Connected/ Breathe-In/ Becoming Probiotic/ Becoming Plastic – microbial cellulose sculpture – 2023
“Jane Fox is attracted to an elemental engagement with matter. Her sculpture addresses the organic in more than shape…
so, we naturally turn to the facility in our thought and language to explain it through similarities – with tree-life, bone or stone; that is, with the matter upon which existence is built, grows and advances.”
Martin Holman Art Historian and Writer
Butcher (musical theatre) – 2011
“I admire your great courage in tackling such a contentious and frightening subject. Butcher has been one of the most memorable theatrical performances I have ever seen.”
Brenda Oakes Artist
Rehearsals and the big-top circus set and tiered seating for Butcher.
“Butcher offers the audience an opportunity to see breast cancer through a kaleidoscope: different women’s perspectives on the meaning of cancer, cancer treatment and the bodily changes that cancer treatment entails. The Butchers are conglomerations of all of the actors in breast cancer treatment: the surgeons (portrayed as the car mechanics of the body), the pharmaceutical companies, the government and policymakers.
Unlike many plays I have seen, Butcher offers the opportunity for a social critique that portrays what it describes: the multi-national political and economic forces that embed themselves in women’s bodies through the hands of Medicine, and the varying ways women themselves recognise (or not) these forces.”
Professor Alexandra Vinson, Medical Social Science, USA
“A performance with a strong text/ subject medical-social that attempts to elucidate issues that anticipates cancer prognostics in health and to sell medical operations to women.
Butcher explores the extirpation of organs from the female body as a popular belief that a cure exists before the malady.
The business hidden within all the medical procedures and diagnostics as money machine and maintain the female body as main victim and source of profits in the medical market.
Despite sometimes being slightly pamphleteered it is compensated by the funny ambiance, like a dark comedy… and, intensely juxtaposed with the reality of surgery departments in most of the hospitals in our time.
I think Jane Fox and Susan Jickells were extremely brave and also the troupe showing a sad, confusing and surreal reality where women are victim but also any human being that trusts any kind of uncertain ideology.
The show reveals through a “musical happening” that medical ideology transforms human beings into merchandise or pure flesh. A pure flesh for cannibals.”
Albeniz Clayton Artist
“Still almost a taboo subject, the uncomfortable notion of mastectomy and other bodily severances; and the addition of appendages made this a thought-provoking, visually exciting production.”
Chris Bird-Jones Artist
I found ‘Butcher’ to be a unique experience in terms of its aesthetic presence and the bravery of the work which tackled a difficult and uncomfortable subject with no holds barred.
At the performance’s core was a grotesque playfulness which was echoed in the text, songs and costumes. As a performance about doctors, hospitals and operations, the dark and painful topics were brought to life through creation of a surreal world where adults played in a regressed childlike state not unlike an elaborate game of doctor’s and nurses.
This production was tackling many taboos: death, cancer, mutilation, and also taboos of global dominance of health care by monopolizing pharmaceutical companies.
The songs and acoustic live musical score were surprisingly on track to meet with the tough language and brought the work to life as a macabre carnival.
The costumes and props were a great strength and brought in an interesting dynamic in terms of sculpture being re-interpreted into a theatrical context. The use of the sculptural object was particularly relevant given the subject matter and the objectification of womens’ bodies in the script.
The production made me realise the exciting possibilities theatre has as a vehicle for questioning what society sees as normal practice in the medical sector.
This was an innovative project in its use of theatre as space for challenging legislation and a belief system; and it’s visceral nature felt a more effective way of raising debate than say the conventional forms of a TV documentary or news article.
Megan Broadmeadow Artist
“I thought the concept of the production was a very brave and well-informed idea, which has certainly had an impact on the way I think and accept cancer charities and treatments.
The performance was lively and emotional at times. I think the intimacy we had with the performers and other audience members was very powerful as viewers could see reactions on lots of different levels.
I have always believed that life change (diet and exercise etc) can aid healing and prevent illness which is discussed in Butcher – but I just excepted that preventative surgery was the norm and had never really thought about the propaganda that surrounds these issues; it makes complete sense especially with regards to monetary gain for pharmaceutical manufacturers.
I think some individuals would find this difficult to accept, as we all like to believe that the Caring Profession has our well-being at the forefront.
I loved the headpieces – they really did help the cast interact with audience and also physically elevate their position in relation to the patient.
It is good to see performances that focus on women and empowering women with knowledge and honesty.”
Muirelle Wilson TV Producer
Shelter (opera) – 2015
“Shelter is a chamber opera lasting around forty-five minutes. The issues involved are harrowing and disturbing, but the work’s power often emanates from the quiet understatement and dignity with which its issues are presented in Jane Fox’s libretto.
The music is not structured around the traditional devices of aria, recitative and ensemble but unfolds in large blocks of sound, including meditative passages based on Renaissance music. The result is akin to an intimate confessional in which events, emotions and conversations are recalled, sometimes with great violence, but also allowing the music to meditate and reflect on what has been heard. The result is impressive and very moving.”
Peter Reynolds, Composer, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
“The quality of the innovative creative work of Jane Fox and Ashley John Long is outstanding – honest, fierce, sensitive and finely crafted. Shelter is an exceptional piece of work, complete in itself and also promising a much greater exploration of important, uncomfortable material with social and political value and purpose.”
Ian Grant, Producer, London
Peacekeeping; and The Filmmaker and The Organ Trader (opera double-bill) – 2018
“Jane Fox’s libretto is angry and deeply felt, but somewhat on the nose. Long’s score veers from the tranquil to the tempestuous, before leading us to a troubled, smoothly discordant resolution. An unsettling forty minutes.
Those with a greater knowledge of opera than I will be aware that cruelty to women is a traditional theme. This skilfully performed double-bill places it squarely in a global political context, to startling effect.”
Othniel Smith, British Theatre Guide
British Theatre Guide https://www.britishtheatreguide.info/reviews/peacekeeping-ffresh-at-the-w-15930?