We are so delighted to be a part of the Singapore Repertory Theatre’s online children’s theatre festival ‘TLC’ with our show Fly High.
Being part of the festival has given us a moment to reflect on our journey so far, and the impact that the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has had on our practice.
Jemma went out to Singapore in February to direct our inaugural performance Fly High, which was programmed for a 6 week run in their 350 seater venue. That’s the kind of commission that just never happens in the TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) sector in the UK and so this was nothing short of a dream come true.
However, as February progressed and the news got more worrying by the day we felt that dream start to slip away.
Undaunted Jemma continued to weave her directorial magic with the Singapore team and created the entire show, even with an uncertain future hanging over our heads.
The public Dress Rehearsal was a huge hit with the invited audience, they laughed and empathised with the two characters (Poppy and Mo), they loved the music and marvelled at the light-up clouds of the set design.
Sadly though we could all foresee and inevitability and just after the Dress Rehearsal the rest of the run was postponed to March, then May, then the autumn ... and, a few weeks later, cancelled indefinitely.
Seeing what was happening in Singapore and undoubtedly about to happen in the UK, we cancelled our UK tour (which had been looking pretty lovely, touring to some of our favourite venues), and put all our dreams into a box on the shelf while we focussed on Lockdown Life.
And that, we thought, was that.
Except it wasn’t.
Some emergency funding from Arts Council England, followed by funding from the John Thaw Foundation and the National Lottery Community Foundation and the John Lyon Charity and we have been fortunate enough to keep working throughout the last few months, providing employment wherever we can to the freelance team who have been so badly hit, and so let down by our government, and creating work for families (and now schools) to help them navigate the world situation through creativity and cultural access. (We’ll write another blog soon about what we’ve been getting up to).
And now, just when we had shelved Fly High (the reason why we formed this company in the first place), there is a chance for audiences to see it after all. The Dress Rehearsal was filmed and the lovely Singapore Rep have created a festival and made it the headline act!
So - click on through, and, if the entry price is a barrier then please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org as we have a few free tickets. We’d hate anyone who wanted to see the show not be able to. However, if you can afford it then please do, I’m sure if you’ve read this whole blog then you’ll know that theatres have been hit hard during the Pandemic.