2017 has been a very busy year for Team Engagement, full of productions performed by our talented Young Company, Made in Bristol and community groups. To celebrate a fantastic year, Engagement and Young Company Assistant Hattie De Santis talks us through their personal highlights.
In the summer we teamed up with Local Learning to create Meadows to Meaders. We worked with school groups, community groups and an over 50s’ club from Southmead to unlock the community’s fascinating history. Playwright Bea Roberts gathered stories from the creation of the estate in the 1930s through to the Teddy Boys of the 50s to create an original script for local residents to perform. This lively soap opera brought local stories to life in a fantastic street performance that showcased Southmead’s talent and wealth of fascinating history.
Young Company devised an original political production in collaboration with St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. T***k you bravely explored the relationship between youth and power in the world today. During rehearsals the cast discussed current issues that mattered to them and explored how they could present these discussion theatrically through Young Company’s signature ensemble practice. Together, they created a performance that maturely and creatively highlighted issues surrounding gender stereotypes, the NHS, Brexit, Islamophobia, the housing crisis and much more. The production was honest, daring and thought-provoking and we could not have been prouder of the Young Company.
The autumn brought the start of our Heritage programme as two new members of staff joined the Engagement Team. We’re now a team of six with Liam Wiseman (Heritage Engagement Manager) and Amy Spreadbury (Heritage Interpretation and Digital Content Trainee) leading the way with our new exciting Heritage offer which will be open to the public in 2018.
Since September we have been piloting a new Technical Theatre Programme for young people aged 16–25 who want to gain more experience as theatre technicians and backstage creatives. We now have two talented young creatives assisting the professional Stage Management and Technical team on the Young Company’s next production Punk Rock which will be performed at The Lantern, Colston Hall,
10–13 Jan 2018. This programme has been so successful that we hope to offer two Technical Theatre Assistant positions on all future Young Company shows.
This Christmas, Made in Bristol performed Ice Ice Baby, a show for 0–3 year olds. This magical production captured the imaginations of little ones through music, puppetry and a few bubbles too. It was beautiful to watch such young minds fascinated by this piece and we hope to make more productions like this in the future.
We’d like to wish all our participants and creatives a very Happy New Year. Here’s to 2018 and all the creativity and exciting projects that it will bring!