Children's Theatre supported by the Lionel Bart Foundation - Winner 2016
Greg Sinclair works as a musician and performance artist. He studied cello and then began composing for children’s theatre which led him to create his own theatre pieces. This mixing of two disciplines has often resulted in Greg being an artist difficult to pigeon-hole.
Greg outlines two defining characteristics of his work: I always start with a musical idea; I work with children as collaborators and occasionally co-performers. His first piece, ‘Ditto’ (2011) followed extensive research into children’s responses and understanding of music at primary schools in Edinburgh. The results were adapted and used whereby the children provided the words for the music in 'Ditto'.
The idea for ‘Sonata for a Man and a Boy’ (2012) began with Greg reminiscing what it felt like to be 7 years old and starting to play the cello - the instrument that has shaped his career and life. The piece is a meditation on music, masculinity and ageing using live cello music, improvised text, and movement and performed by Greg alongside a 10 year-old boy. ‘Sonata for a Man and a Boy’ won the Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland, Best Production for Children and Young People.
The more recent ‘I Do, Do I’ was inspired by the avant-garde art group Fluxus, and developed into a scenario where children compiled instructions which he then had to perform. The results were as Greg describes, ‘a wonderful insight into the thinking and creative imaginations of children’. ‘I Do, Do I’ won the Arches and Summerhall’s Autopsy Award 2013.
Greg is currently the Lead Artist on a large scale digital arts project called 'livescore' with Imaginate where he is exploring instruction scores with children and young people in Edinburgh, Argyll & Bute, and Ghent (Belgium). As part of this project he is making a new show 'As The Crow Flies' where he will perform live alongside livestreamed performances by children and young people in different locations projected into the space. The piece will premiere in October 2016.
Greg is also currently researching a new project called ‘Sad Animals’ (working title), exploring themes of sadness with children, something he would be keen to develop should he be offered the Fellowship. ‘Someone asked me recently that very tricky question: where would you like to be in 5 years’ time? And I answered I would like to be recognised for the work I make as being brave, pioneering and influential’. So I am going to work towards achieving that goal’.