The Creative Hub, The Storey Meeting House Lane Lancaster, LA1 1TH

PRESS RELEASE: Announcing ‘Airlock’

28th May 2020 by Morven Macbeth

PRESS RELEASE                    

For Immediate Release


The Lancaster-based theatre company, imitating the dog, has won a prestigious, national BBC Arts and Arts Council England (ACE) commission.

The company is one of just 25 across England to have been selected to create a new online work as part of the Culture in Quarantine programme which is scheduled to present a diverse range of literary, musical, visual, sonic, and performance arts themed around lockdown.

imitating the dog, who work nationally and internationally but have their headquarters in The Storey in Lancaster, are creating Airlock an ingenious live action graphic novel for their commission. It will be broadcast as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine initiative, an essential arts and culture service across BBC platforms that will keep the arts alive in people’s homes.

Produced as 3 short episodes, Airlock brings together six performers in a series of short live action video-novels. The company, which is an ACE National Portfolio Organisation, have been making ground-breaking work for theatres and other spaces for 20 years.

Artistic Director, Andrew Quick, said: ‘Our work has been seen across the world, and we have made work for outdoor festivals and events, seen by hundreds of thousands of people, but this exciting new commission represents a wholly new creative challenge.

We feel fortunate to have been selected and Airlock creatively interacts with the video and audio conferencing platforms that many of us are using during the present Covid 19 crisis and explores the themes of isolation, despair and hope across its three separate storylines.’

Each episode will be a live recording of a single performance made on a conferencing platform. Each person – performers, director, technologists – will, of course, be working from their own homes.  ‘It is our intention that the audience sees the reality of this situation and is reminded of it throughout the show. It is broadcast ‘As Live’,’ Andrew added. ‘Each episode adopts a particular graphic novel style: the first is a romance; the second, a noir detective story; the third, a post-apocalyptic thriller.’

Airlock will be broadcast through one of the BBC platforms continuing with the Culture in Quarantine mission to bring the arts to UK homes despite arts venue closures, social distancing, and UK-wide lockdowns.

imitating the dog, who also have a studio in Yorkshire, have been busy responding proactively during the Covid-19 crisis helping lockdown audiences to enjoy many of the company’s previous shows free online.

The selection process for Airlock and the other 24 commissions was managed by The Space, a digital agency and production company helping to promote wider engagement across the arts and cultural sector. The commissions will receive production and editorial support from partner arts organisations including Battersea Arts Centre, Sadler’s Wells, and Opera North.

Jonty Claypole, Director of BBC Arts, said: ‘We’re hugely grateful for everyone who applied to Culture in Quarantine’s new commissions scheme, with Arts Council England. The sheer number and quality of applications was a powerful reminder of the world-leading creativity of the UK. The commissioned art works have a breath of viewpoint, tone and innovation, offering something for everybody. Together, with similar schemes we have in all the nations, these projects providing a powerful snapshot – both for now and posterity – of our country during lockdown.’


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