Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Firebird Newsletter, December 2012

This is our last newsletter of 2012 and we would like to thank you all for your interest, support and help over the last 12 months. 

As you know, we are now in the throes of making The Breadhorse, which is a very exciting piece of new theatre, and since our last newsletter we have now confirmed some of our collaborators.

The Breadhorse news

We are honoured to be working with Sarah Moody and Mark Lawrence on this project; Sarah will lead on the musical composition and with a small group of Firebird musicians and young people will play live during the performances. Alongside Sarah, Mark our choirmaster will rehearse a choir of young people formed especially for the project and made up of students from Briarwood and Kingsweston Schools and St Brendan’s Sixth Form College. We are delighted that the project can bring together young people in this way to be part of making important theatre for audiences from across Bristol.

The Choir, students and teachers from Briarwood and Kingsweston Schools and St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Tameka and Jack from Bristol Old Vic’s Made in Bristol project have also been working with us and we are hoping that they will also join the Choir and bring their experiences of performing in theatre to other members of the group.
The students have already met members of Firebird and participated in an exciting introductory workshop with Sarah and Mark; rehearsals start properly in the New Year.

Meanwhile Firebird has finished the first stage of devising for The Breadhorse and will begin intensive rehearsals in January. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Tristan Sturrock in our rehearsals from January, which will build on the relationship we started with him on The Nine Lessons of Caliban.

Firebird’s visual artist, Carol Chilcott, has had 3 sessions with the Company, drawing people as they have been working on The Breadhorse. Many people have commented on Carol’s beautiful painting of Breadhorse, which is currently being used to publicise the production, and we will tell you more about Carol’s work with us in our next newsletter along with further announcements on new members of the creative team.

On a more personal note, we are finding that The Breadhorse story means more and more to us the deeper we go into it. Company member, Sharlie Yea, describes The Breadhorse as being about a journey of acceptance and understanding, with a desire to pass on your knowledge and not keep it for yourself. The story has many layers and is making us ask questions about its meaning; like all really important stories we know not all of those questions will be answered and it will keep us thinking long after we have performed it.

Other news

When the Queen visited Bristol on 22nd November, one of the visits she made was to Bristol Old Vic to open the Royal Box. As associates of the Old Vic, two representatives of Firebird Theatre were invited to attend and were presented to the Queen. Although we were disappointed that only two people could attend, we were very proud and honoured to be included in this once-in- a- lifetime event. The Queen asked us questions about Firebird and showed a lot of interest in the Company. A great visit for everyone in Bristol and we felt very lucky to be part of that; we thank Bristol Old Vic for giving us the opportunity, as well as ALL the other support, help and opportunities we receive from them.

The Disability History Month event is taking place in January at the M Shed and other venues in Bristol. Firebird is performing its introduction to The Breadhorse as part of this event for Ferment in the Studio at BOV on January 30th. Our sister organization, Artists First, will be showing artwork at the M Shed on 19th January.


Firebird has written poetry inspired by Alan Garner’s The Breadhorse, which works as an introduction to the story. This introduction is 10 – 15 minutes in length and Firebird is sharing the stage with others on 30th January to perform it for the first time at 6.30pm. We are hoping that it will give audiences a taster for the full version of The Breadhorse, which will be performed in March.   

Dates for your diary:

Saturday 19th January 11am – 5pm at the M Shed, Disability History Month Event 

Wednesday 30th January 6.30pm Ferment: introduction to The Breadhorse, for more information please contact Bristol Old Vic, www.bristololdvic.org.uk

Thursday 14th until Saturday 16th March: performances of The Breadhorse – half price tickets before the end of February, please contact Bristol Old Vic for more information, www.bristololdvic.org.uk

Last but not least, we want to say thank you to you all for your support and help during 2012; we send Christmas Greetings and our very best wishes for a healthy, peaceful and happy New Year from us all in Firebird Theatre

We would like to thank those who have funded us during 2012: 

The Breadhorse is made possible by the generous support of Arts Council England through Grants for the Arts, Triangle Trust, Lark Trust, RTR Foundation, David Solomons Charitable Trust and Bristol Old Vic Ferment.  

The Breadhorse is produced by MAYK. www.mayk.org.uk