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.
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.
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.
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!