Vikki Heywood was appointed as Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2003. She is a Governor of the Company and a member of its Board. The company has a turnover of approximately £35 million per year, employs 700 staff and produces around 20 productions a year from its home in Stratford-upon-Avon. The RSC regularly performs in London and Newcastle-upon-Tyne and tours the UK and abroad.
Joey Skaggs is a fine artist and social activist. Although he has painted and sculpted throughout his life, starting with his iconoclastic and controversial performance-art protests in the Sixties, his public work took on a new direction. Skaggs realized he could use art to challenge the system. Appalled at the cultural hypocrisy he saw around him, especially how it was blindly supported in the media, he began to satirize social issues with public performances and elaborately contrived media hoaxes. The mass media in turn became an unwitting collaborator in his concepts, reporting his satire as news. Joey Skaggs quickly acquired an international reputation as a cultural satirist and media critic. His work incorporates guerrilla tactics and traditional public relations techniques to promote his staged performances. Few media outlets over the last four decades have not fallen for one or another of his hoaxes. He has been covered in newspapers, magazines, and on radio and television around the world, in some cases many times as different people.
At the School of Visual Arts Joey Skaggs taught Media Communications including “Culture Jamming and Media Activism,” a course of his creation. He also taught at Parsons The New School for Design. He now lectures internationally on divergent approaches to addressing social issues through art. He’s the creator of the Universal Bullshit Detector Watch and the publisher and editor of “The Art of the Prank” blog. A master storyteller, he inspires in his audiences original and inventive insights while sharing the tools and techniques that foster independent thinking, media literacy, and creative activism. Like the Wizard of Oz, he reveals the man behind the curtain, showing, in a visceral way, the influence mass media has on society. http://joeyskaggs.com, http://artoftheprank.com
In this podcast he talks about some of his work.
Debbie Isitt is a comic writer, film director and performer. She set up world renowned theatre company Snarling Beasties in the 1980’s to great critical acclaim. She then went on to direct 'Confetti' and here she discusses the making of her latest film 'Nativity', an improvised comedy out this Christmas. You can see the trailer for Nativity here
Coventry University's Performing Arts Department has created a number of initiatives in the area of dance and disability. Here's a short film about that work.
Dr James Shippen discusses his work that uses biomechanics and motion capture to help prevent injury in dance.
Horace Panter is a true icon of British music. In the 1970s Horace formed "The Specials" who went on to become one of the biggest bands of the 1980s. This year they are reforming to play a number of big shows, including headlining slots at Glastonbury and V Festival.
In 1972 Horace started studying fine art at Coventry’s Lanchester Polytechnic, now known as Coventry University. In his second year there he met Jerry Dammers and soon they formed The Specials. They started playing in Coventry bars and pubs and by 1980 were arguably the UK’s biggest band.
Here Horace talks to Coventry Conversations about growing up in Coventry, the day after the Specials played their first gig since they reformed.
Paul Gambaccini presents his weekly America’s Greatest Hits show on BBC Radio 2 and contributes to various publications. From March 2008 he took over as chairman of the Radio 4 music quiz called Counterpoint. In August 2008 he returned to Classic FM, to present Paul Gambaccini’s Hall of Heroes’ series.
Be warned, this Coventry Conversation contains some very strong language and unfortunately we have had to edit out some of the music that Paul refers to.
Vikki Heywood is the Executive Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company based in Stratford Upon Avon. She is responsible for 20 productions each year, 700 staff and an annual budget of 30 million pounds. The RSC is also deep into a rebuilding project in Stratford.
In this Coventry Conversation Vikki discusses life at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
This talk is also available to watch on CUTV
Professor Sarah Whatley talks about the many projects and performances she has been involved with throughout her career as a dancer and choreographer.
You can also watch this talk on the Coventry University YouTube Channel
Kate Harwood is much garlanded within the Television industry for her production skills. Her credits include David Copperfield, Beggars Bride, Close Relations and Daniel Deronda. Kate has won two BAFTA awards for dramas from both ends of the social scale: Eastenders from the bottom and Charles II – the pride and the passion from the top.
In this Coventry Conversations Kate talks about making TV drama.