The Adventures of Perseus is proving to be a particular hit.
A couple of colourful professors play out the popular Greek myth with Gill making an impact as a particularly truculent Perseus and Bill taking on all the women's parts - very fetching as the beautiful Hesperides and suitably hideous as Medusa.
We're particularly pleased that the younger end of the age spectrum - Key Stage 1 - are so excited by the piece. Key Stage 2 tend to be studying myths and often have some knowledge of the Greeks, but even the younger ones are enthralled by the story.
The Labyrinth is our newest production for young people, currently playing in schools.
Daedalus and Ariadne - in their dotage - recount their adventures in the Labyrinth, including helping Theseus to slay the Minotaur and the tragedy of Icarus' fall from the sky.
We're particularly emphasising our age and the contrast between youth and experience. But with all the (youthful!) physical language, music and imagery that are expected of us.
We couldn't be happier with the response: the staff at one of the Infant Schools that knows us well have declared this to be the best yet!
Another fabulousFringe TheatreFest has been and gone. A great collection of companies providing a wide variety of theatre for Barnstaple. A very happy and stimulating four days.
Visit the website for details of what went on and to keep up to date with plans for next year:
Beast! is proving very popular with secondary schools and colleges.
An amalgam of fact and myth, the hunt for the Beast of Exmoor provides the framework for a taut psychological drama about our need for Beasts and what happens as we hunt them. The hunter becomes the hunted and hero and beast are in danger of becoming indistinguishable.
This is entertainment with substance for adult and student audiences.
We've played a large number of colleges, schools and community venues in the South West and beyond with great success.
The House Jack Built had its premiere performance at Studio@QT in Barnstaple at the end of January.
After a further performance at Bristol Ferment we assessed the feedback and rewrote and reconfigured the play for Prague Fringe Festival at the end of May. In its new form the production won The Creative Award in Prague, a 5 star review from FringeReview and clearly made a big impact on our audiences.
The play won further awards at Reading Fringe Festival (Best Original Piece and Best Actress) and went down very well at Stroud Theatre Festival.
Check back for a forthcoming announcement about performances in Exeter in March 2014.
Kate and Rob are architects. Their house is cracking, one of their daughters is missing and the other has gone into labour. While Kate sets out on a virtual rescue mission, Rob retreats into his video game. A mordant comedy.
Backward Glance, extensively reworked after initial outings at the Brighton and Barnstaple Fringe Festivals, proved a major success at Prague Fringe Festival in 2009, netting multi story the Kreativni Cena (Creative Award) as well as a glowing review from the Prague Post.
We reworked the piece again for The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter, picking up a fabulous review in Devon Life. In the process we learned even more about the piece which meant further re-writing and re-staging before a performance at The Queen's Theatre, Barnstaple in the studio@QT season - and another great review!
We're particularly offering the play to Literary Festivals - since the piece centres around a literary couple - and are delighted to have played both Appledore Book Festival and Ilkley Literary Festival last autumn.
What was Josh's Monsters is now Every Mother's Son. Feedback from venues and promoters - especially Rural Touring promoters - indicated that the title Josh's Monsters was proving a confusion - that too many people were assuming that it was a play for young audiences. So after consultation and consideration we have re-christened the play for its autumn 2013 tour.
Firmly rooted in North Devon - and developed through the agency of Beaford Arts' Breathing Space programme - Every Mother's Son charts an agonizing countdown as a mother prepares to see her son off for a second tour of duty to Afghanistan and tries to persuade her husband that, whatever his qualms, he has to come with her to wave him off.
She is in the kitchen, he is in the cellar. They communicate via Skype. And he streams images of their past and their present and of conflicts both real and virtual to a couple of large screens.
We are delighted to be working with the Plough Arts Centre to present a performance of The Children's Crusade. This will take place on Friday 16th August after an intensive fortnight of rehearsals.
It's a great piece about the betrayal of hope and youthful energy, first presented by the National Youth Theatre in the early seventies. The original cast included Daniel Day-Lewis and Tim McInnerny - and Bill Buffery
Within the scripted farmework there is plenty of room for the company to develop their own stories as youthful crusaders facing hardship and temptation.
Some great music as well!
Over the last year we have been working in partnership with Arts and Learning to tailor theatre-visits, workshops and extension activities around the differing requirements of a number of primary schools in Cambridgeshire.
We have performed specific productions as requested by the schools to dovetail with curriculum and themed work. In some cases we have provided follow-up drama workshops ourselves. In other cases Arts and Learning have taken the work into other areas ranging from dance, to kite-making and ceramic murals.
The project, supported by Cambridgeshire County Council, has encouraged schools to think imaginatively about how to get the best value out of a theatre visit and additional creative input.
We are now about to start Phase 2, inviting a new group of a dozen schools to a performance and introductory discussion before rolling out the programme over the autumn and spring terms.