As behind the scenes work starts gathering pace on One Man’s Story, we took a moment to catch up with our award winning director Jen Heyes to find out what working on this production means to her, her hopes for the audience and the importance of working with an organisation like Genie in the Gutter.
What excites you most about working on One Man’s Story?
Even though the story begins in New York City, at the heart is a local Liverpool love story, I love the epic quality of the piece.
It’s a brand new work, so it’s really exciting to be the one to get it “on its feet” and premiere in front of Liverpool audiences. It’s a very special performance, created especially for Genie in the Gutter to mark their 10th Anniversary.
Also I’m thrilled to be working in the Philharmonic Hall again, I directed Lesley Garrett in The RLPO Spirit of Christmas concerts at the Phil and it was such a great space to work in.
What made you decide to get involved with the production of One Man’s Story?
There are many reasons why I was attracted to working on One Man’s Story, from an artistic point of view Carolyn is gathering an extraordinary creative team to work on the production. Genie in the Gutter is a fabulous organisation that supports so many vulnerable people in Liverpool by offering them opportunities to change their lives through creativity, mentoring and personal support.
With my own company, Cut to the Chase, I have had the pleasure of working with Genie in the Gutter clients in the past who participated in professional productions of Tony Teardrop at The Bombed out Church, and Through the Wilderness at the Anglican Cathedral. Through collaborating with Genie in the Gutter on these projects I have witnessed the amazing life changing work that the organisation does. I feel privileged to be invited to direct this production, that not only marks their 10th year anniversary but is the starting point for exciting new ventures for the future.
What do you hope to bring to the production to really make it a success?
As a director I possess great experience, understanding and appetite for creating highly visual multi media performance that take audiences on exciting epic journeys. In addition to this I am passionate about working with what I believe to be the most vital artistic practice of our time: community arts meeting and integrating with the professional arts.
What do you hope audiences will experience or take away from One Man’s Story?
Carolyn and I are auditioning locally to bring together a fantastic cast of the best dancers and performers, working with highly talented participants from Genie in the Gutter clients and exceptional musicians who tour the world with Kid Creole and the Coconuts with a special set from Kid himself. One Man’s Story contains all the ingredients for a great night out; exceptional live music, singing, dancing, performing and a story of one man’s extraordinary rollercoaster life that ultimately, in the end, we can all identify with.
How would you describe One Man’s Story in 3 words?
A Love Story.
Book tickets for One Man’s Story at the Liverpool Philharmonic here