Interview: Dan King ahead of If Not Now spectacular show at Rochester Castle
We caught up with Dan King, Executive Director of ICON, who are presenting the spectacular outdoor show, If Not Now coming up in Rochester this week.
The show will be performed by 100 local residents alongside professional artists as part of Medway Light Nights.
Tell us about If Not Now and what audience can expect at the show.
If Not Now is a spectacular, free, dance-based production on an epic scale that will be performed outside at Rochester Castle. It has 175 people performing in it, both professionals and people from local Medway communities, and projections that will flood every inch of the 164-foot-high castle walls. The show is showing at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm, and lasts 25 minutes.
Who or what inspires you to make work like this?
All productions that Icon creates are inspired by local stories and people. Influenced by the sweeping changes worldwide that have been unleashed through the response to Covid-19, If Not Now will give voice to local stories and explore how communities can come together to challenge and transform poverty, prejudice, and the climate crisis. It also looks at historical moments which have launched extraordinary social change, including the establishment of the NHS and welfare state
What advice would you give to artists starting out?
Never give up, always ask questions and work hard. The arts, particularly in Medway, is packed full of brilliant generous people who are always happy to find some time to talk to you – don’t be afraid to ask, everyone was ‘starting out’ at some point. Icon are always pleased to hear from anybody at any stage of their career.
What are your favourite haunts in London and Rochester? (To eat, to visit, to see shows)
Nucleus Arts Café is a special place in Chatham, it has a nice café and gallery; we enjoy coffee and brilliant New York Deli sandwiches from No.64, and occasional Friday evening drinks in the Fire Station Brasserie. The Brook (where we are based) and Central theatre are a great place to catch a stand-up or panto and there’s a thriving local arts scene with hidden gems like Intra community arts centre.
London? We’ve got it all in Medway!