THAT MATT ROGERS PROJECT
a little taste of my various stuff
Hi I’m Matt, i make performances. Essentially that means I’ve made a career out of making very strange things happen in rooms full of people since 2005.
Sometimes those things are visually striking and surreal theatre productions, sometimes they’re stand up comedy shows, sometimes they’re intimate performance pieces, and sometimes they’re raucous games in which 300 people do something ridiculous together; but they’re always about sharing the live moment (whatever that means), and mixing absurdity with something meaningful.
Over the years I’ve been a founder member of 2 touring theatre companies (Chotto Ookii and Uncanny theatre respectively) with whom I’ve received a couple of awards, some nice reviews, and couple of pats on the back for the things we’ve made. In total combining Chotto Ookii, Uncanny, various one off collaborations with brilliant artists and the occasional solo project; I’ve made 14 things that i can call my own so far and I’m currently planning a few more.
I work with other people from time to time on their things as an outside director, a performer, or a mentor but for now, lets stick to talking about my stuff.
IF YOU HAVE A BURNING DESIRE TO COLLABORATE WITH ME OR ASK ME ABOUT MY WORK JUST CLICK THE BUTTON TO GET IN TOUCH
OTHERWISE JUST KEEP SCROLLING TO SEE SOME OF MY PROJECTS
MY PERFORMANCE PROJECTS
(2020: THAT MATT ROGERS PROJECT)
(in)CREDIBLE was a project too beautiful to live, it had one glorious day in the sun Before the Covid-19 crisis ended all it’s touring aspirations.
It was an experimental work that used an innovative approach to projection technology to give different audience members fundamentally different experiences. Exploring the way that filter bubbles effect your perception of other peoples intelligence and morality.
(2018: UNCANNY THEATRE)
This was our take on the way people purposefully bait their audiences to boost their fame.
The world’s most successful trolls; the people who you seem to talk about all of the time despite the fact that you can’t stand them; the people who are the first to get asked about anything because their dodgy opinions “make good TV”. This was our attempt to be one of them for a night.
We played a simple game with our audience, whereby they would try to get us to do something that would get us trending on Twitter, something shocking, something that would rile up mumsnet, get the 4chan kids turning us into memes, make the blogosphere clutch their pearls so hard that they catapulted us into superstardom… It didn’t work but it was a great show.
It’s time to make the most controversial show ever.
Matt and Nat have decided to have a go at being famous for once. Over the course of an hour they hope to stir up enough of a Twitterstorm to gain them (at least temporary) infamy.
Welcome to the age of Outrage: a highly visual, interactive response to a world where the most offensive set the agenda.
Uncanny Theatre’s new show will wind you up so much you’ll take to the streets… or at least post a strongly worded response on a forum. With your help, along with the shocking issues of the day – be they sex, guns, drugs or otherwise – Uncanny Theatre plan to be famous by the end of the show.
This show is interactive, silly, topical, shocking or whatever else will get people talking about it.
After all: There’s no such thing as bad publicity.
A LITTLE LIGHT CONVERSATION
(2017: UNCANNY THEATRE)
Commissioned for Light Night 2017 “A Little Light Conversation” was an interactive performance created in response to an installation by LBO Lichtbankobjekte
It was an interactive audio work for two exploring the meetings that happen on benches and the potential for conversations amongst strangers. A guided chat with a twist. After a short audio adventure that played with the insecurities of engaging in conversation with a stranger followed by a very sudden call to “competitive friend making”. You were thrust into a conversation with an absolute stranger looking for the most unique and wonderful thing that you had in common. Desperately hoping for a place on the leader board.
Most unique wins!
(as judged by the people of Leeds)
LET’S TALK ABOUT ART
(2017: UNCANNY THEATRE)
Nat and I decided to democratise the art world.
We were tired of people saying that they didn’t know enough to have opinions about art… So We tried to fix it with a game.
This disruptive little piece of interactive art took place in galleries and sculpture parks, and encouraged people to yell through a megaphone about how what a particular artwork reminded them of from their life, or made them feel… Whilst their friend tried their hardest to recreate the piece from these insightful but obscure utterances.
Led by us doing our best impression of “artists” in the vague hope that people might find it all silly enough to join in.
SOMETHING TERRIBLE MIGHT HAPPEN
(2017: UNCANNY THEATRE)
Our Take on the culture of fear that surrounds the media landscape and drives much of the worlds hatred. This show included naked buckaroo, A terrifying knock a door run game, dreams, loss, and pathos… and at least one show on the tour where an audience member took the power that we handed to them and absolutely ran with it in a way that we could never have predicted in a million years.
“Be afraid. Be VERY afraid”
Despite this clear instruction you’re being asked to leave the house (scary), sit in a dark room full of people (terrifying) some of whom you won’t already know (even worse), to see an interactive show involving; knocking on doors, phone calls, and guess who (AAAAAAAAARRRRGH!).
If the world is as petrifying as we’re told it is: how can we trust anyone? How can we ever be safe? Maybe it’s time to take action. What’s the worst that can happen?
Part theatre, part stand up, part childish prank by people old enough to know better; Something Terrible Might Happen is a night of laughing in the face of fear, playing knock a door run and embracing all that we’re afraid of.
(PLAYING WITH THE ELEMENTS)
(2016: UNCANNY THEATRE)
This was a workshop we created for The Yorkshire Sculpture Park in response to the work of Bill Viola (www.billviola.com). During the day (along with our fantastic participants) we created gloriously low-tech versions of some of Bill’s work.
Using paper, cling film, coloured gels, overhead projectors, slow motion video, a bit of water and a whole lot of silliness; we somehow managed to get some great results.
Lo-Fiola was our first commission in direct responce to another artist’s work, hopefully it won’t be our last.
REAL FUN LUCKY DIP
(2016: THE GRIEF SERIES)
A delightful little spin off from Ellie Harrison’s “The Grief Series” in which I performed as her and guided people through making their own funeral plans, in this celebration of life that helps you to think about taking the pressure off your loved ones after you’re gone
It also taught people about the fascinating things that can be done with your ashes, such as having them pressed into vinyl records or turned into dildos.
To Learn more about The Grief Series go to https://www.griefseries.co.uk/
YOU HAD TO BE THERE
(2015-17: UNCANNY THEATRE)
Our joyous celebration of liveness and shared experiences. The show that tried to prove that unique and memorable things happen when we get together.
You Had To Be There is a celebration of liveness and “being there”. An interactive, highly comedic exploration of what it takes to make those one off magical moments that despite being permanently etched in our memory, never quite translate in the retelling… when, you just had to be there.
Over the course of 1 hour Uncanny take on the seemingly impossible task of creating the most gloriously memorable moment possible with our audience. A moment that we’re all scientifically guaranteed to remember.
Along the way new friends are made, catchphrases are generated and one person will do something that they might never have dreamed would be possible. Together we explore how we connect with other people, and how we process the regret around those times when we wish we’d been there, or when we missed that golden opportunity.
I’m not sure that this is doing it justice. I guess you just have to be there.
I’D LIKE TO MARRY YOU
(2014: THAT MATT ROGERS PROJECT)
My anarchic response to people saying that the equal marriage bill was “making a mockery of marriage” was somewhat predictable… I chose to show them what making a mockery of marriage really looked like.
I got ordained online, I became a sea captain, and I got trained as a registrar. All so that I could get dressed up in my best golden frock (and a terrible wig) and legally marry strangers to one another in slightly grotty Live Art spaces up and down the country.
It was great fun.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR A BETTER LIFE
(2013: UNCANNY THEATRE)
Ah 2013, a year when we thought that making a crazy show about superstitions might help us to explore ideas about belief, bias, and who seems “good” in the public eye. We had some big ideas and a delicious low-fi shadow aesthetic. It worked out pretty well… and we made a whole bunch of videos that year.
Instructions for a better life was all about us, everyone that is, thinking that something is true when it isn’t. It’s a true story.
It’s a look at what people believe without question and an attempt to unpick the oddity of what we think we think.
Part thriller, part comedic romp through human psychology, Uncanny Theatre stretch logic to breaking point in a show that’s visually arresting and absurdly funny in all of its low-tech glory.
The rules are simple, and with a little luck you’ll be all right. Then again, why should you believe us?
(2012: SIMON BREWIS & MATT ROGERS)
This all started when Simon said that he wanted to make a musical theatre adaptation of “A brief History of Misogyny” and I instinctively said that he shouldn’t do it, since I figured that the last thing people want is men telling them about feminism.
Then that got us thinking… is there a place where men’s voices make sense in the gender conversation? is it useful? Are there things that we could learn from taking to other men about it?
And then and there the world’s worst idea was born, we’d do a project about feminism led by 2 men that only accepted men as participants. It was a foolish endeavour by 2 very foolish men.
Made with the support of the West Yorkshire Playhouse Through “Furnace” we spent two weeks chatting to the men of Leeds to work out what they thought feminism was, how they responded to feminist discussion points, and what they thought about more contentious issues within the movement. This all culminated in a surprisingly heartfelt, honest and humorous performance.
and it didn’t get us murdered… So that’s good.
(2011-12: UNCANNY THEATRE)
Optimism was all about self image, the desire to be something other than yourself, and the need to be desired. All through the lens of a woman’s attempt to turn into a farm animal. Big on visuals, metaphors and silly jokes; this was where Uncanny began.
You want to be loved. People love lambs, so…become a lamb. Most people know when they’ve made a wrong decision. But what happens when someone is convinced theirs is the right one? “OPTIMISM” is a twisted tale of desire and self worth told through the eyes of an idiot.
Blending dark clown with multimedia and unusual physicality, this production is both brutal and dreamlike, presenting a constant stream of unlikely characters, peculiar situations and striking visuals.
(2009-10: CHOTTO OOKII THEATRE COMPANY)
Chotto’s final show before we parted ways; a delightful little piece that played with expectations of romance stories, and revealed the dark, obsessive behaviours that they promote.
In an era of romantic comedies with happy endings and perfect heroes; Chotto Ookii present a bitter take on the saccharine nature of love.
Physical theatre, stunning visuals, puppetry and dance combine in Chotto Ookii’s inimitable style to produce a “hyper energetic tour de force”
One man and his wizened, chain smoking git of a heart; drag themselves out of the mundane into a sugar coated world that seems to good to be true.
This flight of fondant fancy quickly dissolves into obsession when the doll like object of his affections meets his gaze through frosted glass
THUS FAR AND NO FURTHER
(2007 – CHOTTO OOKII THEATRE COMPANY )
A dark little tale of addiction and abusive working practices. This is the show where Chotto Ookii really pushed their love of Buffoon as a performance style to the forefront. Based on the photography of Vaclav Jirasec, this show has an oppressive industrial atmosphere that permeated every moment.
In order to escape…
…You have to WANT to leave.
…AND EVEN MY GOLDFISH
(2005-2007: CHOTTO OOKII THEATRE COMPANY)
Our award winning debut that started it all. A heady mix clown, choreography and low-key visual spectacle that explored loneliness, and how it doesn’t always require you to be alone.
This fast paced and surreal production invites its audience into the mind of a severely troubled man, his neurotic rampage is peppered vacuum cleaner based assaults, disembodied dancing legs, and a worrying growth on the neck.
As he begins to lose his tenuous grip on reality, increasingly losing himself in fantasies and visions of a half remembered idyllic past, we start to realise that he might be losing something more than just his mind.
Winner of the 2006 Total Theatre Award for Best Newcomer
Here’s the show in its entirety, presented in glorious 2006 o’vision.
I have worked with a wide range of artists as an “outside eye” offering Directorial and Dramaturgical support.
This includes experienced artists such as The Grief Series, Odd Doll Theatre, Matt Allen, Lydia Cottrell, Daniel Nicholas, and Amy Gledhill among others, as well as an array of emerging and early career artists.
If you are interested in working with me in this context feel to get in touch below.
I also work as a photographer both for my own artistic projects and in support of other people’s practice. Here’s a selection of the artists I’ve worked with.
For a glance at photos I take for myself/for fun check out my instagram.
WORK WITH ME
Hi I’m Matt,
I’m looking for a…
…to work with me on projects and help shape a more long term vision for my practice. I’ve carried out a process of reflection that has resulted in some really exciting discoveries; distilling my goals and redesigning how I want to work. I’m looking to book in hour long chats with people who might be interested in the collaborating with me to make some projects. In our initial chat I can show you the new blueprint of my process and my goals and we can explore the possibility of working together.
If we both feel it’s something we can build on, we can have a more detailed discussion. You would have the opportunity to shape the scale and scope of our work together and I have a track record of ACE funded projects over the last 15 years and a portfolio of new projects ready for us to develop together.
For more detailed information please take a look at the Producer brief below. A pretty good selection of my past projects are listed above here, and the current project that I’m seeking funding for is sketched out a little in the “upcoming projects” section of this site.
If you’re up for an initial chat, give me a shout using the contact form below.