Archive | March, 2014

Making creative projects…

31 Mar

This is what it can appear like…


This is actually how it works…


Making theatre? for me it’s all about the audience… #Theatre #audiences #Kingston14

30 Mar


I had one of those moments last night when I realised what this theatre stuff was really all about. Again.

I saw the first preview of Roy Williams’ new play, Kingston 14 at Stratford East. This is a really strong and important piece of work, and the first night audience gave it the applause and response it truly deserved. When I say audience, I mean the people who were there that night. The groups of individuals, couples, families, all who had come out on a Friday night to see something that had been made for them. A new piece of work that said ‘this is for you, these are characters that you may recognise, and relate to their stories’.

This particular theatre encourages first time attenders to come to the previews from the borough – if you haven’t been to Stratford East before it costs just £2.50 to see the show for a preview. Consequently the theatre was sold out, the show and its relationship to its local audience was electric. Riotous laughter and reaffirmations one moment to hear a pin drop tension the next. This is what this theatre stuff can do. And here at Stratford East, it does it very well indeed.

The audience were a reflection of the creative team and the cast on stage. It really is that simple. If you don’t see it on stage, it’s highly unlikely you will see it in your audience. Think about it – It’s not rocket science, it’s rocket salad. If it’s not in the bag you’re not going to get it on your plate.

Initiatives, audience development schemes, all that stuff is all very well, but if the work you make, and who you make it with, doesn’t reflect who you are making it for – then it is doomed to fail. Some theatres are too risk averse to think outside their own comfort zones, and as Nii Sackey said at our recent No Boundaries event – ‘Theatres need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable’ This is a key concept and vital to the whole nature of how we make and share our work.

This play, the theatre it was premiered in and the team that made it have clearly got this right, as was demonstrated by the reaction from the audience last night. Testament to the fact that this had to be made.

I am glad that Kerry Michael, Artistic Director of Stratford East, had the foresight, and determination to pick this play up and to produce it – otherwise that audience on that first night would never have had the opportunity to see this come to life. He knew that his audience deserved to see this work, and for it to have a four week run.

This is about a mutual trust between artists and the communities that the theatre serves. The history of this building has long roots and connections that stretch back to the work of Joan Littlewood and the Theatre Workshop that created a theatre for its communities. In the shifting times of developments and building around the theatre, this legacy still continues.

I have also have always made work in this same way. The audiences we want to see for Pilot’s work are reflected by the cast and creative teams we work with. It really is that straightforward. Roy and I have collaborated together for a good few years now, and we are currently working on his new version of Antigone that we are making for Pilot, with Derby Theatre and the Theatre Royal Stratford East to this venue next January and February 2015 for 4 weeks, and we are looking forward to making something new and very special for the audiences who come and see it.

Join us at @pilot_theatre for TheatreLivestream.TV project

25 Mar

Marcus Romer's work & blog


Pilot Theatre’s new project working with arts organisations is TheatreLivestream.TV


Pilot Theatre have been livestreaming theatre performances, conferences and events for over six years now. We started at our first Shift Happens conference in 2008, and our Pilot-Theatre.TV channel has been active delivering performances, conferences, events for organisations and venues up and down the country. Most notably we delivered the 6 camera livestream of the York Mysteries for the BBC and The Space, through to our most recent webcast of Blood + Chocolate , and we are about to deliver the livestream and connections for No Boundaries with Watershed.

We would like to offer the opportunity for organisations and venues who would like to stream their own work, to join us with our new venture – TheatreLivestream.TVThis would enable you to share your work widely, increase reach both locally, nationally and Internationally. We know…

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brand new era / new brand / brand new / pilot / p/review / r/eview / @pilot_theatre

20 Mar


New Brand

Busy times @pilot_theatre #blogpost #cycleofsongs #nb2014

13 Mar

I may have been keeping a bit quiet on this blog – but the reasons for that are that we have been way busy at Pilot Towers…

A combination of factors and projects have meant we have had our hands and brains pretty full. Since January we have had a new show out on the road – Ghost Town – directed by our Associate Director, Katie Posner (congrats to her also, as she has just this last fortnight become a mum – so welcome the new Pilot Associate’s Associate – Heidi Rose)

We have also just co-run (with Watershed and the Bristol consortium) the State of the Arts event for Arts Council England and the British Council – our ‘No Boundaries’ conference up in York. This was a live event running in both York and Bristol with live links and speakers between the two venues. With fully live captioned and signed simultaneous streaming online of the event. This raised the bar in terms of making a conference multi locational and accessible both physically and virtually.

Pilot have also just launched their new rebrand and brochure – thanks to the Lazenby Brown Agency who have been working with us for 6 months as part of their work. The resulting logo, brochure and design we think is brilliant and it captures the 5 interlocking areas of our work and crafts them into a solid and flexible design. Our areas of work are Participation, International, Learning, Online and Theatre. All of our projects intersect with at least two of these areas.

You can view our online brochure here.

As part of our work too we have been putting in our three year plan and application to the Arts Council for us to continue to be part of the National Portfolio of Organisations funded by ACE. This is an 8,000 word dissertation style application with plans, budget, targets and goals. The whole team have been working hard to pull this all together. This has to be in by March 17th and we will know if we have been successful or not on July 1st.

Did I mention busy? Well in all of this too we won the ACE commission to deliver the creative project for day three of the Tour De France. This is the stage that runs from Cambridge to London. So with HistoryWorks we will be creating a new song cycle and you can find out more here

In the meantime we are gearing up and putting the team together for our new production of Antigone by Roy Williams as well as steering our way with our new online delivery project TheatreLivestream.TV

In addition we have been working with the Touring Consortium – running workshops and doing lifestreams and videos for them as part of our work on Brassed Off for

So that’s what we have been up to…

See you soon 🙂

on parenting…

9 Mar

“Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself
They come through you but they are not from you
And though they are with you they belong not to you
You can give them your love but not your thoughts
They have their own thoughts
They have their own thoughts
You can house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in a place of tomorrow
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams
You can try to be like them
But you can not make them just like you…”

thanks to Sweet Honey in The Rock for these lyrics and this song