In 2019 we created 5 large projects, 11 small scale works, interventions and public debates! A whopping 10,110 showed up to watch stuff in 4 different countries and an estimated 750,000+ people who downloaded, streamed or watched our stuff online, on their phones or the radio!
We made things for council estates, side rooms, community centres, the internet, on hook up apps, radio, podcasts, posters, festivals, dance studios, sofas, dinner tables ...oh yeah and in theatres too. I’ve spoken about the work we’ve made on Front Row, Sky One, rté, The Guardian ...and on the cover of this months Attitude Magazine!
We worked with 248 participants and 20 artists across over 12 months! Through our working class artist scheme we supported 14 artists from across the UK this year! The work we made didn’t shy about from the big stuff either - fatness, class, adoption, queerness, ecology, politics, poverty, sex, addiction, mental health and belonging to name a few!
A lot of our continued survival was made possible with the support of Paul Hamlyn Foundation - we are now in our second year of support from them after securing support through their Breakthrough fund. Projects like Fat Blokes, Class and Working Class Dinner Party were made possible with the support of Arts Council England project grants.
Some key, stand out moments for us this year have been…
Image by Holly Revell
FAT BLOKES ON TOUR! We took our fat dance show on the road again! We sold out, got the standing ovations we deserved and wore out a few pairs of jockstraps in Cork, Bristol, Cambridge, Hull, Edinburgh and a return run at our home, HOME! A stand out moment for us was selling out a bunch of shows at Dublin’s Project Arts Centre in their main house! Another gorge moment from this was a presenter on the national broadcaster mispronouncing my name as Fattee. LOL.
“A staggeringly clever blend of body politics, sexy dance moves and illuminating autobiography… Let the revolution begin!” – Attitude
We also received Total Theatre Judges Award for our shows at Edinburgh Fringe Festival which were included in the British Council showcase. We were also nominated for a UK Theatre award for Dance ...so, there.
WORKING CLASS ARTISTS SUMMIT! Led by one of our fave babes, Katie Cooper with support from Arts Council we gathered 28 artists from across the UK, dragged them to our fave hangout Metal in Peterborough and put the bullshit of the arts sector in the room and began to devise ways we might support each other. In January 2020 Heather Marshall from Creative Electric (Scotland based) and I will be evaluating the group and what we’re planning for the new decade.
You can follow the Working Class Artist Group on twitter >> https://twitter.com/WCArtistGroup
Image by Holly Revell
CLASS! The major focus of this year has been Class - my final solo show! Scottee & Friends are moving away from making solo work that places me at the centre of attention and continuing to make participant led, collaborative work like Fat Blokes! Check out this gorgeous film by Claire Nolan whose been working across all our video documentation this year to make it more accessible.
“A brilliant, angry, damaged, brutal, savagely funny reflection on what it means growing up working-class” -Attitude
“Scottee creates theatres of discomfort… If you’re middle class, you might prefer to avoid a situation in which you’ll be caricatured, patronised or judged; not everyone, of course, has that luxury” - The Scotsman
QUEER SUMMIT! With Brexit having been such a huge part of our lives over the past three years and the result feeling more and more present we gathered 23 queer artists and makers from the island of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales to discuss post Brexit queer idenity and how we might collaborate, share resources and befriend each other should boarders we hardened and the divorce from a continent emerge. The result was a really brilliant weekend at Metal in Liverpool, a new gang of pals and the start of some really exciting conversations on collaboration.
QUEER RESPONSE We also held 12 national meetings in July in response to the increase of homophobia and transphobic attacks that took place across the UK. 1000 people gathered to discuss how they and their community might respond!
THINGS WE’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO TELL YOU! This year we created and presented our first international commission. Over the years we’ve created a lot of small scale responses for international audiences but never made a full length production. This one looked at the Irish class system, made possible with our pals at Dublin Fringe Festival and British Council Ireland…
"A carefully choreographed tossing around of ideas and personal experiences, about the complexity of class definitions" - Irish Times
As our programme grows as does our team! This year we created a new role - Associate Director! The idea of this role is to help support the creative output of the company whilst giving a newer babe some focused time, support to learn how we make work! Our current Associate Director is Matty May! Matty led our work in Camden...
THE QUEER WALL! As part of Camden Alive we lead a project in Lismore Circus, the estate that Scottee grew up on. All we knew in the beginning is that we wanted this work to be a response to the people we met and the conversations we had there. We kicked off with an open call, an invitation to the local community to join us for a cup of tea, a slice of cake and a chat. From this initial get together we noticed a strong presence of local Queer artists, and a lot of discussion around representation, loneliness and isolation. We collaborated with Hannah Dickins (Disco Dickins) or a large scale occupation, A political mural that asked 'What If The Ignored Unite?', While Warboy & Stuart composed a track in response to this question…
Every year when I sit down in my studio to write up this list of the stuff we’ve done I have to remind myself it isn’t gloating when I’m worried it sounds a bit show off-y. Infact, I feel its an acknowledgement of all the participants, people and places we’ve collaborated with that year and when I say we I mean we and not some jumped up version of we!
Although my name is above the door I’m sort of just one of the few landladies of this fine establishment - there’s a whole host of bolshy bar maids and regulars that make Scottee & Friends Ltd.
This year more than ever our gang need proper recognition for the stuff we’ve done, made and said. I particularly wanna shout out to Molly, Executive Producer whose spent a lot of this year keeping our creative programme going whilst implementing all the very grown up things we need to be taken seriously and survive! We welcomed to the gang Matty this year as previously mentioned and of course Roxanne whose been with us for 2 years and continues to support all the work we do - particularly when she brings her dog, Darcy to the studio. Both Matty and Roxanne have been great in making sure we can do what we do and do it ambitiously! Next year Rox and Matty will be leading on bringing back our Local Gossip series - a sector gossip night in South Essex that we think will give birth to a string of queer performance nights in our county!
2020 is shaping up to be yet another year of adventure with the development of our new circus show Risk which audiences will see develop in the next few years! WLTM is back with a very special collaboration in a new location! Class is touring the UK for 8 weeks in Spring, including a three week run at Shoreditch Town Hall! We’ll also be putting the Fat Blokes out on the road in Autumn too! We’re also in the early talks of making a lovely thing for next Christmas with some pals on an estate in Gloucester!
Ofcourse, without you watching, popping along, buying tickets, getting involved and interacting with the stuff we’d wouldn’t be able to do any of this stuff! Thanks for your continued support - we really appreciate it! If you want to help us continue to do what we do then you might consider throwing up a few quid here!
Over the Christmas period you can hear me on Josie Long’s Short Cuts on Radio 4 on Christmas Eve, our Bleeps and Bloops podcast will out every Wednesday until Christmas Day (follow us on twitter, facebook or instagram for more on those!) and our video archive off all the projects we’ve created can we found on our YouTube channel should you get bored listening to your drunk Aunt on Christmas Day.
Whatever you do, however you spend it, have a good one.
Love me and us.
Shout out to our board for their time, effort and energy as we begin to grow! Our partners HOME, Metal, Gulbenkian, ACCA, Dublin Fringe Festival, Shoreditch Town Hall, Project Arts Centre and Southbank Centre. Love to our collaborators Sam Curtis Lyndsay, Katerina Redeva, Marty Langthorne, Stuart Bowditch, Lea Anderson, Helen Mugridge and Emilie Labourey. Props to our funders Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England. Love to our friends at The Old Waterworks, Camden Alive, Camden Council, Junction, Selina Thompson Ltd, British Council Ireland, Ayla Suveren, Kirstie McKenzie and Kate Tyndall and Darcy the Dog.