Company Gavin Robertson
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In July 2013, Gavin returned from a trip to Bangalore, India where he created and directed a comic 'Bollywood onstage' parody, 'Bollywood Kee-Maa'. Evam, who toured 'The 39 Steps' from the West End, produced ths new show for performances in August 2013, and touring later in the year... performances include shows in India so far, as well as Singapore, to enthusiastic reviews.
In September 2013, just prior to the first UK and Eire tour of new solo show, BOND!, Gavin was in Moscow in four showings of "2013: A SPACE ODDITY" At The MET (Moscow English Theatre) attached to the Mayakovsky Theatre.
October 2013: Plans for a three week trip to Adelaide with solo shows CRUSOE and BOND both playing in rep. have just ended, with fantastic reviews all round. Go to the BOND page here for UK gigs in November. Plus - Details will be on the facebook page...
December 9 to 16th, Gavin will be at The Metropolitan Theater in Kansas City for four performances of
AND - A 'CRUSOE' review from The Kansas City Star: December 10th 2012:
Robertson’s "Crusoe,” was a complex, kaleidoscopic, multi-character contemplation of our loneliness as individuals, as a species and as a planet.
Gavin Robertson proves, among other things, that mime doesn’t have to be annoying. In his “Robertson’s Crusoe,” he weaves together a series of characters and narrative threads which eventually coalesce into a thought-provoking whole. He’s an eloquent writer but much of the performance relies on his physical theater skills, which are exceptional. The director is Nicholas Collett.
Performing in a black suit and open-collar black shirt, Robertson creates vivid images – cityscapes, urban bustle, deserted beaches, a flat ocean horizon. His characters include a professional killer, a man descending into Alzheimer’s, a man discussing his failed relationships and a castaway on a desert island. There’s also a discussion of the Big Bang Theory and Robertson ties it all together into a fascinating reflection on isolation. Much of it is sobering but a sharp-edged sense of humor also runs through the piece.
Integral to the theatricality of the show is Danny Bright’s original music and a sound design that helps move us from location to location.
This show demonstrates a carefully calibrated tone. The actor is in total command of the material and the results are impressive.
Review - August 2012 from Edinburgh Fringe: Fringereview 4 stars!:
Gavin Robertson presents a solo show that ranges from Bounce Theory to Alzheimer's, relationships between people and between stars. Robertson's Crusoe stands at the centre, as do we all, individuals, beached in an inexplicable universe, connected yet alone, each stranded on our island of uniqueness (and separateness), a sum of our memories and perhaps, nothing more. From the first moment, this hour at Zoo Southside invites us to sit forward and watch. Robertson places his characters carefully, and delineates them well. Tight, meaningful lighting and soundscape; A simple gesture and we look to where an invisible object or person becomes visible in our imaginations. He points, we see.
It's creation realised on stage with simple genius. Much of this piece is an unspoken, assumed collaboration between audience and performer as his mime and movement create objects, people and places before us. This is what Gavin Robertson does with such ease and flow. At one point he creates an entire city before our eyes (and magically in your minds-eye too); and he does it with his eyes, his hands (which can even invoke a believable and beautiful sunset), with minimal gesture and loving physical movement. And it is there, both before us, and in the landscape of our imagination. Anyone distracted or not giving full attention in the audience, will lose the thread. Certainly for this select audience, Robertson held us for every second.
This is a collage of characters that feels mostly centred on a man with Alzheimers. It is touching, powerful and Brechtian. I caught myself encountering myself in the mirror of this piece on more than one occasion. In places this is truly electric, Gavin Robertson creates worlds with his hands, dramatic tension with a turn of his head. This is rare, priceless performance. There's comedy too as the lives of different characters swirl into focus, then melt back into the tableau. This isn't the classic tale of Robinson Crusoe. But it's a clever and often wise treatment of man in the cosmos, of alone and together, of love and loss, of memory and identity, of bounce and stability. It's playful, full of invention, and yet also based in some very traditional and well-worn mime and even clowning. Classy, textured and beautifully precise physical theatre, well written monologue, amounting to a must-see solo show.
Review: Fringebiscuit: 4 stars:
"An exploration of isolation -Tender, thoughtful and precise"
FESTIVAL JOURNAL : 4 STARS!
The categorisation of performances at the Fringe can sometimes be confusing; lines blur between theatre, physical theatre, dance, circus, comedy… Billed as both dance and physical theatre in the programme, Gavin Robertson’s one-man show Crusoe was a pleasantly surprising blend of both and neither.
With no props, no costume changes and a minimal stage set, Robertson creates whole worlds through dextrous use of mime, his voice and facial expressions, and a little help from sound and lights man Alex Wright. Philosophical in bent, the performance addresses themes like the modern malady of loneliness in an increasingly socially-networked age, as well as memory and its role in constructing identity. Tying it all together is a meditation on the Big Bang and the origins of our universe.
Robertson is a deeply talented performer, switching between the different characters that people his created cosmos seamlessly. All of his characters are lonely men, whether alone by virtue of their failure in relationships, a physical complaint (Alzheimer's), or physical circumstances (marooned on a desert island).
The piece is well paced and well written. Particularly effective are Robertson’s evocation of the poignancy of the Alzheimer's sufferer’s plight and the comedic highlights offered by the middle-aged man who goes to a club to try and get ‘back in the game’.
Although ending on a hopeful note, this is essentially a dark work with touches of black slapstick humour. Robertson’s virtuosity as a performer makes this piece a delight to watch.
'Company Gavin Robertson' (CoGR) was founded in April 1997. Work has been funded by Arts Council England, and with co-producing venue partners.
To date it has produced FANTASTICAL VOYAGE (1997 - 2000 by GR and Andy Taylor), SPITTOON (2000 -2003 by GR and Wayne Forester), THE SIX-SIDED MAN (2001 by GR with Andrew Dawson, with subsequent international tours in 2010/2011) I AM WHO AM I (2003), and from New Zealand, BLOWING IT (2003/04 by Stephen Sinclair and Stephen Papps) for national and international touring.THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS (2005) was a co- production with The New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich, and in the same year the Company created its first production for a younger audience, MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, from a story idea by Gavin Robertson, co-devised with Andrew Dawson and Robert Thirtle. THIS STARVING LIFE , was devised in 2006.
Two further shows for aimed at younger audiences have followed: A GRIMM WORLD, and VAMPIRATES, the latter as recently as 2011/2012.
The company is currently presenting CRUSOE: sand, science, sex, sea and a solo performance! You can read more on the dedicated show page, using th buttons on the left of this website...
Gavin has recently formed a working relationship with 'Scene Productions', Co-producing and
directing first with THE OTHER SIDE (2009), then VAMPIRATES (2011) and in Autumn 2012 with FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER'...
Gavin, as Artistic Director, also works away from the company and in the Edinburgh Festival 2003 appeared as 'Juror 12' in the double award-winning production of '12 ANGRY MEN', directed by Guy Masterson. This was followed by an Australian and New Zealand tour in 2004.
In 2004 Gavin also appeared in the award winning production of 'ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST', directed by Terry Johnson and Tamara Harvey, with Christian Slater and Mackenzie Crook, beginning at the Edinburgh Festival before transferring to The Gielgud Theatre in London's West End where it ran for a six-month sell-out season. In 2006 it ran again at The Garrick Theatre, and Gavin then toured the UK with Shane Richie and Sophie Ward in the lead roles.
In November 2004, Gavin was asked to direct ‘RECIPES FOR DISASTER' for DC Entertainment at The Comedy Theatre, again in London's West End - a show that introduced science to a young audience - before a national tour and performances in Indonesia.
He also directed 'THE THIRST' at the Leicester Haymarket in 1993 which ran for six weeks, and has produced live literature events ranging from author Luke Rhinehart's sell-out appearances in The Brighton Festival, to touring his own show, 'SHORTS' through the UK and abroad.
Prior to forming CoGR, Gavin had a successful partnership with Andrew Dawson, again touring nationally and internationally as MTP, most famously creating, and performing in, their cult comedy, THUNDERBIRDS F.A.B. which has now had six separate West End Seasons between 1989 and 2002 at: The Apollo Theatre (x2), The Mermaid Theatre, The Ambassadors Theatre, The Playhouse and The Aldwych. It has also toured numerous times internationally.
Other shows from their partnership included a three-man version of 'THE THREE MUSKETEERS', directed by Olivier-award winner (WARHORSE) Toby Sedgwick; 'WHAT IS ALL THIS DANCING?' featuring Jos Houben (a founder member of Theatre De Complicite); and 'SPACE PANORAMA' which twice opened West End Seasons of the hit Thunderbirds spoof.
Internationally, Gavin Robertson has appeared at Festivals and performances all over the world including: Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, Senegal, Israel, Lebanon, Tunisia, Holland, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Oman, Finland, Estonia, Bosnia, India, Russia and the USA, visiting some on several occasions.