Castle Hunting - The Macbeth Shakesperience

 Yesterday me and Phil Regan from North Wilts Theatre went hunting for castles.

 The reason we went hunting for castles is because almost two years ago now Phil and I had a brief semi-drunken conversation in a pub in Chippenham about staging Macbeth in an old decrepit Welsh castle, and two years on it's seeds have began to be sowed.

 Phil runs North Wilts Theatre which has numerous successful Shakespeare productions under it's hat, including outdoor productions, and main stage guff, he is the Shakespert* in this relationship.

We had four castles on our list: Usk Castle, Raglan Castle, Abergavenny Castle and White Castle.

It was a cold morning roaming around winding roads, building up a certain amount of anticipation before arriving at each castle. Phil at the wheel, half focused on the road, half focused on telling me the delicate plot lines and dramatic reveals of The Scottish Play. With each turn of the road, we eagerly lean forward and wait for the crumbling tip of an old ruin to emerge from behind the green hill of the valley, each time it happens to no reveal we patiently lean back and await the next turn in the road that may reveal it.

This was our pattern for much of the day, and to say it revealed a lot to me about Welsh cultural heritage would be an understatement. To be completely honest, I wasn't interested in when the castle was built and by which King for what reason, or who invaded who, when, where or why. I was just fascinated by massiveness of it all. The back breaking (possibly death inducing) labour, the ghosts of people roaming this ancient ruins, the fact that peoples hands had placed these stones their bit by bit.

I loved it.

First stop Usk:
The entrance, hidden away and shrouded. Found by ambling up vein like paths.

Greeted by an old greying hound.


I didn't realise this crappy focus thing was on my camera settings. Bit gutted to be honest.

A nook for the witches.

Phil made me take this one because of Macbeth Bird Theology.

Phil exploring...
Second stop Raglan:

A hole in the sky.

The dungeons of Raglan. Phil trapped.

A playing space.

Stop 3 was Abergavenny. By the time we'd gotten here my camera had died, so the next couple of images are courtesy of Google. 

We didn't like Abergavenny castle much, not for what we wanted to do anyway, we're castleist. We admired it's rubble, but it didn't float our bubble... Sort of...

Stop 4 was White Castle, tucked away in the Welsh country side this lesser known castle is awesome! An amazing, amphitheatre type structure in a very rural location, which may result a negative, but we can dare to find out.



We've narrowed it down (for now) to White Castle and Raglan.

We've already received a possitive response towards using Raglan, we're awaiting to hear about White Castle (our secret favourite), from CADW.

So North Wilts Theatre Co. in association with Tin Shed Theatre Co. (with the help of a lot of friends) hope to be able to offer you an outdoor Macbeth Shakesperience*** Summer 2014. 

Keep peeled.



*An Expert in Shakespeare... I'm trying to get it Dictionarized**

**That's a word I made up for when you make up a word that makes it into the Dictionary

*** The merging of the words Shakespeare and Experience... I'm pretty sure if this has never been used before I'm a ruddy genius... Just in case... Shakesperience©


Searching For Santa Claus

It's nearly Christmas.

'Nearly' as in it is closer to being Christmas than it was one day ago.

Newport has been adorned in all it's Christmas neon, and neighbours have taken to chopping trees and bringing them in doors. People have taken to the streets searching for that ideal gift and we can't watch T.V without someone telling us the time is nigh.

Whether or not you like it, people are beginning to don their Christmas smiles, and we here at Tin Shed Theatre Co. are no different! We have began constructing our seasonal offering: Searching For Santa Claus.

We, in conjunction with Barnabas Arts House and sponsored by Newport Markets LOVE FRESH are making a spectacular North Pole adventure for little un' and big un's alike!

Searching For Santa Claus is an Immersive Fun-Filled Christmas Theatre Experience for all the family!

It’s a week before Christmas, and Santa is missing! 
He’s not at the fireside, or under the mistletoe kissing!
His boots haven’t been mended and the presents aren’t wrapped,
The reindeer aren’t fed, and the sleigh isn’t packed!
It’s mayhem at the North Pole, with a lot of worried Elves,
And they’re asking you to join them because they need your help!

The elves will ask families and children to help them wrap presents, fix up Santa’s boots, feed Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer and search for Santa Claus before Christmas comes!

Tin Shed Theatre Co. and Barnabas Arts House present Searching For Santa Claus an immersive walk-about game-playing theatre experience for little un’s and big un’s alike!

The performance will take place at Barnabas Arts House lasting 1 hour and each child will get to meet Santa Claus at the end and have a photograph to take home and cherish forever!

21st, 22nd & 23rd December
10:00am – 11:00am
11:00am – 12:00pm
12:00pm – 1:00pm
1:00pm – 2:00pm
2:00pm – 3:00pm
3:00pm – 4:00pm

Tickets: £7pp or £20 ‘Family of 4’ ticket.
Tickets MUST be bought in advance and are available from Barnabas Arts House.
Barnabas Arts House New Ruperra St, Newport NP20 2BB

MORE INFO: www.tinshedtheatrecompany.com

Working with Barnabas Arts House to create some everlasting magic for the kids of Newport! From scary adults to cheering up children, we've had a hectic couple of month with a freak show and some development in between.

We're really excited about this one!





Christmas Kicks for Kids!

We've always spoken about doing some sort of Christmas show. Something, fun, colourful, adventurous and unique for children. Some other form of Christmas entertainment other than Pantomime, something that engages children, develops their imaginations and leaves them with a happy warm winter wonderland type feeling...

So, we've come up with this:


Searching For Santa Clause

Santa Clause has gone missing.

The Elf's can't seem to find him.

It's up to the children of Newport to get on their thinking caps, collect clues, draw maps and talk to elfs in order to search out Santa Clause!

Part craft-making, part immersive theatre performance children will be able to search, explore and seek out Santa Clause, and when they do they each get a gift and a photograph to take home with them to remember the experience forever!

A wonderous, colour-filled, loud and vibrant immersive performance for children big and small.


Performances will be suitable for groups of 6 children at a time. They will explore, make things, find things, search out clues, clamber through tunnels and meet Elf's all on a quest to search out Santa Clause.

If you're interested in bringing your little un's please do keep up to date with all we're doing as we'll release full details later this week.

You can check our website for full details: http://www.tinshedtheatrecompany.com




Terminate Ritual Project Frankenstein Go

Thank you so much to everyone who came to watch/participate/experience The Ritual. We had an absolute blast and I feel you're presence and support of our event will have a long lasting affect with both us and our volunteers who made the project possible.

We worked for one week, with volunteer performers, creators and makers. We used an empty warehouse (that's right if you didn't come, I can now reveal the show didn't happen in a forest as most people suspected but it actually happened in a giant warehouse we we're "lent" by Charity Group Healthy Planet) a budget of making which was 300 quid, some hard work and some collaboration. For us to have achieved such a high standard of performance with an almost entirely volunteer led project has been eye opening, and in a way takes us right back to our roots as a theatre company, bypassing the  applying for funding, finding support for the project, contacting the council and searching for sponsors, and just getting on with it! Holding a palm of dirty used cash and saying "Who wants to make something with this?" and the response we had was overwhelming, with over 15 volunteers overall, some students, some old friends some a mixture of the two. It couldn't have been done without you and this part of the blog is for you guys. Thank you:

Dan, Sian, Becca, Luci, Craig, Lorne, Naomi, Steph, Kaitlin, Kate, Ryan, Crista, Phil, Chris, James, Aled, Val, The Riverfront, John Sherwood and of course "The Farg's" Peter (although he's more a member of the company these days).

Big thank you to all who came. Here's some pictures of our time in the Warehouse...

Next up! Dr Frankensteins Travelling Freakshow! Is back on the road. We're visiting some Universities and doing a weeks run in Croydon! HUZZAAAR! More info at the website should you fancy popping along.

Also, in some more very exciting news, in the wake of a violent immersive Halloween show for adults, we're making a soft and fluffy immersive Christmas show for kids. Don't say we're not balanced people. More deets to follow.

Don't forget if you like reading this blog you can subscribe, if you want to tell me how annoying you find me, you can leave a comment at the bottom.

Anyway, time to pop.