Liminal Stage Productions is a West Midlands-based LGBTQ+ disabled female-led company creating innovative content at the intersection of live performance and emerging technologies; colliding different media, genres and forms to question the boundaries of stage, screen and the liminal spaces in between – and to encourage collaboration between the creative industries. This Halloween, Liminal Stage Productions will chill audiences with their fast-paced and haunting Digital R&D Commission GREY MAN: A Stage and Screen Experiment, supported by The Space.
Transposed into digital form from the original “gorgeous, haunting” (The Stage) one-woman stage play written by award-winning Young Vic Channel 4 playwright Lulu Raczka (Nothing, Barrel Organ; Some People Talk About Violence, UK Tour) and directed by 2021 Transform Clore Fellow Robyn Winfield-Smith (Howard Barker Double Bill, Arcola Theatre; WOYZECK, Omnibus Theatre; Lot and His God, Print Room), this hybrid stage and screen production intercuts two parallel versions of the same dark urban horror story, leaving us to decide which character is which and which story is the truth.
GREY MAN: A Stage and Screen Experiment is the wickedly creepy story of two sisters, the older of whom wittily mythologises her own mental illness through a warped web of stories about a ‘grey man’; stalking the streets of the city and turned grey by the gentrification that has ousted him from his home:
You know why he’s grey, don’t you?
You know why he’s grey?
She turned him grey…
First, it’s your breath, then your fingers, your insides. Then you go into lockdown…
Maya’s teenage older sister is always telling stories. Like the one about the woman who turns people grey. Any people. Men, women, young old. When Maya’s sister ups and moves into the cupboard one day, she thinks she knows why. But what if her sister’s stories are concealing more difficult truths?
In this pioneering digital production, two parallel versions of the same character each tell their own story, in a chilling exploration of mental illness and the power of storytelling to haunt us or heal us.
Liminal Stage Productions comprises of queer disabled Artistic Director & Transform Clore Fellow Robyn Winfield-Smith (RWS) and a growing team of freelance Digital Associates including emerging VP producers Miranda Mackay (Sky Arts) and Bea Sutcliffe (StoryFutures Academy), and established transmedia technical artists, immersive game developers and film-makers, Myra Appannah and Simon Wilkinson (BRiGHTBLACK).
Liminal’s ever-growing Company has been recognized and supported by The Royal Shakespeare Company in the early-stage development of their live multicamera VP show, FLEX – a queer love story told through live motion capture, and Creative UK and Creative Futures, who have supported Liminal’s business planning. They have also been selected by StoryFutures Academy, Epic Games and Industrial Light & Magic for an 8-week intensive virtual production training programme and were commissioned by ScreenSkills to deliver 3 digital capture and virtual production training events (including one in partnership with the RSC and one with Target 3D). The Clore Leadership Programme also selected Artistic Director Robyn Winfield-Smith for a year’s leadership development through their Arts Council England-funded ‘Transform’ Fellowship for cultural leaders from backgrounds currently under-represented in the sector.
Director Robyn Winfield-Smith comments, One of the thrills of Lulu’s script is that it holds the door open to so many interpretations, and is so skilful in its positioning of greyness as a metaphor for mental illness, for socio-economic deprivation… It’s an ingenious and bizarrely prescient piece – with all that’s happened in the pandemic – and is the perfect urban horror story for Halloween…
GREY MAN: A Stage and Screen Experiment is available to watch Monday 31st October – Saturday 17th December 2022. More information can be found here.