In the Spring and Summer of 2016, Moving Stories Theatre Company took on one of Shakespeare’s best loved stories of jealousy, love and forgiveness: The Winter’s Tale.
Directed by Emma Gersch, this was a unique collaboration, with an original score composed by Paul Barker, musical direction by Julian Kelly, design by Kate Unwin and movement direction by Kitty Randle.
The large ensemble cast transported their audience from the dark Court of a jealous king to the bright sunshine of a Bohemian festival, in this heartbreaking story of redemption. King Leontes (played by Adebeyo Bolaje) topples his own kingdom when he falsely accuses his queen of adultery with his childhood friend. In his rage, he loses his wife, his son, and his baby daughter. Years later, in the pastoral landscapes of his old friend’s kingdom, the seeds are planted for reunion, redemption, and rebirth.
This production previewed in London in May at the Embassy Theatre, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. And then went on to sold out run at the Minack Theatre.
’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
In August 2014 we were commissioned by the London Southbank Centre to develop a wild theatrical event based on Shakespeare’s favourite fairy play for the Festival of Love. We took over the centre with our fresh, bold and colourful adaptation of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ which took place on the Riverside Terrace. Through the day, we ran mass workshops for anyone who wanted to join in, and willing folk learned songs, dances and choral verse from the show and were then invited to join in during the performance! We had a fabulous day, and hundreds of people of all ages came to see the final show which was supported by the 40 strong Voicelab choir, and was followed by live carnival music from Kinetico Blocko.
‘The Tempest’ at The Minack Theatre
In July 2014, we were overjoyed to return to the Minack Theatre with Shakespeare’s late great play ‘The Tempest’. The spectacular cliff -side Amphitheatre in Cornwall was the perfect backdrop for the island setting of the play, and indeed ‘The Tempest’ was the first play to ever be performed at the Minack over 80 years ago.
Directed by our Artistic Director Emma Gersch (who has directed over 5 sell out productions for the Minack), the creative team behind ‘Twelfth Night’ re-assembled to create their unique approach to this classical play along with a cast of fantastic and versatile actors who were ready to enchant in this fresh and vibrant production.
‘Vanessa and Virginia’ at the Riverside Studios
Following it’s successful European tour, Moving Stories were overjoyed for ‘Vanessa and Virginia’ to journey to the Riverside Studios in March/ April 2013.
Based on the acclaimed novel by Susan Sellers, Elizabeth Wright’s innovative new play is a moving, poetic and powerful story about the remarkable sisters, novelist Virginia Woolf and artist Vanessa Bell.
“Our faces are imperfect replicas of each other, as if the painter were trying to capture the same person from different angles” (Vanessa Bell)
Fusing original music and poetic text, the play created a dream-like, meditative quality, moving gracefully through time and seamlessly transporting the audience through places, events and memories.
By being given the opportunity to take ‘Vanessa and Virginia’ to the Riverside Studios for three weeks, we found that in pre-production many new possibilities for this beautiful play were opened up to us. These included a breath taking new design by Kate Unwin, an exciting new sound design by George Seal that helped the audience slip further into the sisters world and, in the rehearsal room Director Emma Gersch along with actors Alice Frankham and Kitty Randle unearthed new levels and details of the sisters story.
Praise for ‘Vanessa and Virginia’: “Vanessa and Virginia at The Riverside Studios boasts passion, novelty and quality. It is a highly refined production of a challenging play.” Ruby Cooper, Nouse Magazine
“Director Emma Gersch guides her actors through the dreamlike but always coherent movement of memory, keeping the connection between the sisters as palpable as the individual characterisations, while designer Kate Unwin’s almost bare stage, with a few necessary props literally plucked out of the air, evokes both the playroom of the story’s beginning and the beach of its tragic end.“ Gerald Berkowitz, The Stage
‘Stop – Look Listen’ Moving Stories @ the Riverside Studios
In April 2013, at Riverside Studios we ran our signature event, Moving Stories ‘Stop – Look – Listen’, offering audiences a rare chance to stop, slow down and meet the folk of Hammersmith, the folk we might rush past every day and to take an opportunity to look afresh at our surroundings. Capturing and framing the natural and wonderful theatricality of life, Moving Stories event is a walking tour with a difference; giving you the opportunity to meet some of the fascinating characters with whom we share the city, but whose stories often go unheard. Led by unique story-guide, audiences are given the chance to share in the true stories of real people and the real lives of the city. Here are a few of the overwhelming audience responses from our event in Hammersmith:
“Stop. Look. Listen is like having a precious key & window into the remarkable, moving stories of the amazing and wonderful people of Hammersmith.”
“Great to know about the stories of people working locally, the face behind the counters, which usually take for-granted.”
“Thank you so much, didn’t really know what to expect to begin with, but left enriched on a human level. And it reminded me – “EVERY SINGLE PERSON HAS A STORY TO TELL”
To read more about the creative journey of ‘Stop – Look – Listen’ at the Riverside Studios, have a read of Emma Gersch’s articles about the event for Exeunt Magazine.
We look forward to more Moving Stories ‘Stop – Look – Listen’ events in the future!
‘Twelfth Night’ at the Minack Theatre, Cornwall
Welcome to Illyria – a ‘wonderous strange’ island, where the festive season is finally drawing to a close, and the hangover is starting to set in. When Viola is shipwrecked on the shore believing her twin brother Sebastian to be drowned, she decides to disguise herself as a boy and enter the service of the love-sick Duke, Orsino. Here she encounters a host of weird and wonderful characters, hell bent on getting what they want. A carnival of mistaken identities, confused desires, drunken mischief and witty deceit make for a thrilling and compelling theatrical experience. ‘Twelfth Night’ is one of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies, weaving together brilliantly crafted plot lines with romance, comedy, tragedy and music.