UNBROKEN 2017

World Mental Health Day has just ended and the second UNBROKEN mixed arts mental health awareness festival, produced by Shadow Road, draws ever closer!

UNBROKEN made its debut as a sold-out ‘mini-festival’ at Theatre503 on World Mental Health Day last October.  This year it returns with the inaugural UNBROKEN Short Film Prize at The Frontline Club, a practical Art Therapy taster workshop, a literary event with Charlie Sheppard, Publishing Director at Andersen Press, a small festival bookstall, and Under My Skin, a powerful play about adolescent mental health by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor, all having been added to the art exhibition, live music, new writing, original choreography and panel discussions that proved such a hit last year.

We hope that we have put together a fantastic programme which offers something for everyone of all ages and we would love you to join us there!

A more detailed version of the programme can be found on the festival website – www.unbrokenfest.com/2017-programme – but in the meantime, I have copied a simpler version below for you to look at. (The links won’t work, I’m afraid, as it’s a screenshot of our Facebook announcement!)  If you aren’t able to join us yourself, we’d all be really grateful if you could please help us by spreading the word to others.

Thank you very much & see you at the festival! 🙂

Full Unbroken Schedule - Screenshot of FB Post

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One Last Look Back!

Just when we thought that Robin Hood was all but behind us – at least for this year – another delightful review popped up in the September issue of Prospect!

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Many thanks to Robin Eastwood for her very kind words about the show – we’re delighted that you enjoyed it, Robin!  🙂

Our final 2016 Robin Hood-related gathering also took place earlier this month, when a small group of cast and crew members met back at the London Wetland Centre for a picnic lunch with a couple of our generous crowdfunding campaign supporters at one of the play’s locations.

The weather was fairly inhospitable, to say the least – but then, given the many turbulent meteorological experiences that we ‘enjoyed’ there throughout both the show’s rehearsals and the run, it wouldn’t really have been a proper ‘Robin Hood at the Wetlands’ event if it hadn’t been!

The brilliant Henry Weston took this photo – a lovely memento – towards the end of an afternoon filled with plenty of good food, great company, fun, laughter, trampoline tennis, ring toss and, of course, rain!  😀

crowdfunding-picnic-photo

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Introducing UNBROKEN

Unbroken

AN INVITATION FOR SUBMISSIONS TO A NEW MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MINI-FESTIVAL IN AUTUMN 2016

Have you written a short play or a standalone scene – or created a piece of spoken word, music, movement or dance – dealing with mental illness, its effects and consequences, or the realities and myths surrounding the subject? Would you like to? Or would you like to direct one?

As part of Shadow Road’s longstanding commitment to the issue of mental health we will be staging UNBROKEN, a mini-festival on that very subject, in London this October and we would like to invite anyone interested in getting involved – either as a writer, director, choreographer or composer – to get in touch.

UNBROKEN will showcase a number of new short plays and performance pieces, all dealing with the issue of mental health from different angles. It will also include at least one or more panel discussions.

As mentioned above, we are open to both short plays and scenes/extracts from a larger work that are able to stand alone in performance, as well as pieces of music, movement, spoken word or dance. Each of the chosen pieces will deal with some aspect of the issue, but the precise approach taken or subject explored will be up to its creator – for example, living with someone suffering from mental health problems can, in some ways, be just as difficult or alienating as suffering from the condition yourself.

UNBROKEN is an entirely voluntary event which will be staged in connection with one of the UK’s main mental health charities. This mini-festival will be the first of its kind for Shadow Road. Given our enduring concern with the issue of mental health, however – particularly when examined in relation to the military, as was the case with our original full-length play, Dreams From The Pit – we do hope that it may prove to be the first of many.

If you are interested in getting involved with UNBROKEN, there is plenty more information available – including submissions details and dates etc – on our website: www.shadowroad.com/page6.htm.

Please have a read and then drop us a line at shadowroadproductions@gmx.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!  🙂

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Farewell to the Merry Men…

There are still a few more days of admin to conquer, a couple of meetings to attend, one or two costumes to return and some crowdfunding thank you’s to write and perks to arrange but, all of those notwithstanding, Robin Hood‘s day is almost done – at least for this year.

Before we leave him and his Merry Men behind, however, we thought you might like to see this lovely photo of the cast and a couple of the crew – the people whom you have been hearing all about for the last few months – and to read the fantastic write up that we received from local reviewer Roger Pettit…

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“Shadow Road Productions is a small professional theatre company based in South-West London. It specialises in presenting new and unfamiliar works in quirky, unusual ways. Its production of Robin Hood at the award-winning nature reserve in Barnes, the London Wetland Centre, demonstrates the company’s modus operandi to perfection.

Written and directed by Shadow Road’s Artistic Director, Emma King-Farlow, it’s an alfresco production – the first ever at the London Wetland Centre. Based on the Robin Hood legend, it tells the story of the outlaw’s struggle (with his band of men: Little John, Friar Tuck, Alan-a-Dale, etc.) to assist the people of Loxley in trying to overcome the ruthless reign of terror of the villainous landlord (and Prince John supporter) Guy of Gisborne.

The programme notes describe this production as “immersive”, and it’s certainly that. The audience literally follow the action as it moves from one part of the nature reserve to another. We get a wedding, spectacularly-staged sword fights, romance, death and music and songs, all skilfully staged to make the most of the spectacular outdoor setting. The cast is very talented, and I was particularly taken with Frank Teale’s performance as Gisborne. You really did want to see him get his comeuppance, thanks in no small measure to Teale’s success in portraying the cruelty, ruthlessness and sheer savagery of the character. A brilliant performance!

Robin Hood is family entertainment at its best. There’s something for everyone. The four people I went with (two adults and two young children) all thoroughly enjoyed it. I did too. On this evidence, Shadow Road Productions is a company with a very bright future.”

Roger Pettit

 

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Robin Hood on the Radio!

Jean Somerville-Rabbitt from Wandsworth Radio’s ArtsWatch programme joined us to talk about Robin Hood ahead of this week’s final four performances.  This interview was the result!

Robin Hood is on at the London Wetland Centre on Thursday and Friday evenings at 6.30pm and 8.15pm until July 1st 2016.  Get your tickets here: www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/london/whats-on/2016/06/09/robin-hood

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Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall…

…Or so Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and various others would have us believe.  If that is indeed the case, I think everyone involved in Robin Hood had sufficient rain to last an entire lifetime falling into their lives last Thursday 16th June!

A genuine ‘wrath of God’ style rainstorm not only interrupted the first performance but soaked several of our valiant actors (and many of the audience) to the skin within moments, while the lightning threatened to electrocute a number of others who were standing in a big metal box (our Prison set), in possession of big metal sticks (colloquially known as ‘swords’), staring out in apprehensive disbelief at the swiftly rising tide!

Rain umbrella

Thankfully, however, we are lucky enough to have a stage management team for whom no obstacle is too large to overcome and, while the ever-adaptable actors were running through a very quick rehearsal in a new indoor space, they speedily set about creating some simple but evocative sets in opposing corners of the large, and aptly named, Water’s Edge Room.

A few waterlogged audience members did go home between the two shows but those who stayed were extremely vocal in their appreciation of the indoor version of the show, and wonderfully supportive and uncomplaining.  Some of them are due to return for a second viewing of Robin Hood this week, when they will hopefully be able to see it performed outside against the various Wetland backdrops, just as it should be seen.  We will, however, always be very grateful to everyone – cast, crew and audience alike – who helped to turn an evening that could have been a total washout in every sense of the word into something of triumph against all the odds! 😀

Robin Hood is on at the London Wetland Centre on Thursday and Friday evenings until July 1st 2016.  Get your tickets here: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/london/whats-on/2016/06/09/robin-hood

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Introducing Maid Marian

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Lindsey Huebner as Marian FitzWalter with Fed Zanni as Robin Hood

Please introduce yourself and your character.

My name is Lindsey Huebner and I will be playing the part of Marian in Shadow Road’s exciting new production – taking over the London Wetland Centre this summer!

How old were you when you first read, watched or heard the story of Robin Hood and what did you think of it?

Some of my very earliest memories are watching Disney films with family members and close friends. Like the stories of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, I feel like the tale of Robin Hood has always been a part of me.

Although I’m mildly disappointed that Emma’s interpretation doesn’t have myself and Fed as foxes, I am overjoyed that the character of Marian is not your typical Disney damsel. Strong, capable and fierce in her love of Robin Hood, she is the kind of heroine I wish I’d encountered more in my childhood.

What made you want to get involved with this production of Robin Hood at the London Wetland Centre?

What really drew me to this production are those very aspects that make it unique!

First off, it is an outdoor promenade production. Pulling off a solid performance is a feat in and of itself… Add on top of that passing planes, rogue children/ducks/otters, honking geese, passing trucks, surprise weddings, and whatever weather the skies can throw our way, all whilst attempting to safely shepherd 30 audience members to our various locations… Well, it sounds like a pretty glorious challenge to me!

Secondly, I did martial arts as a youngster, and although I’m not in favour of real violence, I’m a big fan of stage combat! This was highly emphasised in the audition brief, and throughout the production we have gotten to work with Claire Llewellyn, an Associate Teacher at one of London’s premiere stage combat clubs: RC-Annie.

What’s your favourite line spoken by your character – or any other – in the show?  No spoilers, please!

There are a few lines in this show that bring a smile to my face or give me chills, but out of context, they might not make a lot of sense to an innocent reader. This being said, one of my favourite lines in reference to Robin is, “Outlaw, yes, but never ‘common’. He is but one in all the world.”  I like it because of its simple truth, and through it we get a glimpse of the astounding love that Marian feels for Robin.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the theatre?  

There are loads of things that appeal to me about a career in theatre. My current favourite thing is the people one meets both off and on the stage. Casts come together quickly and through performing together the acts of vulnerability and trust give way to a sense of cameraderie like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

And your least favourite?

For what one gains in an ever-changing, fast-paced, fulfilling, creative career choice, one loses out in stability and security. Financial concerns are prevalent among actors – particularly those recently embarked upon this life path. Fortunately, such tribulations only enhance creativity and resourcefulness.

Tell us why we should come and see the show in two sentences or less!

You know the legend. Now become immersed in it.

Robin Hood is on at the London Wetland Centre on Thursday and Friday evenings until July 1st 2016.  Get your tickets here: http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/london/whats-on/2016/06/09/robin-hood

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Robin Hood’s Crowdfunding Campaign

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Our crowdfunding campaign for our brand new production of Robin Hood at the London Wetland Centre (a major nature reserve and conservation charity) is now well under way and, with 20 days to go, we have already raised £670!  HUGE thanks to all of our lovely contributors – we really couldn’t do this without you.

We’ve assembled an exciting selection of perks for the campaign so if you’re at all interested in supporting independent theatre and important conservation work, or in the Wetland Centre, any of the cast and crew, Robin Hood, stage combat or many other excellent things, perhaps you’d like to pop over to our Campaign Page on Crowdfunder.co.uk and take a look? 🙂

You can also watch the campaign video and see some of our £10 pledge thank you videos on the Shadow Road Vimeo page.  Hope watching them amuses you as much as making them amused us!  Who knows, we could be making one for you soon, too… 😉

Tickets for the show – at the London Wetland Centre at 6.30pm or 8.15pm on Thursdays and Fridays throughout June, from Thursday 9th June until Friday 1st July – are available from the Wetland Centre website HERE.

We hope to see you there! 🙂

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Operation 2016

It has been a while since our last post and a LOT has happened since then!  We thought a little recap might be just what we need before we start again…

Dreams from the Pit opened to rave reviews and Shadow Road will be staging a rewritten, slightly smaller-scale version of this play about a group of Afghan War Veterans later this year.

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Dreams From the Pit

The script will also soon be available to purchase.

 

Later in 2014, Emma King-Farlow directed James Huntrods’ new play, The Story, at Theatre503.  On the surface it appeared a relatively quiet year but plans were being made, new people met and new projects born.

Contacted by the Barnes Community Players, our Emma directed a highly acclaimed production of Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring a cast and crew of more than 70 people!  This was performed last June 9th-13th 2015 in a radically transformed St.Mary’s Church, Barnes, as part of the celebrations for its 800th anniversary.

On the Friday night, we had a very special guest in the audience: Sir Tim Rice himself!

_GAV1269Exciting times!

 

In November, ahead of the launching of our Operation 2016, we returned to St. Mary’s for our night of music and remembrance – Songs from the Musicals – during which we collected more than £1000 in tickets sales and donations!

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What a way to start our crowdfunding campaign!

Our very own Christmas Carolers then graced the streets of Barnes in December, spreading festive cheer and receiving praise and further donations for “Operation 2016”!

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This is the story so far…  It’s been a fantastic couple of years, with loads of new friends joining us and brilliant projects becoming thrilling realities.

Robin Hood at the London Wetland Centre – a major nature reserve and important conservation charity – is Shadow Road’s next production. But we’ll talk in detail about it in our next entry.

Coming soon!

 

 

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Remembrance Day Goes Live – Dreams From The Pit

And here it is at last.

Dreams From the Pit

Dreams From the Pit

Tickets are now on sale for our fantastic Remembrance Day charity show written and directed by Emma King-Farlow.

This is our fouth Remembrance show and by far our biggest and best. We have assembled a wonderful cast of 19 actors playing 40 roles and in just six weeks we will be hitting the stage of the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.

Combat Stress is a charity that supports veterans suffering from mental trauma, some as young as 18 years old. The work they do is a vital support to the young men and women who go out to war zones and deal with terrible things so that we don’t have to.

This play draws on interviews with veterans, active soldiers and their families, bringing to life the reality of being a serving soldier and the unseen wounds they sustain.

So what can you do to help them?  Simple. Book your tickets.  ALL profits will go directly to Combat Stress to continue their work.

The play will be followed by a panel discussion led by Mike Williams from the BBC, Combat Stress and other special guests.

To Book go to http://www.nimaxtheatres.com/palace-theatre/dreams_from_the_pit

Or Call 0844 482 9676

If you do anything this Remembrance – DO THIS.

by Susan Moisan for Shadow Road Productions

http://www.combatstress.org

http://www.shadowroad.com

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