Here at Above Bounds you may have noticed we’ve been travelling around quite a bit of late, all in aid of touring, The Elves & The Shoemaker. We’ve journeyed much further afield than with previous shows (well, taking Portrait to Sardinia might be the exception), but whilst long drives, complex public transport systems and comparing the inside of chain hotels can become tiresome, it has been a real joy to see different parts of the country and meet some wonderful new audiences.
This show has always been about celebrating difference and looking to make the most of what you can do, rather than focusing on what you can’t. And being able to spread this message to different communities, in parts of the country we haven’t previously performed to, is a genuine privilege.
The logistics of mounting this tour have also given us the chance to meet new creatives and collaborate with old pals around the country. When we toured to Scunthorpe for instance, we worked with a local Stage Manager, Keri Hopwood to ensure all the songs went with the right moves and sequences – which I’m pleased to say, they did! It was a joy to work with Keri who was a consummate professional and helped us bring this show to lots of little children around the town.
We were also re-joined by emerging Plymouthian artist Noah Jones in London. He’s worked with us for a long time and is currently excelling at Rose Bruford Drama School studying to be a Lighting Designer.
Audiences in Great Torrington were treated to a one-off appearance of the show’s Composer Grace Hancock who performed her music live alongside the shows at The Plough Arts Centre.
Coming up next week at Ocean Studios in Plymouth we will be joined by Plymouth based John Archer who has played Grace’s music for much of the tour and some older audience members will recognise him from The Narwhal Ensemble’s, Whey Down South and Barbican Theatre’s Summer production of Macbeth.
Touring can sometimes be seen as the less glamourous side to Live Theatre, with almost every actor and stage manager in the business having one horror story or other about damp lodgings, flat tires or grumblesome locals. However, in the cold light of day these occasional challenges fade away and what is left is fond memories of lovely audiences, and humbling communities; picturesque landscapes and urban myths.
After next week’s performances at Ocean Studios, the team will be temporarily parting ways for a well-earned Christmas break, but Helen & George will be busy planning in January and The Elves & The Shoemaker returns for a South-West whistle-stop tour in February before a period of hibernation.
You can find tickets and full tour dates on our Home Page, and please have your own safe journeys, Driving Home for Christmas.