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

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

Roughshod on the Road: Northern Ireland

This week I went home… and took the rest of Roughshod with me.

One of the privileges of working as a Shoddie is the chance to share life with so many different communities, but there was something special (at least for me) about taking the vital Roughshod work to Northern Ireland.

After a brilliant week in Scotland, we found ourselves in the North West of Ireland and immediately experienced the hospitality of the people (a selection of four desserts at one dinner time is how you do it). We had the opportunity to work in one of the local schools, providing workshops and performances to young people throughout the whole school. The responses were overwhelming, with one student commenting that our modern-day adaptations of bible stories helped them truly ‘get it’ for the first time.

Afterwards, we moved across country to Holywood – a little town on the outskirts of Belfast – and found ourselves doing work in all manner of venues. Whether performing in churches, prisons, schools, and for the first time in this tour – on the street, we had the chance to see the vastness of the work we do, and were warmly received by all!

Although, I hasten to add that this week wasn’t all work. I had the chance to take the rest of the Shoddies to see the sites (Giants Causeway anyone?) and even introduced them to the delights of an Ulster Fry.

In all this – whether performing hard-hitting drama to young offenders, or witnessing primary school children spontaneously clapping along to ‘Amazing Grace’ – I felt truly blessed, and privileged, to perform theatre full of ‘faith, hope and everything inbetween’ in the places, and to the people, close to my heart.

Andrew

Roughshod On The Road: Scotland

A week in numbers. 7 performances in 5 prisons, 3 public performance in 3 cities. Oh and countless numbers of sandwiches!

We’ve been invited up to Scotland by Junction 42 to help them launch some of their projects north of the boarder. We’ve worked with Junction 42 regularly in Newcastle and see some of the fantastic work they do supporting offenders and ex-offenders, creating a bridge back in to the community and helping them find independence.

Working in prisons again also gave us the chance to pull out some of the material we had not performed for a few weeks. We all enjoyed being able to do the full show as well as experiencing our first prisons on tour. We spent the week laughing, singing and talking with many men from all walks of life in the prisons, helping them think about faith and forgiveness. Here we are with Dorothy and David at the end of one of the workshops in a prison chapel.

At the close of each set we always perform Amazing Grace by John Newton encouraging the men to join in if they know it. To our joy one or two men would always join in the singing in each show. The opportunity to worship without pretence with them was a privilege, a really touching moment.

At the weekend we were really lucky to get some gorgeous weather in Edinburgh, and we got a bit of time relaxing in Mugdock Park outside Glasgow before our public performance there! Next week we are really excited to be travelling to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (Roughshod hasn’t been over there for over 10 years). Wish us luck for a smooth ferry crossing!

Beth

Roughshod On The Road: Manchester

This week we’ve been based in Manchester at Loreto Sixth Form College. It’s been an exciting change to spend a whole week working in the same school working alongside the staff and students of the RE department.

We performed to and worked with over 1,000 students aged 16-17 over 5 days, giving 14 performances and 4 workshops! We saw lots of wonderful debates take place between students of all faiths as we asked them to think and question their own opinions about Jesus and Christianity. Burger Van Prodigal (our modern version of the Prodigal Son) has also sparked a few debates. One student questioned whether the story suggested you shouldn’t ‘follow your dreams’. This led to a really good discussion about responsibility and what the parable might mean. A particular highlight for me was hearing many of the students talk so openly and passionately about their personal relationships with God in front of their classmates – something I would never have had the courage to do at their age!

We enjoyed a lovely sunny day off together over the weekend having a well-deserved rest. We even found an old Riding Lights book on the shelves at our hosts house and read a few classic sketches. Here’s Jared trying out his one-man Dan Rap!

Then it was on to Edinburgh for the next leg of the tour!

Esther

 

Roughshod On The Road: Maidenhead pt.2

We can never say no to food and we were each given an Easter egg from the team at Larchfield Community Centre. Thank you if you’re reading this!

Not content with spending just a week in Maidenhead, we were excited to be spending a further few days there before the Easter weekend. We had more fun working with primary and secondary school students and performing for adults and families in community centres, which provoked some wonderful reactions including people singing along with our rendition of Amazing Grace. On top of the schools and events of the previous week, we delivered a further 3 assemblies, 3 workshops and performed various extracts from our repertoire twice.

My personal highlight this week was performing The People’s Passion with our base churches in the Town Hall. The People’s Passion is an instant passion play, allowing groups to perform the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We used it as an act of worship as part of a Palm Sunday service. It was clear how moved people were by being able to picture the events in front of them. Everyone really enjoyed it and performing in a space that was the closest to a theatre we had experienced up to that point, was a bonus!

We have some exciting events lined up over the next couple of weeks which we are really looking forward to. But for now, the remainder of our Easter eggs and some rest calls!

Beth.

Roughshod On The Road: Maidenhead

Last Sunday we set off for our second stop of the tour – Maidenhead, where we’d be for 10 days!

Here’s a Roughshod selfie with Jeremy, Joan and Sally – the brilliant vicars from the 3 churches we were working with.

 

For the first week we were linked with 3 local churches and worked in 6 schools delivering in total 4 assemblies, 1 performance and 7 workshops. As well as the schools work, we performed/ worked with a group for adults with additional needs, a messy church event, a church breakfast event and performed our show ‘Deliver’ on the Saturday night.

It was a very busy week but filled with lots of new experiences for both the churches/schools and the roughshod team. A highlight for me (as well as being back near my home turf down south) was being able to make hundreds of children (plus their teachers) laugh and smile at the start of each day and having such a positive response from all the schools. It’s the first time that Roughshod has visited Maidenhead and it’s amazing to see the great impact that it’s made on all parts of the community!

Martha 🙂

Roughshod On The Road: Newcastle

Newcastle – our first stop as the Roughshod Deliver company. And what a week we had! By numbers: 1 church service, 1 ex-offenders meeting, 1 full show, 2 school assemblies (covering tiny tots to sixth-formers) and 9 hours of workshops, reaching over 700 people.

A highlight: We performed at a Junction 42 meeting for ex-offenders. We spent some time singing with everyone there – seriously, like nothing else! – and then we performed about 40 minutes of our sketches. During our finale of Amazing Grace the whole audience joined in – eclipsing us quite spectacularly. The sense of freedom in that room was almost tangible. One man had decided to follow Christ at last year’s Roughshod performance. It was humbling and edifying to find out what had happened in his life since then and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

It has been a great start to the tour, and hopefully the first of many action packed weeks. If you want to keep up with where we are and what we’re doing, why not give us a follow. We’re on facebook, twitter and instagram. We’ll have plenty more to shout about…

Cheers, Jared

Introducing Roughshod 2018

Andrew, Beth, Esther, Jared and Martha, our new Roughshod Company are in rehearsal right now, preparing to deliver a fast paced mix of theatre, comedy and insight to the world.

Specifically they’ll be delivering in the following places…

Roughshod Bases 2018

11 March – 17 March Newcastle
18 March – 28 March Maidenhead

(Easter break)

15 April – 21 April Loreto College, Manchester
22 April – 29 April Scotland
29 April – 8 May N Ireland
9 May – 19 May York
23 May – 28 May Aylesbury
29 May – 3 June week tbc

3 June – 23 June Mini Tour (Dates still available)

24 June – 30 June Reigate
1 July – 7 July Saddleworth (tbc)
8 July – 14 July Sheffield
15 July – 21 July Newcastle

29 July – 6 August Summer Theatre School

In each of these communities Roughshod will be performing their new revue show ‘Deliver’ as well as taking workshops into schools, churches, community centres, prisons and more. If you’d like a peek into the rehearsal room and to keep up with everything Roughshod are doing we’d suggest liking their Facebook page or following them on Twitter or Instagram.

Is your area missing out?

We still have spaces on the mini-tour for one night Roughshod performances. Get in touch with Bethan on 01904 655317 and you could bring Roughshod to your community.

Applications Open: Roughshod 2018

Applications are now open for volunteers for our 2018 Roughshod company.

Here’s a bit more about what we’re looking for…

Actors wanted (M/F) for a seven month community tour in 2018.

Actors-Wanted-600pxRiding Lights Roughshod is our dynamic young theatre company – taking faith inspired theatre into the heart of local communities all around the UK. Each year Roughshod creates and tours dynamic, challenging, spiritually centred performance to the places that need it most, performing everywhere from churches to care homes, primary schools to prisons.

We are looking for bold actor/facilitators with a range of skills who are interested in performing and running workshops in a wide variety of settings. All successful applicants will be supported in the rehearsal period with a training programme that equips our actors with top voice coaching, prison and schools work as well as workshop leading.

Please consider the company’s christian ethos before applying

Closing date for applications: Thursday 15 June 2017.

Auditions: will take place in York on 21 & 22 June 2017.
Second round audition dates: 10 July 2017
(Please Note: there has been a change to the first round audition dates)

Applications are now closed.

For more info call: 01904 655317 or email: roughshod@rltc.org