All posts by Dan Walsh

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The Funfair [Home Mcr] – Theatre Review by Dom Corry

Come one, Come All to this tragic Affair…is an introduction which seems fittingly implicit of the outcome in the play I have just seen;

The Funfair” is an immaculate modernisation (adapted by the genius that is Simon Stevens) of the 1932 premier “Kashimir und Karoline”. The thematic addition of the gristly glamour of fairground; with its grease, dirt and candy floss is alluring from the off in its undertow and gives the overall story an immersive new dimension and a juxtaposing poignancy.

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Kash (excellently executed in tired , masculine self-affliction by Ben Batt) and Karoline’s (Katie Moore who mastered the art of depicting decline) love is doomed from the opening scenes , corrupt and sullied by personal insecurities, coaxed and squeezed out by a wolfish world, maimed at the jaws of social, economic and political turmoil (rings a bell!).

The tragedy is set in place as Kash seeks refuge under the wings of his best friend and grubby, footloose, misogynistic Frankie Marr (played by Michael Ryan in an absolute 5 star, stand out, “Jesus he’s good “ portrayal), whilst Karoline is guided into unassuming danger by the odd, jittery Chase (endearingly played by Rhodri Meilir) and his partner, the undermined Esther (Victoria Gee).

Christopher Wright as the nauseating Southerner Mr David Spear and Ian Bartholomew as Mr Billy Smoke are the serpents in the grass, the embodiment of the world’s nastiness; the performances are again pretty much perfect and spellbinding.

The stage set-up and music are also perfect in this play, with a band playing in what seemed to be a recording both above and below the stage in each musical interlude to add a sinister and unnerving tone to the play’s foundation – a great effect.

The soundtrack itself also adds a distinct atmosphere to the play, mainly focusing on 50’s/60’s rock n roll songs – a dreamboats and petticoats nightmare emerges from the soothing melodies to further immerse me (the audience) into the plot, the effect was perfect.

The play is heart-breaking, the acting was acutely on point, the visuals hypnotic and now I want to go to The Funfair.
Bravo!”

Learning SketchUp

Here at SharpFutures we’ve begun using SketchUp to mock-up the stages and studios at The Space Project & The Sharp Project.

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It always takes a bit of trial and error when using a new piece of software , but we believe it will be an effective tool for potential clients to able to view a 3D digital scale model of the stages or studios they are looking to hire.

We will post back soon with some of our ideas and developments.

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SharpFutures [FRAMED]

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As a means of curating and displaying the work produced by our recently graduated placements, we produced a brand-new website with Pixel Kicks of The Sharp Project:

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We held an  event at The Sharp Project, where; the website was launched, films were premiered and the placements received their graduation awards.

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If you’d like to keep up-to-date with SharpFutures [FRAMED] and our online video content, subscribe on YouTube and check-out our new website.

Check out our ‘Rossendale Documentary Short’:

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NORTH: The Great Debate – Design Mcr Festival 2014

The week before last Manchester held the Design Mcr Festival: The Science of Imagination. Which is: “10 days of events celebrating creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in the worlds of art, design, illustration, animation and photography

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 13.17.54There were events including: exhibitions, film screenings, workshops, debates and more. Adapt Studios hosted a Graphic Design workshop at The Sharp Project called DesignDojo for young people during half-term which went down very well. Andy (pictured) delivered interesting insights into the design process; how logos and brands are conceived with imagination, creativity and trial and error. The attendees were tasked with creating identities from basic drawing tools, scissors and glue.

SharpFutures also helped to run NORTH: The Great Debate at TheIMG_1376 Manchester School of Art , myself and 4 members of our placement scheme were tasked with meet and greet, distributing name badges to the invited guests and checking tickets of visitors.

Many guests were high-profile people within the industry, the event having been organised and run by Malcolm Garrett and Kasper de Graaf of IMAGES&Cothe panel consisted of Sir Richard Leese [Leader of Manchester City Council], Lou Cordwell [CEO magneticNORTH], Caroline Norbury [CEO of Creative England] & Professor David Crow [Dean of The Manchester School of Art] who led a balanced argument from different positions and viewpoints within the sector.

During the event I was in charge of the roving microphone as the event was a general Question & Answer format between the audience and panel; whilst Dan, Lucy, Nick & Callum were collecting the names and positions of the speakers in the audience for use in title cards for the film which will be made of the debate. I will post a link of the video when it has been released, which should give a good overview of the debate.

There were some interesting points made during the evening, where even the definition of ‘The North’ became a contentious issue. But hopefully it will be the beginning of developing relations between the northern cities and creating a dynamic northern corridor for business and especially creative digital.

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Placement Workshops – Danny Moore & Dan Walsh

At SharpFutures we’ve recently recruited 8 placements for a 12 week course, which consists of workshops, masterclasses, content creation, real-life creative briefs and become part of the SharpFutures Talent Pool and support network.

Welcoming this first cohort of placements which consists of 8 people varying in many different areas of interest such as graphic design, production running, scriptwriting, social media marketing, the list goes on.

As a part of my work with SharpFutures I have been involved in a number of workshops that have been organised for the 8 placements to gain them an insight in to the industry and to also give them advice. The first workshop i was involved in was on Content management and curation.

 (Marketing Exec and Web Developer) involve a big chunk of time working through content and managing it from the SharpFutures Blog, to the website and the Social Media.
The second workshop I did was with Lauren Hira, we hosted a workshop to show and discuss all the activity that SharpFutures gets up to working for clients and on our own social media presence, we also went in to how it has become a skill very much in demand at the moment.

placement-blog150It has been a really interesting learning curve hosting the workshops as only 2 years ago, I found myself in a very similar seat to them. I remember that first workshop on Social Media Marketing I attended at SharpFutures as an Apprentice in my first month, not exactly sure of what Social Media marketing consisted of or how it could be utilised for a business. Just in 2 years of learning on the job and much of my own time being spent on researching into all the newest discoveries and innovations of the Social Media world I now find myself confident enough to share my knowledge. I know from my own experience, learning from someone actually in the industry is much more advantageous compared to learning from a book published 5 years ago. A lot of the content and advice in that book may now be bit out of date compared to the real world, with things such as Facebook and Twitter constantly adding features and innovations you have to keep up with the changes to stay on top. Being able to pass on my knowledge felt quite rewarding, although it’s now more important than ever to stay on top as I potentially have 8 competitors chasing me…

Reiterating what Danny has said,

. As it forces me to take a step back and look at the work we do on day-to-day basis more objectively . It’s also made me appreciate how much I’ve learnt over the past 2 years and not assume knowledge when talking to others.

As everyone seemed to respond positively to the workshop I’m planning to hold a workshop on using WordPress as a blogging/portfolio platform to promote yourself as a creative individual. We’ve already taken the placements through setting up and using Tumblr as way of displaying and sharing their work. But I think WordPress provides a more succinct and professional platform much like a real website, although slightly more limited than a full WordPress website; it still looks professional and can also help develop coding and design skills.