Major Theatre Companies Enlist Help from St Mary’s Drama Technician
Tina Bicat, Senior Design Technician in Drama at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, is working with a number of major theatre companies on a series of exciting projects.
Tina, who has been at St Mary’s for more than 25 years, is working on a project with The Barbican Centre’s creative team to design and implement interactive installation boxes with children’s author Michael Rosen for London primary schools.
The structure and content of the boxes, designed around themes of migration and family, aim to excite a wide written, visual and theatrical artistic response in the children and their teachers, to Rosen’s poetry. As part of the project, Tina has worked closely with former St Mary’s student Tim Bifield, Technical Manager at The Barbican Theatre, where the children’s work will be showcased.
She is also working with Ockham’s Razor, an aerial theatre company who combine circus and visual theatre to create physical theatre on original pieces of aerial equipment using stories about the vulnerability, trust and reliance that exist between people in the air.
She has helped designed show Thunder Road for Red Cape Theatre Company, in association with production company Turtle Key Arts. They will perform the show at The Exchange in Twickenham this weekend and give a series of workshops to St Mary’s Drama students before going on tour, while Tina has also just finished working with Punchdrunk on Small Wonders, which is currently touring.
Both Red Cape Theatre and Ockham’s Razor will be doing performances at the Edinburgh Festival next year and will use the pieces Tina creates with them at that annual arts event and other international Arts festivals.
Drama St Mary’s technical theatre students often work with her on placements on these productions and also, thanks to Turtle Key Arts, with the Amici Dance Theatre Company. This is a unique dance theatre company integrating able-bodied and disabled artists and performers based at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, whose productions and workshops have had a major impact worldwide by challenging conventional attitudes about disability and the arts.
Next year she will design William Shakespeare’s Pericles for The Royal Central School of Speech & Drama and Southwark Cathedral by creating a giant puppet of Gower with St Mary’s MA students.
Tina said, “I enjoy the great variety and possibilities of the theatre world today and find the combination of working with our students, who will create the theatre of the future, and with the current practitioners making theatre now in the professional world continually exciting and inspiring."