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Startlingly bonkers and utterly ordinary at the same time … deceptively thoughtful fun.
– The Guardian
Everything is better if a dog is involved.
– Exeunt Magazine
An incredibly smart and witty production.
– Fringe Review
– Time Out London
Seeking out the subcultures of her native England, looking for both the unusual and the extraordinary, Victoria Melody is an artist who transforms her experiences of cultural immersion into subtle and affecting performances that are “both startlingly bonkers and utterly ordinary” (The Guardian).
Melody entered her dog into a competition, and then by guilt, accident and necessity, she ended up as a beauty pageant competitor herself. Part documentary, part act of protest, Major Tom is a deceptively simple story about the ugly business of beauty, performed by two of the UK’s most uniquely charming performers: Victoria Melody and her six-year-old basset hound, Major Tom.
Victoria Melody studied visual art and is very interested in anthropology. Now she mainly makes one-woman theatrical shows about England’s pastimes, passions and tribes. She immerses herself into communities and becomes a participant. In the past she has become a pigeon racer, a northern soul dancer, a championship dog handler and a beauty queen. She documents everything she does by film, photographs, diaries and collecting objects. When she is fully immersed in a project it takes over her normal life. This annoys her husband. In her shows she talks about her experiences and demonstrates what she has learnt. She has presented her work in the UK including venues such as Soho Theatre, Carriageworks, Oxford Playhouse, The Lowry, Tobacco Factory and BAC. She has also presented work internationally in 2013 at Push Festival (Vancouver), Canoe Theatre Festival (Edmonton) and Interrarium (Banff).
In preparation for Major Tom, University of Toronto professors Denise Cruz and Matthew Sergi have been thinking a lot about beauty, especially as it relates to the kind of contests that Victoria Melody will talk about in Major Tom. How can beauty be subject to judgement? Can it ever be measured in a contest? Should it? Is beauty arbitrary – is it in the eye of the (most dominant) beholder? How do dominant standards of beauty oppress us? Can they also liberate us?
Join us for tea and discussion before the show. Listen to the debate and then feel free to interrupt us and chime in. Challenge us. Add new depths or nuances to our conversation. Or start your own conversation. Share your own perspective. And share your thoughts on Twitter — #artlive.
Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the opening performance of Major Tom.
Come talk with us. This is where the artists of World Stage meet with the audience outside their work – through conversation with curated guest hosts. Our talkshow events, which follow the performance, provide unparalleled contact and context.
Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to Major Tom.
Open to participants with various arts backgrounds, as well as those without a dance background.
To accompany the touring of her new show Major Tom, Victoria Melody has created a Series 8:08 Alternative Technique Class that offers an insight into the strategies and methodologies that she uses when creating new work. The workshop will look at her creative triggers and her approach to creating research based work.
Participants will experiment with creating solo performances, confessional performances, humorous performances, performances from observed behaviour and performances using video and collected paraphernalia.