The shunt lounge
The Lounge was a late night club, open for 4 years, hosting over 1,000 artists and welcoming an audience of half a million. For £5 on a weekday or £10 at the weekend, punters could enter the space and see everything on offer, from established artists trying some new idea out, to young companies presenting work for the first time. From week to week the programme changed and the curations stretched from the front door in London Bridge Station, through the box office, the 115m long entrance, and into all the nooks and crannies of the bar.
Its unique atmosphere was created by the Shunt founders who managed the whole project both creatively and on the floor. There was not a night when a company director was not present.
Gemma co-managed the whole project as well as curating weekends, and commissioning and creating spaces and shows specially for the events. See the end of this page.
The house band - SUPERTHRILLER - was made up of core SHUNT artists - Gemma joining in as a backing singer. Their first album - SUPERTHRILLER 1 - was recorded alongside the company creating TROPICANA. BECK picked up on it, inviting the band to support him on his European tour. TROPICANA went dark for a couple of weeks so SUPERTHRILLER could get on the bus.
Just as Scissor Sisters gave classic disco a perverted pop twist, the London sextet are out to flesh out old-school funk with contemporary style ... putting filthy funk back on the dancefloor.
Videos by Susanne Dietz
ARCHIVE OF GEMMA'S INSTALLATIONS AND INTERVENTIONS IN THE LOUNGE
MESSENGER: A chamber-piece play based on Medea's murder of her brother - written and directed by Gemma and performed by her brother - DARRELL BROCKIS.
THE LONG ROOM: Also with TOM DUGGAN, the long entrance arches were transformed into a long, hovering, narrow room with a door at either end. (2m x 60m).
KATHY & LINA: Inspired by the revelation scene in Singing in the Rain - a collaboration with singer KAY ELIZABETH. The audience found themselves in a tiny cabaret with a singer and pianist act which disintegrated to reveal the bar beyond - with the real singer performing to an audience of 400.
FALLING PIANO: A grand piano dropped from the ceiling at midnight in the main bar.
THE READING ROOM: An intimate sound and reading performance in a secret library. Commissioned by Gemma. Created by sound artist LEWIS GIBSON.
THE WOMAN IN BLUE: A secret auditorium with epic music and titles on a gauze screen - through which the audience watched a solo performance hidden within the crowded club as though watching a movie.
MINI-MULTIPLEX: A collaboration with the BFI - a four screen cinema hidden in the labyrinthine entrance, where each screen in a tiny alcove housed a two seater auditorium and a silent movie.
Images from work by Tom Duggan, Brendan Walker, Lewis Gibson, Nigel&Louise, me and everyone.