2020, whilst mostly a year of doom and disaster, is also the year that marks 10 years of Blackshaw Theatre Company. Founded in May 2010, in a run-down terraced house in Tooting, Blackshaw was initially set up as a reaction to the dire financial times, the near-overnight disappearance of Arts Funding, and a desire to make great theatre. Over the years, we championed new writing, took on some bold adaptations, and created some top notch audio drama.
To see out the year, we’ll be posting a short retrospective of all our productions.
Join us, feel the wind in your hair, and the fizz of excitement, as we speed through a decade of wonderful memories…
PS: we’re not going anywhere – more to come next year. We’ve still got it.
I am reliably informed that love is, once again, all around us. The signs are all there. Personal, handwritten love letters…crudely printed onto cards with a picture of a teddy bear or a heart (which doesn’t even look like an actual heart; anatomically not even close). Love is stupid, apparently.
We are presented with modern tokens of love: chocolate to release endorphins in your partner that you can’t summon up yourself; flowers, an ominous metaphor for your fleeting happiness; a puppy…well that one is quite good actually. Now that those other 364 days are over and you need to prove to your other half that you have a modicum of care and respect for them, here are some cracking suggestions for things to do today, or sometime this week (it’s on a Tuesday this year. The. Worst. Day.):
1. Cirque du Soleil’s, Amaluna
If in doubt, throw some money at it. Cirque’s latest offering is based on The Tempest, that perfect Valentine’s tale. After all, what says love better than living alone on an island with your creepy dad for years, before ending up with Shakespeare’s second most boring lover (the first is Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice. Obvs.)? So remortgage your home and fork out for a spectacular reminder of all the bodies you will never look like and all the positions your other half will never contort themselves into. And they’re French. That’s romantic.
No this isn’t the title of Donald Trump’s guide to seducing your own daughter. Cicada Studios’ latest offering is a satirical puppetry show, as rude and irreverent as they come. Life isn’t Pixar and this ain’t a kids’ show. At fifty minutes long, that is all the foreplay you will need. Puppet sex is reportedly the latest aphrodisiac. I was going to make a puppet fisting joke here but decided against it; I figured I would be elbow deep in complaints.
Don’t think this needs a blurb really. A dystopian romance, sans the romance. To be fair, the word ‘romance’ is derived from ‘romant’ meaning ‘in the Roman manner.’ So in many ways this show does have romantic themes in it: violence, forward-thinking, sexual aggression, hard to understand language, and back-stabbing individuals. Action to the Word’s version is an all-male sweatfest of energy and pulsating choreography; a visceral and explosive production. Thankfully none of the guys in it are muscly and handsome. Well apart from Jonno Davies. Oh and Seb Charles. Tom Whitelock has a filthy glint in his eye. On second thoughts, for the sake of your relationship, maybe this show isn’t for you…
Now this is a risk for sure. It will require actual social interaction with your partner. I know. Scary. Hopefully you can distract them with the pretty lights and pictures, in this visual spectacular at Chiswick House and Gardens. The ice bar and ice rink will lower the temperature perfectly to the level of your ice-cold heart and frigid relations. Apparently there is also a burning rooster. Something to do with the Zodiac, but more fittingly a metaphor for the burning desolation of your love. But if they can’t appreciate you paying out £18.11 (bizarre pricing system…) to avoid doing any work towards the date yourself, then are they really worth bothering with anyway?
So there you have it, you lazy blighters. A selection of generic events that everyone else will be doing. The spark is alive! So go out there, book into one, and convince yourself you aren’t a terrible human being. Hurrah! My girlfriend is going to kill me for writing this.
Now the tinsel is being taken down and the hangovers are finally a distant memory, I got the team down to the serious stuff of resolutions.
The good thing about this is that now they are in writing and on the internet so they HAVE to keep them!
VIKKI – Strategy Brain
I’m going to get back in the pool and get in the habit of swimming 3-4 times per week to increase the amount of exercise I do from ‘none’ to ‘a bit’. I’m getting a new piano next week so my other resolution is to try to practice a little bit every day as I haven’t really played in about 5 years.
ELLIE – Boss Brain
I am going to make a concerted effort to set time aside to relax. I’m not very good at relaxing. I am also going to try to get to bed before midnight on weekdays, and set up some socials for the Blackshaw Committee. Mmm…team bonding.
BETHANY – Events Brain
In 2015 I’m going to be travelling around South East Asia – so my resolution is to be adventurous. When I get back my resolution is to resist stuffing my face with much missed pasta and to keep healthy and happy – maintaining the hippy mentality I will have undoubtedly developed whilst backpacking. Also, I WILL LEARN TO DRIVE. This year’s the year.
NICK – Funding Brain
For me, 2015 will be the year of savings and Spanish. I am resolved to putting money aside for rainy days and that thing they call owning a property (an unlikely goal, but it’s nice to dream). I will also attempt an improvement on my Spanish from embarrassed-Brit to bi-lingual wannabe. I have another resolution which I carry over every year…eat good food, drink good wine and try to survive another 12 months.
P.s. It would be remiss of the Funding & Partnerships Manager not to resolve himself to bringing in more funding for Blackshaw, so I suppose that should be added to the list too.
And finally, because it’s not fair otherwise, myself: SIOBHAN – Marketing Brain
In 2015 I am going to work on being less awful at yoga and generally attempt to be a more sporty person, even if it goes against every fibre of my being. I’m also going to work hard on making the Blackshaw blog even better!