Tune in to The Space podcasts

February 2, 2021

Ever wondered how a Space commission works? Want to find out more about how organisations produce their projects and what lessons are learnt along the way?

If you’ve ever wondered how the organisations that The Space works with produce their projects, develop their digital skills, build audiences and establish distribution partnerships, this new audio series is for you.

The Space podcasts feature the organisation’s Creative Director, Fiona Morris and audio producer Clare Freeman in conversation with a range of innovative UK artists.

The 6-episode series, features

  • Choreographer Corey Baker
  • Musician Soumik Datta
  • Disability Arts Consultant and Artistic Director of Extant Maria Oshodi
  • Hospital Rooms Curator Niamh White
  • Theatre Uncut Director Emma Callander
  • Breach Theatre Writer and Director Billy Barrett

In each podcast, they discuss the creative process, share insights into developing work digitally, finding an audience and, importantly, outline lessons learnt throughout the process. Topics are broad and range from the role of the commissioner within the arts and cultural sector to developing online distribution partnerships. Designed to inform and inspire those working in the creative sector, the series shines a light on the work being created by some of the UK’s brightest creative talent.

Put your headphones on and join host Clare Freeman and Space Creative Director, Fiona Morris in conversation with creatives, artists and producers from across the sector.

Follow us on Spotify or subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

Music: Jangal & Plantations – written & performed by Soumik Datta/published by Bucks Music Group Ltd

Episode One

Corey Baker, photo credit Dani Bower

Choreographer Corey Baker: Swan Lake Bath Ballet

Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous swan theme, 27 elite ballet dancers from renowned companies across the world performed a modern-day Swan Lake from their own home filled baths. The man behind the magic of this online video, Corey Baker, is a classical and contemporary choreographer, and former dancer from New Zealand. In our first episode of The Space Arts podcast, Corey explains to Fiona and Clare how an idea he had in the shower went on to be commissioned as part of BBC Art’s 2020 Culture in Quarantine project and watched by millionsall over the world.

Resources referenced during this podcast:

34 mins listen


Episode Two

Billy Barrett, Breach Theatre

Writer Billy Barrett: It’s True, It’s True, It’s True!

When the Pope’s favourite artist was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl, the ensuing seven month case was widely publicised. Award-winning theatre show ‘It’s True, It’s True, It’s True’ interweaves jaw-dropping court transcripts with history, myth, contemporary insight and moments of satire to ask: how much has really changed?

And when it comes to change – that’s a topic that Billy Barrett and his theatre company, Breach, have had to embrace in recent times. Their show was due to return to the Barbican during spring 2020, when a national lockdown threw a spanner in the works.

But ever adaptable and ever ambitious, Billy and his team had already turned their three-woman- theatre-show into a digital film. Instead of taking the show on the road, the play aired on BBC Four, and was hosted on the National Gallery website to help Breach offer a new audience the best seats in the house. Billy explains to Fiona and Clare what challenges the team faced stepping into a digital world and why they discovered partnerships were the key to successful distribution.

Resources referred to during this podcast:

42 min listen


Episode Three

Emma Callander, Theatre Uncut

Artistic Director Emma Callander: Theatre Uncut

Bubble’ is a play set on Facebook, written in texts and emojis. The audience watches the drama unfold as a cast of youngsters who never met the show’s directors act out their responses via social media. Theatre Uncut co-artistic director Emma Callander explains the pros and cons of reaching a younger audience on a digital platform. Plus, wider reflections on what theatre’s role is during a pandemic.

Resources referred to during this podcast:

37 min listen


Episode Four

Niamh White, Hospital Rooms, photo credit Ben McMahon

Curator Niamh White: Hospital Rooms

Once hidden art exhibitions showcased on the walls of hospitals, Hospital Rooms’ digital video series unveils the stories behind the artwork created in some of the UK’s most challenging mental health settings. Curator, Niamh White explains to Fiona and Clare the inspiration behind their film series and workshops, one of which features Turner Prize nominated artist, Mark Titchner. And how a “little digital adventure” they went on with The Space has become the backbone to their business. Niamh admits with a small team of six, Hospital Rooms had to adapt and reinvent themselves to stay afloat during the global crisis.

Watch Hospital Rooms film series and read more here

Links to their Digital Arts School

Resources referred to during this podcast:

32 min listen


Episode Five

Maria Oshodi, Extant Credit: Terry Braun

Disability Arts Consultant Maria Oshodi: Flight Paths

Created by and for a visually impaired audience, Extant’s latest stage adaption highlighted the stories of the blind Japanese female musicians, known as Goze. Through a mix of animation, performance and digital video, the production team brought to life this lesson in cultural history using immersive multimedia and binaural sound.

Providing opportunities and a platform for disabled artists has been a personal and professional quest of Maria Oshodi, also CEO and artistic director of the company, for many years. During her conversation with Fiona and Clare, Maria details the challenges they overcame in creating accessible digital content, and the unexpected freedom that emerged from working off-stage, especially when it came to reaching a wider audience.

Experience Flight Paths for yourself

Resources referenced during this podcast:

24 min listen


Episode Six

Soumik Datta, photo credit Natalja Safronova

Musician Soumik Datta: Sounds of Silence

When the recording studios shut and the music halls closed their curtains in March 2020, Soumik Datta was left twiddling his thumbs wondering…what now? And then an opening appeared as part of the BBC Arts commissioning round for Culture In Quarantine.

Soumik’s series ‘Sounds of Silence’ was one of just 25 ideas given the green light, as a five-part story exploring the impact of lockdown on musicians across the UK.

Sharing the lessons learnt during his first exploration into radio and podcasting, sarod player Soumik details how The Space offers artists more than just financial backing. His project was supported by Clare and BBC Radio 3 in its shaping and distribution.

Resources referenced during this podcast:

31 min listen