Bunny in association with Ellie Keel Productions and Traverse Theatre present
STILL NO IDEA
written by Lisa Hammond, Lee Simpson and Rachael Spence
originally co-produced by Improbable and Royal Court Theatre
Director Lee Simpson; Designer Ben Stones; Lighting Designer Colin Grenfell; Stage Manager Mishi Bekesi
Bunny in association with Traverse Theatre today announces a UK tour of Still No Idea, following an acclaimed run at Royal Court Theatre in 2018 – Lee Simpson directs Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence. The production opens at The Bunker London on 1 August, and then tours to Unity Theatre Liverpool, SICK! Festival The Lowry, Farnham Maltings, Norden Farm Centre for the Arts Maidenhead, Stantonbury Theatre Milton Keynes, The North Wall Oxford, New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, South Street Reading, The Quarterhouse Folkestone, Tobacco Factory Bristol, Marlowe Theatre Canterbury, and Traverse Theatre, before completing its run at South Bank Centre on 12 November.
Lisa and Rachael want to make a show, but there’s a problem: they don’t have any ideas.
So who do they turn to? The Great British Public of course!
They make a pact. They’ll go onto the streets, interview people, and whatever story the public come up with – that will be the show. No backing out, no changing what they don’t like. Deal.
Still No Idea is Lisa and Rachael’s quest: a mischievous look at two friends searching for drama, action, and a story to tell. Part-verbatim theatre, part-confession, part-comedy sketch show with a bit of singing and dancing thrown in. Turns out getting the public to write your story is quite an adventure.
The Bunker, London
1 – 2 August
Box Office: 0207 234 0486
Unity Theatre, Liverpool
13 – 14 September
Box Office: 0151 709 4988
SICK! Festival, The Lowry
20 – 21 September
Box Office: 0161 696 6410
Box Office: 0125 274 5444
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead
Box Office: 0162 878 8997
Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes
Box Office: 0190 828 0800
The North Wall, Oxford
4 – 5 October
Box Office: 0186 531 9450
New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth
Box Office: 0239 264 9000
South Street, Reading
Box Office: 0118 960 6060
The Quarterhouse, Folkestone
Box Office: 0130 376 0740
Tobacco Factory, Bristol
24 – 26 October
Box Office: 0117 902 0344
Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury
29 – 30 October
Box Office: 0122 778 7787
4 – 7 November
Box Office: 0131 228 1404
South Bank Centre
11 -12 November
Box Office: 0203 879 9555
Is Bunny a theatrical or comedy company – and how would you define the difference, if at all?
We would say we are a ‘making company’. So what that means is, it’s kind of an umbrella for us as 2 actors who work together as writers, performers and theatre makers. Anything from theatre shows, TV shows, community engagement work to blogs. It’s really important for us both to ‘be funny’ ha! so whatever genre we are working in humour is a massive part of our work together, we are committed to using laughter to help us to explode subjects and issues that are important to us as that is our taste.
Asking the British Public anything seems to be a big risk: how did the process go for you?
For us it didn’t feel like a particularly big risk to start off with, Rachael has extensive experience in using interviewing techniques for verbatim theatre plays we thought we would go out and do some interviews to see what other people thought we should do in a show. What we expected to do was “steal” one of those ideas and make a show out of that, what actually happened is that the responses from the public interviews became so fascinating and revealing that we HAD to make THAT the show. It revealed so much about the world and what we as human beings can and CAN’T imagine for others based on what we look like, it was utterly fascinating.
Is there anything that really surprised you during the process – and anything that you have to take a step back from in the show?
We both can’t tell you the nature of the surprising thing’s that happened as that would be giving too much away so you’ll have to come and see the show to find out!
We were quite surprised that people would talk to us for a start! The public were incredibly generous. If it were us being approached by 2 women with a recording device asking us to be interviewed we would both run a mile! Also many many people started out saying “oh well I don’t really have anything to say..” and then they would turn on a sixpence and tell us their whole life story, which was really funny.
We stepped back from nothing of what came out of the interviews with the public, as it was really important to all 3 of us co creators of the show (Rachael Spence, Lee Simpson and Lisa Hammond) that we genuinely followed our noses and let the show become what it wanted to become as that is all of our tastes and also makes for a very real and honest end product/show. We obviously had to make decisions about what content and how much we used as the show would have been about 8 hours long otherwise but all the main themes that came out of the process we included and kept and explore in STILL NO IDEA.
How does this fit with your usual experience of making work?
We are both freelance actors as well as being ‘BUNNY’ and have worked as such for over 40 years between us so obviously have worked in a whole range of other processes and genres. Most of the time as makers in a freelance sense the majority of the time you have to “mould” yourself around other peoples processes and of course the worlds idea of how to do it “right” which can be anything from a bit difficult to nion impossible for us both.
So in coming together to create work we kind of steal all the best bits from all of those people or companies processes. We take what we like and what’s our taste in order to create a process all of our own, working in a way that suits every different project’s needs, as it’s not ‘one size fits all’ with different projects in different genres. It’s always a bit of a mish-mash of everything, which suits us. It is great working like this as we can work in a way that really fits both of our needs which is really helpful and very relieving!
What kind of experience can the audience expect?
We would definitely label it a comedy so expect to have a laugh! a relaxed 80 mins in the company of two best friends in search of a story. No audience participation so you won’t get picked on! Double act banter and sketches, observational comedy, a 80’s dance montage, filthy music hall ‘Chaz & Dave’ style songs, ‘creature comforts’ impressions. Both of us confessing to having ‘loose morals’ and revealing our somewhat perverted behaviour. With a couple of political gut punches thrown in for good measure.
Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence today said “We are both thrilled to announce that we will be taking our theatre show STILL NO IDEA back on the road! We are performing at some amazing theatres across the UK and we are so excited to be sharing our show with those lovely new audiences!”
Lisa Hammond is an actress, writer and theatre maker. Her previous theatre credits include Shoot Me in the Heart, A Little Fantasy, Beauty and the Beast, Too Clever By Half (Told by an Idiot), No Idea, The Hanging Man (Improbable). For television, her credits include EastEnders as series regular Donna Yates, Vera, Patricia, One Night, Psychoville, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, and Where The Heart Is.
Rachael Spence is an actress, writer and theatre maker. Her previous theatre credits include Locker Room Talk (Traverse), Handle With Care (UK tour), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe), Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night (RSC), Wolves in The Walls (National Theatre Scotland) Theatre of Blood, The House of Bernarda Alba (National Theatre), and The Hanging Man (Improbable). For television, her credits include The Lost Honour of Christopher Jeffries, Thirteen, EastEnders and The Best of Men; and for BBC Radio, Homefront, Pilgrim, and Filthy Rich.
Lee Simpson is an actor, comedian, and director. He is co-Artistic Director of Improbable, a member of the Comedy Store Players, and one of Paul Merton’s Impro Chums. As an actor, his television credits include Family Money, Drop The Dead Monkey, Terry and Julian, and Blackeyes. For film, his credits include Paper Mask, Nuns on the Run, and Queen of Hearts.
“We are Bunny. We are Lisa and Rachael. We have been writing, devising and performing together for the last ten years to create work that gets us talking. Bunny is short for ‘rabbit’ cockney rhyming slang for ‘Talk’, ‘Rabbit and Pork’, Talk. Our work is honest, at times brutal and always full of love and laughter.”
Lisa Hammond and Rachael Spence are the artistic partnership Bunny who work across television, theatre and community performance projects. Their joint credits include Still No Idea (with Improbable and Royal Court Theatre); Souled Out (Sam Wanamaker Playhouse); Lowdown (a Channel 4 comedy Blap with Retort); Old Street New Street (with Shoreditch Town Hall and Kunstraum gallery); Wolfgang and The Princess (Barbican Pit labs); Helena and Hermia (RSC studio) and No Idea (with Improbable at The Young Vic). They were both selected for the BAFTA Elevate initiative 2018.
About Ellie Keel Productions
Ellie Keel Productions is an award-winning company producing new theatre shows in London, Edinburgh, and on tour. In 2019, EKP will present a season of four shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Collapsible by Margaret Perry at Assembly, in co-production with HighTide; Where to Belong by Victor Esses at Summerhall; and Son of Dyke by Jordan Waller, and HOTTER by Mary Higgins and Ell Potter, both at Underbelly.
house supports arts venues by improving the range, quality and scale of theatre presented across South East and East England and exists to build the audience for contemporary theatre across the region. house is delivered by Farnham Maltings, and supported by Arts Council England.
Still No Idea
On tour 1 August – 12 November
Running time – 80 minutes (no interval)
Age guidance – 14+
Each performance of Still No Idea will be performed in a relaxed environment, aiming to create a space for everyone, especially people who would benefit from a more informal experience. Some of the things that will be in place include:
A relaxed attitude to noise in the auditorium; you are welcome to respond to the show in whatever way feels natural
You can enter and exit the auditorium when needed
You will be helped in finding the best seats
A Sensory Synopsis and a Story Synopsis has been produced for anyone that may benefit from them.