Tag Archives: theatre

David Leddy writing workshops in India

Being a writer is wonderful in many ways and frustrating in many ways. Words are very literal things. As Bjork says “words are useless, especially sentences.”  You can stretch language and manipulate it, that’s what I love to do. But it falls off a cliff pretty quick. The more obtuse your writing becomes the more it turns into linguistic soup. I often feel rather envious of visual artists for the freedom and ambiguity that the non-textual affords. It’s so much easier to be elliptical, indirect, atmospheric.

In November 2016 I came to Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Kolkata to lead workshops for writers and to have a series of meetings with artists who I might collaborate with in the future. The British Council asked me to write a blogpost about it.

So, bearing in mind what I’ve described above, I decided that I would give you a visual essay, a series of atmospheres that sums up my trip in an indirect way. I hope you enjoy it.

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

 

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

© David Leddy

Welcome home biscuits © David Leddy

 

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Sir Ian McKellen casts magic spell on Mumbai: launches Shakespeare on Film collection

Ian Mckellen addresses school children at the BD Somani school, Mumbai

Ian Mckellen addresses children at BD Somani school, Mumbai

The actor was in Mumbai between 23- 26 May, as a guest of the British Council and the British Film Institute, to launch the Shakespeare on Film Collection at the NCPA in Mumbai

Calm and collected. Sir Ian McKellen’s on-screen persona matches his real-life self. ‘Gandalf’ aka McKellen kicked-off his Shakespeare tour of India in the balmy weather of Mumbai, with an hour-long Twitter chat with fans from across the globe, on 22 May.

Having arrived the night before on a long-haul flight from London, McKellen was gracious enough to entertain questions from fans across the globe who enquired about his eating preferences to his favourite Shakespeare roles on-screen. Check out updates from the tweet chat here.

Having discovered Shakespeare “at the age of 9″, McKellen is known for his acting on stage in plays such as Macbeth, Henry IV; King Lear and Richard III. The next day, 23 May, he spent an entertaining evening, in-conversation with actor Aamir Khan at the NCPA, Mumbai.

With a full house, the nearly 1,000 audience members listened intently as both veterans discussed Shakespeare and acting influences.

It’s no surprise that McKellen is a master of the stage and that fact was exemplified when he delivered an impromptu performance of the Elizabethan play, Sir Thomas More, to a chorus of applause.

Ian McKellen with Robin Baker at the NCPA Mumbai talking about 'Richard III'

Ian McKellen with Robin Baker at the NCPA Mumbai talking about ‘Richard III’

The next day, McKellen screened his BFI classic RichardIII to a small gathering of Shakespeare fans from Mumbai.

The 108-minute screening was followed by a lively discussion on the influences behind the movie, between him and Robin Baker of the BFI!

 

 

Not just Shakespeare, McKellen is known for being a global LGBT rights celebrity having been vocal about his opinions from an early stage.

Ian at Kashish Opening Ceremony

Ian at Kashish Opening Ceremony

He was also the guest of honour at the Kashish MIQF festival on 25 May, where he also celebrated his 77th birthday with a cake-cutting ceremony. On the final day of his visit, Ian had a school engagement where he addressed children from the BD Somani school, who also staged a version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. 

 

 

 

 

Further Reading: 

Alan Gemmell talks about Ian McKellen visit, Shakespeare and the Digital Open Call  

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London Experience

About YCE

The British Council has been pioneering to build a strong community and professional network of creative businesses, through the reward programme Young Creative Entrepreneur Awards. The awards help nurture enterprise across seven categories – design, music, fashion, screen (film, TV and animation), interactive (software, entertainment, games and social media platforms), performing arts (theatre, dance and “live” art) and publishing. It aims to inspire and facilitate the sharing of best practices in building skills and access to resources, professional development, markets, mentoring and resources to increase business opportunities between India, UK and internationally.

YCE  2011 -Designs

YCE 2011 award was very special because unlike other awards it did not end on stage with trophy, but it actually started on the stage. YCE opened a new stage for us and offered an amazing journey , which even if you pay millions you would not get. As a part of YCE winner, British council planned a visit to UK for almost ten days, with events packaged for us with interaction, exposure, fun and learning. I was looking forward to meet other 23 winners from over 19 countries, truely once in a lifetime opportunity.

London

  

London is awesome for many things but I specially like  sweet smell in the air and seasonal day ( there are seasons in a year, but in London you might get all of them in a day ! ). It is fun to walk all around in London, and  nothing like exploring the city on bicycle, thanks  to awesome support system created for hiring , returning bicycling ..

Truly International

23 winners from 19 countries, I couldn’t even imagine what it will be like to meet and spend time with such a diversed  set of talented people. In my wildest dream I wouldn’t have imagined that I would know so much about design and life in Estonia, Poland, Syria Turkey, Vietnam , Mexico and more.  Each one of us had a very unique style of work and cultural values, but there was one thing in common; entrepreneurial energy. Everyone was on the same path of exploring their dream but on different stages of evolution and experiences. It was nice to see how each one has his/her own way to manage their own context and create magic  with their work. Thanks to British Council for putting all of together, it was decade worth experience condensed in a week.

London Design Festival

London Design Festival and London Fashion Week happens  at same time of the year, and i guess , it is not a coincidence, it is planned to pack as many design activities to promote London as creative hub of the world. Other interesting fact, all these events are privately run organizations. In context to Indian scenario, whole lot of us were hoping that Indian Design council, NID, or CII will run such activities, but I am convinced that it is not sustainable. We also need entrepreneurs initiating such activities here, and I think IDC, CII or Govt will happily support.

100% Design

100 % Design is been great platform for designers to showcase their talent in home products, furnishings, and lighting. Visitor ranging from buyers, stores, distributors, and general people make the show very special. it has become launch pad for many upcoming designers to show case their talent.

100%  Design is very keen to have India pavilion in 2012 show and we have initiated the discussion amongst IDC and NID to explore this further. I will be personally pleased if we could take part in next edition of 100% Design and share new and notable with rest of the world.

 

Investing in Indian Creative Industry

One of the key program of YCE award was to connect all designers to investors and see how design could play larger role in creative industry economy. There is great deal of interest from investors in Indian creative industry , especially in Design. This was the really the key outcome of  YCE award, and this program includes mentorship to the Indian design firms to make them investor friendly and bring investment and partnerships which will impact the overall economic contribution in big way. It will also open up opportunities for many international collaborations with Indian design firms.

I would like to thank British council for creating such wonderful launch pad for all of us, especially  BC teams from India and London for making our experience  memorable and enriching . Beyond all the business rewards from the program, there is one more thing I value the most; friendships with  people from so many countries, truly a treasure.

Post by – © Abhijit Bansod
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