The Secret Keeper
“The Secret Keeper is delightfully bizarre and ridiculously entertaining” Theatre Weekly 4 ****
Illicit affairs, domestic violence, theft, murder, government cover-ups & whistle-blowers – with talking magpies, kooky songs and a murderous gothic heart: The Secret Keeper is a personal story with global consequences.
Created by Angela Clerkin (Associate Artist – Improbable, Chris Goode & Co), and co-produced with Ovalhouse, The Secret Keeper premiered in autumn 2017 following development at the National Theatre studio. The show toured the UK to sell-out houses, including Ovalhouse, Greenwich, Plymouth Theatre Royal, North Wall Oxford, Leicester Curve and Warwick Arts Centre.
Writer/Director Angela Clerkin Co-Director Lucy J Skilbeck Design Simon Vincenzi Lighting Colin Grenfell Music & sound Nick Powell & Harry Johnson Cast Niall Ashdown, Angela Clerkin, Hazel Maycock, Anne Odeke
The Story: The Good Daughter wants to make her father happy. He whispers his secret and a great weight lifts from his shoulders. Delighted, he invites the whole town to confide in his miraculous daughter. But what happens to her, and the community, when a murderer confesses? And who is to blame for the consequences?
Community participation workshops is an important ingredient of The Secret Keeper Project. As part of the initial UK tour, we ran seven workshops and five after-show Q&As including a panel discussion with Historians at Warwick University on the subject of secrecy. Workshop participants included LGBTQ, at-risk young women, Over 55s, youth unemployed, ex-prisoners, emerging theatre makers and directors, and school groups.
Led by Angela Clerkin the workshops use fun, collaborative improvisation and movement techniques to explore the themes around secrets, trust, collusion and responsibility.
Warwick Arts Centre Workshop with Feeling Safe (Young women at risk of sexual exploitation): “This workshop really got to the heart of what it means to be the keeper of sensitive information and what the implications might be of spilling this information into the world or holding on to it too tightly. Angela was the perfect workshop leader” Tianne Paynado, Feeling Safe Co-Ordinator
Newbury Workshop for Ageing Creatively : “The workshop was absolutely fantastic, so inspiring and exciting. Angela was extremely knowledgeable and put the group at ease immediately. It was very thought provoking and was a great companion to the show.” Charlotte Hall Learning and Participation Officer
Greenwich Emerging Artists: “Angela took the time to get to know the group and tailored the workshop to suit us. The combination of improvisation, explanation and practical work was balanced well. I left with a much better understanding about devising and feeling much more confident about creating my own work.” Serin Ibrahim, Actor/Director
SECRETS ON A POSTCARD
A touring exhibition of 100 secrets anonymously written on postcards by workshop participants and audiences displayed on boards in the theatre foyer. Alongside is a postbox, blank cards, felt pens and the invitation to share a secret. It gives the audience a chance to peek into the inner lives of their neighbours, identify with their human fallibilities, and share their own mistakes and mischiefs. A great talking point and connection with the themes of the show – and the exhibition grows with each new stop.
The Secret Keeper Project Available For Touring 2018/19
• a political fairytale about secrets and collusion
• a series of dynamic community workshops
• a participatory exhibition of secrets
A bespoke package would be developed between the programming Theatre/Festival & ClerkinWorks, with a suggested 2 weeks of workshops, 5 performances of The Secret Keeper, and the exhibition running throughout.
2017 UK TOUR DATES:
Ovalhouse: 11-21 October
Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes: 23 October
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry: 24-25 October
Greenwich Theatre: 27 October
North Wall, Oxford: 28 October
The Drum, Plymouth: 31 Oct – 4 Nov
Curve, Leicester: 6-7 November
Sherringham Little Theatre: 8 November
Newbury Corn Exchange: 10 November
Ovalhouse: Owen Calvert-Lyons AD
“We were delighted by the artistic quality of the production, with excellent performances from high calibre actors.”
Plymouth Theatre Royal Drum : David Prescott AD
“I really enjoyed The Secret Keeper and it was one of our best selling shows in the past five years.”
Sherringham Little Theatre : Debbie Thompson AD
“By far the largest audience number we have ever had for new writing. It was a fantastic, enchanting and engaging piece of theatre with strong performances and high-quality production values. We were so grateful that ClerkinWorks held the Q&A, they were brilliant with the students, really informative and accessible.”
Costume Design: Simon Vincenzi