Jo Hammett reveals those who have inspired her most
THE WOOSTER GROUP
On my bedroom wall I have a poster of the performance ‘To You The Birdie’. At college we went by coach to the Riverside Studios to see The Wooster Group, which was when I acquired a lifelong hunger for contemporary performance. I’ve never seen their work since. I’m a bit scared that it won’t be as good as it is in my mind.
HILARY FOSTER, THIRD ANGEL
I always knew I wanted to create new work and proudly announced this to Hilary Foster, holding my CV and standing on Third Angel’s doorstep one rainy morning. My impromptu visit persuaded Hilary to give me a work placement at Third Angel. Check it, she said. Double check it. Check it backwards, was her suggestion. Hilary, Rachael and Alex taught me discipline – creative and administrative. And generosity. They gave me a chance. I try to carry it on.
CHERYL PIERCE, ARTSADMIN
It was quite difficult to pick one ultra-ace bod from artsadmin as they are an organisation of extra-ace bods. Nevertheless Cheryl was, and still is, my teacher of best producing practice. artsadmin is a champion of artists’ work, an organisation that produces innovative and progressive work and it is difficult not to be shaped by this. Be rigorous in your thinking, said Manick Govinda. Evaluate, said Cheryl. Reveal the art and not the device, said Judith Knight. My final project at artsadmin was Bobby Baker’s ‘How to Live’ (http://www.bobbybakersdailylife.com/How2Live5.htm). In the show Bobby suggests eleven skills for daily living to help you through the day. These are stuck to my fridge; sometimes I sing them.
RACHEL CLARE, CRYING OUT LOUD
Rachel has a strong vision for Crying Out Loud. Working with her has taught me the value of autonomy and creativity in my work as an independent producer. She has taught me the value of throwing caution to the wind and looking for another option when all the options seem to have disappeared.
And to the family that came to the Exeter Phoenix in June 2009 to see ‘Butterflies’ by TPO Company with their three-year-old son with cystic fibrosis. I gave you my email address. You didn’t get in touch but do you remember we closed the theatre for you after the show? Your son came into the space and instinctively explored and played inside the set. It was absorbing. His playing has caused me to reconsider my work, to make sure I make work that is collaborative, challenging, risk-taking and playful, for not just the able-bodied and the neurotypical.
Jo Hammett is an independent producer working with TPO Company for Crying Out Loud