Arts Council England – Developing Your Creative Practice
February 2019 to present – I’ve been awarded funding from Art Council England which will enable me to develop my skills as a freelance producer.
My grant was made possible thanks to the Arts Council’s Developing your Creative Practice programme, a new development fund designed to support independent creative practitioners. With the support of this scheme, so far I have attended the 2019 Family Arts Conference in Liverpool, become a member of the Independent Theatre Council and signed-up to a number of their training courses and joined the National Rural Touring Forum. I am also spending time meeting other Creative Practitioners, sharing knowledge, seeing inspirational and innovative work, and researching and developing my own theatre-making ideas.
July 2019 – January 2020
This week I’m being work on an exciting new project with Norwich-based theatre-maker Natalie Songer. Satellites is a piece of self-performed, autobiographical storytelling created by Natalie. Here’s how she describes this amazing, true family story: “It’s a bittersweet, intimate epic in which two brothers, my great-uncles, are separated by war. One flourishes in one of humanity’s biggest successes, the space programme, whilst the other is lost in one of humanity’s biggest failures, the concentration camp system. Eighty years later, I try to reunite them.” We will be sharing the work at Colchester Arts Centre and The Garage Norwich in due course….
English Civil War – two new plays
June – September 2019
I’m working with Keeper’s Daughter, Play Nicely, and Stuff of Dreams on the research and development of two new Arts Council England funded plays….The Numerous & Various Assassinations of Oliver Cromwell, and English Civil Whores…..sharings happening at the Key Theatre Peterborough and the Seagull Theatre Lowestoft in September!
Our White Skoda Octavia
May – July 2019
I was asked by Eastern Angles to produce two sharings of a new script by Ipswich-based playwright Shamser Sinha. The play, Our White Skoda Octavia, was based on Shamser’s own experience of living in Ipswich and using taxis on a regular basis. Shamser interviewed taxi-drivers from Ipswich and Peterborough, using their verbatim accounts to inform his writing. The result is a script using humour, tragedy and rhythmic drum beats to explore themes of broken marriage, parenthood, sibling rivalry, health, manhood, local politics, the credit-crunch, Brexit, and the working-class British Pakistani experience. We shared the script to guests and Creative Industry colleagues in Peterborough and at Southwark Playhouse. The hope is that this play will have a future life as a co-produced touring production. Watch this space!
Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company
November 2018 to July 2019 – I am currently working as a Creative Producer for Stuff of Dreams, a new role funded by Start East. Based in Norfolk, Stuff of Dreams are a fantastically energetic and exciting rural touring theatre company, led by Artistic Director Cordelia Spence, telling East Anglian stories and employing local home-grown talent. Current projects include An Honest Gentleman, the story of Aylsham-born highwayman Thomas Easter, a summer season of outdoor Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, and a new site-specific production, developed in collaboration with the National Trust at Sutton Hoo, telling the story of Edith Pretty.
The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps – Murray Lachlan Young
December 2018 to present – Matthew Linley, asked me to join ‘team Murray Lachlan Young’ and help promote Murray’s new project The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps. How could I refuse? This is a brilliantly gothic, epic-poem that has morphed into a stage performance and a VR experience and is designed to appeal to family audiences. All the info here: www.raddleshammumps.co.uk
Delivered by Freemans – Eastern Angles
October 2018 – Whilst working for Eastern Angles I had been involved in the research, development and production of their Heritage Lottery funded project Delivered by Freemans. Focusing on the stories and experiences of people who worked at the huge Freemans Catalogue Distribution Centre in Peterborough, the project involved gathering oral histories, delivering schools workshops, creating an exhibition and producing a community play, staged at The Undercroft and directed by Poppy Rowley, entitled All Wrapped Up in Westwood. One of my first freelance jobs post-Eastern Angles was to evaluate this fantastic project which struck such a nostalgic chord with the Peterborough population.
Footsteps – the story of the Ipswich Suffragettes
September/October 2018 – The Women’s Voices Women’s Votes Festival organisers approached me with the idea of producing a theatre work to celebrate the contribution of Ipswich Suffragettes. We decided to create a piece of free, promenade-style theatre that would take the audience on a journey through the streets of Ipswich. Playwright Martha Loader (of Tusk Theatre) was commissioned to write the script (supported by Eastern Angles Playwrights East) based largely on the book ‘A Song of their Own’ by Joy Bounds. The production, Footsteps, was directed by Natalie Songer with two actors (Hayley Evenett and Paisley Pascal) playing the part of time-travelling heritage guides assuming the roles of various prominent Suffragettes. With the help of community participants (see above) we delivered six well-attended street performances….people watched and marched, and the sun shone!