This is my Theatre tour all over the country providing theatre in historic places and open spaces. With superb performances coming up this summer at The Guildhall in Chichester's Priory Park, we asked Sarah Slater, Artistic Director of This is my Theatre, to write us a guest article about the Sussex based theatre company and tell us about their unique productions.
The following article has been written by Sarah Slater, Artistic Director at This is my Theatre.
Originally a Sussex based theatre company, This is my Theatre now tour all over the country with the aim of producing classical plays and literature that are accessible to all. Whilst Shakespeare is a regular feature of our annual programme, in 2019 we will also produce Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and for Christmas; The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
We mainly tour to non-conventional theatre spaces particularly those in rural communities. Working regularly with the charity The Churches Conservation Trust (The CCT) to stage productions in buildings under their care, aiding in the restoration and rejuvenation of these ancient places. We also work with many other historic and open-air sites, like the beautiful Chichester Guildhall in Priory Park, in order to aid fundraising for the care of the building as well as helping to bring them to life and make them part of the local community once again.
Our first production was Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, which we are reimagining for our forthcoming tour this year. Performed initially at St Botolph's Church nestled in the South Downs near Steyning in 2016, the performance was so popular we toured Sussex and Surrey in that same year and haven't looked back since!
Live music is an important feature of our work, composed and arranged by our resident composer Simon Stallard, it is essential to creating atmosphere within our pieces but also as many of our venues are without electricity, we are unable to use recorded effects.
We love the challenge of working in different spaces whether conventional or not so, and are always on the look out for somewhere new or different to perform. In 2019 we are working with both familiar and new spaces including those owned privately and those kept open and cared for by charitable organisations including The National Trust and The CCT.
As all our venues are so different no two performances are ever the same and it's the individuality of each that is intrinsic to the audience's experience of our work. There is something very special about shaping a show to the structure of a space. I love all our venues and what we create for them - Sarah Slator, Artistic Director of This is my Theatre.
This is my Theatre will be back in Chichester at The Guildhall Priory Park on 10 August, when you can see them performing The Wind in the Willows (matinee) and The Importance of Being Earnest (evening).