Posts By: Visible Ink Valley

Brittni Thomas

Brittni Thomas is the creative young woman behind ‘HellaBel’ –  a brand and online shop that sells prints and original and custom alternative style water colour art. Brittni’s work features experimental, surreal watercolour work, portraits, still life and abstract pieces. Her art is vibrant and striking, and has been receiving quite a lot of attention since the opening of her online store.

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Working with watercolours since she finished high school, Brittni paints for the relaxation and meditation it affords her, her admiration of and dedication to the style, and because she feels inspire by everything around her. Brittni’s family has fostered her interest in creative pursuits from a young age; Brittni is also a skilled guitarist and drummer, and teaches these skills in her spare time.

We asked Brittni how she heard about Visible Ink and why she wanted to use our space.

“I heard about Visible Ink through my friend Dan Mahler who also uses the Visible Ink space to help out his own business. He suggested it would be useful for me as I can use the services to help promote my art business. I want to use the printing services available so I can print out posters and flyers of my art brand to stick up anywhere and everywhere with contact information so anyone interested in my type of art can get a hold of me. I feel that the people at Visible Ink can help me make connections in the right field and help me out with advice or tips with ways to promote myself as it’s all pretty new to me!”

If you are thinking about getting involved in art, or your own business, Brittni suggests that you know what is that you want and to just go for it. The first step is always the hardest but once you take that step you’ll realize how much support exists out there and how many people will actually be enthused by your idea.

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Brittni offered some advice for young people wanting to get started in creative online businesses.

“To anyone wanting to get involved in the art industry and to be able to sell themselves, my advice is to buy really good equipment and materials to get started. Create something out of your art which represents you and portrays what is uniquely you, that way the brand and shop you create will be distinct from everything else which is out there. Promotion is really important so that people notice you; look into every avenue of ways for people to notice your work. Be prepared to make mistakes as part of the progress, don’t ever let those mistakes bring you down. There is always something which can be learned and you’ll be better off in the end because of it.”

You can check out Brittni’s work at her online store, HellaBel on Etsy, Facebook, or you can chat via email: brittz25@hotmail.com

Undefined Crew

Undefined are a Brisbane dance crew who love to dance, discover music and have fun. They believe dance is an expressive art form that furthers their exploration of music and their own personalities, “we love it!” Anita says, “our crew dynamic consists of both experienced and developing choreographers, so we’re just exploring different songs, textures, techniques, and styles” and are often inspired by music, other dancers and the amazing people surrounding them.

Currently working on a few choreography projects and videos, Anita says it’s worth keeping an eye out for their upcoming projects. To check out some of their videos, you can head to their youtube channel.

Having heard about Visible Ink’s excellent facilities via word of mouth, Undefined have been using the space regularly to further their dance skills and performance abilities as both individuals and as a cohesive dance crew. The crew also hang out in their down time, their hobbies enthusiastically includes sharing a good meal together – “our crew loves food. It’s a good thing we dance consistently!” Some of the Undefined Crew are also dabbing in editing and video work as well, that is a convenient and complementary hobby for the group.

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From diverse backgrounds, fields of study and interests the common thread between all of the Undefined Crew is their enjoyment and love of music and dance. “Some of us study full-time, some of work full-time, some of us are in arts, martial arts, science, engineering, commerce, and some of us have already had some teaching experience in dance where others only really started less than a year ago.”

Anita gave the following advice for others wanting to get involved in dance or the arts, “Just get started! Get out there and get inspired. Stop waiting, and just do it. Some of us wish we started earlier, but never late than never.” She also says, it is just as important to explore your own style as to learn from others and that there are lots of ways to get involved in dance across Brisbane. There are heaps of dance studios in Brisbane, and information is often just a phone call, or click away. There are lots of styles and amazing teachers to suit everyone and all ages. In terms of a dance crew, it’s as easy as finding some friends who share the same passion as you, or join some dance events and/or clubs. There are opportunities in a lot of places, you just have to look around and see what suits you.

“If you’re reading down to here, thank you for taking the time to get to know us! Check us out on youtube channel, leave some feedback and comments, and maybe even subscribe if you want to follow us. We’re a developing crew so we’re always looking to improve and create future projects and just share our love and passion for dance with everyone.”

You can get in touch with Undefined via their youtube channel, leaving them a message there.

Cinderella Renegade Productions

How did you hear about Visible Ink?photo.php_
We heard about Visible Ink after hours of Googling looking for rehearsal and performance space. We’ve been using the space since May 2013, and in January 2014 we performed our first show Can You See Us Now in East Brisbane’s SYC studios.

What are you all currently working on project-wise?
We are currently working on a Steampunk stage show for late July/early August.

What do you do, why did you choose to go down that path, and what do you love about it?
Cinderella Renegade was born from two acting students realising that despite what everyone said, that they had the potential to create shows that people would really enjoy. Jay is a writer and an aspiring director and novelist. Sharmanee is a dancer and singer who aspires to be a great actress. We were joined soon after by Sam, a saxophonist, singer and aspiring actress, and Mitchell, a nurse, and Joseph, a writer and lighting designer. The show faced many bumps in the road and countless rewrites before finally unveiling a cabaret show called “Can You See Us NOW?”. We are all creatively motivated and we love seeing each other succeed. It gives all of us a huge rush to see something we’ve worked on so hard become a reality.

What do you guys get up to in your down time?
Cinderella Renegade tends to spend a lot of time as robots. We also like cake, Tumblr, biscuits and gravy, drag queens and Crystal Pepsi.

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to get involved in theatre or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand?
Give it all you’ve got and never apologise for what makes you happy.

How would you suggest young people get involved with theatre in Brisbane or Cinderella Renegade?
Like theatre companies on Facebook, audition for shows like Short and Sweet etc. Even send us an email at info@cinderellarenegade.com, we’ll be happy to meet up for coffee and head you in the right direction. Maybe you’ll even work with us!

Where can people get in touch with you?
They can email us at info@cinderellarenegade.com or like our Facebook page CR Productions. :)

 

Dan Mahler

How did you hear about Visible Ink and why did you want to use our space?
I heard about Visible Ink through a friend of mine – Lachlan Giddings – who prints out posters at the space for our band – Baskervillain.

I want to use your space because it is a great opportunity for me to host meetings, work from an office, bring clients, employees and investors into a professional working space, and use the knowledge and connections of the awesome staff at Visible ink to help get a step up in the industry and form mutually beneficial relationships.

What are you currently working on project-wise?
My team at www.eevaneak.com and I are currently working with a few clients on some graphic design work for ‘My Skin Cancer Center’, and building a new website for Westside Dermatology’s ‘Medical Allergy Clinic’.

What do you do, and why did you choose to go down that path?
My business, Eevaneak works in website and graphic design as well as video development and promotion. You can have a look at my website – www.eevaneak.com – which focuses on helping to bring small and medium businesses into the online world, developing an online aesthetic that engages their viewers and maximizes online conversion.

I got into this industry through an online course created by a business in Melbourne – Freedom Business Blog – because I didn’t want to be sucked into the black hole of a nine-five minimum wage job that wouldn’t allow me to grow and improve the skills that I want to develop as a young entrepreneur.

What do you love about your work?
I love helping small businesses reap the real world outcomes that online marketing affords them, and seeing them enjoy those results.

What would you say led you to where you are today?
I have always been unenthusiastic about getting a typical job, and although my passion in music has and always will be my priority, I realized early on that it may take a long time for it to become a viable source of liveable income. I thought that in order to get to where I want to be, I need to do something not many people are prepared to do, so I started a business to fund my life of freedom, music and adventure (until it can pay for itself).

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What do you get up to in your down time?
I love playing guitar, performing in and around Brisbane with my band Baskervillain, and reading. Lots of reading including biographies, textbooks, marketing and branding books, how-to guides, stuff like that.

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to get started in this field?
For people wanting to distance themselves from a lifetime of nine-five jobs, and move towards a lifetime of building your own destiny, my advice is to dream big. Take what people say you can’t do with the smallest grain of salt, and only believe in what you can do. For every pivotal thing that has gone and been or still exists (Facebook, Apple, Ford), there were big-thinkers behind it, taking a risk, to make it happen.

How would you suggest young people get involved in opportunities like this in Brisbane?
Develop your brand. Get creative and get busy. Next, build your website. READ LOTS AND EDUCATE YOURSELF: The internet is huge. Lastly, take action. ACTION is key.

If you want to get in touch with Daniel, check out his website or
Facebook page

Ayesha Lutschini / Meri Toksave

When Ayesha Lutschini first began volunteering with The Oaktree Foundation in 2007, she was 16 years old.

“When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a lawyer, I saw myself as someone who would standup for those who couldn’t do this themselves. As I got older I soon realized that my greatest passion was people and at 16 I wanted to help make a difference but had no idea how to begin. Thats where the Oaktree Foundation comes in. I was getting ready for school one morning in 2007 and saw an advertisement on TV for the 2007 Make Poverty History Roadtrip, so I applied and received positive confirmation.”

Born and raised in Papua New Guinea, Ayesha’s commitment to social justice is inspired directly from the environment from which she grew up, “understanding the levels of violence first hand was more then enough for me to want to create positive and lasting change … it afforded me the opportunity to grow into a socially conscious being and further develop a passion for social justice”.

With the incredible experience volunteering on campaigns with the Oaktree Foundation, Ayesha felt encouraged to develop a program that would be able to help people in the communities which she had known growing up. “During the numerous campaigns I assisted with at The Oaktree Foundation the Visible Ink space was always available to help us”, and outside the usual haunts of living rooms and university meeting spots, Visible Ink was a natural connection, “and of course the Visible Ink team immediately put up their hands up to assist us”.

The Meri Toksave team in Papua New Guinea

The Meri Toksave team in Papua New Guinea

Forming a team with university friends Tasman and Courtney, fellow attendees of the 2013 Harvard World Model United Nations, the group started developing a campaign centered on overcoming the inaccessibility and invisibility of contact information for emergency services. The team were awarded a Resolution Fellowship through a successful application to Resolution Project Social Venture Challenge, and this project would become the first campaign for their new organisation ‘Meri Toksave’. Meri Toksave worked on the creation of a countrywide ‘Directory of Emergency Services for Those Affected by Family and Sexual Violence’ in 2013 and they will see the product of their labour distributed throughout this coming year.

Now in its second year of operation, Meri Toksave is currently in the process of a recruiting drive “to expand our small but awesome team into a bigger group of young, passionate change makers”. They are also busy translating the Directory into the official lanugage of Papua New Guinea, Tok-Pisin, which should help see a greater distribution and access to popular mediums of media.

“What I love most about my work with Meri Toksave is having the opportunity to work with other young people in Papua New Guinea and Australia who are passionate and determined in their efforts to leave a better world and their own legacy behind.”

While working as the Co-founder, Sponsorship Manager,  Partnership Manager and Director of Meri Toksave, Ayesha still somehow finds the downtime to “watch horrible reality tv shows, plan my wedding, attend Model United Nations conferences or spend time with my loved ones”. She’s also manages to find the time to consider some pretty sage advice:

“If you know me, you know I harp on about this quote quite often, however I truly believe that ‘young people are not just tomorrow’s leaders, we are today’s partners’. I remember always saying ‘when I grow up I want to’…but in actual fact I realised through my volunteer work that I don’t need to grow up, have a degree, be the most financially secure or resourceful individual in order to create change. All I need is passion and the willingness to put that passion into action. So my advice to young people wanting to get into the social justice or non-for-profit sector is to literally get amongst it, you don’t have to wait to grow up because you can create real and tangible change today.”

You too can get involved with Meri Toksave or participate in many rewarding social justice projects, and Ayesha says it’s easy, “don’t be overwhelmed by your lack of experience or doubt your ability to do great things… be open and willing to learn knowing that you will make mistakes along the way and that is perfect because mistakes, if you let them, help make you better.”

You can contact Ayesha via the Meri Toksave website:
www.meritoksave.org
or by email:
administration@meritoksave.org

Nisha Mehrotra – Ticket to Bollywood: En-Route Australia

Currently rehearsing in the Visible Ink Valley space, Nisha believes the program is an absolutely fantastic initiative by Brisbane City Council to encourage young people to follow their dreams and introduce unique activities to Brisbane through these means. Despite graduating with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems, Nisha uses her free hours to focus on dance and song, using her time in rehearsals for the Ticket to Bollywood: En-Route Australia stage show. The fusion showcase is a collaborative project between the UQ Indian Student Society and QUT Cultural Society of India to highlight a mix of performance mediums and styles from Bollywood, classical, contemporary and fusion dances, skits, musicals, live bands, MC acts and much more. Nisha worked in programs with a similar concept back in her home town of Christchurch, New Zealand, and found an excellent opportunity to introduce this concept here in Brisbane. Driven by her desire to dance and be creative, Nisha is willing to devote her time to these projects because “I am doing something I am passionate about and at the same time getting to meet so many new people who share the same passion as me”. Ticket to Bollywood: En-Route Australia will be happening in August so keep an eye out for posters and more information coming out soon regarding the event. Tell all your family and friends about it – “it will be the Biggest Bollywood Production of Brisbane”.

If you are interested in finding out more about Ticket to Bollywood: En-Route Australia, performing or being involved jumped over the Facebook group page or for more information about the showcase as it gets closer. Alternately you can contact Nisha directly on 0403 325 861.
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Steven Windolf – AU Music Group

With a deep passion and drive for music Steven Windolf is working across Brisbane to support young people to express themselves, showcase their talents and learn new skills. He has been involved in music events since he was 14 years old, managing a range of all-ages venues and events across Brisbane. His enthusiasm, experience and wealth of knowledge over the past eight years, have support many local artists to produce high quality performances, showcasing young talent to the best of their ability and allowing them to be exposed to a range of audiences. Steven is now a member of the AU Music Media management team, who support a range of music events across Australia.

‘I love to see the youth of Brisbane showcasing their talents and young people being able to enjoy their talents in safe, drug and alcohol free places and venues.’

The biggest advice Steven gave for young people looking to get involved in music events was to be willing to ask. There are a lot of people out there that have experiences and they are more than willing to answer your questions, help you out or give advice. Steven says he is grateful for the advice he’s been given and how everyone has been extremely supportive of what he is working on.

If you’re looking to get involved in events, music or technical operating, Steven is more than willing to discuss his experiences and happy to train young people. You can get in touch with Steven via email: steven@aumusicmedia.com.au, text: 0423 504 438 or, facebook page.

Madeline Price

Madeline Price is a passionate fourth year Bachelor of Arts/Laws student at The University of Queensland. Madeline first got to know us as part of Oaktree, a group that had previously held an office here at Visible Ink as part of the Brisbane City Council Youth Enterprise Program.

Currently embarking on an ambitious new program, the One Woman Project, tackling a range of important issues relating to gender equity. Madeline hopes “to educate students about these issues, before connecting them with local gender-related organisations with available volunteering positions, so they can further their knowledge and community impact”, the program will soon enter it’s second semester at Visible Ink, building upon it’s initial success.

The One Woman Project, founded in mid-2013, presented its inaugural program in March this year and has already garnered a positive response from the community including receiving a project grant from internationally-renowned gender advocacy organisation Half the Sky, and partnering with the Brisbane branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

The first series of seminars, atended by over 25 university-aged students over eight weeks, coverered a wealth of issues, featuing expert guest speakers on the various topics, multi-media presentations and participatory discussion among the participants. Topics included; the difference between sex and gender, the feminisation of poverty, representations of women and men in advertising and film, maternal health and HIV/Aids, women in the political arena, the role of women in conflict zones, women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and the future of global gender inequality.

Madeline Price with students from the first semester program.

Madeline Price with students from the first semester program.

Madeline explains her inspiration for the program, “the One Woman Project stemmed from my recent participation in a Summer Semester abroad. Living and studying in Prague, the Czech Republic, for one month, I participated in the Global Leadership Program, a program requiring one to develop a social justice project with the hope of implementing it back in your home country.”

She has long been involved in gender related advocacy, “my passion for global gender equality began at a young age, following an overseas volunteering trip to Thailand and Cambodia” , Madeline’s inspiring commitment to community continued through her study. “Since beginning my tertiary studies, I have established The University of Queensland branch of Oaktree, acted as President of the UQ Oaktree Society from 2012-2013, participated as a Group Leader on Oaktree’s ‘Roadtrip to End Poverty’ in March 2013 and acted as the Queensland ‘Live Below the Line’ Insiders Coordinator for 2013. Presently, I am also a Community Leaders Head Facilitator at Oaktree, along with being an active member of the UQ Women’s Collective.”

The second semester of the One Woman Project begins in the middle of 2014 at Visible Ink, with applications closing on July 31. It is open to both male and female high-school and university students, and is a great opportunity to learn about gender equity, meet some involved and inspiring participants and become involved in community as a One Woman Project alumni.

Madeline claims working with the Visible Ink space is a great fit for the project as “the innovative and collective atmosphere it creates, as well as the profession-attitude it conveys” aligned perfectly with her motivations. We’re just as thrilled to have such a committed and passionate young person making such valuable use of our facilities.

If you want to get involved you can register for the One Woman Project on the programs website, where you can also find volunteering opportunities to work with the program itself, including roles Course Facilitators, Online Content Designers and Assistant Coordinators.

One Woman Project website: www.onewomanproject.org
One Woman Project Facebook: facebook.com/theonewomanproject
One Woman Project email: theonewomanproject@gmail.com

Sporadic Entertainment

Sporadic Entertainment was founded in the early months of 2013 by four strange individuals; a playwright, a producer, a photographer and a musician. The company is comprised entirely of young people, aiming to showcase the range of young talent available in Brisbane. Adrian Ferguson explained the reason the company was dedicated to maintaining members under 25 years of age was that Brisbane already has an amazingly talented community of young writers, directors, musicians and stunt people; the work they create is great and Sporadic Entertainment would like to provide a platform for young artists to be recognised.

After having their fair share of outdoor rehearsals or finding alternative venues such as a café, Sporadic Entertainment started rehearsing at Visible Ink, finding out about us through their local Councillor’s Ward Newsletter. Their direction and enthusiasm for performance led them to get some advice from Vis Ink staff and a referral to Youth Arts Queensland, who provided some grant support for projects in 2013.

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Right now, Sporadic Entertainment is rehearsing for an upcoming Anywhere Theatre Festival show, Wumblebutt. During May, they’ll be hanging out at Roma Street Parklands, taking kids and the young-at-heart on a magical quest that can be described as Adventure Time meets Sponge Bob. Come along to see the outlandish comedic tale of a senile old wizard and his dragon, Anne as they embark on a magical, musical journey to find a missing pair of golden underpants.

For session times, tickets and more information, check out our event listing or visit Anywhere Theatre Festival.

For more details about Sporadic Entertainment, getting being involved or any other information regarding the Wumblebutt shows check out Sporadic Entertainment’s facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SporadicEntertainment.

The guys at Sporadic Entertainment are also looking for some stall holders such as face painters or balloon artists to be a part of the Wumblebutt experience. If you’re interested, just send them a message via their facebook page.

Zoë Tuffin – Wax Lyrical Theatre Company

What are you currently working on project-wise?

Wax Lyrical Theatre Company is rehearsing our premier production, Bloke, which we are staging at the Anywhere Theatre Festival. I am the director and Shane Pike, wrote the play and is acting in it. We are passionate about collaborating with other emerging artists and are working with a musician, Silvan Rus, and assistant director, Natalie Lazaroo.

Bloke, A Man’s Twenty-First Century Guide to Emotional Fulfilment (or not… Maybe it’s just about sex) tells the story of George and his three mates. Every year they meet on the same day at the same bar, but this year it’s different. Their dark and troubled past is now threatening their future.

The play is about young men in Australia and some of the issues they face on that difficult journey to “becoming a man”. When you look at the incidence of violence among men and the recent ABS statistic that shows suicide as the leading cause of death in men aged 15-44, it is clear that things are not alright for our Aussie blokes. In this production we attempt to unearth whether power leads to manhood.

Interested in seeing Bloke? Follow the link for performance dates, times and details.

What would you say led you to where you are today? What led you to be working on Bloke?

My partnership with Shane Pike led me here today. Shane is passionate about bringing awareness to issues surrounding young Aussie men. He encouraged me to look at the bigger picture, to not just focus on young men and alcohol, or speeding, or suicide, or violence, but to actually ask the question of why? Why are young men behaving like this? Why are our Aussie blokes suffering?

Asking these questions was a turning point for me. I was raised by a feminist. My mother was part of the second wave of feminism in South Australia. Mum and her friends were responsible for setting up the first women’s outreach centres in SA, ensuring that when women left abusive relationships they had somewhere safe to go. My whole life I’ve been surrounded by strong female leaders. They are my role models, which has been crucial for me when now entering the male dominated industry of directing. None of this is to say that I am a man hater! Not at all and neither are the women I was raised by. I simply mean that until Shane came into my life, the issues surrounding Australian masculinity simply were not on my radar.

I hope that staging this show at Anywhere Theatre Festival is just the first step. Wax Lyrical would really love to re-mount it, hopefully somewhere like the Powerhouse or Judith Wright Centre. From there we’d like to tour it to some of the fringe festivals interstate. It is our dream to reach as many Australians as we can, to get them asking questions about Australian masculinity and what it means to “become a man”. We’ve all experienced men in our lives behaving destructively, whether it’s our fathers, uncles, friends, brothers, or lovers but how many of us have looked at the bigger picture and asked, why?

What do you do, why did you choose to go down that path, and what do you love about it?

I’m a director. I currently work at Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre. Directing is both one of the most challenging and enjoyable things I’ve ever done. I directed my first show seven years ago and can remember a moment during the first rehearsal when this intense wave of emotion came over me and I just knew I was in the right place doing exactly what I was meant to do.

I love working with people. I love that theatre is a collaborative art form: people join together and share their hearts with one another. It takes so much bravery and trust to create theatre. Directing allows me to connect with people and bring people together, not just in terms of artists but the audience as well. More than anything though, I love story telling. I love sweeping people away through their imaginations, taking them outside of themselves and back again.

How did you hear about Visible Ink and get involved in using our space?

I first found out about Visible Ink through Zen Zen Zo Physical Theatre when I assistant directed for Medea: The River Runs Backwards. We used Vis Ink for our creative development. I was really impressed with the facilities and I was amazed when I found out it was for free. I couldn’t believe it!

When my new company, Wax Lyrical Theatre Company, were accepted into Anywhere Theatre Festival I was worried about finding rehearsal spaces. As a new independent company, we are funding this project entirely out of our own pockets so we couldn’t afford to pay for rehearsal spaces. My close friend and colleague, Merlynn Tong, suggested I get in contact with Visible Ink. She had a fantastic experience during her rehearsals for Ma Ma Ma Mad. Merlynn raved about the staff’s generosity, supporting her with marketing and donating lighting and cushions – how could I resist?! When you are working from your own resources, having that level of kindness and assistance is so beneficial and something I really needed.

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to get started in this field? Or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand?

Learning to live with fear is part of being a director. You will always be scared of failing. In fact, the more terrified you are, the better, because it shows how important the project is to you and how much of a risk you are taking – you are putting your heart on the line. Even the truly great director’s struggle with fear but the trick is to not let it stop you.

How would you suggest young people get involved in theatre and directing in Brisbane?

The best thing you can do to begin, is assistant direct (AD). Find a director whose work you admire and ask to AD for them. Then get some people together and have a go yourself. You will never feel “ready” to direct and there is never a “right time”. You just have to get started.

Brisbane is a remarkable city in that it offers so many opportunities to get your work out there. 2high Festival and Anywhere Theatre Festival provide a supportive place to show your work. They are the perfect launch pads for emerging directors to begin showing their work.

As someone recently arrived in Brisbane, I would have to say that the Brisbane theatre scene is one of the most open, generous and accommodating places I have ever had the pleasure of working. Here, more than any of the other four cities I have worked in, my advice would be to emerging artists – if you want help or guidance, then just ask for it. Established artists know how difficult the journey is and more often than not they are willing to help out where they can.

Bloke will be showing as a part of the Anywhere Theatre Festival from Friday 9th May, at Blackwall Arts Space, West End. Check the Visible Ink event listings or the Anywhere Theatre Festival website for details.