Friday, 8 December 2017

Our December 2017 Newsletter

To all our Friends and Supporters, wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year

2017 has been an amazing year with our production A Spark and a Beating Heart being a real highlight and receiving great feedback and reviews from our audiences. It is hard to believe that the performances were back in May!

Now we are working with producers, MAYK, to plan a tour of A Spark in autumn 2018 to venues in the southwest.

We are also planning a workshop for schools and colleges to run alongside performances of A Spark.

Next year will also see the beginning of a partnership project with Bristol Old Vic, running taster workshops for new people who are interested in making theatre and are potential future members of Firebird Theatre.

We are also talking to the Theatre Department at Bristol University about them holding a Firebird Theatre archive as part of their Theatre Collection.

We have been working with Cath Greig and MAYK on a research and development project which is about looking at how Firebird can continue to develop as a Company and have a strong future. As part of the project we have taken part in workshops run by Verity Standen, Nik Partridge and Laura Dannequin. 

Please see below for feedback from the Company and photographs.

This year we have received support from Arts Council England via their Grants for the Arts funding stream. They have supported us making and performing A Spark and a Beating Heart and the Research and Development Project.

We have also received grants from the Yapp Charitable Trust and The Odin Charitable Trust which have contributed to our running costs and donations from our Friends and Supporters. Many thanks to all the people who support us in this way, also to trustees, families and friends who support every aspect of our work, from the business side to helping us get to rehearsals and performances.

To end this newsletter, we finish off with some comments from audience members for A Spark and a Beating Heart

Photo by Paul Blakemore
This is a gorgeous piece of theatre that implicitly argues for the existence and potential of theatre, along with continued, active expressions of compassion for all members of society. This work tells the story of Firebird Theatre.
Review for exeunt by Rosemary Waugh

“Loved the thread of the myths and people’s personal stories. I liked the audio visuals that also held the story together.
Overall it was stunning.

“Very moved by the powerful performance. It was extremely brave to stand and give personal performances of things that people hoped would be forgotten. We must never forget.”

“I always leave a Firebird show uplifted and my life enhanced. I was very moved to hear the personal stories and loved the way they were  woven with the Firebird stories. I was very impressed with the Design.”

Feedback from Firebird for the workshops, all photographs by Ed Goater and Olivia Watkins

Workshop with Verity Standen, 16th October

The Power of Voice by Olivia Watkins

We starting of some voice exercises to help us start off. For this workshop about voice, it was very interesting to the group, with some ideas what we did: A food game: what is your personality as a food then the Name Jam/sounds of music – very good experience. Then we did rounds: Deer calling and a sea one. And we did Hocketing: singing backward and forth numbers and Hey Jude/ Yellow Submarine. We all work very hard to complete this workshop.
She was called Verity Standen. She was leading the workshop. We all think we like her to come again. We did some feedback of what she did.
And now I have finished my blog. The End.

Verity Standen’s work as a composer, director and performer explores the human voice and how it can be celebrated and transformed through live performance.
Verity, fourth from left, with Fiirebird

Workshop with Nik Partridge, 6th November
Feedback from the Company

Nik was a nice lively chap – very enthusiastic and he didn’t muck about.

His warm ups were excellent and he was very good at explaining about what an exercise was for and his instructions were very clear.

Some of the exercises were difficult to understand but most of us got there in the end. We noticed how good he was at adapting his exercises for us but also he didn’t give up – he’d play a game with us for a while until we got the hang of it.

We loved that he used drawing and writing – it gave us time to look and think.

He was also very good at interpreting movement. There was a good mix of teamwork, work in pairs and individual work – a good mix of different exercises: voice, movement, story telling, and choreography.

The whole workshop was upbeat and fun. It would be good to work with him again; we would love to work with him again.

We enjoyed it very much. Nik was a very open person.

Nik is a director, workshop leader and facilitator.

Nik, centre,  behind Penny and between Olivia and Dan

Workshop with Laura Dannequin, 20th November

We loved this workshop because Laura gave us lots of ideas. We would like to work with her again.

She helped us all take part and I like that very much. Some of the work Laura did with us might help us when we are on stage.

She helped us to look at each other, to watch each other; she kept us focussed.

It was so good that Laura let us be us, explore our own movements, our own rhythms, our own bodies.

Laura was very respectful of us all and she gave us a lot of confidence. Some of us feel like we can’t dance or move very well but she helped us to see ourselves differently – she helped us to see/experience what we could do NOT what we couldn’t.

The dance that Marilyn and Laura did together was beautiful.

Laura made us feel safe to experiment. She helped us develop our ideas. She helped us to make beautiful dances.

I loved the different music. The music was lovely and really helped us explore our own movements and rhythms.

The different music suited each task/exercise. And helped us get in the mood.

Thank you, Laura; we would love to work with you again. We will keep in touch and please keep in touch with us. We would love to see some of your work.

Laura Dannequin,
Laura is a French-born performer / choreographer / performance maker working predominantly with and in movement.

Working with Laura, Laura in white top and red tracksuit bottoms.

Ending as we started: seasonal greetings to you all and we will be in touch again in 2018 

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