Derby Theatre Studio Blog - I Used to Hear Footsteps

Derby Theatre Studio Blog by Jake Castle

Last Friday, I saw I Used to Hear Footsteps, by Jack A.G. Britton in the Derby Theatre Studio. The production was both written and performed by Mr Britton, a 2015/16 Associate Artist of In Good Company.

The production was about curiosity, and a young man’s attempts to piece together the ghost stories of his childhood home, blurring the lines between autobiographical and fiction. The form of the piece was not traditional, and I loved the way that it was so clearly a performance, yet at times felt like a seminar and at others an informal chat. Willing the audience to want to know more.

It wasn’t until the end that it became evident just how much the ghost story component was merely a narrative device to carry a much deeper thought, the thought of the unknown and that something being missing. For the sake of Mr Britton, I won't ruin the end for his future audience members but it is, without a doubt, a production that leaves you thinking.

With the heart of the narrative based on 2015 research, I did find myself leaving the show wondering if there had been any developments in this story; which Mr Britton addressed during the post-show discussion, which was equally as informative and insightful as the show itself.

As a Theatre Arts student studying at University of Derby, I very much enjoyed the simplicity of set; a chalkboard, chair and OHP projector. Mr Britton cleverly used the chalkboard and projection to explore the three time periods he was investigating, each one a reflection of its time. As an upcoming artist, it’s good to see a simple, affordable set used so effectively, an idea which I could use when I finish Univeristy and begin to make work myself.

Aside from the actual production, for me as an individual it was an intriguing evening. To see Mr Britton - a local artist, in a production created and performed by himself - perform in a local venue, with a fully sold out audience, was to say the least inspiring.

Looking Forward

Following on from Mr Britton’s show, I personally cannot wait until this Friday (Friday 3 February) to see one of this year’s In Good Company Associate Artists - Louise White, in her show Debris. Her show is also autobiographical, and looks at life post-depression, raising awareness and challenging attitudes towards depression and mental health.

I would also suggest booking Focus Group (Saturday 11 February), by Toot. Focus Group is an absurd comedy with a dark heart, exploring the absurdity of modern life and consumer culture with humanity and humour. I personally think this could be an interesting watch! Toot scratched this show at Departure Lounge a few years back, so will be great to see how it has developed.

Want more? See what else is on at Derby Theatre here!