Freddie Hayes presents "Potatohead"
"Potatohead" is a starch-raving mad adaptation of Doctor Faustus and the seven deadly sins. Performed and produced by Freddie Hayes, directed by Sh!t Theatre.
I am an emerging artist with ambitious plans to transform the UK puppetry landscape using multiple artforms including, physical theatre, video montages, music and live art. I wish to share my surreal world of "Potatohead" with the rest of the UK.
I wish to professionalise my artistic profile by collaborating with award winning artists and engaging with new audiences in a variety of locations across the UK. I wish to connect with arts institutions such as The Pleasance, York Theatre Royal and Venues North which could open doors to future opportunities such as becoming an associate artist, artistic residencies, programming, commissions and mentorship. I will have theatre critics review my performances to build a fantastic reputation in the theatre industry. This will help scale up my work from an emerging artist to a mid-scale touring professional.
In summer 2021 the project underwent an R&D period with 6 successful work-in-progress performances at CLAY Leeds, Folkestone Puppet Festival, Ventnor Fringe and Camden People's Theatre including audience feedback.
The production is now tour ready to share potatoes with the world. I will undertake a UK tour from May 2022 - July 2022.
LEEDS SLUNG LOW
LONDON CAMDEN PEOPLE'S THEATRE
BRIGHTON FRINGE FESTIVAL
BRISTOL WARDROBE THEATRE
YORK THEATRE ROYAL
MANCHESTER FRINGE FESTIVAL
VENTNOR FRINGE FESTIVAL
The protagonist Charlotte the Potato is played by Freddie Hayes. This humble potato strives to become a stand-up comedian but she never seems to fit in with the comedy scene. This small fry dreams of red velvet curtains and spotlights. But how does a couch potato become a golden wonder?
She meets the seven deadly sin puppets who live the showbiz lifestyle she has always dreamed of. This journey of self-discovery can only go one way when the threat of selling her soul leaves her in jeopardy. With help from the audience and her spirit guide + jacket potato puppet - Mephastophilis, her soul is set free.
"Potatohead" attracts a range of audiences between 21-45 but is also engaging for wider communities including traditional theatre goers interested in original adaptations of traditional plays, to families looking for a unique theatre experience.
Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit directed the production focusing on text, performance structure and concepts.
They are highly visual performers and use digital media, music, physical theatre, performance art and long-form improvisation.
The award winning company has been writing and performing since 2010, they have shown original work to international and national events/organisations. Multi- award winners at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
There role in the production is to improvise with text, narrative and work using performance games and using their knowledge of physical theatre, voice and storytelling to scale up the production from R&D stage to a professional touring production.
Lydia Cottrell is an artist based in Leeds that creates multi-disciplinary work. Her practice is informed by a background in dance, live art and music, and her main areas of research focus on the Performance of Self in online spaces and the magic healing potential of memes.
Lydia was awarded the Hull Dance Prize, the FLINTsparks Prize, the IDEA Assembly and shortlisted for the Vantage Art Prize.
She uses her interest in online space to support arts organisations in and around Leeds and the surrounding areas. Lydia is the communications and engagement manager for Compass Live Art, Chair of Morley Arts Festival, the Director of SLAP York and also handles the social media for YVAN.
Lydia has a background in theatre and creative design and is intent on creating work that is accessible for all, especially in the arts. Lydia thrives when working on projects that strive for change and enjoys travelling and learning from new cultures and people. She has worked with Transform festival, East St Arts and Theatre at the Mill.
She is also a painter and performance artist, making work that representative of performative movement and memories.
Her role in the project is technical designer. Working with light and sound, she will also be the tour tech operator.
I will work with designer Emily Hayes to create striking posters, animations and graphics. This will promote the show to ensure it reaches as many people as possible.
Emily Hayes is exceptional in communicating and visualising stories, ideas and information through illustration and animation for publications, presentations and exhibitions. Emily is particularly interested in creating work that is both educational and entertaining. She has worked for renowned companies such as Intel, Conran, Britain's Best High Street and T-Mobile.
Emily will provide a poster, social media graphics and other imagery to brand the project to entice more audiences to experience the project.
I will be presenting 2 workshop days at Slung Low and Kirkgate Market to engage the local community with creative activities. The task will be to create your own potato puppet with locally sourced potatoes and craft materials. This will be a free event and invites people of all ages to engage in this activity. There will also be an opportunity for families to perform and play with their puppets in the pop-up puppet theatre as well as getting crafty with potato based arts activities such as potato stamping. I have a lot of experience with workshop facilitation through my past workshop for the R&D period (photo right) and my work with early years at ARTCAMP UK
Potatohead at the Camden People’s Theatre (Camden Fringe)
Freddie Hayes in Potatohead at Camden People’s Theatre running until 22nd August 2021 as part of the Camden Fringe Festival 2021
Charlotte, a potato, wants to make a deal with the devil so that she can become a famous performer. Yes this is Doctor Faustus but with spuds. Potatohead is as gloriously bonkers as it sounds. Freddie Hayes, our solo performer and Spud puppeteer fully commits to her endeavour with an endearing self-awareness of just how ridiculous it all is. This is an openly silly show, filled with cultural references, audience participation, video montages, potatoes, puns and puppets.
Despite being both an introvert and sober, Hayes had me swaying, singing and interacting, which is no mean feat. There is something delightful in the level of detail evident throughout. The 7 Deadly Sins disco/puppet show is both hilarious and beautifully crafted. Charlotte is herself a lovely invention. I was rooting (punning is dangerously contagious) for this intrepid spud.
Hayes is an engaging performer, and Potatohead makes for a very entertaining and silly night of theatre. It lost me a little after the revelation of who Satan is, which is effectively foreshadowed and funny at point of reveal, but the battle for Charlotte’s soul doesn’t have the deceptive cleverness of the rest of the show. Because that is the thing with Hayes’ show, it is totally silly but also sneakily smart.
The unrepentant silliness of Potatohead would be best enjoyed with friends. It runs at the Camden People’s Theatre until Sunday 22nd August as part of the Camden Fringe Festival.
Watch the full film via - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IunTFu6WXusl60kNasJf7k3W5QCUYHVj/view?usp=sharing