An open letter to theatre and performance makers

We are proud to be a signatory of this open letter to theatre and performance makers, alongside many other theatre, performance companies and venues across the UK.

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This is a letter to self-employed and freelance theatre and performance makers in the UK. To the actors, playwrights, directors, choreographers, stage managers, designers, stage crews and set-builders to name just a few.

We really miss being with you during this period of lockdown. Making theatre and performance is a collaborative endeavour, so we are particularly affected by having to be apart from one another right now. We’re not able to come together, in the same space, to share the experience of a live performance. We’re not able to practise and enjoy our artform in its most basic form.

It’s now looking increasingly likely that won’t be possible for months to come, and we recognise that many freelancers face real uncertainty about if and how they will be able to continue to work in theatre. 70% of people who work in theatre and performance in the UK are freelance or self-employed, and it’s for this workforce, in all its diversity and complexity, that the impact of the current situation is most acute.

During these past weeks we have had conversations with many of you to understand your needs and the ways you have been affected. We are writing to express our support for you, and to lay out some practical steps we are taking to improve the situation based on these conversations.

As well as exploring ways of producing work with freelancers during lockdown, and using this time to develop new projects with freelancers for the future, we are also are working together to coordinate our response to the government, to articulate clearly what we can offer and what we need.

Most urgently, we are calling for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme to be extended in line with furloughing, for all self-employed workers, and in the specific case of theatre and performance workers, until theatres are able to safely reopen. We also want to see criteria removed from the scheme which are stopping legitimate and much-needed claims.

Some of you are already involved in these conversations. We welcome your voices and need to hear from more of you in the conversations to come. Your unique networks, skillsets, perspectives, and ideas are vital to the entire sector, and we need to work with you in our response to this crisis.

Each of the organisations who’ve signed this letter are committed to reaching out to their family of self-employed and freelance theatre makers; listening to how this is affecting your work and lives, and to your needs and ideas for the future.

More than that, we want to facilitate the establishment of a national task force of self-employed theatre and performance makers. The purpose of the task force is to strengthen the influence of the self-employed theatre and performance community. It would create ongoing points of connection between freelancers and organisations, and amplify the voice of the self-employed in the conversations to come. To help establish the task force, each of the organisations signing this letter will support a freelancer to join the group, ensuring they are paid for their time.

We want to offer a message of hope and solidarity. Our well-practised ability to work together, to form connections, and build relationships will help us through this. One day, hopefully soon, we will all be able to meet together, as people have done for centuries, in a shared space, for a shared experience. In the meantime, we remain committed to working for you and with you towards a sustainable future for theatre and performance.

 

Signed,

Access All Areas Graeae Soho Theatre
Action For Children’s Arts Hall For Cornwall Spare Tyre
Activate Performing Arts Headlong Spin Arts
Actors Touring Company Hijinx Stellar Quines
Akademi HOME Stephen Joseph Theatre
ArtsAdmin Improbable Strike A Light
Barbican Theatre Plymouth In Good Company Studio Wayne McGregor
Battersea Arts Centre Jermyn Street Theatre Taking Flight Theatre
Belarus Free Theatre Jerwood Arts Talawa Theatre Company
Belgrade Theatre Kiln Theatre Tangled Feet
Birmingham Repertory Theatre Knee High Tara Arts
Boundless Theatre Leeds Playhouse The Almeida Theatre
Brighton Festival Leicester Curve The Bush Theatre
Bristol Old Vic Little Angel Theatre The Cockpit
Brixton House Mercury Theatre The National Theatre
Candoco Mimbre The New Wolsey Theatre
Cast Miracle Theatre The Royal Court Theatre
Chichester Festival Theatre National Dance Company Wales The Royal Shakespeare Company
China Plate National Theatre of Scotland The Yard
Chinese Arts Now National Theatre Wales Theatre Bristol + Kiota
Citz Glasgow National Youth Theatre of Great Britain Theatre Centre
Clean Break Northern Stage Theatre Peckham
Company of Others Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Rites
Complicite Octagon, Bolton Theatre Royal Plymouth
Contact One Dance UK Theatre Royal Stratford East
Curatin Call Online Oxford Playhouse Tiata Fahodzi
Curious Directive Sophie Motley Turtle Key
Dance Base Paines Plough Unfolding Theatre
Dance Umbrella Pleasance Theatre Unicorn theatre
Derby Theatre Polka Theatre Unlimited
Diverse City Ramps on the Moon Wales Millennium Centre
Doncopolitan Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre Wassail Theatre
Donmar Warehouse Rose Theatre Kingston Wise Children
Eden Court Highlands Royal & Derngate Yellow Earth
English Touring Theatre Rubicon Dance 1927
Farnham Maltings Sadler’s Wells
Fio Separate Doors
Frozen Light Theatre Shakespeare’s Globe
Fuel Sheffield Theatres
Gate Theatre Smart Entertainment

 

Introducing the cast & company of The Man Who…

Stephanie Greer - headshot
Stephanie Greer

Chloë
Stephanie Greer first worked with Kevin Dyer over a decade ago. She is delighted to join him on this production and to make her debut for Farnham Maltings. Her theatre work includes And Now It’s All This (Liverpool and Los Angeles), The Disappearance of Sadie Jones (national tour), Ajax (Altitude North/National Theatre of Cyprus), Twisted Christmas (Liverpool Playhouse), and Beauty and the Beast (The Dukes). Films include Deadlock (Directors UK/BAFTA) and The Surface of Impenetrable Things (RTS winner). Radio includes Love Thy Synth (BBC) and Liverpool to Dieppe (BBC).

Sam C Wilson sq
Sam C. Wilson
Ashley
Sam C. Wilson grew up in Cardiff and trained at Drama Centre London. He recently starred in an episode of Banged Up Abroad for National Geographic. His other TV credits include Hanna (Amazon Prime), Don’t Forget the Driver (BBC2), Stella (Sky1) and The Diary Of My Broken Vagina (Channel 4). Theatre includes Wave Me Goodbye (Theatr Clwyd), Mood Kill (Snippet Theatre Company), Sideways Momentum (The Bunker Theatre), Gorillaz Live (Block9) and Romeo and Juliet (Union Theatre).

Samantha Trussler sq
Samantha Trussler
Wife
Samantha Trussler grew up in Ash Vale whilst her Dad was serving with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers based at Aldershot. Samantha’s grandfather, uncle and brother-in-law also served in the Army and the RAF. Samantha has often worked either for or alongside the Armed Forces. She founded the Aldershot Military Wives’ Choir in 2012 and has supported a number of military charities with fundraising and event organising. She was awarded an Eagle Radio Local Hero Award for Arts and Music for her work with the choir.

Members of the company in rehearsal
(photos by Alex Harvey-Brown)

An insight into the writing of ‘The Man Who Left is Not the Man Who Came Home’

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The latest production from Farnham Maltings has been a labour of love for writer/director Kevin Dyer, who interviewed over 100 military wives over several years, before compiling anecdotes and stories into the story of Chloe and Ashley that we see on stage. We got together with Kevin and asked him about the process of writing this unique piece.

 

What inspired you to start working on The Man Who?

This project started off as a piece called ‘Mr and Mrs Macbeth’. It was about what it was like to be the wife of that warrior man called Macbeth. At some stage, as I was looking at the story’s connections with today’s world, I spoke to a woman whose husband was at war… and then the idea took its first turn. So the first draft was a dovetailing of scenes set in Macbeth’s castle and scenes set in the home of a woman whose husband was going to Afghanistan. I wrote scenes in pentameters and verse for the Macbeth scenes – sort of ’new’ Shakespeare. But all those ended up in the trash folder as I realised the most compelling way to write what I wanted to write about was to tell the story of Chloe and her man Ashley.

 

How did you start gathering people to interview?  

Facebook. I asked friends if they knew anyone. That  was the beginning. Also, Farnham Maltings – the  commissioner of the play – connected me to The Army in Aldershot. How I got to connect with military wives choirs I cannot recall. But talking to those women was fascinating and inspiring.

 

How did you find the process of interviewing so many people? 

I loved it. I think people want and need to tell their stories – in fact we all do it all the time. All I had to do was find the right questions and listen. I did find the people and their lives fascinating, touching, funny and sometimes desperately sad.

 

Were there any answers that took you by surprise?

Hundreds, because people were telling me intimate details of a life so unlike my own. I was surprised by the sensitivity and vulnerability of serving soldiers and by the honesty of people, the trust they had in me. I asked people to recount in detail what the 10 seconds were like when they said goodbye.. And the ten seconds when he came back. The variation in those stories was remarkable. That is why the play isn’t about all military wives and all soldiers – that would be impossible. It is just about Chloe and Ashley – but hopefully there is something in their personal stories that connects with all of us.

 

Tell us about a particularly memorable story or interviewee. 

The ones that cried? The ones that shouted? The ones that lied? There are so many. I tried not to record people’s names, because I didn’t ever want to compromise them – but the stories will never leave me. One woman told me how much she loved her husband – physically, emotionally, in every way… but how she wished she’d never met him. Because it had also ruined her life, being married and chained to a soldier.

 

Which stories became part of the play and why?

There isn’t quite a logical answer to that question. The ones that took my fancy, the ones that fitted in with the other ones, the ones that had a truth greater than themselves. I also knew, after a while, that I was writing about a front line soldier and not an officer, and about a woman that would be married to that man.

 

Did the characters come out of the stories, or vice versa? It’s a question that always comes up for writers: story or character led? I think a story is ‘the things that characters do’, so the play is a sequence of events that happen to Chloe. And Chloe is made from the things that she does and which happen to her. You can’t have one without the other. Of course, she doesn’t have to be called Chloe. But now she is and I can’t imagine her being called anything else.

 

When did you decide to have Samantha (Trussler, a military wife who tells her own story alongside the actors) as part of the play? 

There are two questions here: 1. why have a real ‘military wife’ telling her story, and 2, why Sam. I cannot remember when or how the ‘real military wife’ idea came to me. But I’m glad it did. It not only interests people when I tell them about it, but it adds another layer of truth to the true stories in the acted out play. I am always interested in truth – and now even more so in this world of lies and false news and political manipulation. When I work with actors I always talk about truth and the truths that underlay the story. Having a real person telling their story, alongside real people acting out real stories gives us different layers of reality. The text of the play, of course, is full of real words, by real people – and it’s full of real stories told by real people… but there is something (and it might be part of the cultural phenomenon that ‘reality TV’ is part of) that draws us into real people doing real things right in front of our eyes. And why Sam Trussler? Because… well, you’ll have to come and listen to her telling her life story, and then you’ll understand.

 

What can an audience expect when they come to see the show?

Theatre. (Because ’The Man Who…’ is clearly a theatrical event. It is neither written or performed like any play or TV show.) And real stories about real people just like them. And extraordinary stories too – about love and caring and families and how we try to hold it all together.

 

If this show was a playlist of 4 – 5 songs, what would they be? 

Well, the play does have it’s own playlist. It has a fascinating filmic underscore and also some icons pop songs – the song Chloe heard when she met Ash’, her favourite song from choir which she might sing for you if you’re lucky, the song she plays at home when life is getting her down and she she needs to dance to like a woman who’s crazy.

 

The Man Who Left is Not the Man Who Came Home is touring from 26 February, to venues nationwide. See if we’re coming near you on our tour schedule

Introducing… Akin Theatre

Akin Theatre is Rachel Lincoln and Anna Beecher. Rachel Lincoln creates visual theatre. Anna Beecher is a writer. Together, they make visual, sensory theatre with text. Over the first few months of 2019, they toured their show NEST with the house network, and have recently become Farnham Maltings’ newest produced artists. We sat down together and got to know them a bit better!

 

1. Typical first date question… how did you meet?

We met as sixteen year olds at the BRIT School for performing arts. We were both studying theatre. It was such an exciting creative environment and we got to explore many different types of theatre, from Shakespeare, to political activism and performance art to immersive work. We feel really lucky that our friendship and collaboration began there.

 

2. How did you decide to make work together?

We have been working as ‘Akin’ since 2015. We created the company to make work which fuses our two practices – Rachel’s work as a physical and visual theatre maker and Anna’s as a writer. Together, we make visual sensory theatre with text.

But our collaboration goes back further than akin. As teenagers, we recognised creativity in each other plus a desire to work really hard. We created our first show twelve years ago, in our final term at the BRIT School, with our friend Danny Holme. That piece began as a school project, but the three of us formed a company called FAT CONTENT and kept making work together for many years! Akin is an outgrowth of that company.

 

3. Can you describe the process of making Nest?

Alongside our practices as artists, we have both worked extensively with babies and young children. For many years we led early years activities, including leading baby sensory classes. Late one night, in Rachel’s kitchen, we had the idea of creating a piece of theatre which drew upon all of the knowledge we had acquired about child development. Nest was born! We pitched the idea to artsdepot in North London awarded us a Creation Space residency to begin developing it. At this stage we brought in our brilliant designer Kirsty Harris to begin creating the tactile, visual world of Nest. That first residency allowed us to present our initial ideas to a group of babies and their parents and carers. We gathered feedback from the adults and closely observed how the babies reacted. That sharing was a really exciting moment in the whole process. The show felt like something special. We continued developing it, with ongoing support from artsdepot and brought in composer/sound designer Max Perryment and lighting designer Joshua Pharo. It took a few years of exploration to turn it

 

4. You toured Nest with the house network this spring- what did that involve and how was the house model helpful?

house is committed to supporting relationships between venues and companies in the South East and work to improve the range, quality and scale of contemporary theatre presented. Being part of house allowed us to reach new audiences and meet some lovely people. They really supported every aspect of the show and our house tour played to 98% sell out audiences and it was a massive pleasure to start to have conversations with venues and audiences who don’t know our work.

 

5. Who are your artistic inspirations?

So many! Our theatre inspirations include Geoff Sobelle, Jo Clifford and Romeo Castellucci. We’re also inspired by the visual work of Anna Veronica Janssensand architect Eileen Gray. The world of picture books also feels relevant to our work, for example Shaun Tan’s The Red Tree.
6. What do you think is really valuable about making performance, especially, as with Nest, for young audiences?

Performance can create magical, transformative spaces. We try to create environments which are gentle, and surprising; spaces where audiences can step back from the everyday and notice the granular details of their lives. In a world of distraction, our shows boldly say, be here now. We also feel like making theatre for young audiences can challenge ideas of what theatre is and who it is for. We believe that thrillingly innovative theatre can be part of everyone’s life from birth and that adults should should be intellectually and emotionally engaged by the shows they take their kids to. By including children, our work has the power to reach audiences who ‘never go to the theatre’ (something many audience members who came to Nest told us). We think that’s really exciting!

 

7. You’ve recently become produced artists at Farnham Maltings, (yay!) what does that involve?

This is huge for us, our work will be able increase in scale and ambition with the brilliant support of Hannah Slimmon, Laura Woodward and the whole team at Farnham.

The team support us with every aspect of producing. Their experience, insight and advice is invaluable to us as a new company. We’ll be making decisions and moving forward in the knowledge that Farnham will have our backs, and that is huge for us as a new company.

 

8. What are you working on next?

We’re making a new show! It’s called House. It will be another immersive work for families, with a broader age range than Nest. Our vision is an immersive performance set in a house where nothing is quite as it seems. In each room of the house a transformation takes place. The crusts under the kitchen table become a mountain range. A goldfish swims through the bathwater, grows giant and then floats, magnificently through the whole bathroom. Using text, projection, movement and complete engagement of the senses, we want House to explore the joy of home and the wonder of the beyond.

New Conversations- Round 2

 

 The second round of New Conversations is now open. Deadline 31 May.

 New Conversations is a programme funded and delivered by the British Council,  Farnham Maltings, and the High Commission of Canada in the UK . The fund is designed to encourage and support the development of creative exchange, collaboration and partnerships between artists and arts organisations in the performing arts sector in the UK and Canada. Initially a two-year pilot, the first round saw £62,300 invested in nine new creative partnerships.

 New Conversations aims to provide opportunities to initiate challenging and inquisitive conversations, exchange ideas and practices, and develop ambitious creative research and development projects that offer the first steps towards artistic collaborations and productions between Canada and the UK.

The fund is open to theatre and dance organisations in the UK and Canada. Artists and artist-led collectives can apply in partnership with an organisation and we welcome cross-art form collaborations (please refer to eligibility requirements and FAQs below for more details).

New Conversations will fund up to 5,000 GBP/ $8,700 CAD towards collaborative and sustainable creative projects that can deliver long-term benefits for the performing arts sectors in both countries. The aims of the fund are:

  • To increase cultural exchange opportunities between UK and Canada, allowing for more artist mobility and international opportunities
  • To share best practices and networks through exchange, to increase skills, develop ideas and new artistic vocabulary between professional artists and organisations
  • To support visibility and representation of voices and a diversity of dialogues in the performing arts sector
  • To support research, development, and seed support for future collaborations and productions

 To apply

Please complete the Application Form and upload it to the New Conversations Application Portal  no later than May 31, 2019 at 23:59 GMT or 17:59 EST. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered. The application can be downloaded below.

We will be hosting a Q&A webinar on May 2 at 9:30am Vancouver/12:30pm Toronto/ 5:30pm UK, please register and join here: http://bit.ly/2CTKfFc

Downloads

Frequently Asked Questions: in English / en Français

Criteria and Terms: in English / en Français

Application Form: in English/ en Français

Press Release – Round 2: in English/ en Français

Press Release – Round 1 successful applicants: in English / en Français.

Title and Deed Podcast

Farnham Maltings’ latest production for village halls is the acclaimed play ‘Title and Deed’ by Pulitzer Finalist Will Eno.

It’s described by the New York Times as “Gorgeously and inventively wrought”. The show will be premiering at the Maltings on the 28th of February, then tour to village halls nationwide.

We sat down with the company and get to know a bit more about it…

2018 Theatre Team Highlights

As the year comes to an end the Farnham Maltings theatre team share their highlights from 2018.

Getting Brilliance to shine. Having toured the piece last year I was determined that we should find a version that felt like ‘our’ production. And I think we largely did that. The other thing would be that I think that house is starting a new stage in its evolution. The dance pilot and inclusive training are both happening because we now have a regional ecology that didn’t exist before we started working on it. I think there is so much potential to do things better and differently at a time when things are only going to get harder.

Gavin Stride, Director 

 

My highlights from 2018…a hugely successful caravan showcase in May as part of the Brighton Festival, seeing the first cohort of students to graduate from the University of the Creative Arts Acting and Performance degree that we support, successful applications from Esmee Fairbairn and the Rothschild Foundation to support big new projects connecting artists and audiences and finally Little Bulb’s Orpheus returning to Battersea Arts Centre was a real treat.

Fiona Baxter, Deputy Director, Arts

 

My 2018 highlights are attending caravan for the first time with 60 delegates from across all 7 continents, working with our international associates Bertrand and Nasi, Rachel Lincoln & Anna Beecher and Still House,  launching new professional development and exchange programmes – new internationalists and New Conversations and visiting a remote village in China as part of our ongoing partnership with Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

Hannah Slimmon, International Producer

 

My highlights for 2018 include an exciting year for the theatre and family programme which saw a significant increase in audience and a large number of exciting companies performing at the venue for the first time, working with wonderful artists on exciting projects from Victoria Melody’s tour of Ugly Chief to plotting new ideas with Bucket Club and welcoming new faces such as Flintlock Theatre into the FM family and a series of vibrant Pitch Up events connecting venues and artists at the beginnings of new ideas.

Laura Woodward, Producer

 

Without the fantastic venue network, this year wouldn’t have been the success it was. I continue to be blown away by the passion of the individuals we work with, especially at The Woodville in Gravesend, who went to town promoting health and wellbeing for their upcoming house show Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad); the Electric Theatre, who continue to create a dynamic programme for growing audiences; and Glassbox Theatre (formerly MidKent), who are at the start of an exciting new journey. And that’s not to mention every other venue who has continued to support the development of theatre through networking, programming and just being good eggs.

Steph Richardson, house General Manager

 

Highlights …..Working with the Sandy Hill Detached Youth Project (SHDYP) as part of Spark 2018 where young people painted the exterior of their Hut making it a place that nurtured a sense of pride across the young people and the community.  Relationship with SHDYP and Farnham Maltings has influenced continued working 2019.  Dance in the Meadow 2018 – a highly successful event which saw over 200 performers take to the stage offering diversity and quality raising the profile and value of dance.    The Big Give Christmas Challenge Campaign – a chance for Farnham Maltings to work across departments to successfully fundraise for Spark community outreach projects.

Emma Jones, Participation Producer

 

Throughout 2018 I’m delighted to say that the rural touring network of community venues and promoters has continued to grow most notably in the South East region.  This is testimony to our commitment to widen the network beyond our home county of Surrey to include neighbouring counties, especially with a renewed focus on Oxfordshire.  Similarly the variety of type and size of spaces that we perform in never fails to amaze me –  a skittle alley in Somerset being the latest!  My 2018 highs have to include the 35 date tour of Brilliance which ‘sparked’ some of the best feedback we’ve ever had and the forthcoming 22 date tour of Title & Deed which is our first solo show I think we’ve ever made.

Janice Brittain, Rural Touring Coordinator 

 

This year I’ve particularly enjoyed watching how house gently drops a pebble into water and watches the ensuing ripple effect. By enabling fruitful conversations between artists and venues at Pitch Up, programmers at festivals, venues at network days, artists and their audiences at performances of house shows, all sorts of creative relationships have emerged. In 2018 house has laid the groundwork for two exciting projects on audience development and dance programming – I hope to reflect on their huge success in a year’s time.

Emma Gosden, house Marketing Manager

 

A particular highlight was facilitating for a group of 40+  venue programmers to spend a week at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe where they see such a wide range of performances with their peer group that goes on to inform the next year’s programming and audience development.  As a small team, we get to work with a wide range of dynamic individuals, organisations and companies to make memorable experiences happen for audiences throughout the South East. In these trying times, it’s more important than ever to realise the power of shared live experience and good storytelling.

Mark Makin, touring associate, house

 

The success of both Brave Folk and Brilliance this year along with the buzz surrounding the up and coming tour of Title & Deed. It was lovely to work so closely with promoters who are enthusiastic and passionate about bringing our rural touring shows to their venues. Being involved in caravan 2018 – a lot of hard work but a wonderful experience.

Jane Dunningham, Theatre Administrator

 

Starting my role in January and now finishing in December this year has been full of highlights for myself. From our three day caravan event, Creating Inclusive Environments & Experiences training days, both rural touring shows Brave Folk and Brilliance, the No Strings Attached grant scheme and Little Bulbs’ Orpheus. The biggest highlight of them all however is getting to be part of the wonderful Farnham Maltings team, working with such wonderful and talented arts professionals who I hope to have the pleasure of working with again in the future.

Jennifer Murphy, Theatre Administrator

 

 

 

Audience Feedback for Farnham Maltings’ latest show – Brilliance

Farnham Maltings is officially half way through their national tour of Brilliance and are receiving so much positive feedback that they just had to share with you. 

The shining brilliance of ‘Brilliance’

I expect this has been said many times!

Having been moved to tears at the end of Brilliance tonight, I have been moved to write to you, to thank you for brightening up my week, indeed my year!

I have just watched this beautifully intimate piece in New Deer Public Hall, in the North East of Scotland. A simple theme remarkably and imaginatively brought to life, generating a buzz between audience & performers, as if old friends had come together – a hallmark of Farnham Maltings touring productions.

I was first introduced to Farnham Maltings rural touring shows with the Iranian Feast, one of the most moving pieces of theatre I’ve ever seem; then followed  In Praise of Elephants which was an equally engaging, clever, touching and inventive piece of theatre.

It was this track record that led me to tonight’s performance. I have to thank you enormously for creating theatre that works so well in an intimate space. You have an uncanny knack with storytelling and of creating a real bond between performer and audience member …. not in the usual way (that so many theatres companies and their actors strive to achieve) but in a very tangible, connecting, ‘spot on’, ‘getting it just right’, ‘hitting the nail on the head’, unpretentious and communicative kind of a way!!!

I love what you do and I really look forward to your visits… you set the bar high for professional theatre in village halls, and others could learn a lot from you.

“Lang may yer lum reek!” IMG_6806

Translation – Long may your chimney smoke

In other words: may you continue to do what you do, so well, for a long time, and may you always have the fuel to keep your fire burning 👍😃

With gratitude and admiration,

Audience Member

new internationalists: in conversation with Stand and Be Counted (SBC)

 new internationalists offers four companies/theatre-makers a year of support, guidance and seed investment designed to help them internationalise their practice. The artists selected for new internationalists are Dante or DieMilk PresentsStand and Be Counted (SBC) and Lost Dog. We caught up with Stand and Be Counted (SBC) to find out about their experience so far.

 

Q1. What made you apply for new internationalists

As a company, we have worked with many international artists and companies – but have not made or toured our work beyond the UK. We know this is a great time to do it, having established ourselves as a company who can deliver a range of projects; national tours, large-scale outdoor performances with non-English speaking communities, employability and educational work with asylum seekers and refugees, site-specific festival productions with students and durational performances. We were part of this year’s caravan at Brighton Festival, supported by Farnham Maltings – so to continue that relationship to support our work and models of working is really exciting.

 

Q2. What was your reaction when finding out you had been selected?

We were super chuffed. It came just as we were about to launch our latest tour, ‘Where We Began,’ ahead of a 23-date tour – involving an international cast and a show about global warming and global politics, perfect! It felt like a really significant moment as we look to realise some of our big ambitions.

 

Q3. SBC alongside the other three companies selected for new internationalists (Lost Dog, Milk Presents and Dante or Die) you attended a retreat day at Farnham Maltings. What was the most useful thing you took from the 2 days?

It was so, so insightful. We are in great company on this programme – all the other companies are leading the way in their own fields, so it was brilliant to learn and share with them. This network of companies is really important, as we try and reach the next step of our development. I have to say as well that Gary Hills, the mentor on the programme, is wonderful. We have learnt so much already from him and the Farnham Maltings team, who have been so supportive and generous.

 

Q4. What are you looking to gain from the programme as a whole?

We’re definitely keen to establish what our offer to international promoters should be. Working alongside Farnham Maltings and our mentor will enable us to spend dedicated time on how we make strategic plans. It’s also an amazing opportunity to work on our digital platforms and ensure our work and style comes across the way we want it to.

 

Q5. Why do SBC want to make/perform work internationally?

Hannah, Rosie and I have all worked on international projects individually, which have really influenced our work and creative processes. As a Theatre Company of Sanctuary, we would very much like to share our unique model of practice, alongside the work itself, with artists in other countries. Taking work internationally is an ambition we’ve had for some time and we’re sure that now, with the support of this programme, is the time to make that happen!