This was an incredibly busy year!
Coming out of the pandemic, we made full use of our SAVVY Studio at Fairfield Halls.
First we completed the season of shows for our intimate Grimmly world with The Real Housewives of Grimm County written by John Handscombe and performed by our Crisis Averted company. The show also included bespoke animations by artist Tim Kelly and video inserts created with film-maker Ben Hewis. The final show in our Grimmly Season was a re-interpretation of the lesser-known fable The Boy Who Went Forth to Learn what Shivering Was. Again involving animation and film, this wonderfully silly show explored the concept of reality in a post-truth world (and involved courtroom antics, weddings, Interpol and golf)!
This was followed by a Summer Season of Shakespeare, with bite-size productions of The Comedy of Errors, a shared production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and an invitation to join us at the Padua Nightclub for The Taming of the Shrew: The Drag Show. The Adult Company's production of Twelfth Night ended their run with an invitation by the RSC to perform on their outdoor Dell Stage, showcasing their acoustic version of the show on the banks of the River Avon on the hottest day of the year!
The year ended with us bringing our entire SAVVY community together to celebrate the festive season with a shared re-telling of A Christmas Carol.
During 2022 we also launched a number of new Artist Development programmes. The Centre Stage theatre creation programme worked with two of our members to develop two original plays that will be showcased next year as part of London Borough of Culture. We also launched the Stepping Stones project, working with local charities Mind, Crisis and the Southleigh Centre, to build the bridge from the community to cultural engagement. We delivered two successful Be More Inclusive industry training days for the Marlowe Theatre and Matthew Bourne's New Adventures company; took part in Blue Apple's International Seminar in Winchester; trained facilitators with our intensive 3-day hands-on programme and hosted the internationally renowned company Signdance Collective
Keeping track of it all is difficult, so here's a quick breakdown::
Finishing off our Grimmly Season which involved seven brand new shows, co-created with our weekly Take Park groups.
Installed new accessible tech and lighting in the SAVVY Studio (and we also took possession of a dressing room space).
Began the initial playwrighting sessions for the Centre Stage programme.
Launched our new Develop Your Practice training programme for emerging facilitators and directors, interested in inclusive practice and co-creation.
Hosted tech Workshops and a backstage tour of Fairfield Halls with Beckmead Academy pupils.
June - July
Launched our Pay What You Can Shakespeare Season with five reimaged bitesize romps, performed by our different Take Part groups.
Ran the Summer Stage Academy in partnership with Fairfield Halls and our Adult Company performed their production of Twelfth Night at the RSC outdoor Dell Stage .
September - November
Began weekly rehearsals with our Take Part groups, hosted Be More Inclusive training sessions, launched the Stepping Stones project (plus we welcomed new staff onto the team).
Performed A Christmas Carol with an inclusive community cast of 90 from across our weekly Take Part groups.
And even this breakdown doesn't quite capture the essence (and exhaustion) of what we got up to this year!