ANIMO has always been of great importance to the company; this work is at the heart of the Improbable philosophy.
Newspapers become swans, bristle bare brushes become creatures from the swamp and actors are constructed before your very eyes. A fascinating and hugely entertaining insight into a theatre process that engages the imagination of the audience like no other. Drama, comedy, pathos, music, singing, dancing, mask making, puppetry, spectacle; anything can happen in ANIMO and anyone might appear, but whatever else it is, ANIMO is a space to experience improvisation as alchemy; transforming the everyday into the sublime.
Instead of a script or a set, ANIMO has a range of everyday materials and found objects. From these, the company construct an hour of improvised theatre. There is no pre-set structure to the show, not even an intention to create a structure. Each ANIMO invents itself as it goes along. Phelim McDermott, Lee Simpson, Julian Crouch and guest improvisers use improvisation and their animation skills to generate a completely different type of ‘chaos magic’ for every performance.
Julian Crouch, Phelim McDermott, Lee Simpson and guest improvisers
Julian Crouch, Phelim McDermott and Lee Simpson
Photographs on website for ANIMO by:
Keith Pattison, 2004; Illustrations by Julian Crouch 2004
ANIMO was first performed at BAC, London in 1996. It has been performed nationally at Phoenix Arts, Leicester; Canary Wharf, London; Everyman, Liverpool; Sallis Benny Theatre, Brighton (as part of Visions 96); The Green Room, Manchester; Tron, Glasgow; West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds and The Little Angel Theatre, London. Internationally at Euro-Scene Leipzig; Festival Images, Neerpelt and Instant Cafe, Kuala Lumpur.
Following our recent run at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, we are keen to continue to revive Animo under the umbrella of The Animo International Project, working with local puppeteers and animators both in a workshop and performance context.
This would involve the core company working for a week with local puppeteers and animators through a series of workshop processes and resulting in the company and the new collaborators presenting the work to an audience. The collaboration with Improbable and indigenous artists is planned to offer a sharing of skills and practices, producing a unique piece of work every time it is performed.