able to work with the rhythm of a text. You will receive a set of instructions and a sealed script. The show is all performed in a studio theatre. 

And then there's the kissing...we'll talk about that. But you'll need to be over 18. 

We've never done this before. We make a lot of interactive work, but this pushes at the next level for us. 

If you want to chat, or are interested in performing the piece then please get in touch. Drop Holly a line on

And, just to be clear, we'd be asking you to volunteer that 1hr45mins of your time. If no-one fancies it, then we have 4 actors who will rotate across the performances. So it's not something we're relying on, but something we think could be rather exciting to play with. 

Let us know if you fancy it. Let us know what sort of performer you are and what you've been up to. And let us know what you're busy with up at the Fringe. 

Maybe we'll chat soon. 

Cheers now!

Monday 18 July 2016



It’s the 18th July 2016. And we are in a rehearsal room at York Theatre Royal in our first day of rehearsal for SNAKES & GIANTS.

We’re back with our wonderful friends at Summerhall from the 3rd – 27th August. SNAKES & GIANTS is a show about landscape and building and losing and millions of years and fleeting moments. It’s exciting. It’s full of excellent sound and soul music. It’s full of movement and singing and dancing. And it’s uplifting. And it’s sad.

It’s 4 years since we were in exactly the same rehearsal room making BEULAH, a folk musical about William Blake. Similarly, a show which is about so much stuff and also about 2 people. And the feeling was the same – exciting and scary. The feeling of pushing at something and feeling like we’re breaking some new ground in what we make and how we make it. We’ve never played a whole lot with movement and dance before. And this is the first show we’ve ever made to be performed in a theatre space.

But that’s not all. We’re also up in Edinburgh with our excellent old friends at C Venues, where we first started working in 2007. We’re bringing back Dominic Allen’s brilliant show A COMMON MAN: THE BRIDGE THAT TOM BUILT. A story about the revolutionary, world changing man, Thomas Paine. We produced Dom’s show in 2013 and, as our world gets darker and harder, the show gets more and more relevant. It’s about refusing to accept the status quo, about inciting revolution, and about understanding things from history. And Dom is sheer, sheer joy to watch. He was last in The Crucible with Tom Morris at Bristol Old Vic, then he was in Aus with us and is currently out on tour with Les Enfant Terribles. 

In Australia at the beginning of this year we met a mathematician called Tom Smith. And he inspired a play. FROM THE MOUTHS OF THE GODS is about freewill and determinism and kissing. It’s performed by an actor and an audience member each day. So the pair in the story will never be the same twice. It’s a big experiment in storytelling and maths and, we hope, a month long journey of meeting excellent people we’d never have met otherwise.

So, these two weeks between now and opening these three shows will move fast. Probably too fast. But we can’t wait. Because a good summer in Edinburgh is one of the greatest joys.

And then we take the shows to more new friends at The Bikeshed.

And then we take the shows to great old friends at Greenwich Theatre.

And we couldn’t be happier!

See you on the way…

Holly, Hannah, Veronica, Dom, Joe, Joanne, Alex, Alex and Jim.

Friday 24 June 2016

What Now? An Offer Of Doing

It's 8am on the morning our country and has been sold down the river by ignorance and hate a divisive fear-mongering right-wing politics.

I've been awake for just an hour and the rest of our future seems to be stretching out like a bleak road looking bleaker by the minute. Our glorious and peaceful democracy has failed us. 

I, like millons of us, am not a politician. But I, like millions of us, do not feel like I've had my say, like this referendum has represented my thoughts and hugely heartfelt feelings. 

I am, though, clear that there must be something we can DO. And that doing must be through community and generosity and kindness and open arms and all the wonderful stuff which bullshit shiny faced people like Farage and Boris seem to want to dissemble in favour of power and money and division.

So it's 8am. Here's something we can offer to the doing.

We have a show. It's called BABYLON. And, unfortunately, it's coming true. It's a show about right wing, divisive politics. It's a show about dividing and dissecting communities until they crumble. It's a show about slimy, shiny pricks like Johnson and Farage.

We produced it at the beginning of this year in Australia as a viscous cabaret full of beer and chicken wings and grotesque clowns. But it feels like an articulate and terrifyingly urgent show.

So we can offer that - that script or that show. If you want it, I can send it to you. If you want to do a version of it, a reading of it, a staging of it, a whatever-of-it then you can. If you want us to do it, then we'll damn well try. Just email me.

Now, an hour after waking up, that's what we can offer. Because I feel like we have to DO something or OFFER something. And we are a bunch of artists. So we can offer loud and angry and colourful art.

If you want to chat then drop me a line.

'BABYLON is like Boris Johnson or Donald Trump taking over and running your country like a fascist cabaret'
- Adelaide Advertiser

Monday 18 April 2016

THE TEMPEST / A Community Production / Auditions & Workshops

Performed 15th - 19th June / Rehearsal across May & June

We're pretty darn excited about this - our very first community show, Flanagan Collective style...

In September 2014 we moved home, out of our beautiful village of Coxwold where we held The Little Festival Of Everything, and in to a very beautiful converted 17th Century Watermill just down the road in Stillington, North Yorkshire. 

We moved here to make a number of things possible - to have more artists to come and stay with us, to have space to rehearse shows and, ultimately, to present work here too. So here's the first show we are making around the grounds of our beautiful Mill. 

THE TEMPEST will be a promenade production around ponds, trees and grassy knolls - full of live music, more than a little anarchy, and the odd moment of beauty. The show will be performed by three professional actors alongside a cast of community performers and musicians. And we want you to come and be a part of it. 

So, whether you're a dab hand at Shakespeare, or have never seen a show in your life, we'd love to meet you. We're after community actors, musicians, crew and any good souls who want to lend a helping hand in front of, or behind, the scenes. 

If you want to come and meet us, here's how. 

We are holding two open workshops -

MONDAY 2ND MAY / 6:30pm (2hrs) / Stillington Village Hall
TUESDAY 3RD MAY / 6:30pm (2hrs) / Stillington Village Hall

If you want to be in the cast and company, we'd love to see you here. This will be a group workshop where we'll play some games and talk a little more about the production and you can tell us how you'd like to be involved. You only need to come to one of these workshops. This is a great time to say hello too, if you'd like to be involved off stage too. 

If you'd like to auditions for a particular part in the cast, and would like a speaking role, then we'd love you to come and read too. We'll be doing this in small groups for a half hour session or so. Do get in touch if you'd like to audition and we'll find a good time for you to come - we'd love to meet you at one of the workshops as well. 

SAT 7TH MAY / Slots between 10am-5pm / Crayke Sports Hall
SUN 8TH MAY / Slots between 12pm-7pm / Stillington Village Hall

We can also offer a role as assistant director and assistant designer. If you think this could be something you're interested in, then get in touch and head down to one of the workshops. 

You can sign up for a workshop and / or an audition, and find out more about all these things by emailing Alex on

This is a community production, so all these roles are voluntary but, we hope, very valuable. 

We look forward to hearing from you and meeting you soon. 

The Flanagans


The Flanagan Collective are associate company at York Theatre Royal. Their previous productions include Beulah, BABYLON, Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis and Fable. Their work tours nationally and internationally. They have just returned home to North Yorkshire following an award winning season in Adelaide.

The Tempest is directed by artistic director Alexander Wright. Alex's previous work includes The Great Gatsby at The Fleeting Arms, Romeo & Juliet for York International Shakespeare Festival with an international transfer, and as associate director on York Mystery Plays 2012 with York Theatre Royal, York Museums Trust and Riding Lights Theatre. 

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Adelaide Fringe - A Cheap Australian Holiday

Since 2011 we have been making work in rural North Yorkshire in the UK, before that we were making other work with other folks. With each show we've made we have tried to try harder, to push our ideas further and to create work which simultaneously resonates with our local, regional and national communities - be they geographical or interest based.

We hope, as I'm sure all artists and makers do, that each show we create abstracts something of our world view, prompts a discussion on the here and now and asks things that we don't always think about in our day to day lives. Like hundreds of other independent theatre companies we work hard and keep trying to work harder. We aren't regularly funded and make most work by trying to be as innovative with our business models as we are with our theatre.

And the hard work is starting to get us somewhere. We regularly tour and run work across the UK. In October - with the help of so many wonderful people - we were able to take our show FABLE off-Broadway, to run our show and learn more about the New York arts industry. And right now I am sat typing in The Queens Theatre in Adelaide, where we are running three shows for 5 weeks as part of curated programme at the Adelaide Fringe Festival - the second biggest arts festival in the world.

The original BABYLON company in  2013
FABLE has been created over the last year or so. A show about how two people, from very different places, profoundly change each others lives. It was written after a chance encounter with a man called Blair in a pub in the Scottish Highlands. BABYLON started life in 2014 as a show to tour pubs and bars, a response to the growing right wing politics in the UK, and has since toured and played festivals. Now, though, it is a vicious cabaret - as the politics has got harder, so has the show. SHERLOCK is a show we made a few summers ago, playing in York and then touring. It's a new mystery woven from Conan Doyle's much loved stories - a show about the power in humility and the need to find answers ourselves rather than rely on the powers of others.  
So three shows which have been created over a number of years and in a few incarnations. We've picked them up, remade them, and flown them over 10,000 miles to Adelaide. Alex, Brian, Joe, Holly, Dom and Wilf; co-producing with Greenwich Theatre in London; presented by Joanne Hartstone in Adelaide. Years of work, months of planning and many many many thousands of pounds.

And more than that, actually, years and years of developing, playing, learning, thinking, making mistakes, making discoveries, meeting people, losing, winning, brain power, body power, being inspired and being down beat and getting more and more innovate as making independent art gets more and more difficult, making news shows, making other shows, returning to old ideas, developing and pushing. All of that, though, goes without saying.

So - a 1* review for BABYLON. This version of BABYLON is bonkers and political and loud and angry and 100% will not be everyone's cup of tea. But here is the first paragraph of our 1* review.

'I’ll preface this review by stating that I don’t think highly of audience participation shows. I think it’s tacky to ask people to pay for a ticket and then expect them to provide a great deal of the entertainment. I’m also tired of Brits who use our Fringe as an opportunity for a cheap holiday in the sun and expect to palm off second-rate entertainment. Now I’ve got that off my chest I’ll get down to business.'

Now, I object to that. It's belittling. Also we don't preface our shows with how hard it was to make, or how expensive it is, or that it costs over £20,000 / $40,000 to run this project. We just do the show we've made. Because that's our job. Our full time, professional job. A huge part of that job is to actively engage an audience - any good piece of art asks an audience to be a part of that, whether actively or passively. For us, actively asking an audience to be part of an experience is hugely important - not because we can't be bothered to do the bits we ask of the audience, but because art is about people, not just about the 4 of us saying the lines. Every piece of art should be about people and have people at the very centre. In our case, that centre is being part of the experience. Deliberately. 

Also it's Xenophobic.

I also object to this line.

'We were greeted at the entrance to the Red Queen by a man in a frockcoat, vest and Y-fronts. Yes, alarm bells rang. His cohorts were also wearing Y-fronts, even the girl, except for the man who had enough decorum to be sporting a full set of long johns.'

Because it's sexist.

Even The Girl. A Man. And even The Girl. Imagine - a girl in Y-Fronts. Not even a fully grown 27 year old woman who's a professional actor. Nope, The Girl. In Y-Fronts. In 2016. Whatever next? You never know, maybe next we might all start seeing gender as a spectrum and work on normalising our outmoded patriarchal binary opinions of Girls and Men.

The Girl?

A Man is Dominic Allen and The Girl is Holly Beasley-Garrigan. Dom plays Johnstone and Holly plays Jonson (soft J). Their names and characters are on the press release.

At least he liked Wilf's long johns.

The rest of the review I don't mind. They didn't like the show and that is okay. We got a glorious 5* review on the same day and we'd far rather divide opinion that be beige. The 5* review is nice - not just because it's 5* but because it actively draws a social and political parallel with the very recent cabinet shuffle in the Australian Government. We couldn't have planned for that. But that's one of the best things about art.

Joe and I (Alex) on the beach.
But we have spent years getting to this point. A point where we can create 3 shows in the UK to transfer to the other side of the world. That is no small undertaking as every international company will tell you at this festival. It's expensive and tiring and busy - but is exhilarating and gorgeous and welcoming and fulfilling. And, yes, on our day off we did go to the beach.

I would hate to think that anyone who reads Tony Busch's reviews will carry his prejudices - either about us Brits or about interactive theatre. We come here because Adelaide Fringe is a damn good festival and because it helps us make more work in the Southern Hemisphere. That's hard to do if we never leave North Yorkshire. We work damn hard. It's hot in Adelaide and it's winter in the UK. But I don't think us Brits should be blamed for the world's various climates and Adelaide's proximity to the sea.

If you would like to come see what we're up to have a look here - we'll hold our hands up to all and any debate, we ain't squeamish - and drop us a line, good or bad, on @FlanCol. And if you want to come to the beach with us on Monday, we'll be trying to play volleyball and getting sun burnt. We'll even have a beer with Tony Busch if he wants one.

Support the Adelaide Fringe, make friends, swim in the sea, imagine and create - because life is too short not to. Keep on rocking in the free world.

Thursday 7 January 2016

The Fleeting Arms - Over and Out

Do not underestimate the last nine months. 

Don't forget every good time had and hearty song sung. Don't drop the conversations you started. 

Bricks and mortar are just that - materials we build with. But a building is hollow without the life and soul which people bring. Every person who has set foot in The Fleeting Arms since the beginning of March is part of that life and soul. 

Sure - our doors are closed now. We're busy mopping and cleaning and clearing. Sure - that's a pretty hard job to do. But it doesn't undo anything. Because the superb community and the superb work which has happened in these rooms is purely made up of people. 

Space is hugely valuable, but only because it gives somewhere for us to gather - somewhere for us to make.

Do not tell yourself that it was lucky or that it was the right time and the right place - because people make luck and people invented times and places. So it's made by all of us. And, if ever anyone wants it to happen again, then we can make that happen. 

So, at some moment in the next few weeks, if you have set foot and shared The Fleeting Arms with us, then raise yourselves a little glass. A toast. 

Here to an amazing time. 

But here's to more amazing times to come. 

A very happy 2016 to all of you. You will smash it.