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Welcome to Sara Clifford’s homepage, Spring 2017

Sara is a playwright with over  thirty plays to her name, including work for the Soho Theatre, York Theatre Royal and Nottingham Playhouse. Her play, A Thousand Days, was a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, for women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.

In 2017, she will be travelling to New Zealand with funding from the Artists’ International Development Fund.

 

SPRING 2017

FAMILY OFFICES 

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A new play about the Super-Rich – and why we let them get away with it…

Sara has received R and D funding from Arts Council England to research and write the first draft of this new play.

Working with Terry O’Donovan as director and  financial journalist Cassie Weber as consultant, we are aiming to produce this in 2018.

 

THE TRIBUNAL 

Photo of Lennard Sillevis by Ray Gibson

1916

At a time of war and political uncertainty, Conscientious Objectors were alternately praised and vilified. When Catherine Marshall goes to visit her fellow activist – and lover – Clifford Allen at Newhaven Fort, he is insisting on refusing to fight, which could send him back to gaol and to an early grave.Can she save him while still holding on to their ideals? In a play full of modern resonances, the story asks what is worth fighting to the death?

Performed by Anna Darvas and Leonard Sillevis, directed by Nicola Blackwell

Produced by Veronica Stephens and Sara Clifford for InSite

Performed at Sussex venues including  Charleston Farmhouse, the Marlborough Theatre and Newhaven Fort.

 

Fringe Review by Strat Mastoris

 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 

Hugely impressed, and very moved, by ‘The Tribunal’.

An intensely human perspective on political and social issues….‘The Tribunal’ skilfully combines the domestic political situation of the First World War with the (timeless) moral dilemmas of following one’s pacifist conscience… the intensity of Sara Clifford’s writing, and the talents of her actors, mean that my memory, as I write this, is of actually being in that cell in Newhaven Fort.

Read the full review here:

Fringereview.co.uk/ review/fringereview-uk/2016/the-tribunal

Audience members:

  • Harrowing, inspiring, fascinating – fantastic to have such a brilliant portrayal of conscientious protestors in Newhaven. More theatre please!
  • Powerful, complex, moving – an extraordinary piece of work

 

SPRING 2016 

TWELVE ANGRY WOMEN 

WEBSITE

From an original idea by Sara Clifford

With Research and Development funding from ACE England, plus partnership support from New Writing South and Brighton Dome and Festival and crowdfunding via a Kicksstarter campaign,  12 women, including Sara,  were commissioned by Inroads to write short pieces about what makes them angry.

A sold out script in hand showcase performance was presented at the Brighton Dome Studio on March 4th 2016,  which will lead on to a national tour in 2017 – watch this space…

 

Fringe Review by Tanushka Gill

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Despite the short length of these excerpts it was the details which made some of these pieces memorable. Sara Clifford’s Cream Cakes monologue of an elderly woman performed with touching authenticity by Jean Trend started with a Sainsbury’s strong bag being placed next to her. “ You have to bring your own bag now or they charge you”. Charting changing times over her life from the discovery of spaghetti to squid in it’s own ink at the Deli counter and ending with the ‘pop pop popping of the old gas fire.’ These beautiful poetic details touch us in a place of recognition and draw us into the heart of the writer’s world…

..It was great to see a full house at Brighton’s Dome Studio for a rehearsed reading. On each chair was paper asking each audience member what makes us angry. I’m angry there isn’t more new work and theatre in Brighton when clearly there is such a hunger for it!

 

I SEE THE HORIZON

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Photo by Ray Gibson

Sara received ACE England Research and Development funding to further work on the script, using aerial work and non-theatre spaces. Directed by Kirstie Davies,  the R and D is supported by St Mary’s in the Castle, Hastings; The Winter Garden, Eastbourne; and Herstmonceux Science Centre.

Sara and Kirstie talked about the piece, together with an extract, at a Lates event at the Science Museum in January 2016.

The play will tour in 2017/18

 

TALKING POSTS

SHARED SPACE AND LIGHT, September 2015, The Old Market, Hove 

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Two bespoke storytelling lampposts installed outside The Old Market theatre in Hove, Brighton for 6 nights as part of the 2015 Brighton Digital Festival.

14 documented paranormal tales of Brighton, gathered from over 400 years of history were adapted by screenwriter Sara Clifford to bring the eerie stories to life. Each story was performed by a different person from The Old Market’s network of performers and actors

Commissioned by The Old Market, Hove and supported by Arts Council England

Watch here:

http://www.sharedspaceandlight.com/projects/talking-posts

 

REVIEWS:

These classic tales have been reworked into first-person narratives by playwright Sara Clifford, who has done an excellent job, giving enough shared style to offer cohesion to the whole piece, whilst yet allowing for individual narrative voices to shine through.

Talking Posts is a success – a very lovely concept, well realised. A shivery, shadowy experience perfect for melancholic autumn evenings.

TOTAL THEATRE

 

 

VACANT POSSESSION

JULY 24TH AND 25TH, BROOKSIDE HOUSE, LEWES

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A site specific performance 

By Sara Clifford and Clare Best

Directed by Nicola Blackwell

REVIEWS:

OUTSTANDING SHOW

Breathtaking.. The writing, both Clifford’s and Best’s, the acting and the staging all worked together to make this a truly outstanding production.

See more at: http://fringereview.co.uk/…/fringer…/2015/vacant-possession

FRINGE REVIEW

 

A beautiful and inspiring perfornance… mysterious and magical… so much love, beauty and resilience

Almost unbearably moving at times..I can’t remember when I’ve felt either so moved, or so stimulated by a piece of drama.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS

 

HOME FIRES

MARCH 18TH – 21ST 2015  AT NEWHAVEN FORT

the unknown soldier

Photo by Ray Gibson

Inspired by local people’s family stories of the Great War, this new site-responsive promenade play drew  on text, sound and visual projections to create a haunting story of love and loss.

Directed by Terry O’Donovan, designed by Gem Greaves and produced by Veronica Stephens for Zap Art and Sara for Inroads Productions.

Video installations by Shared Space and Light, sound installations by Thor McBurnie, music by Pat Power.

Choreography by Margret Banks (Studio Tempo) and Matthew Blacklock ( Ragroof Players)

REVIEWS:

Memorable, sad and impressive.

ROBIN MORLEY, CHAIR OF INTERNATIONAL STREET ARTS NETWORK

A big, rich evening 

TOTAL THEATRE

I thought this was an excellent production, extremely well judged in its use of a variety of media and locations. It presented an emotional and focussed central narrative around clearly identified characters whilst also exploiting the scale of the location, through a highly disciplined chorus and simple but effective design. It also included some wonderfully evocative installations and projections which all added hugely to the narrative core and the wider picture of the War and its impact. Every scene or image was well placed, the promenade audience was moved firmly but sympathetically around the site and our focus was guided often quite subtly towards images or locations. Many congratulations to the whole creative team, actors and chorus.

JON LINSTRUM, ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND

Sara Clifford’s script delicately explores the mixed emotions on the home front through a local family, soldiers stationed in Seaford, and Newhaven’s telegram girl, Grace Crismas.

THE ARGUS

 

What a fantastic performance. A wonderful site-specific play about the 1st World War at Newhaven Fort. I loved the variety, great acting, dancing, choir, war heroes, loss, sound effects, installations, lighting, intimate conversations – thought provoking. To walk round the different spaces at night, added to the mystery and loss The first time I’ve been to Newhaven Fort and a play like this. The best I’ve seen!  

AUDIENCE MEMBER

See also Inroads website: www.inroads.org. uk

 

WRITER IN RESIDENCE, UNIVERSITY OF BRIGHTON, 2014-15

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Sara was one of the two Writers in Residence 2014/15  at Brighton University, with poet Clare Best.

Over the course of the year, they hosted salons and events, exploring key issues in creative writing, including collaboration, community and site responsive work.

 

 

OUR DANCING FEET

BRIGHTON OCEANA NIGHTCLUB, AND EASTBOURNE WINTER GARDEN, 2013 AND 2014

Girls dancing Oceana

Photo by Ray Gibson

In 2013/14,   Sara  wrote  and conceived Our Dancing Feet, a large scale site specific theatre/dance  piece about the Regent Dancehell in Brighton and the Winter Garden in Eastbourne, co-produced with Zap Art,  directed by Terry O’Donovan, designed by Lucy Bradridge.

Great art, and I think that this production is great art, is often able to tell a big story by closely examining something small. Sara Clifford has produced a poignant evocation of a dance hall of sixty years ago, but she’s also given us a sense of the enormous social changes that have taken place in Britain since that time.

It had the quality of a vision, shimmering just out of reach. 

Strat Matoris, Fringe Review  ( 5 stars)

The mystery, the magic, the expectation, the surprises, the costumes, the ‘period’ feel, the characterization, the pathos, the memories ( mine!) and the wonderful, wonderful dancing! I feel totally invigorated!

Wonderful combination of  real experience, entertainment, beautiful dancing, all ages and exuberance! 

Audience members

A national tour is planned for next year – watch this space!

 

NON!

TEATRO OROLOGIO, ROME, MARCH 2013

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Sara, together with French writer/musician, Denis Baronnet, wrote this bib-lingual play with live music, which premiered in Rome in 2013, produced by Afrodita Theatre Company.

 

 

THE PORT, THE BEAST AND THE TRAVELLER 

NEWHAVEN FORT, SEPTEMBER 2012

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In 2012,  Sara wrote and conceived a site specific play for Newhaven, The Port, The Beast and The Traveller, directed by Clare Raftery, produced by Veronica Stephens for Zap Art and Sara for Inroads.

A fantastic and unique production in an atmospheric setting  ( audience member)

 

As Director of her company, Inroads Productions (www.inroads.org.uk), Sara creates projects with and for community audiences and  also works as a writer and drama practitioner in educational, health and criminal justice settings, including work for the National Theatre and Nottingham Playhouse, and as an Education Associate for the Donmar Warehouse Theatre;  three residencies for St Christopher’s Hospice and projects for Clean Break Theatre Company and Magic Me.

For more information see the EDUCATION and HEALTH pages.

 

She also trains artists to work in the third sector, and, most recently, co-led an international workshop and guide for artists working in primary schools across Europe for the Artists in Creative Education guide, launched at a conference in Brussels in October 2011.  Her company, Inroads, managed and delivered the CPD for creative practitioners for Creative Partnerships in Sussex and Surrey for five years.

For more information see the TRAINING page

 

She is also a visiting lecturer in Applied Theatre, Dramaturgy and Creative Writing  at Central School of Speech and Drama and Goldsmiths College

Sara is also a member of The Fence, an international network of working playwrights, leading to collaborations with writers from the Netherlands, Gaudeloupe, France and Italy. See the-fence.net for more information.