Surprise Ending (plus Q&A with Bridget Foreman)

by Bridget Foreman
for York Explore and The Big City Read 2018

Everything in Eric’s life seems to be shrinking. His trousers are getting tighter, he’s being moved to a flat with no garden, and he’s had to get a smaller TV. Even Kit Kats have been re-sized.

The only thing that’s getting bigger is his granddaughter, Smidge, with her life full of things he barely understands: technology, kick-boxing and Minecraft.

Then one night, everything changes for Smidge, and a trip to the library expands Eric’s universe into a whole new dimension. Playwright Bridget Foreman has written Surprise Ending which will be performed by York-based Riding Lights Theatre Company in all of our libraries and at surprise locations all over the city. Surprise Ending is a fun, light-hearted short play which will make you think about reading in a completely different way.

Take a look at the programme below to find out where your nearest performance is, book a ticket for only £2.50 and come along, it would be rude not to!

 

Performance of Surprise Ending
followed by a Q and A with the playwright, Bridget Foreman

Saturday 13 October
7.30pm – 9.30pm

Friargate Theatre, Lower Friargate, York, YO1 9SL
01904 613000

Drift

Drift


Choreography | Anthony Middleton (theMiddletonCorpus)
Digital artist / projection | Ed Grimoldby (Grim Visions)

Composition | Jon Hughes
Set | Dave Searle
Costume | Anthony Middleton

NOTE |
Drift is a response to the nature of our changing world and climate. We see the initial mesmeric presence of a drifting mountain of ice, the iceberg. But this iceberg’s presence carries a disturbing reality, it’s a sign of the breaking up of the polar ice-caps, a symbol of the climactic shift and increase in temperature.

A collaboration between artists, Anthony Middleton (theMiddletonCorpus) and Ed Grimoldby (Grim Visions), Drift is the accumulated presentation of their recent research and development period. As a project, Drift is an innovative and unique performance, combining the mediums of live performance, projection mapping and natural elements, in one setting.

This research project has been supported with fund from Arts Council England, along with contributions of support from patterns ‘Kala Sangam’, ‘Dance Studio Leeds’ and Hull University’.

The future of Drift
As an initial short scratch performance, Drift is the beginnings of the development of a much larger creation, particularly created for gallery spaces and theatre spaces. As the work grows, the work will expand to include interactive experiences, a publication of images in the form of a photography book as well as a physical exhibition of photography, that can be programmed alongside the performance.

Thursday 4 October
7pm

Tickets: £10 & £8 (concessions)
from York Theatre Royal Box office: 01904 623568 or online

 

Roughshod on the Road: Reigate

After three weeks of mini-tour, myself and the rest of Roughshod were excited to get back, and get stuck into the life and work of a local community. And we couldn’t have been happier than to partner with the one and only Charles Merritt (former two times shoddie from Roughshod 2015 and 2016) and the team at St Mary’s Reigate.  Here he is recreating the Sisteen Chapel with Jared. (No, we’ve no idea why either.)

Upon arrival, it was brilliant to meet the wonderful community at St Mary’s. We had the pleasure of delivering our workshop ‘Peace in Our Time’ to a number of their youth groups, and we were hugely challenged by the passion the young people had for justice in their communities, and were encouraged by the words of one recently baptised teenager, who said that the workshop gave her an insight into what her faith could look like in day to day life.

This encouragement from the St Mary’s Youth groups was only built up further, by the audience’s of Year 7’s and Year 8’s in two of the local schools. Their interaction with the Q&As after our performances was hugely insightful, and particularly how moved they were by ‘Trafficked’ – our verbatim piece exploring the lives of survivors of human trafficking – was particularly touching.

Finally, we had the chance to enjoy the incredible sunshine (not something you often get to say in the UK), perform ‘Deliver’ at two packed churches on the Friday and Saturday, before rounding our week off with a Sunday morning service (featuring ‘The Dan Rap’).

Andrew

Roughshod On The Road: Mini-Tour pt.2

One of the joys of Roughshod is being able to visit so many new places, discovering hidden gems all around England. Our Mini tour has certainly allowed us to do that, zipping up and down the country, from Poole to Newcastle-Under-Lyme to London! Mini tour has been something we have all looked forward to, the chance to do the full show every night and get a glimpse of what God is doing in communities across the country.

One highlight for me was being able to take the team to my home in East London. Being able to show my family and friends what I’ve been getting up to, whilst also being able to communicate the heart of the show to the community I love, meant a lot. Plus getting to see my dog and introduce the team to her was an extra bonus!

Another highlight for me lay in our stop at the village of Great Bedwyn. My inner historian got very excited about discovering the tomb of Sir John Seymour, father of Lord Protector John Seymour and of Jane Seymour, who had lain in the church since 1590! As I said earlier in the blog, it’s the hidden gems of England we get to spot that make this tour just that little bit more exciting. (Well I was excited… I’m not about the rest of the shoddies though.)

Outside of travelling in the van and performing, we have been able to make the most of the gorgeous weather as the UK has finally decided to give us a proper summer. An early purchase of an American Football has not gone to waste and we hope to be able to make even more use of the ball and the weather in Reigate this week!

Beth

Roughshod On The Road: Mini-Tour

 

The last three weeks we’ve been on mini tour, driving all around the country doing a show at a different church each night. It’s been exhausting but a lot of fun!

One of the highlights for me was to be able to take all the shoddies home with me to Thirsk for the first show. To have my family and friends there to watch made it a special but nerve-racking experience, and I felt extremely blessed to have the support of the rest of the team that night (they in turn got fed a lot of cake by my fantastic parents!)

Another highlight was finding so many Riding Lights Members in the audiences when we’ve been performing, some of whom we last saw at members day back in March. Without our incredibly generous Members Roughshod’s work would not possible, so it was wonderful for us to be able thank some of them face to face for their support.

Next, we’ve got a few days off now to recover our energy before we set off again, this time to Reigate!

Esther

Right Here Right Now: June

“Fast, funny, unpredictable and chaotic.
This show…should be added to every comedy fan’s calendar’
York Mix

York’s own comedy improv night is back with its own brand of sensational silliness based on audience suggestions.

You come with the ideas and our merry band of improvisers instantly turn them into chaotic comedy to kickstart everyone’s weekend. It’s funny, it’s foolish, it’s fit for family audiences, and it really does make it up as it goes along.

Join us for music, mayhem and muppetry in an unforgettable and absolutely unrepeatable evening of joy-filled nonsense… it wouldn’t be the same without you!

Friday 21 June
7.30pm

Tickets: £5
Box Office: 01904 613000 or online

Please note there is a £1.50 per transaction charge if booking online. There is no transaction charge if booking by phone or in person through the Riding Lights Box Office. If you would like your tickets posted to you then there is a 50p charge to cover postage costs

Summer Theatre School 2018: Course Tutors

We can now announce the tutors for all seven of our courses at this year’s Summer Theatre School.

There are lots of familiar faces for any of you who are returning for 2018, plus a couple of new ones. John Holden-White will bring his touring knowledge of a different drum to RL Express as they create their own production of this Riding Lights classic. Meanwhile Becky Peacock from Rhema Theatre Company will be joining Stage By Stage and Fiona Peck will be returning to help with Face The Music.

Equally exciting Owen Kingston is part of our big immersive theatre production created by both Get Your Act Together and The Full Works. Owen directed For King And Country, which is currently going down a storm at London’s CoLab Factory. Sign up for a unique chance to try your hand at a very different style of theatre.

 

Here’s a quick summary of the courses and tutors:

RIDING LIGHTS EXPRESS (age 14-18)
Tutors: John Holden-White & Sally Maddison

When plague suddenly arrives in the Derbyshire village of Eyam, the people face a nightmarish choice – flee or sacrifice themselves to stop the disease spreading? Tell inspiring stories of generosity and heroism from across the world all woven into our production of a different drum.

FACE THE MUSIC (age 14-18)
Tutors: Erin Burbridge, Tim Burnage & Fiona Peck

Create a dynamic new musical inspired by the 1930’s novel Brave New World and music from the contemporary hit show Songs for a New World.

GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER (age 19-25)
Tutors: Jon Boustead, Owen Kingston & Abigail Oscroft

The Full Works and Get Your Act Together are joining forces to create an extra-ordinary, large scale piece of theatre. Led by the director of London’s newest immersive theatre venues, come and join this course to push the boundaries and engage the audience in a memorable way.

THE FULL WORKS (age 19-90)
Tutors: Jon Boustead, Owen Kingston & Abigail Oscroft

The Full Works and Get Your Act Together are joining forces to create an extra-ordinary, large scale piece of theatre. Led by the director of London’s newest immersive theatre venues, come and join this course to push the boundaries and engage the audience in a new and memorable way.

STAGE BY STAGE (age 19-90)
Tutors: Peter Hutchinson & Becky Peacock

100 years on from when women finally achieved the right to vote, Stage by Stage celebrates the dramatic struggle of the suffragettes with a spectacular staging of Bridget Foreman’s acclaimed community play, Everything is Possible (first performance at York Theatre Royal in 2017).

THREE ENTERPRISE (age 19-90) – COURSE FULL
Tutors: Paul Burbridge & Rich Hasnip

This popular course returns for a second year allowing participants to hone their skills in two of three theatre disciplines: acting, writing or directing. Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I have a Dream…’ speech will be the spring-board for Three Enterprise theatre-makers to create stirring mini-dramas on the theme of Justice.

TECHNICAL THEATRE (Age 16 – 90)
Tutor: Ollie Brown

This highly practical courses returns! Discover how to stage-manage a show successfully, rig and operate lighting and sound, as well as work with a director to bring one of the Summer School shows to life and to light.

So, has a particular course caught your eye or peaked your creative interest? If so, you can apply here.

Roughshod on the Road: Wendover

This week I got to take the shoddies to my home: Buckinghamshire! We spent 4 days based with the youth centre in a small market town – Wendover.
It was a lovely change being in a small town where we could walk to everything (a nice break from the van!) and we really became a part of the community for those few days, being involved in a variety of events and working closely with the youth centre and two churches.
We did a total of 7 workshops over 2 days! 6 in the local primary school and 1 with a youth club. We also did a short performance and games with another youth club, a public show on the Saturday night and even joined in with the local parade at the town’s summer festival, where we then did some street theatre too!
Face painting was also offered at the summer festival and, well, you can see what happened…
It was a very busy 4 days but a highlight for me was delivering the workshop to the Thursday night youth group (a group that I was youth worker at before joining roughshod). We are so used to delivering workshops in schools but doing one in a youth club was an exciting change because we were able to work really closely with a small group of young people and help them think creatively about how they can be peace makers in everyday lives.  It was great fun bringing Roughshod to Wendover, and the town definitely appreciated it!
Thanks for reading,
Martha

The Big Yorkshire Youth Theatre Festival

The Big Yorkshire Youth Theatre Festival is just a few months away!

We are excited to be partnering with York Theatre Royal for this celebration of young creativity from across Yorkshire.  Taking place on the weekend of July 21st and 22nd, booking will open soon, but for now get the date in your diary!

The festival will draw youth theatre members from all over the region to York. An amazing chance to share skills, spark creative collaboration, and celebrate some of the fantastic things young people are doing in Yorkshire. The theme will be Theatre in the Past & Theatre in the Future – quite fitting given the presence of the pop-up Shakespearean Rose Theatre in York this summer!

It promises to be brilliant weekend packed with workshops, performances and a chance to meet other youth theatres in Yorkshire. There will also be opportunities to bring a short performance too.

A one day pass for either the Saturday or Sunday costs £20 or £30 to take part in the whole weekend.
You can book your place by calling either the York Theatre Royal and Riding Lights Box Office (call 01904 623568 or 01904 613000).

For more information you can email kate.veysey@yorktheatreroyal.co.uk  and we’ll add you to the mailing list and let you know when booking opens.

 

T-shirts for the Big Yorkshire Youth Theatre Festival have been kindly sponsored by Grand Central.

Roughshod on the Road: TKC York

Ten whole days in York!

It’s been very strange to be back at base camp – not least after two weeks out of England. Although we were ‘home’ we were working hard supporting York churches and schools as they took part in this worldwide week of prayer. Taken from a line in the Lord’s Prayer these “Thy Kingdom Come” events were all about seeing the Kingdom Of God here “on earth as it is in heaven”. It was great to have a sense of being part of a bigger event with activity across the country and not just York..

It was great to connect back in with our ‘home’ community. We got the change to do more street theatre, after our first outing in Northern Ireland,this time in York city centre, plus a performance on the York walls. (Perhaps the most unique performance venue so far?) The days had a real party vibe with music from various performers and great pieces of art from YWAM. We even performed at a community fun day celebrating the royal wedding.

We performed a couple of full shows too and a real highlight was having Archbishop Sentamu along for the performance at St. Chads. All in all we have been deeply encouraged by these ten days, and I hope that in turn we’ve done the same for others in this remarkable city.

Jared