Category Archives: The Forest tour blog

The Forest tour comes to an end

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Sorry it has been a while since we have blogged, tour came to an end and it was straight into preparations for the new show, but more about that later. Our great intentions of consistent blogs about the venues we toured to came to an end due to the intensity of performing two shows a day, getting the set in and out, the miles of driving and touring with 3 children under 3 (+ 3 grandparents!) Firstly let us tell you about how The Forest tour went:

We visited 26 venues from end of August 2015 – beginning of December 2015. We reached 402 people with PMLD, 411 Carers, 34 additional family members (some carers were family carers), 179 additional people (students, artists, general public), 160 members of Theatre staff and 13 members of press. Overall The Forest played to 1199 people.

We made some wonderful connections with venues. For many venues it was the first time they had programmed a show specifically for our audiences needs. The Forest really opened their eyes to the possibilities of working with audiences with PMLD again in the future. We hope to return to most of these venues with our next production ‘Home’. We also returned to a number of venues we had taken Tunnels to. We saw some of the same audiences that had been to see Tunnels and it was really heart-warming how we were welcomed back by theatre staff and audiences.

During The Forest tour we also spoke to a lot of other artists and students about our work and the methodologies behind it. We really hope that our enthusiasm has rubbed off on some of these people and there will be more work created for audiences with PMLD in the near future.

The Forest tour was full on, especially being on the road with all our children and grandparents, but we had the best time. We visited towns we had never been to, met fantastic enthusiastic theatre staff but most of all we enjoyed engaging with our audience and their families and carers. I will leave you with some audience quotes from the tour:

Thank you so much for a fabulous morning! It was a real joy to see the communication and interaction between yourselves and the students. Every single student engaged with your production throughout and every one of them thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Teacher – Bordon Pheonix

Extremely impressed with the professionalism, thought and planning that allowed Ellie to partake and enjoy, despite this being a day when her epilepsy was active and can interrupt her enjoyment. Would highly recommend. Mum – Attenborough Arts Centre

Lauryn is tactile defensive and places/environments like these that are unfamiliar are challenging. However, she loved it. Even the few things she was unsure about were tolerated so well. Your team are fantastic. Thank you. Respite Carer – Attenborough Arts Centre

All of our pupils were engaged and enjoyed the show. It’s great to have something aimed at PMLD people. Teacher – Grand Pavillion

Exceptional, inspiring. Mark responded in a way I haven’t seen before. Carer – Dorchetster Arts

Absolutely fabulous. Rachel LOVED it and followed everything. She usually falls asleep in the afternoons. I was moved to tears with how well she reacted – as did all our children. Teacher – The Garage

What can I say? Such talented performers. Amazing, very creative and inspirational performance. Entirely inclusive, loved every moment, a treat for all the senses! Respite Carer – The Garage

I felt the show was inspired. Very personal and inclusive. The time spent with the individuals was really nice. It wasn’t rushed and very non-judging. Excellent. Mum – Gulbenkian

 

Dundee Rep

We are so pleased to visit Dundee as it is home to PAMIS, the only organisation dedicated to working specifically with people with PMLD and their families in the UK.  PAMIS do amazing work and we hope some of the families they support will come and see The Forest.

We visited Dundee Rep last year and performed in the fabulous space at Bonar Hall.  As a company it is really exciting to be programmed again at such a prestigious venue as it shows they have a commitment to opening their doors to people with PMLD.  

Interesting fact about Dundee:
The inventor of the adhesive postage stamp, James Chalmers, was born in Dundee in 1782.

Nearest Changing Places Toilet:
PAMIS
Springfield House,
15/16 Springfield University of Dundee,
Dundee, DD1 4JE

See you on tour!

Lucy Garland, Frozen Light

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Platform- Glasgow

e0ed7f81bc7b4ead96505df78c81e87bWe are super excited to go back to Platform.  When we visited last year with Tunnels we had a great time and were really impressed with how embedded the venue is in its local community.  Platform is based in The Bridge which is a multi-purpose venue in Easterhouse, Glasgow East.  It includes a library, swimming pool, café and theatre.  To us this seems like a great way of getting different and diverse communities through the door.

Platform has a number of inivative projects to use arts to improve the health and wellbeing of its local community.  It also works closely with local artists.  As part of this we will be running an artists workshop to share our practice on creating work for audiences with PMLD.

We also LOVE Glasgow.  It is such a cool city with so many vegan restaurants.  It is heaven for us, so expect us to come home from Glasgow a stone heavier as we plan on eating all the Vegan food.

Nearest Changing Places Toilet:Tollcross International Swimming Centre
360 Wellshott Road,
Tollcross, Glasgow,
G32 7QP
Tel: 0141 2768282

See you on tour!!

Lucy Garland, Frozen Light

 

Arena Theatre- Wolverhampton

This post is coming to you DURING our time at Wolverhampton- it’s always great to do two days at a venue as you get a really good sense of where you are performing and the local area. Having a great time at Arena Theatre, they had so much interest for The Forest that they booked us for an additional day. Audiences today have been wonderful and we just received a beautiful thank you email from the first group that came which is great as we love hearing from our audiences.  The audiences from the second show today were also fab and there was a lot of laughter shared by both performers and audience members which was loads of fun for everyone involved.

Looking forward to tomorrow and next stop Scotland!

See you on tour!!

Amber Onat Gregory, Frozen Light

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The Courtyard – Hereford

Again you are getting this blog entry post visit, but again this gives us a chance to let you know about the shows.  We had a lovely time at The Courtyard.  The theatre is relatively new and is a stunning building.  It has an amazing foyer and café area (we had a very scrummy healthy lunch) and I know some of our audience really enjoyed making use of these facilities.  This is what it is all about for us, people with PMLD being able to make a real day out from their trip to the theatre.

Both shows were lovely and we had a wonderful group come from a local trust that really enjoyed the show.  Lots of the staff from the venue also came to see the show which for us is brilliant as it really gets theatre venues talking about multi-sensory work for audiences with PMLD.  

See you on tour!

Lucy Garland, Frozen Light12122933_1049080111789176_7780441100014600241_n

Blackwood Miners Institute

Tour has been so busy and due to this we didn’t manage to get this post out before we visited Blackwood Miners Institute.  But in a way I am glad as now I can fill you in on how the shows went.

We had two lovely shows in Blackwood, both to adult audiences.  The venue are hugely dedicated to building their audience base of people with PMLD and hopefully The Forest has started that journey.  They have a relaxed performance of their pantomime coming up in December, so if you are in the area this is worth a look.  We met some lovely staff at Blackwood who have a real commitment to their local community and we hope to there again in the future. 

This was our first visit to South Wales and we are excited to head back to the area in a few weeks when we visit Grand Pavillion in Porthcawl.  

See you on tour!

Lucy Garland, Frozen Light

 

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Live Theatre, Newcastle

It is going to be brilliant visiting Live Theatre.  The venue has shown such a commitment to our work which makes our lives so much easier when it comes to organising our tour.  Live Theatre is so excited to build relationships with audiences with PMLD and is dedicated to creating a welcoming theatre venue that is open to all.  We feel that as a company we fit really well with the ethos of Live theatre and are excited to be working with them.

The theatre is in a beautifully refurbished fully accessible building and is a real treat for anyone visiting.

Apparently polls have reported that Newcastle is the politest city in England.

Nearest Changing Places Toilet –
Wow Newcastle wins the prize for the most changing places of anywhere we are touring to.  Within 1 mile of Live Theatre there are 8 Changing Places, within Newcastle and Gateshead there are 18!

City Library – Charles Avison Building
New Bridge Street
West Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE1 8AX
Tel: 0191 2774100

Live Theatre exterior

The Civic, Barnsley

We are really excited to visit The Civic.  It is the only venue we are visiting in Yorkshire (the country’s largest county).  It is also one of only two venues we are visiting in the North of the country.  We really wanted to visit more venues in the north but unfortunately couldn’t make this happen.  If you live in the North of England and want to see Frozen Light please call your local theatre and ask them to put us in their programme.  We are so keen to reach people with PMLD across the whole of the UK but are aware that there are areas we are not been able to get to on this tour.

The Civic has a really great programme and we are really excited to have been programmed amongst other such brilliant companies.  

Interesting fact about Barnsley – Barnsley is home to the UK’s first ever bottle bank.  As a company who care a lot about the environment we are pleased to visit the town that led the way in glass recycling!

Nearest Changing Places Toilet –
There are actually 3 changing places in Barnsley (brilliant!) The closest one to the Civic is:

Barnsley Town Hall
Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire,
S70 1QX

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The Old Fire Station, Oxford

We’re extremely excited about touring to a venue we’ve never performed at before on Thursday 8th October- The Old Fire Station in Oxford.

The Old Fire station has an incredibly strong outreach program, Crisis Skylight, that it runs with the charity Crisis. Together they hope to end homelessness in Oxford. Through the program they offer training and volunteering opportunities to Skylight members, the chance to create work with professional artists and also enable Crisis members to see shows and exhibitions at the arts centre.  We think that this work is brilliant and also crucial in supporting so many vulnerable people. We’re thrilled that they have programmed The Forest to reach another very vulnerable group in our society.

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Oxford is dubbed the City of Dreaming Spires (see pic below- looks pretty dreamy!) based on the architecture of the University. The dreaming spires are referenced in The Small Faces 60’s song Itchycoo Park.

Nearest Changing Places
The Vine Pub
11 Abingdon Road, Cumnor Village,
Oxford, OX2 9QN

Oxford_Skyline_Panorama_from_St_Mary's_Church_-_Oct_2006See you on tour!

Amber Onat Gregory
Frozen Light

Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot

1782106_739039839459873_389981579_nOn Wednesday 7th October we will be taking The Forest to Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot where we also toured Tunnels to in 2014 (and received some lovely press). Cornerstone will be the first venue on this tour which has a changing places toilet.  This is hugely exciting for us as most of our audience need access to changing places toilets which are unfortunately very difficult to find. Check out the changing places campaign to find out more.  There’s also some great info on the toilet on the Cornerstone website here.  As an arts centre Cornerstone have an extremely rich and diverse performance program, in an extremely flexible theatre, as well as exhibition spaces, participatory activities and a tasty cafe!

Didcot’s landscape is an easy one to recognise due to it’s power stations (an active natural-gas power plant and a closed combined coal and oil power plant).blobSee you on tour!

Amber Onat Gregory
Frozen Light