We heard a local theatre company Treehouse Theatre were in need of a space to rehearse and perform their latest COVID-safe theatre piece, aimed at young families across Bournemouth. So naturally, we offered them use of our new theatre space in the heart of our B.A.D. building, created by The Outsiders Project.
We caught up with Louisa Lindsey-Clark from Treehouse Theatre to chat more about elves, kindness and family in the lead up to Christmas.
Hi Louisa! Tell us a bit more about your theatre company
Treehouse Theatre are mostly a theatre in education company, based in Bournemouth. We’ve been around for 15 years now. We visit primary schools, special schools, and during the holidays we perform in family venues such as museums, libraries and festivals. Every year we tour a pantomime – truly the highlight of the year! This year we decided to postpone ‘Goldilocks’ till 2021, and write a special show just for the rather unusual times we find ourselves in!
Ah… so this where the elves come in!
Yes! The Elves and the Shoemakers is a Covid-safe show with themes of kindness and neighbourliness which feel so relevant this year, and bursting with the energy, joy and magic of live theatre. Interactive as ever, the whole audience become part of a heart-warming tale of giving and sharing, elfin antics and shoe-tapping music-making, and – of course – saving the world!
Sounds great fun! How has the COVID situation affected your performances?
We designed the whole show to be COVID-safe – short performances without intervals, guitars and drums rather than wind instruments, clapping and dance moves to join in with rather than audience shouting out or singing. We’ve been performing ‘COVID-safe’ since the summer so have a lot of experience to draw on. This was a challenge of course, but worth every moment to bring some much needed Christmas magic into the world!
We love a bit of magic especially during this tough year for everyone! Has your rehearsals been affected during lockdown too?
Yes, some of our rehearsals were scheduled during the second lockdown and our usual church hall closed, but BEAF came to our rescue with a performing space for us to use! We have fallen in love with this space so hopefully they’ll let us back in future! We were delighted to welcome 4 families invited by Dorset Children’s Foundation to our dress rehearsal – with such an interactive show its essential to test drive it on real families!
We are more than happy to help and we’d love to have you back of course! So, where are the elves going next?
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be performing The Elves and the Shoemakers a rather incredible 50 times in primary schools (one bubble at a time!).
The last 3 shows on 18 and 19 December are open to the public, with tickets just £5 each
There’s also some performances for Home Educating families. Find out more here
We will almost certainly tour this show again in the early summer because we haven’t been able to perform with lots of the special needs schools, and adults with learning disabilities this winter, and we’ve really missed it! So we’ll centre a summer tour around when the time is right for them to come along, and go from there!