FEATURE: Matt Miller – A Look Back At 2018 | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The last twelve months have had the NARC Magazine pages filled with the best creative talent, so we asked a few of them to be kind enough to share some words on the year coming to a close. First up, it’s poet and theatre maker Matt Miller.

So, how was your 2018?
2018 has been a year of change and something of a take off year in a lot of ways!
I’m currently coming to the end of the R&D process of my new solo show Fitting, which is a spoken-word, cross-dressing magic show and will open at ARC Stockton on Wednesday Dec 5th! I’ve made it with Peader Kirk, who I made my previous show with but it’s been a new direction for us, integrating some more textures beyond storytelling – magic being one of them!
I’ve seen the completion of the R&D tour of Five Years by Neal Pike, which I directed, and is the first full length project I’ve been involved in a co-creationary directorial role, which was massively exciting. Neal’s a brilliant performer and it’s absolutelydefinitely a take off year for him. We showed the work at Gala for the Durham Book Festival and Alphabetti and it seemed to go down very well!
Aaand, I got a job with Leicester based company The Mighty Creatives this year on a project they run called Emerge, which sets up festivals based on Shakespeare around the Midlands run by young people. So my job is to work in two schools making that happen for the Mansfield area.
So the upshot is I’m now living in Nottingham, working in Mansfield and doing shows in the North East, so I’m all over the country but enjoying it!

What was your best moment?
Around mid-May last year I went to Spoons for breakfast with my girlfriend. I popped to the loo, read me emails and found out I’d got the Mighty Creatives job, came back out jumping and shouting. It had been a long application process and one of those things I’d applied for on a bit of a wing and prayer. So that was good. It’s allowed me to become freelance for the first time, which feels really exciting.

And your worst moment?
I don’t know really – juggling so many different projects as well as moving to a new place, there’ve definitely been some low moments. I’ve been too busy to stay in them long, but getting back to Nottingham and feeling a little lonely initially was difficult. I had a good 5-a-side football thing going this time last year, so defs missing that.

Your favourite band of the year?
I’ve been getting right back into The Decemberists recently and going through the back catalogue. I went to see the fireworks in Nottingham on my own which felt odd at first but was actually quite nice. I had the Hazards of Love album on loud and fell in love with it.

Your favourite song of the year?
Do you mean new music? I’m never that up to date.

Favourite TV of the year?
Look, I’m not even gonna call it a guilty pleasure – I’m well into The Last Kingdom and have been gobbling up the new series. Destiny is, indeed, all.

Your favourite film?
Surprisingly, A Star is Born. I went into it thinking it’d be a gushy rom-com, but it’s amazing. Stunning performances and an interesting look at fame and dependency.

Favourite venue of the year?
Alphabetti Theatre, always!

What was your favourite gig of the year?
I don’t go to a lot of gigs, to my shame. Neal took me along to see Coheed and Cambria at the Academy one night during rehearsals. That was a great laugh.

And finally, what has 2019 got in store for you?
Hopefully lots! The festival I’m setting up with the young people of Mansfield will go ahead on April 6th at Rufford Abbey down in the Midlands. I’m then doing a bit of R&D on Neal Pike’s new show, which will be looking more closely at music, and then hopefully in the autumn Neal and I will be touring Five Years and Peader and I will be touring Fitting!
Fingers crossed . . .

Matt Miller brings Fitting to ARC, Stockton on Wednesday 5th December.

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