Coney are 10! Well, it’s 10 years today since we became a legal company. We were making projects way before then, since about 2004 we think – Coney’s curious nature means we never really know. But what we do know is Coney has been an infrastructure for artists to make playful things for a long time; first as the name for a collection of people in 2004, then as a registered company in 2010 and most recently as a charity in 2014.
We keep evolving – Coney is going from strength to strength. And today we look around, at our home in Toynbee Studios, to the 7 people that we currently are, knowing how supported our work is by the heritage that got us here; of artists and makers and producers and doers and people who were passionate about the power of play to make genuine change.
But the overall message that feels really important to say – is that you really don’t need a legal structure in order to make art. And today we will raise a glass to that – and to the hundreds more projects we’re yet to make and thousands of players we’re yet to meet.
It’s people that make Coney what it is – the people who work with us, support us, talk about us and play with us. So to celebrate that, we’ve asked a few people some questions, for their perspectives on what Coney is today and where we might go tomorrow. We hope you enjoy reading their answers.
All love and best,
If you had to describe Coney in three words, what would they be?
Naresh Kaushal (member of the Network of Coney): Innovative, talented, community.
The Young Coneys: Long bringing fun.
Kat Nilsson (Friend and Ambassador of Coney): Clever, challenging, charming.
Adam Gallacher (member of Coney’s Board, and Friend of Coney): Inspiring, unique, relevant.
Ben Yeoh (Chair of Coney’s Board of Trustees): Curious, playful, innovative.
How did you get to know Coney?
Kat: A rendezvous with Rabbit was arranged – Coney didn’t exist at the time. Through Rabbit a game was commissioned – the game was called Crack the Code. In order to pay for the commission we had to pay an organisation which Rabbit called Coney, and it went from there…
What have you learnt from Coney?
The Young Coneys: To express my feelings in drama and have fun, and how to build self confidence.
Kat: Always be prepared to be challenged and receive it with kindness, or you’ll lose a little of your own loveliness. And there is no such thing as blandness – it just needs playing with.
What is the best adventure Coney has invited you on?
The Young Coneys: The journey through the haunted forest in The Droves.
Kat: Small Town Anywhere.
Naresh: Tough one! I’ll say… The Droves!
What about Coney is most curious? Most adventurous? and Loveliest?
Kat: Curious – Everything is fascinating if you zoom in, or indeed zoom out to put it in context. Adventurous – the mundane becomes marvellous and takes you to a surprising place. Lovely – The team’s interaction and intention.
Naresh: Curious – the small but worrying instances of Liverpool FC supporting (so wrong). Adventurous – one person audio/location based… er… adventuring. Lovely – the Exchange.
What is Coney’s Superpower?
Ben: Pushing the bounds of what is theatre, how we perform, and what it means to be human and solve human problems.
Kat: To be able to pull at something that’s always there and reveal its complexity in a kind way that doesn’t make you unravel personally.
What is Coney’s best feature, and why?
Naresh: So much to choose from! I think it’s the fact that they always trying to do inventive things not just because they’re clever (though they deffo are!) but because it fits the subject matter they are trying to investigate at any given time.
Also they are incredibly open and giving and friendly – with no agenda other than to stimulate positive things!
Kat: To mess with your mind in beautifully clever ways that leaves you feeling like you are a better person and that there is kindness in the world.
If Coney had a pet peeve, what would it be and why?
Kat: Singlemindedness – it’s no fun and leads to breaking rules for unkind reasons.
Naresh: Small minded people.
What do you predict for the future of Coney?
Kat: In a hundred years from now their philosophy will be viewed as an agency of positive change in a time of dire need. Whether it was hugely successful or not will entirely depend on the funding/business model.
Naresh: The youngsters of coney will go on to be a big force in progressive things in the world of the future.
The Young Coneys: I think the future for Coney is AMAZING.
Thank you for reading and being with us on this journey. We’d love to hear your own thoughts and favourite Coney memories, so give us a knock and say hi any time!