Sunday, 23 July 2017

An update: for all our friends and supporters


This is a short up-date of our activities throughout the summer. We are meeting on Mondays for a shorter time than usual for July and August. We are doing a lot of planning sessions for the research we will do in September around the professional development of Firebird Theatre.

We are also planning a workshop for schools and young people that will be part of taking A Spark and a Beating Heart further afield.

We are talking to new people who want to learn more and are interested in being part of Firebird Theatre.

We will be visiting Bristol University’s Theatre Collection in September to see if it is appropriate for Firebird to be part of.

On Monday 17th July, we had 2 visitors: Scott Gooding a drama practitioner from Melbourne, Australia and Sonoko, who is from Japan and currently part of a residency at Bristol Old Vic. It was great to meet them both and good for us to talk about our work and tell them about Firebird and how we work.
Our visitors, Scott and Sonoko

In our next newsletter we will be including a report made by Sharlie  about the On the Verge Conference she attended, which was held in Birmingham on 4th July.

Finally, we are including more photos from A Spark and a Beating Heart. We hope you enjoy them.
Sharlie's story, told by Penny and Sharlie. The story of the phoenix told by Fionn.
The end of A Spark with the ensemble watching fireworks projected on the screen by Frank Spencer
Marilyn with the golden apple from the Garden Scene

We wish you a happy sunny summer and hope you enjoy the rain too!
Sharlie and Brian enjoying the rain, excerpt from Brian's story

All photographs of A Spark and a Beating Heart by Paul Blakemore: pb@paulblakemore.co.uk

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Newsletter for June 2017


First of all, we want to thank all the people who managed to come to see A Spark and a Beating Heart at the Trinity Centre in May. It was a very special time for us and we so appreciated sharing our work with an audience. Please see the Home page of our website for feedback and reviews.

We do hope to be performing the show again and If you didn't catch it this time round, then there might be another opportunity to see it in the future.

We are currently evaluating A Spark for our End of Activity Report for Arts Council England and making a gentle start on our latest project, which is a research project into the professional development of Firebird Theatre for the future.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting photographs from A Spark and a Beating Heart for everyone to see - there are lots of them! 

All photographs were taken by Paul Blakemore during a Dress Rehearsal and he has done an amazing job, http://www.paulblakemore.co.uk/

The opening : What is a Firebird? With Sharlie, Dan, Penny and ensemble
Telling our stories, featuring Penny and Fionn, with music by Adrian

Left: Fionn as storyteller. Right: Adrian, composer and musician: the firebird looking for five    perfect notes                                                                                                                           


















Other news:

We will be working with Cath Greig on the research development project, Cath will coordinate the project. It will involve us working with people with whom we already have established strong working relationships over the years, like MAYK, Frank Spencer and Ruby Spencer Pugh and also new people who we haven't worked with before. The Company artists will be central to the project and it will be the start of an exciting process. We will continue to share information with you about this project, which will kick off properly in September.   

Please contact us if you have any questions, information or ideas that you would like to share with us. We so appreciate your support.

All best wishes and thanks from us all in Firebird Theatre; we hope you have a great summer!




Sunday, 9 April 2017

Latest news!

Last Monday we did a run-through of A Spark and a Beating Heart with Adrian Lee and Fionn Gill, both of whom are performing with us in May - Fionn is the story-teller and Adrian is composer and musician. It is VERY exciting to be working with them both.

Frank from Redweather Productions filmed the run-through, which will be useful for us all and help us to polish our performances. We still need to do a lot of work but we are very happy with our progress.

Frank is also making a promotional video for the show and when he has done the final edit we will post it on our website.

We will continue to keep you up-dated and hope to see you in May for our performances of A Spark.

Finally, Tomas Brice joined us last Monday and took lots of photographs, here is a small selection. A big thanks to Tomas.






Thursday, 30 March 2017

A Spark and a Beating Heart - update

We now have four lovely flyers to publicize A Spark and a Beating Heart, images by Paul Blakemore and design by Matthew Austin at MAYK.

We think they are beautiful and hope you do too. We are emailing or posting them, one at a time over the next few weeks up until the performances in May, to people on our mailing list. We will also show them on our website.

We have been rehearsing using props made by Ruby Spencer Pugh. Ruby is our set, costume and props designer.

Last Monday we tried out the golden apples that Ruby has made for the garden scene in A Spark. Here's Dan 'stealing one of the golden apples'!

Photograph by Penny Goater, Firebird Theatre
This coming Monday 3rd April we are doing a run-through of A Spark for the first time, working with Fionn Gill and Adrian Lee, both of whom are joining us on the day.

This is an exciting but frightening time - we only have a few days of rehearsal left and lots of things have to come together over the next few weeks. Having said that we are now ready to share our work with an audience and we hope people will come and see  A Spark and a Beating Heart - we think it is special production and we hope you do too.



Sunday, 12 March 2017

Working with Adrain Lee, musician and composer

Last Monday, 6th March, we had our first practical session with Adrian Lee. Adrian is working with us as composer and musician for A Spark and a Beating Heart. He is telling the story of the firebird who is looking for five perfect notes to create a beautiful melody for its song, through specially composed music for this production.

Adrian is a musician with the British Paraorchestra and has a lot of experience of composing music for the theatre and television. It is wonderful to be able to work with him to realise all our ideas and creative ambitions for A Spark and a Beating Heart. In April, Adrian will join us again, along with Fionn, for a run-through of the performance.

We will keep you up-dated, step-by-step, with how the work is developing, leading up to the performances in May.


Adrian working with the Company, photo by Penny Goater

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Latest news

On Monday 28th March we had a production meeting with most members of the technical and design team joining us at the Public Hall, Shirehampton.

Our rehearsals continue and next Monday 6th March, we will be working with Adrian Lee from the British Paraorchestra. Adrian will be composing music around the story of the firebird that is looking for 5 perfect notes to create its beautiful song.

Fionn, Dan and Penny: the story of Marushka and Penny's story: photo by Tomas Brice

Sharlie and Dan wrote a poem about A Spark and a Beating Heart during one Monday lunchtime, we would like to include this in our Programme. Not only is it a beautiful poem but it shows how the work continues to inspire and influence the Company. Here is the poem.


Poem by Sharlie and Dan

Imagine a kaleidoscope of colour

An explosion of sound, majestic and proud

Graceful and powerful

Elemental and seasonal:

Imagine a firebird.


Finally, we are posting some more rehearsal photographs that have been taken by members of the Company and also Tomas Brice, who visited us when he was home from University. Thanks to Tomas as well as the other photographers in Firebird.

Fionn, Dan and Penny rehearsing, photo by Tomas Brice

Photograph by Penny Goater: Brian and Sharlie reheasing Brian's story

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Rehearsals continue

Fionn and Chris rehearsing Chris's story and the story of Zal, photo by Ed Goater



Fionn, Dan and Penny rehearsing Penny's story and the story of Marushka,
photo by Ed Goater
Last Monday, we finished our devising and rehearsing sessions with Fionn Gill - we hope to get-together with Fionn again in April for a run-through of A Spark and a Beating Heart. Next week we have a meeting with the production team and on 6th March we have the day working with British Paraorchestra member, Adrian Lee. Adrian is composing music for A Spark and a Beating Heart around one of the phoenix/firebird myths and will play live with us at Trinity Centre.

It is a busy time but we are very proud of our work and although May is getting closer, we feel we are well prepared for the performances.


Rehearsing the King's Garden scene, photo by Penny Goater

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Filming the second part of Chris's story

Chris Wiltshire, Firebird performer, has had a day filming with Frank Spencer at Redweather Studios. He has filmed the second part of his story for A Spark and a Beating Heart - we are trying out lots of different ways of telling our personal stories and the myths and legends of the firebird and phoenix for this performance.

Chris making the film at Redweather Studios, photos by Frank Spencer.


Saturday, 11 February 2017

Rehearsals for A Spark and a Beating Heart

We are enjoying our rehearsals with actor Fionn Gill; he has helped us develop the script and our ideas about storytelling for A Spark and a Beating Heart. We are very excited that Fionn will be performing with us; we have never worked this way before and we are learning so much from all the people we are collaborating with on this new production.

We have two more sessions with Fionn before he goes to London to work - next time we see Fionn will be for the performances in May!

Olivia, Brian and Fionn rehearsing the Garden scene in A Spark and a Beating Heart


Photo by Penny Goater, Firebird Theatre


Friday, 3 February 2017


Firebird Newsletter January 2017



Prior to releasing our publicity, we would like to give you the performance dates for A Spark and a Beating Heart. Please put one of these dates in your diary!



In association with Bristol Old Vic, Firebird Theatre will be performing A Spark and a Beating Heart  at Fyfe Hall, the Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol BS2 0NW on 11, 12 and 13th May – times to be confirmed.



Firebird is proud and excited to be performing in this beautiful venue, in the heart of the city.



This new production tells the personal stories and collective memories and experiences of the Firebird performers. The experience of the youngest members of the company is very different to those nearing retirement. We use first-hand stories of the Firebird artists (captured through work with local writer Claire Williamson), intertwined with the myths and legends of the firebird and phoenix. The show mixes the personal and the political, telling stories of the past, the present and our aspirations for the future.



Alongside these stories, we celebrate making theatre together over the last 25 years and more; stressing the importance of theatre as a place where people have a voice and can form immediate and important relationships with audiences.



We look very forward to sharing this new work with you.



Other news:

We received 3 year funding from The Odin Charitable Trust, which is wonderful and much appreciated.



Isabelle Sallis and a team from Kingston University are running in the Paris Marathon in April. They are raising money for four charities, one of which is Firebird Theatre. If you would like to sponsor the KU Paris Marathon Team and support Firebird at the same time, please visit. www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/KUParis2017



We made £480 at our Christmas Sale and Auction after the Annual General Meeting on the 10th December 2016. Many thanks to everyone who helped raise funds by baking, running a stall and/or donating items for sale or auction.  Your help is much appreciated.

More about A Spark and a Beating Heart



MAYK is producing A Spark and a Beating Heart and the Creative Team working with Firebird Theatre are:



Fionn Gill, who will perform alongside the Company;

Adrian Lee, musician from the British Paraorchestra, composing and playing music in the show;

Ruby Spencer Pugh, set, costume and prop design;

Frank Spencer, film and projections;

Chris Swain, lighting design;

Paul Blakemore, photography;

Anna Griffiths, Stage Management;

Gemma Brooks, Production Manager.



The show will be British Sign Language Interpreted and we hope to have an audio described performance too.



Apart from rehearsal sessions, recent work has included voice recordings with Frank, working with Fionn, having a photo shoot with Paul and a Production Meeting before Christmas.



We will keep you updated with all information as and when and we hope we will see you in May, if not before!



Sending our very best wishes for a great start to 2017 from us all in Firebird Theatre



 
Photo of the Paul Blakemore photoshoot from 12th January, photo by Ed Goater.