Well, rather like the rest of the world, Fly High Stories’ 2020 did not go according to plan.
February 2020 saw co-artistic director Jemma making our world premiere production of FLY HIGH at the amazing Singapore Repertory Theatre where it was scheduled for a six week run.
The day after the dress rehearsal we received the dreaded, but expected, news that Covid-19 was forcing theatres in Singapore to close and so our run was postponed and then, eventually, cancelled entirely.
Seeing the way things were going we made the decision to cancel our UK autumn tour. We were distraught but knew, even back in March, that things were unlikely to resolve any time soon and with co-artistic director Rachel being classed as ‘about as highly vulnerable as it gets’ according to her GP - safety for all our collaborators, family and friends came as a top priority.
So, we were most of the way to putting the company, and our careers, into mothballs to concentrate on small child wrangling and getting through the lockdown with sanity intact.
And then the ideas started happening. And thanks to a lot of hard work, an amazing rosta of collaborators, and some nifty fundraising, we’ve ended up having a jam packed and rather fun time (although, of course, offset against the backdrop of the global situation, and various family members taking it in turns to have stays in hospitals and hospices - so it’s not been entirely rosy).
However - on to the good stuff …
First - back in March we created Fly High Stories: At Home - a series of commissioned scripts from some of the best playwrights around for families to act out together at home. Check it out here (link).
Then - when Arts Council England announced their emergency funding we applied for (and received) funds to turn our cancelled show into an animation!! Have a look at it here.
In the summer we created ‘Adventure in the Library’ - an interactive Choose Your Own Story Zoom Adventure for the Summer Reading Challenge.
And then we received news that Singapore Repertory Theatre would be headlining our beautiful play at their online digital children’s theatre festival. Check out their amazing website here.
For the autumn we created Together-Apart - a schools’ project to encourage KS2 children to use creative writing to talk about and process their big feelings, featuring an astronaut, a super computer, and a HUGE amount of programming and behind the scenes work from Jemma and our Wix Wizard Chris.
And now, as the year draws to a close we are hard at work on 12 Tiny Plays - a series of festive themed short scripts for families to act out together at home, including an adaptation of The Christmas Carol, a Chanukah play, and a Zoomable version of the Nativity.
In 2020 we’ve worked with over 80 freelance practitioners, we’ve raised over £45,000 in funding, we’ve reached over 5,000 families, and we haven’t forgotten to feed our children once. We’ve been hugely supported by our core team of amazing champions (and husbands), and we’ve done our absolute best to approach everything with our core message of ‘joy and usefulness’. Not bad for two mums communicating almost entirely over Facebook Messenger.
And what does 2021 have to offer? Well - lots. Lots and lots and lots. But you’ll just have to sign up to our newsletter to find out what!