As 2013 reaches a close we think it’s important to look back over what we’ve done in the past year.
One thing we always hope to do is to stretch ourselves, to try new things and to make some brave, or perhaps foolishly ambitious, choices. And glancing over what we accomplished in 2013, we feel that we’ve gone some way to achieving that goal.
We began the year in mid-tour of our new adaptation of Miss Julie by August Strindberg. It was a remarkable experience for us, with amazing responses from audiences, critics and venues, and the first touring production we’d staged. To take our “dark, sexual game of chess” to such wonderful new places and audiences was a fabulous and challenging experience for us. We found remarkable new collaborators, as well as pushing our regular creative team to even greater things. And whilst we’re so proud of the show we produced – there’s more we want to do with the tinderpot that is Miss Julie – this wont be the last you’ve seen of her…
Double Barrel 2
Having fallen in love with the intimacy and energy of pub theatre last year – we couldn’t help but return to this fabulous mix of stripped down theatre and storytelling. Adapting two more short stories – this time Truman Capote’s Master Misery and Dicken’s Trial for Murder – we were again bowled over by the wonderful audience response to our dark, fun tales. It is a bittersweet thing to have turn people away at the door – but a good problem to have and the unlucky folk mostly managed to return another night. Double Barrel will be returning in many forms in the new year – pub theatre is addictive!
Playboy of the Wide World
And here we come to the “foolishly ambitious” part. We set out to find small, intimate play to stage. We aimed to do a ‘simple play’. Honest, we really did. For reasons that now escape me, we instead wound up completely rewriting J.M.Synge’s classic (hardly a line of the original remains), assembling the biggest cast we’ve worked with to date, and devising much of the play with them in an incredibly demanding and wonderfully creative rehearsal process. The end result was insane. And to my mind incredible. Our ridiculously committed cast tore the stage apart with violent slapstick, touching pathos and some comic genius. Watching the audiences fall about themselves as the play slipped from reality into something entirely more wonderful was a total pleasure for us to behold. We tried to be brave, to allow ourselves to try audacious things, we threw everything at the wall – and happily a lot of it stuck.
And I think as 2013 closes – that’s the biggest lesson we learnt: that we can and should throw ourselves into the unknown. It’s imperative that, when appropriate, we turn off the voice in our heads telling us that something wont work. Sometimes you have to jump in with both feet and find out.
You may have noticed we’ve been a little more quiet over the end of the year. As summer ended Gemma and I undertook the biggest adventure yet – with the birth of our daughter Beatrice. And so the Hedgepig family has grown even more. She’s already made her mark on the family business, being the inspiration for our latest venture – Hoglets: Theatre Fun for Little Folks launching in January 2014 – find out more at www.hoglets.org.uk
And so there’s nothing left but to thank our fabulous collaborators, actors, crew, promoters, friends in the press and venues – and most of all our wonderful wonderful audiences for whom we do all this. We’re entirely funded by ticket sales – so without our audience we are literally nothing. So thankyou from the bottom of our Hedgepiggy hearts.
We’ll be back bigger than ever in 2014 with lots more exciting news, plans and schemes.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Andy and Gemma