New Year, New Adventures

As we start the new year things still feel a bit tentative. We are waiting on funding bids for projects to take flight so find ourselves with enough time to take stock and find focus. We strive to build partnerships, seek out new ones and make new friendships along the way. So although the start to this year looks quiet we will look to the horizon with hopeful hearts and find ways to conjure stories and share spine tingling new adventures with you all.

View of the hills looking out towards the leek road from Solomen's temple

Adventure Shack

Now this seedling of an idea has been brewing and bubbling for way too long so we hope that this year will give us the opportunity to unleash a story of epic proportion. We have funding bids in and on the side lines to help realise our ideas. We are hoping for good fortune and if all goes to plan we can make this production our summer offer. So keep an eye on our social channels and keep opening our newsletters to see the developments that are taking place.

Female circus performer hangs in a crucifix position from red silks

Christmas: Plan B

It was always a risk. As covid cases soared in November and December we saw our ticket sales drop dramatically. We weren’t even sure if we would end up finishing the run of “The Hungry Troll’s Christmas Dinner” but our determination to provide a heart warming production for families shone through. That was no more apparent than when one of our actors tested positive on Christmas Eve. We are a small company and often don’t have a stage manager let alone an understudy, but this year we knew we needed a Plan B. I decided to step into the role of stage manager and as a last resort the understudy.  (You might have seen my posts on social media “Day in the life of a Stage Manager”) After performing in the last 8 shows of the run I can confirm that I definately know where I feel most comfortable. At the side of the stage and not on it!

If you came to see us in Derby thank you for trusting us to create a fun show for your family. We will continue to do our best to create memory making moments for all.

The hungry troll is disgusted when they taste sausages

Warm Festive Wishes

As I write this, productions up and down the country are being cancelled due to performers and crew coming down Covid. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? We are just praying we get to finish our run with DerbyLive and we all stay fit and healthy so we can bring some festive cheer to families.

So although there still feels great uncertainty in what lies ahead we are choosing to stay positive and find gratitude in the small things, like a sunrise on the commute to Derby. 

If we pause for a moment of reflection and look back at 2021 we can see marvellous achievements. We have managed to create and perform 6 different theatre shows this year, work through an R&D project during the covid restrictions and platform a digital projection, so we definitely feel like there’s a reason to celebrate.  

Our audiences, partners and funders make all of what we do possible, so it we want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and wish you and your families  a very merry Christmas.

The Warmest  of Festive Wishes,
Tara, Mark and Phil

 A sunrise through trees along the A515 to Ashbourne

Our Hungry Troll Serves Up a Festive Treat

It’s been a joy to share this story with our audiences. What a privilege it’s been to be asked back by DerbyLive for another year of festive fun. The #DerbyLovesYou venue in the market place feels airy and spacious for  our story of The Hungry Troll’s Christmas Dinner.

We have had such great feedback from everyone attending and hearing the reactions from some members during the show makes our hearts sings and affirms this is what it is all about. Sharing a heart warming story that then becomes a positive lasting family memory. 

Photo taken from behind the set. Looking through the window of the oven door we see two actors making beany banger bonanza!

Festive Beginnings

As we see out November and feel a cold chill in the air, we have one more treat in store to share.

Light switch ons, Christmas markets, may get us in the christmassy mood, but surely nothing says Christmas like a trip to the theatre to see our latest festive creation. The kitchen table has been covered for weeks as we design, make and craft the costumes and props for “The Hungry Trolls Christmas Dinner”… we’ve even got the kids involved!

The Hungry Trolls Christmas Dinner

Come and see us this Christmas in Derby Market Place. In a purpose built indoor theatre space we will share with you a heart warming story for all the family to remember. A tale of trolls, dinner ladies, and  yummy scrummy food. 

When a strange new dinner lady turns up to school the kids are going to get served up more than a plateful of trouble. Wait until they discover what’s really on the menu for their school Christmas dinner!

The origins of this tale comes from the ideas of school children. We held a workshop several years ago and one class came up with such a good story we knew that we had to retell it some day. We had to tame down some of the ideas as they were far too gruesome, but if you can make it to the show, you can sit and watch knowing that the seeds of ideas came from a bunch of nine year olds.

Flyer image for the show of a cartoon drawing of a Troll in a kitchen setting

The Lost Tales Of Grinlow Woods

What a fabulous time we had in Grin Low Woods. We delighted audiences and gave hearts a warm glow with our three stories. The glorious colours of the changing leaves gave an dramatic backdrop to our performances. The idea of following little tree sprites and discovering fairy doors along the pathways to find the next story have given inspiration to our friends at BCA. They are now talking about making an ever changing route around the woods for children to seek out.

Three characters dressed in hats and clothing with a woodland theme stand together and smile at the camera

Bogtastic!

Two fairies fly above a peaty bog character while 2 chiclren walk above them on a moorland

Thank You

We know some of you couldn’t make it for numerous reasons but it means a lot when families show an interest in our work.

We had a fabulous four days presenting our story and we know the weather was a bit of a shocker at times but we were bowled over by everyone’s enthusiasm come rain or shine. It was a pleasure to work alongside Moors For The Future Partnership in creating this informative piece on the important role our moorlands play in fighting climate change.

The photo is taken behind the audience. There is bunting a stage and a backdrop of greenleafed trees

Make a Bog Fairy

Don’t forget to visit our YouTube channel so you can see how to make your very own bog fairy.

If you want another resource head to our website and download a fun booklet that has been designed by Moors For The Future Partnership that gets you all thinking about the themes within our production.

Bilberry the bog fairy shows Cottongrass her family as little puppets
Bilberry the bog fairy sits next to a giant big eyed puppet called Peat