As Christmas approaches, it’s fair to say that it’s been a busy few months for George and I. I’m currently touring with Rainbow Theatre South West performing in Sleeping Beauty (it is Pantomime season after all). We are also writing our first Arts Council England Grant Application for The Ugly Duckling and Other Tales, a piece we developed whilst on the Worboys Farm Retreat back in the summer. Since then, the idea has grown and with support from Sam Worboys on the Retreat we have built up an action plan to develop the piece further, with visions to tour it by 2017. For this project, we will be working with The Bikeshed in Exeter and Sam Worboys, as well as with a school in Devon. (There will be more on this to follow over the next few weeks)
Back in October, I helped the team at the Outpost 2015 Pop Up Theatre season, based at the Royal William Yard in Plymouth and hosted by New Model Theatre. This was the second year for Outpost, although the first for me and the atmosphere and energy was fantastic. Three Devon based companies were commissioned to perform new pieces as part of the season and there were other shows programmed in from elsewhere in the Country. What was fantastic about the season was just how well received it was by the people of Plymouth. Many of the shows were sold out and there was a real buzz from members of the public to have more events like this taking place across the city. The space was also fantastic, placed just above Ocean Studios in the Royal William Yard (a different location to last year and it really was impressive). The Royal William Yard has much history but now mainly comprises of restaurants/bars, luxury accommodation and the artist studios. It was fantastic to see theatre happening in a building usually occupied by visual artists and I’d love to see more cross-disciplinary art forms working together in this way and succeeding to pull in crowds.
My highlight was watching the Family Shows during half term week. Paddleboat Theatre sailed into the space on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th. I had never seen their work before and it was great to see an emerging children’s theatre company sell out the space.
Other highlights included Iron M.A.M by Owl Young, Granny Eyeball by Wandering Tiger and In Our Hands by Smoking Apples.
It is our aim to make theatre that can work in diverse ways like this and it is my hope that in 2016, we too can be part of the Outpost season.