Next Performance Penzance Literary festival
Paul’s new solo theatre performance inspired by the life and death of Cornish artist Peter Lanyon.
‘I awoke with images you created in my mind and wanted to simply say: a brilliant evocative piece… you showed me what mime can be really about. Enough of words. Thank you’. Rick Vick, audience member.
‘The artistic agility was breath-taking…the symbolism thought provoking.’ Chris Brown, Barnstaple Review.
Peter Lanyon was a landscape painter born and bred in St.Ives Cornwall.
He was part of a generation of painters that radically changed the face of English landscape art. In 1964, having found a new passion and a fresh perspective on landscape through gliding, he came into land at an airfield near Taunton and had an accident.
According to his son Mathew after three days in hospital, recovering from a minor injury to his back, he had ‘just about exhausted the possibilities of the hospital ceiling.’ He was bored and ready to go home to his wife and family when a blood clot formed on a cut on his leg, travelled to his brain and killed him at the age of 46. On the verge of attaining greater success in America and possibly taking his own work in different directions the death of this innovative artist, passionate about life, Cornwall, his family and his art, was a tragic loss to the art world as well as his friends and family.
A celebration of Lanyon’s lust for life, his mischievous sense of humour and rebelliousness this performance dramatises the moment of his untimely death. Inspired by WS Graham’s moving response to the loss of his friend The Thermal Stair as well as popular culture of the early 1960’s such as television shows TheTwilight Zone, (in particular An Occurance at Owl Creek), The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, absurd comedy like the Goons and music from the period, notably Jazz -this performance is about a man leaving this world but reluctantly, battling with himself, his past mistakes and a death that his wife later claimed he had been expecting.
Thanks to: Mathew Lanyon for sharing the last memory of his father, Michael Bird who kindly sent me a copy of his Radio 4 documentary, ‘Lanyon’s Last Flight’, Chris Stephen book ‘On the Edge of Landscape’ that originally sparked an interest in Lanyon; Krakes Culture House (Lithuania) for supplying me with free rehearsal space and Minija (my five year old daughter) who was a constant creative inspiration and insisted on operating my music.
You can read more about my working process (especially during the early stages) here: Solo Flight (a work in progress)
T.V. report from a performance in Krakes, Lithuania: https://youtu.be/KJoe0SdOnGc
On the 4th September 1941 1125 Jews were taken to a place, Pestunukai, just outside the town of Krakes, Lithuania and shot. Wearing a pair of shoes her good friend Dovydas had given to her just two days before the atrocity, twelve year old Adele leaves her family home to follow the same route her friend, as well as every other Jew in Krakes, had walked to their place of execution. Overwhelmed by grief she leaves the shoes and runs home barefoot to find they have been miraculously returned to her home.
Working with children from Krakiu Mikalojaus Gymnasium this performance came second place in a festival celebrating tolerance at Plunge Culture Centre in 2016.