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Theatre for Young Audiences – Venue Programmers Consortium

Next Meeting: Friday 8 March, 2019

Our next gathering will be at The Albany, London SE8 4AG on Friday 8 March from 11am until 4pm.

This is our quarterly meeting to match the rhythm of season programming, so an opportunity to bring brochures, reflect on work seen and discuss potential collaborative programming opportunities etc. etc., and of course hopefully some lively discussions. It is great that we are able to visit The Albany, so thanks to Linda Bloomfield (copied in) and her colleagues there in advance for hosting.

The schedule for the day will run as follows:

10.45am for 11am start: Please go directly to the Albany café, which is through the glass doors on the right as you enter through the Main Entrance. There will be tables reserved and teas and coffees etc. available.

11am – 11.45am: Performance (without tech) of Crow’s Nest Theatre’s production Alma for ages 5+ in the Albany Studio

11.45am – 12pm: Q&A with Crow’s Nest Theatre

12pm – 1pm: Lunch (see below).

1pm – 1.50pm: Performance of 20 Stories High and Theatre Rites’ new production Big Up! for ages 3+ in the Albany Theatre

1.50pm – 2pm: Q&A with 20 Stories High and Theatre Rites

2pm – 2.15pm: Brief overview of the Albany with Linda Bloomfield (Creative Programmes Manager) and Gavin Barlow (CEO/Artistic Director)

2.15pm – 4.15pm: General Meeting

4.15pm – 4.30pm: Optional tour of the Albany building and Deptford Lounge (library and community venue the Albany manages, just across the high street)

4.30pm: Close of Day, but you are warmly welcomed to stay on informally in the café or over in the library at Deptford Lounge if there is further catching up to be done. If you’re planning to stay in Deptford, there are many brilliant places to eat and drink just around the corner – M&Ds (Japanese), the Taproom (beer and pizza), Hullabaloo (vegetarian/vegan Indian street food) and the independent places in the railway arches are all recommended!

If anybody would like tickets to see 20 Stories High’s Mash Up in the evening the Albany can offer a few comps for that, too: https://www.thealbany.org.uk/shows/mash-up/. Contact us.

About the work we are seeing:

Crow’s Nest Theatre – Alma for ages 5+
Alma is looking for Grandpa. He has gone away without saying goodbye and everyone is using words Alma doesn’t understand. So with a hop, skip and a song, Alma sets off on a world-wide adventure to find him, remembering all her fun journeys with Grandpa and making new friends along the way! Through music, puppetry and song, Alma’s story is a touching celebration of life, whilst offering a heart-warming exploration of grief. Created for children aged 5 years and above, Alma is an energetic and interactive show helping children understand loss and bereavement. Crow’s Nest Theatre have taken Alma to Guildford Fringe as well as a small library and community venue tour, and are looking to scale up to tour the show to arts venues.

To find out more about Crow’s Nest Theatre: www.crowsnesttheatre.com/

20 Stories High and Theatre Rites – Big Up! for ages 3+

Sometimes we make our own rules, sometimes we don’t know the rules and sometimes we want to play by different rules. What happens when a Beatboxer, a Singer and a Puppeteer arrive on stage but nothing is ready for them?  No set, no instruments, no puppets. No rules. Come and watch as they create a world full of joy and chaos, where objects come to life and everything is possible. BIG UP! is perfect for little people who want to be Big, and Big people who … just might have forgotten how to play. After the success of The Broke N Beat Collective, the award-winning Theatre-Rites and 20 Stories High join forces again, this time to create BIG UP!, a show especially for 3-6 year olds and the people who look after them.

Big Up! has been developed through research with young adult parents, young carers and their 3-6 year old children from working class and culturally diverse backgrounds. This tour is supported by Arts Council England.

To find out more about 20 Stories High: www.20storieshigh.org.uk/

To find out more about Theatre Rites: www.theatre-rites.co.uk/

Getting there: The Albany is located in the heart of Deptford, South East London. There are lots of different transport links nearby so should be an easy journey for most! The building is easy to spot – there are tall pink Albany flags above the Main Entrance doors. All rooms at the Albany are wheelchair accessible.

By public transport, the two closest stations are Deptford and New Cross, both under 5mins walk away. Deptford Bridge (DLR) is a 10min walk away. There are trains every 5-10mins from London Bridge (5mins journey) and Cannon Street (15mins journey) stations to both Deptford and New Cross. Deptford also has Thameslink trains (direct to/from many stations including Kings Cross, Rainham, St Albans, Dartford and Luton). New Cross is also on the overground. To walk to the Albany from Deptford station: as you come out of the station you will see railway arches with shops and restaurants in them. Walk towards the Taproom on the corner, and you will see Deptford Market set up on the asphalt on the other side of the arch in front of you. Go through this arch, and on the right hand side you will see the side of Albany with a big yellow ‘A’ sign. Turn right at the footpath to find the Main Entrance. To walk to the Albany from New Cross station: turn left out of the station and walk down the road. Take the next right and walk in a straight through the Margaret McMillan Park. Cross the road and the Albany is in front of you on Douglas Way, with the Main Entrance on the left. If coming by car, there is parking available nearby in both paid car parks and free parking on residential road.

Details see: https://www.thealbany.org.uk/visit-our-venues/

Lunch: The Albany café has a range of sandwiches, soups, salads, paninis and toasties, cakes and pastries available, as well as a hot meal of the day. TYA consortium members will receive 10% discount on the day. Otherwise there are plenty of options within walking distance or please feel free to bring your own.

FINALLY: The Consortium is open to any programmer across the country only. If you are interested in being part of this group or attending this meeting, please make a request initially via the link at the bottom of this page

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About the TYA Venue Programmers’ Consortium

The Consortium is for people across the country who programme work for children and young people into their venue, into touring networks, community, rural or local authority spaces. The sessions are scheduled quarterly and aim to provide a space to discuss work, latest trends and explore collaborative programming, and, importantly, provide a networking opportunity. The group is unconstituted, non-minuted and is without a formal agenda working to Chatham House Rules providing an open, safe space for discussion. The group first met in 1990, and has met regularly since then with a broad membership of around 75 venues, averaging about 35/40 attendees at each meeting.

The host venue for meetings rotates across Consortium members who provide an opportunity to watch a piece of work as part of the day. This varies from a piece in development to a full production.

A typical gathering follows this pattern (times can vary):
10.30am: meet, teas/coffees etc.
11am: main meeting
1pm: lunch
1.30pm: opportunity to see performance / work share / work-in-progress at host venue and meet the company/short discussion
3.30pm: end

The Consortium is open to any programmer across the country only. If you are interested in being part of this group or attending our next meeting (details above), please make a request initially to Chris Elwell. The consortium is managed by Half Moon on behalf of the TYA sector.