On the 1st Dec, we are inviting audiences to join us for ramble around The Wetlands in Newport to discover how we're putting the wonder in wandering, as the natural landscape has a breathe of new life in this unusual promenade performance.
As we stand on the precipice and look out towards the next two weeks, we are filled with all sorts of bits. Bits of worry, anxiety, excitement, accomplishment, failure, unity, division and a sense of something great yet almost beyond our abilities.
We have a team of 30 something individuals. Working over four separate locations. Making, changing, creating, building, problem solving, the list goes on. There have been a lot of lists. Its the way we often find it easiest to contextualise our process. For us, as Tin Shed Theatre Co, this 'process' is new, fresh and uncharted territory, a step towards making theatre without being physically present in the work. Which isn't strictly the case, but I shant drop a spoiler. We have embarked on trying to teach our physical language as a company that came together with a mutual interest to tell character driven stories, with the weird, bleakly dark and tragic at heart.
'Theatre' I use this in the loosest sense of the term. It is 'theatre' taken out of context and removed from the literal space. Its become about community and the bringing together of people in one shared experience. A machine that if one part was taken away it would malfunction. Real lives, merged together to make the 'Theatre' happen. We are constantly thinking of how we share our journey with those who want to access it. I often wonder why artistic merit is measured on an end product or set goal? Who sets these? And who is measuring? Whose feedback am we interested in? At whatever part we see fit to judge. Who are the judges? Again, we could go on.
Back tracking slightly to June 2017, after we made Apocalypso we felt broken. Not only physically but mentally. We made a lot of mistakes, and it took us a long time to try and unpick the web of confusion that was generated from an artistic community that we know and respect some who turned their backs on us when we asked for honesty, and I use the phrase 'turning backs' as a literal reference. Friends, associates, people we know and respect, people we have worked with and for, avoided us in bars, at social gatherings, coughed over their cups of coffee in meetings when we asked them what they thought about the show. It was awkward, uncomfortable, and upsetting. Not because we didn't want the truth, but because everyone felt that they had to hide it from us.
Had we made a piece of work that was so bad it warranted being ignored? Maybe, we'll never know. We feel as a company we try and forge an open space where anyone can and should express they way they feel about our work, we'll take it, and respect it, you paid for it (or not in the case of Moby Dick so you can keep your opinions to yourself... I joke) So tell us if you hated it. As a publicly funded organisation we have a duty to listen to the feedback of everyone who sees our work and we must respond to that. We're not mentioning here the people who took to an anonymous website to give us their thoughts, which was refreshing, informative and structured. We always ask ourselves who are we making our work for? And that is a question, as publicly funded organisations we should all ask ourselves, and how we can be true to our funding aims and objectives, as best we can. Transparency in all elements of our work as an organisation is something we aim for. Lets share practice, assets, thoughts, opinions and pints.
Apocalypso changed us, as individuals and as a company and we believe, ultimately has helped us make better decisions about process and will help us make better work. So if you are coming to see Moby Dick, and want to leave us some feedback here is how https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YVMZ3BN
So.. the performances are now sold out. But not entirely. We had online sales of minus 20% of the overall sales deliberately. We realised very quickly that whilst we make steps to ensure our work is accessible to a disabled audience, we were ignoring a complete demographic of individuals who have no access to all our online promotion or ticket sales.
Again we ask ourselves, who are we making this for?
We want to continue working in the community, and you can help us continue this journey. We have set up a go fund me with an aim to raise £5k towards the running and set up of a commnity theatre company called 'The Public Theatre' all info can be found on https://www.gofundme.com/community-development-donations
Thanks for reading.