For my latest feature for A Younger Theatre I got to interview the Artistic Director of Theatre Re to discuss bringing a show back to life and taking it on tour. You can find the article both on the A Younger Theatre website or below, hope you enjoy.
Theatre Re’s Blind Man’s Song graces the stage again this year, embarking on a forty show run across ten cities in three countries.
We managed to catch up with artistic director Guillaume Pigé to discuss not only bringing the show back to life after its 2015 sold out run, but also the logistics of taking a show on tour and building a audience and fan base.?“We will be starting rehearsals again a week and half before our first show and to be honest I don’t know how things will change. The piece was well received, but I don’t think the fact that it was sold out will have a direct effect on how I will change or evolve it.”
Through collaborating with people who are blind or visually impaired Blind Man’s Song hopes to appeal to a wide demographic and help to bring theatre to a whole spectrum of audience members while on tour. “Blind Man’s Song is a very specific show, it has no words and is not your standard show. It’s visual, physical and almost like a concert. It was a fascinating creative process and it’s a method and process we are trying to do more and more of as a company.”
Despite having a sold out run last year the company now have the added element of trying to appeal to audiences both nationally and internationally as it starts its tour off in London on 27 April.?“We’ve always wanted to tour as much as possible and share our work as much as we could. People are different everywhere and the age groups will vary which is so exciting.”
Pigé goes on to mention about how the company has been able to take the show on the road and how they will hopefully increase their demographic and audience. ?“It’s been a long process. It’s been about establishing a conversation with venues, festivals and key organisations over a few years. From my experience it has been about developing a relationship of trust with the venue and then making sure it’s the right piece of work for their audiences. As a show and as a company we are accessible to everyone but as we are not a famous company there is an element of risk to be had when a venue takes us on.”
Theatre Re are gaining more momentum and it seems that Pigé is going the right way about it. I wanted to know if they had any words of wisdom for companies wanting to tour. “We are making it up as we go along [he laughs]. Make sure that every time, whatever it is, that it is the best you can do! Make sure that you are not just doing something to get somewhere else. Really believe in your work and what you are doing. Fight for it and spend time on it. It takes us almost two years to make a show, far from your regular six-week rehearsal/creation process you see in London. There is no rush – make a great piece of work you are proud of and believe in it. ?”
Theatre Re travel compact. “We use a big six seater van when touring. It fits all the costumes, set and cast in. We find it to be a good bonding process. It’s been tricky as the more we grow as a company the bigger the van we have to get, we can no longer travel by train.”
As the show spans ten cities make sure to check out their website and see if it comes to a city near you.
Photo: Marc Sethi.