• Louis Akihito Blair

MAGNETIC ISLAND; A PREFACE

Let’s be frank. I don’t really know what a blog is. They’ve always been a bit of a mystery to me - a subsection of the internet I dip into when someone slings me an article from “howtoeatbetterandsleepbetterandgenerallymakeyourlifebetter.com”. Yet here I am, beginning the preface of Magnetic Island’s new social platform - a glimpse into our company and the work we hope to create.


Our mission (more details at magneticisland.org.uk/about) is to create a hub for young, hungry, emerging creatives to share their craft and collaborate on boundary-pushing theatre and film. Our artistic vision for these projects centre around the concept of story; the sharing of experiences to communicate, inform, inspire but most importantly, entertain. I mean, the power of story is undeniable - it’s a part of life that has proven itself essential throughout human history. However, we now find ourselves in a unique situation. With sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ (and/or minus) and oodles of on-demand content, we have greater access to stories than ever before. So with choice waiting for us around every corner, the question is, do we need more?


My answer, is yes (of course). A resounding yes. But not just any stories. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a sitcom and I’ve binged on my fair share of trashy television (or more than my fair share). However, that’s not what we’re here for. Magnetic Island is here to look for stories of truth. Stories that rise above the hatred and cynicism and manipulation of commercial media and politics and instead inspire empathy - not sympathy - but empathy for one another. Stories that reveal to us our own nature and encourage love and care in a world where we are constantly bombarded with the opposite. As Kristin Scott Thomas puts it so wonderfully in Fleabag...

“People, are all we’ve got”.


In our pursuit to share this truth, I believe that we as a company have a duty to create work that is inspired by humanity and surrounded by passion. Work that first entertains, but also moves towards something greater, something that has the ability to shape our collective future for the better.


Could we have set an easier task? Probably. Did we want to? Absolutely not.


Now to begin.


In these first few months as a company, we opened our first call-out for one-act play scripts. Since then, plays from around the world have found their way into our inboxes. These works will form the spine of our upcoming productions, and we are currently reading and selecting a number of these plays to incorporate into our 2019/20 season. This first theatrical season aims to establish our goal to promote new-writing that encapsulates our mission to create and share global stories. This blog also forms part of that mission, and we will be inviting people to share stories and advice about their fields and careers here, as well as the going-ons in the world of theatre and film (contact us if you are interested in sharing something through this platform). It’s only the beginning, but we hope this can grow into a space full of guidance and support for emerging artists all over the globe.


At the end of the day, Magnetic Island is here for you. Elena and I are only ever an email away so feel free to drop us a line at any time. I can also be found in seat A12 at the Dorfman or at Picturehouse Central enjoying a bowl of steamed greens (both places in London for those not in or around the British Isles) if you want to stop by for a chat.


I’m looking forward to a future filled with inspiring and ground-breaking new work. I don’t want to say too much, but I hope I’ll be working with some of you very, very soon.


In the meantime, take care of yourself, and one another.


Louis.

Louis is an Australian director and actor who serves as the Artistic Director of Magnetic Island. He loves a terrible jam-session on the drums and can name exactly one Greek tragedy (tragic, no?). Feel free to drop him a line about new work or current projects at louis@magneticisland.org.uk.

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