So and So On - guest feature by Sarah Berger

image: 'The White Room' by Caterina Gramaglia.

So and So On is a wildly ambitious mini international festival that runs across the evenings of Nov 3-9th, London. (6 Fredericks Place EC2).

Following on from the success of HopeFull rep a four play repertory season of new writing that brought 23 artists together across the month of August and ended up with three Offie nominations, going worldwide seemed the obvious next step.

The whole ethos of the So and So Arts club is to empower artists, to help them produce their work, find their voice; meet other likeminded people to collaborate with.

As a middle aged actress faced with the slowly shutting doors of show business I decided to take control of my own destiny and have discovered a rich vein of other women and men at all stages of their careers who are also throwing their bonnets over the windmill.

So and So On is especially exciting as it offers artists the chance to work with their peers from five different countries: Australia, America, Canada, Italy and the UK. We have a British actress Karren Winchester working with an award winning writing /directing team Tiffany Barton and Helen Doig from Perth in Australia on their scabrous witty show “Diva.” New York director Paula D’Allessandris is flying over to direct a 10 minute play “Full Dress “’ using an American actress based here and British actor Fiona Whitelaw.

We have an extraordinary one-man show,” The Drifts Live” where Thom Vernon the author of an original novel he describes as “Queer Southern Gothic” brings to life his entire book in an hour.

There are new plays specially written, Out There and The Bench and the winner of the Rome Fringe Festival The White Room” which tells the story of Fellini’s mistress.

We have music and dance in the form of Dare and, ”Stand by Your Man” a cabaret based on the lives of four women who fell in love with serial killers.

Some of the shows I had seen before and some like”Shurl’ and “Pussy” from Wales and the USA just sounded fascinating and come already garlanded with awards.

It’s incredibly exciting to be able to offer people the chance to produce their shows alongside such a broad variety of ages and disciplines and for the fourteen shows we are presenting no less than forty-five artists will be working together.

I think it proves that if you pull together and support one another you can move mountains and I am proud of the fact that the club and this festival offers opportunities to men and women of all ages and backgrounds.

There is a fair bit of help available to younger emerging artists but precious little for those of us who might be classified as re-emerging. As usual there is a big representation of women and that’s includes the creative as well as the performers.

I am very proud to be presenting such an eclectic mix and hope that many people will come and see the shows and perhaps be inspired to dabble in a little international collaboration of their own.

(c) Sarah Berger 2014

Founded almost two years ago the So and So Arts Club is dedicated to connecting artists from across all disciplines and ages to foster support , collaboration and paid work.

The So and So Arts Club is an internet based organisation which has grown to 1200 members in nine different countries. The club patrons are Michael Billington, John Caird, Jean Marsh, Ken Mcreddie, Stella Duffy and Frances Barber.

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