Thursday, 15 December 2011

Words from Tim Ridley: Winner of Ovalhouse Theatre Awards 2011

Tim Ridley, who was the Ovalhouse Theatre Award winner for 2011, has written a brilliant summary about his time at the Ovalhouse, his work, '007 V James Bond' and his plans for the future.

007 V John Ridley at the OvalHouse

‘007 v James Bond’ examines the confusion I encountered at the age of eight as to whether or not my father was a secret agent who led a glamorous ‘other’ life or just a another sales executive. He was based in a central London office with a pool of quite exotic company cars that emerged from an underground car park. We had just started to watch Bond films together and my father’s job involved a lot of flying between the UK, America and Europe, so he was often absent. I put two and two together and got eight.

In the usual way that children experience confusion the slight physical similarities between Sean Connery and my father only deepened the mystery. The difference at the centre of this new work is between the sedentary inertia of everyday office culture and the dynamic glamour of the imaginary Bond character.

The durational performance (about an hour for 5 nights), accompanied by a soundtrack of ambient office noise alternating with Bond theme tunes, comprised of myself dressed in a dinner jacket and bow tie, typing and then distributing in a surreptitious manner comedic ‘top secret’ notes to various parts of the cafe area. I used a hat which I threw onto a hatstand, cigarette case and 60s portable typewriter as props to further add to the spy/office atmosphere. Drawings showed some of the process involved and the planning of props and use of the space provided, I also made drawings as a start of the performance.

Michael Atavar, the Artist's Advisor at the Ovalhouse, told me that my work was well received by both theatre visitors and staff. He was especially pleased with the way the piece worked on many levels and used a variety of media, performance, audio, drawing and video. I think that since college I have felt more free to explore oppositions closer to my emotional self hence this work being concerned with my relationship with my father, and to be less oblique about my process. I had to be self sufficient and the Ovalhouse, whilst providing the venue and publicity, had no funding, so I had to source all the props myself, transport them and make the accompanying videos and audio work.

Please see video of the performance @

My next performance will involve running and art as oppositions, this idea will be explored through performance, drawing and video at various locations around London in 2012.

All the images are courtesy of Nick Joubinaux.

To see more of Tim's work please visit his website at

To see more of Ovalhouse Theatre projects please visit

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