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The Guildhall School returns to Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chamber to present Blackout
UK – The Guildhall School, with support from the City of London Police Museum and London Metropolitan Archives, return to Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chamber for Blackout: a site-specific video projection and sound installation inside London’s greatest hidden space.
The Chamber is the operational area that houses Tower Bridge’s huge counterweights used during lifting the mighty bascules. When the bridge is at rest, this vast brick-lined space stands empty: a dramatic, subterranean Victorian space normally out of bounds for everyday visitors. The Chamber’s unique setting will be showcased by specifically-commissioned new works created by artists from the Guildhall School’s BA in Video Design for Live Performance. This hour-long experience takes place across 17 performances on Friday 23rd to Sunday 25th March, within the hidden Bascule Chamber location, telling one of London’s hidden stories.
During the Blitz, when the Square Mile was destroyed by high explosive and incendiary bombs, two City of London Police officers rushed out into the aftermath to photograph the damage. Inspired by the photography of Arthur Cross and Fred Tibbs, a new immersive video projection and sound installation transforms Tower Bridge’s Bascule Chamber to the post Blitz era. The show explores the hidden world of the Cross and Tibbs Collection, offering a dramatized narrative that explores the characters, the landscape and the impact of the Blitz across the City, at Tower Bridge and beyond.
The Guildhall School, the City of London Police Museum, London Metropolitan Archives and Tower Bridge have worked together to present a thoughtful and poignant insight into the life of a police officer, during one of London’s most dramatic historic periods.
The Bascule Chamber, located in the belly of the Bridge, is an exciting new cultural space for London. Blackout is the sixth public event to take place there and follows on from the success of last year’s collaboration between the Guildhall School and Tower Bridge: Terra Incognita – Here be Dragons.
The Guildhall School’s Video Design for Live Performance programme is a three year, full-time, BA Honours degree for students interested in the fast-changing exciting world of digital video design and production and has been shaped by and upholds the practical, hands-on ethos of the Guildhall School’s technical theatre department. The programme is led by multi award-winning director, designer and audio/visual specialist Dan Shorten. Most recently the department has presented a light and sound performance, Waddesdon Imaginarium at Waddesdon Manor for their Christmas events.
The Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Tower Bridge, City of London Police Museum and London Metropolitan Archives are provided by the City of London Corporation.
The Bascule Chamber houses moving mechanisms for raising the Bridge to river traffic. The performance space features steep stairs and areas that are considered confined spaces and may not be suitable for those with access requirements. Ticket holders should be aware that the event includes outdoor areas, spaces that are naturally dirty as part of the Bridge operations and damp, cold spaces beneath the river, all exposed to the elements. All ticket holders should wear appropriate footwear and practical warm clothing. Full terms and conditions are available online.
photos: Paul Cochrane
14th February 2018
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