Merton Creative Networking Event

Following on from the success of last year’s successful Creative Networking Event, we are excited to again be collaborating with Attic Theatre Company to host another similar event this May. Last year’s event was at the new Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library and this year we’ll be in Mitcham Library.

It was a fun friendly evening for local creatives of all disciplines to meet and chat over a glass of wine and meet like-minded local creatives and this year will be no different. As well as the informal networking we’ll also have an opportunity for several creatives with upcoming projects or events to present to the group – including hopefully hearing more about the exciting Merton Borough of Culture Film project!

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Our new production supported by Wimbledon Foundation

Pop up Opera Performance at Wimbledon Foundation

Pop Up Opera Performance at Wimbledon Foundation

We are beyond thrilled to announce that we have been awarded funding by the Wimbledon Foundation’s new Arts and Community Engagement Fund (ACE) to create our next Merton Street Opera!

Following on from the success of Drifting Dragons (2016) and Cosi Fan Tutte (2017) we are now re-imagining Johann Strauss’ Die Fledermaus for free unticketed high street performances enabling everyone to experience high quality professional opera for free. Read more

Cosi Fan Tutte Pop-Up Performance!

Two girls catch the eye of two good looking guys across a crowded room at a party and fuelled by a couple of glasses of wine and having checked their make-up decide to go over and chat to them. A scene that happens all the time across many a crowded room. Except that this time our two girls were Fiordiligi and Dorabella singing a duet from Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte from Baseless Fabric’s new adaptation with arrangement by Leo Geyer and libretto by Joanna Turner.

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“Seeing your ideas come to life… is so rewarding and addictive.”

Following our ACTS: REACTS residency at Wimbledon College of Art in 2016, we are keen to support local young creatives as they develop both creatively and on their journey to a career in the theatre industry – so we were pleased to be able to support recent Wimbledon College graduates Cecilija Berg and Nadine Froehlich as they worked with us on our 2017 productions. You can read about Cecilija’s work with us as Costume Assistant on Cosi Fan Tutte and here we caught up with Nadine to find out a bit more about why she became a theatre designer, how she worked on Reunion & Dark Pony and what she’s up to next:

Nadine Froehlich

Where did you study and what course did you do?
I trained on the Theatre Design course at Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL.

What made you want to become a Theatre Designer? What do you enjoy most about it?
I always saw myself as an artist, working on big paintings and drawings. What I enjoyed most of all was the process, researching themes that start to form a concept, but making paintings as a final piece didn’t seem enough for me. Read more

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.  Read more

Looking back on Reunion & Dark Pony…

A few weeks ago we had a fantastic time being part of National Libraries Week presenting our Reunion & Dark Pony production. Libraries are such amazing spaces and to be part of a national week of events showcasing a wide range of fun activities and events that libraries can be used for was just brilliant.

We had lovely feedback both from reviewers and audiences about our site-specific performances of these fantastic plays. As one reviewer commented: ‘The company couldn’t have chosen a more suitable author for this purpose than the one who once said “My alma mater is the Chicago Public Library. I got what little educational foundation I got in the third-floor reading room, under the tutelage of a Coca-Cola sign”.’ (Everything Theatre)

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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

Ex-alcoholic fathers and Indian braves

Reunion & Dark Pony Rehearsal

We’ve had an exciting start to rehearsals for our David Mamet libraries production! David Schaal, Siu-see Hung and myself have been detectives searching through the incredible detail of the history of the characters’ lives in Reunion. Bernie and Carol have not seen each other in 20 years since he left her and her mother when she was a child, and this first meeting of trying to work out if they can have a relationship in the future brings up so much detail from their past lives, sometimes painful, sometimes funny, often moving, and always intriguing. There’s so much detail to sift through and we’ve had our lists of facts about the characters’ past lives and the questions where we’ve had to work things out to make sense of their past or make up our own detail to create a fully rounded backstory for the actors. David Mamet has put so much detail into the lives of these two characters – Bernie, ex-alcoholic, ex-tail gunner in the war, and lineman on the Cape outside Boston, Massachusetts and his daughter Carol, whose relationship with her mother, with her new older husband Gerry and his two children from his previous marriage, that it is a joy to work through it all in rehearsals to bring these characters fully alive to you in performance. We also have to work out what the characters want at each moment – what their intentions are – and how these intentions towards each other change at various points in the play. Read more