|With a background in Performance Art dating back to the late 1970's, and a career throughout the eighties as MC of The Zap Club, an experimental multi-media performance venue in Brighton, Ian Smith was well placed when the opportunity arose to become front of house MC for anarchic French circus troupe ARCHAOS (right) in 1990. |
By the time Mischief La-Bas was born in 1992, Ian could already bring a wealth of personal experience to his role as Artistic Director. He was key in the growth of the style of 'walkabout theatre' the company is now known for, where teams of performers, often multiples of the same character, go out into public spaces and interact with the public.
Ian always maintained his interest in Performance Art and during the nineties a significant link was made with THE ALBANY THEATRE, London, which led to four major commissioned projects using collaborative artists alongside the Mischief crew (inc. 'The Feast' - left).
|After crashing a space rocket into a Glasgow bridge to mark the millennium ('Project X'), Ian went on to develop several other large scale projects with Mischief La-Bas in collaboration with international artists, beginning with 'Painful Creatures' in 2003 (right) and culminating in the ambitious 'Professor Hildeberg's Famous Hibernating Antarctic Zoo' in 2013.|
While continuing to direct Mischief La-Bas, Ian consolidated his Performance Art credentials by acting as MC for the NATIONAL REVIEW OF LIVE ART occasionally presenting his own installations and talks. In 2002 he became an 'Honorary Associate' of the NRLA. In 2009 Ian was invited to represent the UK at the first Colombo Biennale in Sri Lanka with a sculptural installation entitled ‘Finest Blend’.
Three further commissions followed at Dancebase in Edinburgh: 'Moving Stories for Bedtime' in 2009 (left), 'My Hands Are Dancing But My Heart Is Cold' (Nominated for 'Best Male Performance 2010', Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland), and 'I Will Embrace You' in 2011. All were very favourably received by press and public alike.