2017 A year in review

St Teresa’s Primary School opera workshop

It’s the start of a new year so it’s that time of year that gets you thinking about what you’ve achieved over the last year. We had a big year in 2017 with two massively successful productions – Cosi Fan Tutte and Reunion & Dark Pony – both of which included professional performances, workshops for young people, and for Cosi also sessions for the elderly, not to mention re-writing the music and libretto for the high street! We loved working with so many shops, cafes, supermarkets and libraries for performances, especially being part of National Libraries Week for our Reunion & Dark Pony production. Our Cosi Fan Tutte further embedded our work in our home borough of Merton, while Reunion & Dark Pony took us further across South London to Southwark, Lambeth and Wandsworth as well as our first performances in the new Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library. 

Battersea Library Dark Pony Snow

And we made lots of new friends – audiences seeing our work for the first time; lovely local people and Wimbledon College of Art students volunteering with us at performances; our amazing partners and funders; and all the young people exploring with us in our workshops.

We particularly enjoyed our storytelling workshops in libraries recently. To continue our relationship with libraries after National Libraries Week and inspired by our professional production of Dark Pony, we had a brilliant time with groups of children in John Harvard Library, Battersea and Earlsfield Libraries as well as Jigsaw4u and local schools encouraging childrens’ imaginative and storytelling skills. 

Jigsaw4u Kids Workshop

And what imaginations they had! Making up stories as an ensemble one sentence or one word at a time, the children created stories about the King of the Crabs on the beach, an evil sandwich eating robot, and a long bearded man who lives in a treehouse. The children also developed their character development skills by asking Yes/No questions of each character, leading to hotseating for older children, and created soundscapes of magical forests using our bodies and voices, leading to the children presenting scenes using movement and sound.

Cosi Fan Tutte – Elys Wimbledon

And after a well earned rest over Christmas, we’re now well into our planning for 2018 and even 2019! We have some exciting plans afoot for both our innovative site-specific performances in public spaces and our Education & Outreach work to ensure everybody has access to experience and learn about high quality theatre and opera. We’re excited to be developing our relationships with Jigsaw4u and Merton Music Foundation even further to reach more young people across the borough. Want to find out how you can get involved or support us so we can continue to develop our work both in our local community whilst raising our national profile? Then just drop us a line…

 

 

And all good wishes to you and yours for a happy and successful 2018!

 

Free kids drama workshops during half term!

This workshop was in 2017

Raynes Park High School Workshop

We’re excited to offer drama workshops for young people aged 8-12 in libraries this half term to inspire them in the magic of storytelling.

 

As part of our current libraries project which has included performances of David Mamet’s Reunion and Dark Pony after hours in six atmospheric South London libraries, we are now offering free drama workshops for young people in three libraries this half term. With fun drama games and exercises to develop their writing, acting and storytelling, we aim to excite young people about bringing stories to life and creating new stories. Read more

Designing a production for six libraries across South London

Clapham Library

Clapham Library

So our design process for Reunion and Dark Pony is well underway! Our exciting Set & Costume designer Bex Kemp and I have started the process of thinking about how you design these plays for six different libraries! Read more about Bex’s previous work here.

We’ve been reading and discussing the plays, pulling out things we think are interesting and possibly useful to think about as well as visiting all of the libraries together. Each library is quite different so the plays will be a different experience in each library, each with its own problems to be solved and exciting, beautiful or unique elements to make the most of. We need to work out how the plays can work best in each of the six libraries to make the most of each individual space as well as telling the stories of these two plays as best as we can. Read more