The fire was lit in Gloucester on Saturday 21st September to launch a new Festival of contemporary theatre.
After weeks of planning it was a fantastic moment to be standing in the old courtyard garden at the beautiful 15C Blackfriars Priory with nearly 100 people all watching the flames shoot higher and higher, cup of hot mulled apple juice in hand and a full belly after feasting in the priory on Fadia Courts wonderful dishes. We were thinking about how many feasts must have happened there over the centuries and amazed by discovering this hidden secret in the heart of Gloucester.
This last week saw some exciting performances at Blackfriars.
The Paper Cinema’s ‘Odyssey’ created as you watch with a unique blend of live animation and music, the whole performance was totally magical.
In contrast ‘Gym Party’ by the company Made in China is a romp about our need to win, but although very entertaining leaves one feeling uncomfortable and packs a very powerful punch which makes it unforgettable. This is razor sharp contemporary theatre dealing with issues that particularly affect young people.
Polar Bear (Stephen Camden) performed ‘Mouth Open story Jump Out’ to school children in the Ed Shed at the Gloucester Folk Museum. He had classes of nine year olds totally spellbound. Polar Bear is an amazing wordsmith and look out for his new book for teenagers ‘Tape’ which will be published by Harper Collins in January.
This is the first of a bi-annual festival of contemporary theatre brought to Gloucester through collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre in London and in partnership with Create Gloucestershire. There are six other towns across Britain involved in this new touring collaboration and we look forward to some exciting cooperation between the different areas.
Sarah Blowers and I (Ali Heywood) who are producing the Strike a Light Festivals will be using the new work as a catalyst to encourage local talent in and around Gloucester and would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in getting involved.