Polarbear specialises in sparse, straightforward storytelling with a unique sense of poetry. He has carved himself a reputation as one of the most significant spoken word artists in the UK. Old Me, written and performed by Polarbear will be on at the Studio Theatre at the Roundhouse in London from 21 November – 3 December 2011.
Old Me is his third full length performance piece and is directed by Leo Kay whose recent work includes his one man show It’s Like He’s Knocking, originally performed in a Balham bedsit prior to a tour throughout the UK. A live musical score is provided by Daniel Marcus Clark, a writer, composer, musician, storyteller and musical director.
Polarbear’s previous work has included RETURN – A Spoken Screenplay which opened at BAC then toured nationally and internationally. If I cover my nose you can’t see me toured nationally in 2008/09 and closed the London Literature Festival. His work has also featured on BBC Radio 1, 3, 4 and 6.
Contrary Life asked Polarbear about his unusual name and his work so far…
Why did you choose the name Polarbear?
A few reasons really, some more pretentious than others, but the main one was I loved them since I was a kid and they are basically the hardest and coolest land animal in the world. Win win.
Six years ago you changed career to become a spoken word artist. What made you decide to make the change?
Six years ago I made the decision to try and tell stories for a living. I was coasting along doing whatever I needed to do make pocket money and then I got an opportunity to share a story through a man called Richard Grant in Birmingham and that experience cemented it.
What can people expect from your new show?
They can expect the most direct and animated piece I’ve ever written. Live musical score. Beautiful set, lighting and projection. Most of all they can expect to leave knowing a lot about someone’s life.
Who would you most like to be able to work/collaborate with?
I’m really excited about doing some writing with a friend of mine called John Berkavitch. We’re going to work on a pilot for a comedic story. Musically there are lots of people, but my friend Jamie Woon and I have been talking about doing something for nearly 6 years so maybe we’ll get round to it by 2017.
What are your plans for the future?
More stories. A performance piece for young people. Writing young adult fiction and an epic story project across nearly every platform known to humans called ‘sTaTe’.
More info: For tickets to Polarbear’s Old Me at the Roundhouse visit www.roundhouse.org.uk and for more about Polarbear and his work visit www.homeofpolar.com.