Tales from the
Eye of the Storm
exceptional works of art and theatre exploring our declining relationship with Earth, and the liberation in reconnecting with it
A sanctuary of creativity
Outrider Anthems emotionally engages communities through story and imagination, and seeks to offer
a sanctuary of truthful creativity
in the inevitable turbulence
of climate and global breakdown.
Jennifer is a professional artist, playwright & filmmaker and has worked as lead artist at the RA, Courtauld Institute and other major London galleries. In 2011 she established her own company, Outrider Anthems, in order to realize the exploratory multimedia dramatic works that are the company’s hallmark.
Andrea is an eco-scenographer, theatremaker and artist who has an impressive portfolio to her name, and who has represented the UK as an international designer. She is collaborating with Outrider Anthems to create two new pieces of theatre. Andrea and Jennifer met at a Climate Change conference in 2017.
Alice McGuigan Project Manager
Since graduating from Queen Mary University of London with a degree in English and Drama (2013), Alice teaching Yoga internationally, as Alice May Yoga. She is also Director of ELF - Earth Living Festival.
* A project in development.
* A dramatic narrative to be realised either as a layered film, or as a work of theatre, or both.
* A new rendition of ancient myths, as they collide with current events.
* A story about a world out of balance, out of kinship with Nature.
* It is personal. Our own life stories are part of it, and have been affected by it.
* It draws upon the life stories of strangers we are meeting along the way.
* It is a journey which offers, not a resolution, but dreams of more balanced paths.
We are working with a very specific methodology inviting in the Tao and allowing ourselves to be directed through 'random' actions and instructions, and using the Taoist Book of Changes (the I Ching) for guidance. This is an old practice used by artists, creatives and psychologists, to allow the workings of the Unconscious Collective to come through.At this moment in history, it feels that whatever is offered out into the world needs to be deeply considered, and pertinent. For this reason, we are allowing ourselves to work very slowly, intensely, even 'obediently', until the deepest creative layers are opened up to us.
It is a wondrous process to be tasked with this very special work, and a great privilege. It is also a responsibility which we are committed to seeing through, despite all of its unknowns. It is certainly a vertiginous creative path we are embarked upon. Braque once said of himself and Picasso: 'We were like mountain-climbers roped together.' We feel similarly.
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A new work of theatre, in collaboration with Andrea Carr, currently in its Research & Development phase. Duende is an exploration of what it means to be alive, tunnelling through our deepest layers of fear to the raw pulsing heart. Its main protagonists are a Fly, a Spider, two Chameleons, White-Winged Moth, and the terrible creature in the depths. Influenced by Lorca, Flamenco, and the concept of Deep Song.
This is growing as an intriguing and significant exploration, teaching us much about the Collective Unconscious, and how to allow the Tao in as the lead creator. We look forward to sharing this with you when it is ready.
Song of Crow
Song of Crow has been a seminal piece in the history of Outrider Anthems, and its journey does not seem to be over yet. We are looking to explore its possibilities as a work of puppetry and object manipulation, allowing new depths of mythical magic and wonder to develop. It is currently in its Research & Development phase, in colloboration with Andrea Carr, scenographer, artist, performance maker, and Sean Myatt, puppeteer/object manipulator and Senior Lecturer in Theatre Design at Nottingham Trent University.
Image: Andrea Carr
Outrider Anthems is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Associate, Andrea Carr. Andrea is a highly experienced theatremaker, and a leading exponent of eco-scenography and sustainable theatre. Her work was recently on show at the V&A, in the Staging Places exhibition, curated by Society of British Theatre Designers. Andrea and Jennifer met at a Climate Change conference in 2016 and have been collaborating since.
Outrider Anthems takes the Ecostage Pledge, committing to sustainable and conscious theatremaking. This is an initiative for which Andrea has been a driving force.
You can find out more about it here:
Jennifer and Andrea both share their artistic response to the climate crisis in podcasts with the very engaging Julia Marques at ClimateCultures. ClimateCultures is a wonderfully rich initiative stimulating discussion between artists and creatives on the major issues of climate crisis.
Festival of the Dark
2016 - 2017
How would it be if we turned off the lights? And sat - just for a while - in the dark? What might we discover? Rediscover, perhaps? Shall we try?
This was the provocation behind the festival. We wanted to explore darkness, profoundly, embracing the still, quiet, fallow moments of life and the life cycle, and to probe what lies hidden in the dark that we reject and resist. Taking the ancient Celtic Wheel of the Year as our compass, we followed the rhythm of the year from winter solstice to winter solstice, with our 20+ events scheduled according to the significant dates in this calendar. The focus was on the fluxes of the seasons, the seesaw of day and night, and on the subtle recognition of winter and darkness as essential counterpoints to summer and the light. The Festival challenged, surprised and liberated, creating cultural flashlights to illuminate aspects of the ‘dark’ that are largely forgotten in our culture of electric light and fast living.
Song of Crow
2007, 2015, 2016
An interdisciplinary work of theatre, delving into a challenging story of creation, and asking hard questions of where we, as a species, go from here.
'Still reeling from seeing Song of Crow last night: a creation myth brought to flesh blood & bone: light & dark, with moments of fear, anxiety, sadness and invoking a kind of miserableness in me only previously provoked by watching a Beckett play - my humanness today is all alive with a sense of storyfulness and craving to keep connected to the non-human world, particularly our crow brethren. Theatre like this is crucial, nay urgent for our times, and the life of our individual & collective cultural imaginations.'
'Visionary, prophetic, poetic'
Where Then Shall We Start?
A multi-layered theatre work depicting the unfolding of war as a dark folktale. Written by Jennifer Leach, music by Stephen Daltry, produced by Spark Productions and Outrider Anthems, the Queen’s House, Greenwich,
'A very beautiful, moving and poignant work, which communicated on the deepest level the universal futility of war.'
A life story written by Jennifer Leach for a supreme RADA-trained storyteller and very dear friend, Anne Latto. It tells of an old woman reflecting on her life as she turns to face the great horizon. Like a river she follows the flow of memories, a journey from source to sea. Good times, hard times, times to remember, times to forget...
'From start to finsh, from spring to ocean, this was an absorbing and rich telling.'
Commissioned play on the plight of the Palestinian people. Performed in Ascot and Reading in 2015.
“it was profoundly moving – the movements and visual backdrops and the soundtrack brought me right back to the painful memories of my time in the West Bank, and the desperate situation of the Palestinians today”.