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General, usually informal updates as to what I’m up to.

Ironman is go!


This is a long overdue update because most of the updating on this has been via a new subdomain I set up for Ironman especially. And all my new writing is going in Zines or on tumblr blogs. But basically I am currently in Newcastle in the first week of making (provisional title, and probably not the final one because it’s a trademark and stuff) IRONMAN. Which is my latest bit of work about the physiology and psychology of endurance sport. IT FEATURES ME ACTUALLY DOING A REALLY BIG BIT OF ENDURANCE SPORT.

Here’s what I’ve written about the show in that way where you write things before you know what the thing will actually be:

Ironman is about our bodies in a world that transports our minds places bodies can’t follow. Ironman is about the physiology of endurance – when our brains tell our bodies to stop – and the psychology of carrying on. A 2.4k swim, 112 miles of cycling, then running a marathon. It is about how the thing that shocks people the most is when you tell them you’re not allowed headphones. Just you, alone, body and mind, and the next moment. For 12 hours (or more) It’s also about things like my friend who died, John. About the marathon I ran in his memory. It’s about the reasons I cycle, swim, and run. 

I’m working with a documentary maker Niall Coffey, Alex Kelly as designer and dramaturg, 3 whole scientists/psychologists, a coach, at 4 theatres, and with support from 3 different funders. I’m EXCITED.

If that’s interesting sounding to you, you can COME TO A WORK IN PROGRESS SHOWING. There are two next week in Newcastle on the 12th (6pm) and 13th (3pm) of Feb showing very early days two weeks of R&D. It’s totally free to attend, but you do need to book. I’ll also let you know when it’ll be in Sheffield, Stockton, and London further down the line.

And you can follow my training/making process as I blog it at

172 days until the event. Eek.

 Also I did some other things recently, which you might find interesting:

Other things! Since I last blogged (blimey this was a long time ago), Fun Palaces came and went and was a great big bit of fun. I’m really proud of the work I did as ‘Digital Champion’ on the project

I did an interview with Eleanor Turney at The Space about that work, and generally things I think about how we think about ‘digital’. Said article saw the coining of the nickname ‘Digital Grinch’ for me which I am totally down with.

I’ve also been trying to get better at poetry still, by putting things up on as and when I write them. I’m quite proud of this poem about my mum.

I performed Songs For Breaking Britain as part of the All Change Festival and it got a lovely write up on Exeunt: “the voices that Nicklin has collected speak of unemployment, of despair, of fear and lack of inspiration. But there is also joy and hope and huge generosity.”Catherine Love

I made a new thing – a durational performance game called Games We Have Known And Loved’ which collects stories of games and play that debuted at GameCity 9 in October, and which also went to Dialogue Festival in November.

I also wrote a 20 minute piece of spoken word out of all of the stories I collected for the closing party of GameCity – It had a lovely write up in Rock Paper Shotgun and you can buy it in Zine form on my new exciting ‘shop’ (I’m going to put up a first zine of collected poems soon* too!). It’s cheap. You should buy it and then wait ages for me to post it because I’m in Newcastle right now, come on, pay attention.

*at some point.

And finally, I’m enjoying working more in and around games, particularly advocating for games in culture/arts/funding spheres – I’m currently doing some associate producing with The Space and have written an article on the bits of games that cross over with art/performance in the UK. 

Great things that my friends are doing that you should check out too.

  • The Lifes & Loves of a Nobody by Third Angel (half of whom I’m working with in Newcastle right now!) is at The Albany in Deptford until Saturday
  • Everything Harry Giles does, generally, most recently FarmForm and this lovely Twine gamepoem
  • And check out these two gamepoems from @v21 and Holly Gramazio
  • Plus the Pornography For Beginners blockpushing game that Holly made in reaction to the UK’s porn updated (outdated) legislation.
  • Adam Dixon‘s frankly cavalier promise to make a new game a week this year is throwing up some lovely stuff.
  • Jack Bennett is currently touring with Too Much Too Young which I’m excited to see next week.
  • Unfolding Theatre‘s Lands of Glass is touring too, which looks much fun.
  • I’ve played The Quiet Year recently and found it totally mesmerising (only $8 all you need is 6 dice, some counters, and a pack of cards to play).
  • Also, lots of new stuff coming up at Sprint Festival at CPT, including a new work in progress from Action Hero, and My Mate Pat Ashe‘s night of games and performance Beta Public. Which will probably be OK (it always sells out).
  • Finally, Olympians have a new record coming out SOME TIME. Like, it’s taking ages, but just before the end of the year they released a single from it. Why not round your evening/morning/afternoon off with Brunch Cannon?

Songs for Breaking Britain – London show

Songs For Breaking Britain comes to London on the 5th of OCTOBER – its first fully-fledged outing since the end of making it in March. Except it’s always being made – the show gets re-made every city we go to and collect stories from. This is you first chance to see it before it tours in 2015.

You can even share it with people via a facebook event. Imagine that. 7.30 start, 7pm doors, no support, but a load of other free stuff going on! Part of the All Change Festival ( at the Lyric in Hammersmith.

What is it? Maddy Costa called it a “a punk rock agit prop social documentary” on Twitter (which is kind of cool). I describe it as a punk show about what we hear when we make the choice to listen. It “[has] the audacity to be simple in concept but big in heart” an audience member said. Which is also rad. Basically we’re travelling the country, talking to strangers in the street, and making punk songs about the people we meet. A storytelling show made up of songs, a gig made up of stories.

“loud and moving and loud.” – Audience members are great.

So on the 27th and 28th September we’ll be in Hammersmith collecting stories — stories from anyone who will stop and talk to us about who they are and where they’re from. We’ll make these stories into a song for West London, and on the 5th of October you can come hear us perform West London, South London, Bradford, and Stockton.

Three chords, rhyming couplets, lots of noise. Songs from the marketplace, from the street, of romance, graft, boredom, everyday defeat.

Free entry, loud music, good storytelling, come along.

7.30 start, 7pm doors, 5th October no support, but a load of other free stuff going on! Part of the All Change Festival ( at the Lyric in Hammersmith.

And if you come along you can grab some of the cool artwork by Michael Parkin as a postcard.