action hero news

Frontman at Forest Fringe Edinburgh

As part of our Frontman process we’ll be showing some ideas we’re working on at Forest Fringe

Tuesday 17th Aug at 4pm

Its part of the festival of secrets so its not in the programme.

See you there!

and don’t forget you can see us performing ‘A Western’ at Kilkenny Arts Festival wed 11th and thur 12th Aug

and at The Tobacco Factory in Bristol on 18th, 19th + 20th September

upcoming performances

A Western

11th and 12th AugustKilkenny Festival, Kytelers Inn, Ireland at 6:30pm, doors open 6pm

13th, 14th and 15th SeptemberTobacco Factory bar, Bristol

18th, 19th and 20th OctoberOxford Playhouse, Angel and Greyhound pub, St Clements Street 19:30pm

Watch Me Fall

16th NovemberJunction, Cambridge

11th DecemberMade in Britain, St Etienne

Making Frontman
June 2, 2010, 3:24 pm
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images by Finlay of Robertson

We see Frontman as the third piece in a series that started with A Western and continued with Watch Me Fall.

This is not for purposes of creating a ‘package’, but more an attempt to finish something we started. Watch Me Fall when it was finished  felt to us like a development of both the forms and themes we were exploring in A Western but not the final word. With Frontman we want to take these thoughts, ideas and expressions to their inevitable conclusion.

We’re still explorating notions of the ‘spectacular’ or the ‘epic’ and what can be achieved with a raw aesthetic and the collaboration of an audience. The attempt to create something that is emotional, challenging, threatening and beautiful, with cliché, banality and popular culture references. We will continue to borrow our form and content from live events outside of theatre and live art contexts, we will use verbatim text, we will continue to ask the question ‘what are our audience willing to do?’

Our starting points were:

  • Japanese noise bands
  • Frontmen
  • U.S presidents
  • The band ‘Lightning Bolt’ (particularly the track 2 morro morro land)
  • The audience standing in a circle around a solo performer (probably female)

Our current interests are:

  • The effects of volume on an audience
  • Smoke and lights
  • Noise as torture
  • Distortion
  • Iggy Pop

Frontman will premiere in December 2010 at IBT festival in Bristol.

‘A Western’ in Nottingham
May 4, 2010, 11:33 am
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We will be performing ‘A Western’ in Nottingham on the 1st June at 10pm as part of Hatch: Across festival.

It will be at the Malt Cross pub on St James’s street

See you there

Dreaming of Texas
April 20, 2010, 6:59 pm
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The idea of Texas has been firmly etched in James and my memories since 2005 when we began talking and thinking about Westerns. It seemed to occupy a space in both our minds and it seemed so familiar….heat, long shadows, cowboys and fake blood. Despite never having set foot in the US, let alone Texas we made a show about Westerns, or rather, a show about the memory of an imagined Western.

The first word of the piece is “Texas”. Every time we perform the piece it’s in Texas (where else could it be?!), so we wondered what would happen when we did it in Texas for real. In the show Texas has always been a faraway TV screen, in the same way the blood is made from ketchup and the scenes are generic and the guns are just the audience making gun shapes with their hands and shouting ‘peow’.  Now the eruption of the Icelandic volcano has stopped us travelling I can really feel the 3000 miles between us and the real thing (if, in fact, it is real. All my favourite Westerns were filmed in Spain, masquerading as the Wild West).

It seems ironic that we were/are so close to performing in Houston and Austin, but we can’t quite make it over- first our visas didn’t arrive in time, then the Icelandic volcano stopped all air travel in and out of Europe- so Texas is still on the horizon but all we can do it imagine how it is, and we imagine it to be hot, dusty, all the men are cowboys or undertakers or bartenders or law men. We keep drifting into Westerns.

So we’re still here, on the other side of the Atlantic with our suitcases packed, trying to get to the place we’ve been thinking of for so long, waiting. Maybe Texas is destined to be only a memory for us, but I hope not. We want to say “Texas” at the start of the show and mean it for real this time.

mixtape at Bristol Old Vic

We’re doing a VERY short VERY loud performance at the Forest Fringe Microfestival at Bristol Old Vic in May. The festival itself will be brilliant so I recommend you come along and see everything that’s happening anyway but would also be lovely if you found your way to our little showing.

Its part of a project called Mixtape which is done by Unlimited Theatre. They have selected some artists to pick a song they like and set some action to it and one day all the pieces will be performed together and the songs will make a mixtape. Its a very lovely idea and we’ve chosen ‘Bright tomorrow’ by Fuck Buttons as our song. Some of the ideas we’ve been working on may also find their way into our ‘Frontman’ project as well. So do come along and give us your feedback.

The micro-festival is on May 8th and 9th at Bristol Old Vic (its part of Mayfest which is also a brilliant festival well worth coming to experience). We won’t know exactly when our piece will show until nearer the time but as I say, come along to the whole event anyway, pick up a brochure and it will tell you when we’re on.

See you there xx

Tim X Atack on ‘Watch Me Fall’
February 16, 2010, 2:02 pm
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Tim X Atack wrote this nice piece about ‘Watch Me Fall’ at the Inbetween Time Launch in Bristol on the 5th Feb 2010.

Nobody touch him

Action Hero show Watch Me Fall, their brilliant paean to daredevil stunts. Whacked out on testosterone and diet coke, they chop up dialogue from mediocre b-movies about Evil Knievel and make poetry of the battered non-sequiturs he would mumble into the stadium microphone after a bad fall. They shout at the audience for doubting their integrity. They play loud music and slap each other about, Gemma Paintin kicking her cohort James Stenhouse in the head repeatedly. They set fire to stuff. It’s one great big over-hyped jumped-up lead-up to a spectacularly understated stunt, the principle components of which are a pushbike and a fountain of bubbling soft drink. It’s a portrait of a man’s world, where women are objects, and men are objects on bikes. It’s a cavalcade of stereotypes paraded up and down a strip that runs the length of the room, with the audience either side, snapping away on disposable cameras, becoming stereotypes themselves, whooping and clapping like seals. “MY NAME IS DICK CHENEY” shouts Stenhouse, “AND I WILL WALK THAT TIGHTROPE, ON THE MOON, IN A SACK, ON FIRE.” As the ‘Maiden Of The Mist’, Paintin lies on her back and is doused in a whole bottle of sugary carbonated gloop (which is horrible, on all sorts of levels.) “Why don’t they do that to the man?” asks someone next to me. And I think: because that would be part of a different show.