Blog #5 - Touring "George"


I’m writing this blog from an attic room in Bridport and yes, that is the actual view. Yesterday we played our family theatre show “George and the Flight of the Imaginees” at Bridport Arts Centre. It’s a lovely little venue, and I’m pleased to say we filled it with over 60 people who all turned out to watch on a very chilly and slightly snowy afternoon.

Although Paul (the other Brave Bold Drama director) is originally from Dorset, Brave Bold Drama hasn't visited Bridport before. It’s always massively encouraging when we arrive in a place we’ve never been before, with a show  title no-one will recognise, and yet still that many people have decided your production was worth a punt. Especially family audiences. I mean. I’m a parent myself, and although my children are all a bit older now, I know when you have small’uns the last thing you want to do is rock up somewhere, pay hard-earned cash and then your child decides within two minutes that they don’t like it and want to go home.

Yet again, yesterday, we had this magic word that we love to hear. Mesmerised. “That was brilliant! They were mesmerised! Didn’t budge!” I’m very proud that we have heard this every single time we’ve performed this show. And “George” has played quite a few places now. We started the tour in December and played the Alma Tavern in Bristol and The Space in Keynsham. In January we played at Zion Community Space in Bedminster Down and The Subscription Rooms in Stroud. February saw shows at The Pound Arts Centre in Corsham and the show also came home to Creative Workspace where it was also developed and rehearsed! This month, in addition to the show at Bridport Arts Centre, “George” also visited a couple of Bristol primary schools including St Peter’s Primary in Bishopsworth. 

St Peter’s also happens to be where the Original George goes to school. The George of the show is inspired by my own son, also called George, who is a 10 year old artist in the making. Like George in the show, the real George is always drawing, always losing his glasses in bizarre ways (like the time he threw them out of a train window “just to see what would happen”) and has at best a very tenuous grip on reality. He features on the show’s poster and you’ll see him again in the trailer for the show which we shot in his bedroom earlier this month, working with the brilliant Conner and Lena of Rolling Pictures Media. Oliver Harris, a young professional actor plays George in the show of course, but if felt right that, in the trailer, people caught a glimpse of the Original George.

“George” only has one more scheduled outing this tour, to the Swindon Fringe next month, which is quite a sad thought. Although we hope to go out on a bang. Last time we played Swindon Fringe we collected a Best Children’s Show award for our previous family show “Alf the Highwayman”, so perhaps we will score again there with “George”. Who knows?!

Speaking briefly of awards, we told you last time that we have been nominated again in the Arts category of the Bristol Life Awards (which we proudly won last year!). Since then we have also received two further nominations in the Bristol Hoop Awards 2018, for Best Creative Fun (for the work we deliver at Creative Workspace) and Best Family Entertainment (for the work we do as a theatre company). You can even vote for us in the Hoop Awards if you like! Click here  and go for it!

Well, the snow is still coming down and I have to get back to Bristol so I’d better hit the road soon. As one of my “George” characters, the rather up-tight grey-suited character Agent Filibuster would say:

“Wilko Roger Over and Out!”