A Giant Adventure
When lockdown hit in March 2020, no one could have predicted just how long it would last, or the impact it would have – particularly on young people.
Everything we had been working on at SAVVY was put on hold, and although we diligently moved our weekly sessions to Zoom, it was clear that with the added pressures of school work, the physical alienation from friends and the sheer exhaustion of being on Zoom in the first place, our Young Company really suffered.
We returned briefly to face-to-face delivery last September & October, enjoying being back in the rehearsal room (albeit with strict social distancing), but then when lockdown hit again, and our planned December panto performances were not going to happen we did everything we could to keep the momentum and group together.
One thing was clear though – our groups WANTED to do the show live (despite being given the option of turning their hard work into a film or podcast – no, they wanted the live audience)!
SAVVY finally returned to our studio in April this year and the incredible resilience and tenacity of our members allowed us to pick up rehearsals where we left off – this time with the added bonus of performing in bigger theatre, with a fully animated set.
We also wanted to do something ‘extra’ for our young company members – so during the May half-term we hosted a week-long intensive entitled “So You Want To Be An Actor”. It was a huge sell-out success, with everyone who attended the week, joining our young company … and in true ambitious SAVVY style, we weaved everyone into our upcoming Steampunk Summer Panto in only 5 weeks until show day!
The power and importance of theatre, and the connections it forges between cast and audience, was palpable when we did all finally come together again.
This week we are releasing the show on YouTube, free for anyone to see, and the joy of the cast in finally realising it live, and returning to what they love, shines through (even online)!
Thoughts from our Young Company
So I have only recently become a member of SAVVY and I can honestly say it’s a joy to be a part of a company so inclusive as SAVVY. The team are amazing and very determined, for example over 10 people joined the young company 5 weeks before the show!
I had never heard of SAVVY before I had the opportunity to come and experience what it is like to be an actor for a week. It was an amazing week! I had never seen so much acting in my life and I loved it. And SAVVY is the best place to make friends.
Jack and the Beanstalk was a great experience, especially after the year we have had. It was an amazing atmosphere with REAL people in the theatre. I can honestly say I love it at
Before I joined the Young Company for SAVVY Theatre I took part in the ‘So You Want to be an Actor’ week. I was very anxious that I wasn’t going to fit in/be as talented as the others. I was wrong! I had so much fun, and I felt myself finally after a long time of feeling different from society, as I felt part of a community, so of course I had to carry on afterwards.
Most of the people from the ‘So You Want to be an Actor’ week joined as well so I felt comfortable going. When I got there, we got added into the Jack and the Beanstalk production with only 5 weeks until the performance. This terrified us, but Sheree, Alice and Penfold supported us whilst we remembered our lines/movements. In my old drama school if I made a mistake close to the performance I would be feared for their response, but at SAVVY I learnt that ‘mistakes’ are natural, and I shouldn’t be down about it.
I have suffered with ‘Speech and Language’ my whole life, so sometimes when I say words, they come out strangely. However, Alice came over to me and asked if I had a language impairment and said she would try and help me the best she can. I have been so worried as an aspiring actress how much this will affect me, so when Alice said that it wasn’t a problem, it was honestly a confidence boost. I was one of the MCF’s in the production and it was honestly one of the best roles, as I was being dramatic and well, I guess I can exaggerate sometimes!
On show day Rachel and Melissa were in the dressing room with us and making sure we were prepared and knowing when we were going on stage. They were amazing and I can’t thank them enough! Being near the curtains to go on the stage was one of the most terrifying things ever but there was no pressure, so I walked on relaxed and ready to give my best performance. Thank you to Alice and Penfold for making it stress free. Overall I had the best experience performing/rehearsing Jack and the Beanstalk as I know it is a step to success with acting. I am so thankful for the SAVVY staff for making me feel included.