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      Melody Loses Her Mojo

      Melody Loses Her Mojo
      20 Stories High is a youth and community Theatre Company aiming to create dynamic, challenging Theatre. Their latest show Melody Loses Her Mojo is about to open at the Playhouse, ahead of a national tour. Sarah O’ Hara speaks to Director Keith Saha about puppets, Hip Hop and a toy monster rucksack called Mojo...

      THE PLAY IS CALLED MELODY LOSES HER MOJO. COULD YOU TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT IT?
      Melody is a young woman in care, aged 15, and she has been separated from her sister Harmony. The day that they were separated, Harmony gave Melody her toy monster rucksack called Mojo, so Melody is keeping this bag safe in the hope that one day she’ll be reunited with her sister.

      IS MOJO A PUPPET?
      He is a puppet and he’s arriving today from Brighton! We’re so excited! He’s a rucksack
      bag monster. We have two puppeteers manipulating lots of different things throughout the play and Mojo is one of them. There’s a moment when Mojo is revealed in the play, which is quite significant.

      WERE YOU A FAN OF PUPPETS GROWING UP?

      I thought about this recently and the only thing I can think of is that in the late 70’s/early 80’s the two biggest things influencing me were shows like Sesame Street and early forms of Hip Hop. They’re two art forms that really stuck with me and then in 2008 I decided to put the two together. Sue Buckmaster our Puppet Director is also the Artistic Director of a company called Theatre Rites in London and it’s a huge honour to be working with her. In the play our three protagonists are making the transition from childhood to adulthood, so we play with the concepts of what is theatre for teenagers and what is theatre for adults. We go to some quite challenging places in the show.

      ARE THEY QUITE CHALLENGING ISSUES YOU DEAL WITH?

      There were things I wanted to explore and it’s been a long process to make this story. I wanted to highlight some of the challenges that young people face and create a universal piece that spoke to everybody, incorporating themes like friendship, family and loyalty. There’s no message in this play - just the opportunity to shine a light on particular issues and circumstances, and to raise questions about these issues.

      WHAT FUTURE PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE LINED UP?
      Well there’s Tales from the MP3, which our Young Actors Company will be touring professionally for the first time. We’re visiting the Unicorn Theatre in London and it’ll also be part of the Young People’s Arts Theatre Festival in Liverpool next year.

      I’m also working on a show for spring 2015 which is a co-production with Horse and Bamboo, another puppet company. As most of our theatre work with puppets has been mid-scale, we’re creating a small piece that can tour community centres and schools. We feel it is important to have theatre in places that young people visit, in addition to inviting them to the theatre.

      Art can be transformational, and it’s important that young people can experience theatre and art. At every venue we perform Melody loses Her Mojo, we’ll have one post-show jam night. This will include an ‘open mic’ night for the audience and artists from the show will also be getting up on stage.

      See Melody Loses Her Mojo from September 20-28 at the Playhouse Theatre. See www. everymanplayhouse.com

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