Here documents a period between 1996 and 2010, beginning after I completed my BA at Birmingham University and a PG Dip in Acting at Welsh College of Music and Drama. It includes very early career acting in theatre, after which I moved into teaching (and some directing) before making a return to performance via a Masters (Practice-as-Research) degree at the University of Kent. This marked a new phase in my performance and teaching practice underpinned by a move into dance.
1996 – 2010
This was a collaboration with Kristin Fredricksson and Margate Theatre Royal. Our project ran three times. First with Rodney Manderson and Bob Crowley at the Margate Theatre Royal, in January 2010. Second with Mary Rourke, Jane Grayson, Lena Hartley, Maggie Kirby-Barr, Janet Shapiro and Gretel Hinrickssen at Jacksons Lane, London in July 2010 as part of Big Dance (pictures below). Third with Kittie and Raga at Forest Fringe, Edinburgh in August 2010. All participants were aged 65 or over. For more info on the project visit its blog here
This solo-show was created as part of my MA at Kent University. An autobiographical piece about love, loss and the losing of self. It was performed over 2 nights at the Aphra Theatre, University of Kent, September 2008
It was accompanied with a written thesis entitled What to do with Gestus Today Version II
Even when a character behaves by contradictions that’s only because nobody can be identically the same at two unidentical moments. Changes in his exterior continually lead to an inner reshuffling. The continuity of the ego is a myth. A man is an atom that perpetually breaks up and forms anew. We have to show things as they are.(Brecht, 1964: 15)
ABSTRACT: This thesis explores the common and dialectical features of pedagogy, Bertolt Brecht’s Gestus, and identity construction. It speaks from the perspectives of pedagogue, actor and subject. It argues that in each of these modes the subject is necessarily engaged in both an ontological dilemma and opportunity, which is performative. It exposes embodiment as an oscillatory process of absence and presence. This is predicated on the impossibility of arriving at a fixed notion of being in the world.
The thesis is set within an autobiographical frame. First because each mode marks an encounter in the life of Rob Vesty, and second because the practice-based-research uses autobiographical performance.
It advances by constructing a piece of performative writing, an autobiographical timeline, to affect an experience of the practice, which informs this thesis. This piece introduces a montage of three juxtaposing studies. The first draws on Rob Vesty’s work in TIE with Splendid Productions and uses the company’s 2007/2008 performance and workshop tour of Brecht’s The Good Woman of Szechuan. It argues that a dialectic, rather than didactic, process must occur in the pedagogic setting and that this is dependent on the presence of a creative gap produced by a strong aesthetic.
The second study then argues that the Gestic actor embodies and ‘writes’ this creative gap in a parodic way and that a virtue is made of showing its construction. The final study turns to Rob Vesty’s (2008) solo theatre show – One Man Good Woman – to chart the way identity impacts upon autobiography. It argues that the ‘written’ nature of autobiography and identity renders the subject both absent and present and retains dialectical features in its construction.
Selected newspaper reviews and photos of my early work in theatre as an actor from 1998 – 2001. This largely centred around the Unicorn Theatre in London, UK repertory theatres (York Theatre Royal, Liverpool Everyman) and Boilherhouse (an independent devised theatre company based in Scotland).
I was represented by Barbara Pemberton Associates.
Between 2001 and 2009, I was teaching theatre and directing plays as well as developing a performance and workshop practice with Splendid Productions.
Work in theatre:
Good Woman of Szechuan Splendid Productions Actor/Workshop Leader (2008)
Arabian Nights King’s School Director/Producer (2007)
Les Miserable Marlowe Theatre Assistant Director (2006)
Rhinoceros King’s School Director/Producer (2005)
Jason & Argonauts King’s School Director/Producer (2004)
Othella Gulbenkian Theatre Director/Producer (2000)
Great Expectations Unicorn Theatre Actor (Pip) (2002)
Running Girl Boilerhouse Performer (2001)
Red Boilerhouse Performer (2000)
Getting On Theatre Royal, York Actor (1999(
The Rise and Fall of Little Voice Everyman, Liverpool Actor (1999(
War Music Sound & Fury, BAC Performer (1999)
Old Blog Posts
What_Now 2014 I’m writing now, at my desk, being sedentary, thinking, not thinking, a bit stuck (PhD chapter), then I’ll go to see Les Ballets C de la B and then I’ll come home and pack for this – four days occupying Siobhan Davies studios for What_Now 2014, and look forward to a different, and perhaps…
Even when a character behaves by contradictions that’s only because nobody can be identically the same at two unidentical moments. Changes in his exterior continually lead to an inner reshuffling. The continuity of the ego is a myth. A man is an atom that perpetually breaks up and forms anew. We have to show things…