Tag Archives: Bike Shed Theatre

The Orchard – opening the Calm Down Dear Festival at the Bike Shed Theatre 4.10.16

Dreadnought South West
The Orchard
Tuesday 4th Oct 2016 at 19:00, Bike Shed Theatre

This is a performed reading of a script in development, with live music and song, and will be followed by an invitation to debate the work in conversation with the cast & team.

The Orchard is an imagined meeting between two extraordinary political leaders and thinkers:  Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst.  Radical women who definitely wanted to smash the patriarchal values preventing them being seen as citizens with a right to vote.  Their methods divided them and so the play considers what that means in terms of sacrifice and solidarity.

Exeter-based Dreadnought South West is developing its latest show, The Orchard, prior to a SW tour and as part of the Rebellious Sounds project. If you missed their first show, Oxygen (‘beautiful & uplifting’ THE STAGE) then make sure you book your seat for this one-night-only sharing.
Our aim is to produce high-quality feminist theatre, arts and heritage work that inspires, educates and raises awareness of often unheard and unseen courage. We also want to engage audiences in a dialogue about the way we work and about the work itself. If you’re interested in how theatre is being made, interested in the content or in stories of activism, then we would love to meet with you after the reading for a conversation.

Dreadnought SW is supported by Arts Council England, Exeter City Council, Fawcett Devon and the Elmgrant Trust.
This event is part of the Calm Down, Dear Festival in collaboration with Camden People’s Theatre.
Writer: Natalie McGrath
Director/Dramaturg: Josie Sutcliffe
Composer: Claire Ingleheart/ Musician: Sarah Moody
Actors: Ruth Mitchell, Saskia Portway & Michelle Ridings
Producer: Charlie Parker

Homeward Bound Autumn Tour


I’ve partnered with the South West Baseball League to create a tour of Homeward Bound, my show about my son’s love of baseball and my own Northern upbringing. From September it will be touring to all the south west towns and cities who have baseball teams that play in the south west baseball league. In receipt of a Homeward Bound flyer or programme, audience members have the opportunity to a free training session with their local baseball team.

Photos by Lee Hind & graphic design by Kerry Eggleton

The venues are

White Rabbit Red Rabbit

There’s an actor’s nightmare where you dream about being onstage but you don’t know the play you are in or any of your lines. I have had that dream many times in the past, usually when I am stressed about something that is often not related to theatre at all, but obviously, subconsciously, my greatest fear is the nightmare scenario. So then why would I sign up to do a show that I know nothing about and even worse haven’t read the script!!!

Years ago, whilst touring the Roaring Girls Hamlet for the Women’s Theatre Group (now known as Sphinx Theatre Company), one of the cast had to drop out because of illness. This happened very quickly and to avoid cancelling performances a replacement was found over a weekend and for her first performance the actor went on with the book. ‘But where do I move? What’s my motivation?’ she gabbled a couple of hours before she was due onstage. ‘Don’t worry’ we all said, ‘we will move you around, just stick with us’. I can still remember her face as she came offstage, like a rabbit in the headlights, and before you think that was her only initiation into the part, she did receive two weeks of rehearsals, whilst performing each night.

Earlier this year at the Edinburgh Festival a show, Horizontal Collaboration, by David Leddy and his company Fire Exit called for four new actors every time it was shown. The actors walked onstage at the Traverse Theatre and read blind from the text and…I was one of them. We were all in the same boat and the audience knew the set up so, there was a feeling of support both from fellow actors and the paying public. And afterwards, when we had got though it without major hiccups and had actually got the story across, even though we had no idea what was going to happen from line to line, there was a palpable sense of achievement, of getting through it and not fucking up and… a real high.

Which must partly be why I’m going to be doing it all over again… except this time, on my own for a whole hour. I will walk onstage and pick up an envelope, which will contain a script and I will start reading and, hopefully, I will continue and not let my mouth run away with itself.

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit, by Iranian writer Nassim Soleimanpour will be at the Bike Shed Theatre on Tuesday 11 November as part of the Molino Group’s art : weapon residency

White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

By Nassim Soleimanpour

presented by the MolinoGroup, in association with Aurora Nova