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!

 

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

Drinks, nibbles & creatives in the library!

What a fantastic evening we had last night meeting all sorts of amazing creative people in Merton! About 60 people joined us and Attic Theatre Company at the Merton Arts Space last night for drinks, nibbles and chatting about all the different creative activities going on in the borough.

It was brilliant to see faces from organisations we’ve previously collaborated with including Jigsaw4u, Merton & Morden Guild and Crown Lane Studios, as well as meet so many new people and hear about all the exciting creative things they’re up to. Writers from a variety of genres, composers and musicians of different styles, actors, singers, visual artists, music and drama teachers, directors, designers, producers, photographers, a magazine producer, talent agent, and am dram enthusiasts…. the list goes on! It was incredible to meet so many local people with exciting creative talents with allsorts of endeavours underway in different creative disciplines right here in Merton! We can’t wait to hear about your future projects! Read more

Merton Creative Networking Event

We are excited to be working with Attic Theatre Company and Merton Arts Space to bring together creative people living or working in the London Borough of Merton who may be interested in artistic collaboration in the area. We are holding an informal drinks and nibbles networking event on 15th May 2017 for artists of all disciplines to meet at Merton Arts Space to form new creative collaborations.

The event is hosted by Jonathan Humphreys, Artistic Director of Attic Theatre Company, and Joanna Turner, Artistic Director of Baseless Fabric in association with Merton Arts Space.

You do not need to be a professional artist – we are looking to get to know creative people of all disciplines who live or practice in the local area and are interested in artistic collaboration. You may be an old hand or a newbie or somewhere in between. You may have a definite role or just be curious to find out more. All are welcome.

Read more