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News

The Blue Elephant Theatre never ever does things by halvesIn-SpirelsMagazine.co.uk

Please see our past programme section for reviews of past shows.

News

Vacancies at Blue Elephant Theatre

Date published
Monday 15 March 2021

Please note applications have now closed. We will be contacting applicants for interview shortly.

We're very excited to be sharing two vacancies at Blue Elephant Theatre.

We are looking for a Deputy Theatre Manager (Maternity Cover) and a Community Development Assistant to join our team.

Please note that we have updated the link to our Monitoring Form and it can now be found here

Deputy Theatre Manager

Nature of the post
This is a vital role within the organisation, providing essential support to the running of the theatre.

Salary: £1,284.40 per month
Hours: 22.5 hours per week
Holiday: 16.8 days per annum
Probation Period: 3 months (with potential to extend to 6 months)
Contract Length: 9 months (maternity cover)

Reporting to: Co-Artistic Directors

Deadline for Applications: April 9th at 10am

We aim to hold first round interviews by the end of April. They will be held virtually.

Duties and Responsibilities

To support the Artistic Directors as required to support the work and impact of Blue Elephant Theatre as a whole. This role has particular responsibilities for supporting the artistic programme in terms of marketing, audience development and fundraising, artist development and fundraising for participation projects and supporting the long-term sustainability of our work.

Specific Responsibilities:

Artist Support

• Maintaining and Developing BET’s Artist Network, including sending regular newsletters
• Offering bespoke support to artists as the industry returns to ‘normal’ including fundraising, marketing and press support as well as offering feedback on creative work
• Organising networking and up-skilling events for artists
• Maintaining a programming spreadsheet

Fundraising

• Investigating BET’s suitability for potential funding opportunities
• Writing funding applications
• Ensuring reports are submitted by the deadlines given
• Seeking out new/creative ways to raise funds
• Working alongside project staff to ensure that information for applications is accurate.
• Developing Blue Elephant’s Mad about the Elephant Scheme

Relationship Building & Project Support

• Seeking out partners and other contacts specific to developing this work
• Brokering meetings between BET project staff and contacts developed
• Developing and maintaining relationships with partners, stakeholders and other contacts
• Representing BET at networking meetings
• Visits to projects to become familiar with BET’s work
• Supporting evaluating the impact of projects
• Being a ‘critical friend’ to help identify areas we could develop to meet our aims
• Other support as necessary, including supporting recruitment of participants

Marketing and Public Relations

• Updating the website, online booking systems, social media and listing websites
• Preparation of e-newsletters
• Supporting bespoke press and marketing activities for each production
• Supporting the generation and implementation of marketing & PR campaigns to raise BET’s profile

General Duties: Finance and Administration

• Processing invoices, receipts & petty cash
• Book keeping & Banking
• Handling and responding to correspondence for the theatre via post, e mail, and telephone
• Updating and maintaining the mailing list databases
• Overseeing mail-outs
• Minuting trustee meetings
• General administrative duties
• Supporting keeping Staff & Volunteer details up to date and stored according to best practise data protection guidelines
• Supervising volunteers
• Taking box office bookings over the phone and in person
• Liaising with theatre users (audience members, incoming companies etc)

Other

• Acting as Key holder, including responsibility for opening up and locking when required/agreed
• Supporting the process of re-developing our website
• Supporting the implementation of Accessibility Action Plan
• Actively promoting equal opportunities
• Adhering to and implementing the theatre’s Health and Safety policies
• Acting as fire warden
• Undertaking any other duties reasonably requested
• To support the implementation of BET’s Business plan, including its aim to be a safe space which supports the expression of creativity.

The above list is not exhaustive and reasonable duties may be added to it. It should be noted that the post-holder will be working in collaboration with the Blue Elephant Team and will not be expected to do all of the above at any one time but will agree workload with their manager. Nonetheless, Blue Elephant Theatre is a very busy place so this role is suited to somebody who can manage a large workload, multitask and see the bigger picture through it all. They should be able to work to deadlines and to adapt plans if challenges arise. It is a challenging and multifaceted role and would be expected to go to an applicant with at least some years’ work experience following education or training.

Person Specification

Essential:

• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
• Positive Attitude and Team Player
• Ability to learn quickly
• Proven fundraising skills
• A self-motivator, able to work independently
• Interest in the work of Blue Elephant as a whole
• Ability to multi-task and work to conflicting deadlines
• Good IT skills
• Excellent literacy and numeracy skills

Desirable

• Experience of working with communities and knowledge of challenges faced by young people in London currently
• Experience of working in a theatre organisation
• Experience of supporting emerging artists
• Knowledge of trusts and foundations relevant to our funding needs
• The ability to communicate with people from a wide range of backgrounds and roles within the private, voluntary, public and community sectors
• Knowledge/experience of participatory arts
• Marketing, Audience Development and/or PR experience
• Experience of working to improve outcomes for young people in marginalised communities

Given the range of the role, applicants should not be discouraged if they do not have experience in all areas provided they meet the essential criteria.

Deadline for applications: April 9th at 10am.

Community and Development Assistant

Nature of the post
A new entry-level role within the organisation supporting the Participation Director and Participation Department, particularly around building relationships locally.

Salary: £780 per month
Hours: 15 hours per week
Holiday: 11.2 days per annum
Probation Period: 3 months (with potential to extend to 6 months)
Contract Length: 12 months (may be renewed depending on funding)

Reporting to: Participation & Co-Artistic Director

Deadline for Applications: April 9th at 10am

We aim to hold first round interviews by the end of April. They will be held virtually.

Duties and Responsibilities

To support the Participation Director to ensure the smooth-running and stability of the Participation Department, at a time of expansion.

Specific Responsibilities:

Providing PA Support to the Participation Director

• Managing the Participation Director’s Diary and scheduling meetings
• Responding to emails
• Filing

Participation Project Support

• Supporting projects as necessary, including, but not limited to, recruitment of participants, updating website details, managing the storage of participant data
• Supporting the delivery of projects as an occasional Workshop Assistant
• Investigating BET’s suitability for potential funding opportunities
• Contributing to the writing of funding applications and reports
• Working alongside staff managing projects to ensure that information for funding applications is accurate
• Supporting evaluating the impact of projects
• Sourcing and making props for showcases
• Providing support at showcases

Relationship Building

• Seeking out partners and other contacts specific to developing our work improving outcomes for at risk young people
• Brokering meetings between BET project staff and contacts developed
• Developing and maintaining relationships with partners, stakeholders and other contacts
• Representing BET at networking meetings

Other

• Acting as Key holder, including responsibility for opening up and locking when required/agreed
• Minuting trustee meetings
• Supporting keeping Staff & Volunteer details up to date and stored according to best practise data protection guidelines
• Supervising volunteers
• Taking box office bookings over the phone and in person occasionally
• Liaising with users of the theatre space
• Supporting the implementation of BET’s Accessibility Action Plan
• Actively promoting equal opportunities
• Adhering to and implementing the theatre’s Health and safety policies
• Undertaking any other duties reasonably requested
• Supporting the implementation of BET’s Business plan, including its aim to be a safe space which supports the expression of creativity.

The above list is not exhaustive and reasonable duties may be added to it, especially as this is a new post. It should be noted that the post-holder will be working in collaboration with the Blue Elephant Team and will not be expected to do all of the above at any one time in 15 hours a week.

Person Specification

Essential:

• Good communications skills, including verbal and written
• Positive Attitude and Team Player
• Ability to learn quickly
• A self-motivator, able to work independently
• Proven interest in working with/for young people
• Good IT skills
• Willingness to undergo a DBS check

Desirable

• Experience of participatory arts
• Experience of working with community and/or third sector organisations
• Administrative and PA experience
• Close connections to South East London
• Experience of working with some of the groups BET engages with, eg young people from underprivileged backgrounds, people from migrant and refugee backgrounds, young people at risk of child criminal exploitation, people living with mental health problems, people from areas of low artistic engagement
• Strong literacy and numeracy skills.
• Experience of working to improve outcomes for young people in marginalised communities
• Experience of delivering/assisting the delivery of drama sessions
• Experience of writing funding applications and/or reports

Given the range of the role, applicants should not be discouraged if they do not have experience in all areas provided they meet the essential criteria.

Deadline for applications: April 9th at 10am.

News

Elephant Tips: The Wellbeing Edition

Date published
Thursday 21 January 2021

It's January and with it comes the dreaded January blues. It's so hard to keep creative and nurture yourself as an artist at the moment and to look after your wellbeing when things are seemingly bleak. So, we've been on the look-out for some handy bits and pieces to help keep you moving forward. We've collected workshops, events and more to hopefully inspire you to keep those creative juices flowing even if it's in a small way.

Cards for Wellbeing

If you're looking to connect to the environment and take a moment for yourself then South East Dance have created a series of cards for wellbeing produced by dance artist and creative practitioner Anne Colvin, designed to encourage people to enjoy nature, be curious, explore and share ideas through movement and dance. They are available to download here.

Movement Workshops

The Pappy Show have a series of weekly Wednesday workshops which are free and designed to get you moving your body, staying creative and being connected. These are running via zoom with the focus points 'Joy', 'Bravery', Kindness' and are open to anyone regardless of experience. They are available to book here.

Craftanoons

A series of opportunities to get crafty. The Curator-Educator is dedicated to developing creative opportunities that are accessible, inclusive, diverse and opens up a vast range of possibilities that can support, further and make the arts, community projects and creative encounters.

She is running craftanoons where you can join her online and craftalong making pompoms, tote bags, scrunchies and more. The perfect excuse to take a creative moment just for fun along with others. You can find out more and join in here.

Joy In Dance

Start the day well. Joy in Dance are encouraging you to start the day with a 5 minute boogy. A fantastic way to kick start your morning and give you an excuse to get out from under the duvet. Join her at 8.45am to dance along. You can find out more and get your groove on here.

Writing Retreats

Writer's HQ are providing super-productive, lockdown-friendly, writing retreats every weekend, Tuesday and Thursday. Time and space to write. No distractions. No excuses. Just writing. They also have a whole host of Coronavirus friendly resources to get you through lockdown and beyond. Everything you need is right here.

News

Elephant Tips #9

Date published
Thursday 14 January 2021

We're in the middle of lockdown 3.0 and it's not how anyone wanted to start the year. But there's still plenty of creative projects out there, whether you're looking for things to watch, workshops to participate in or opportunities and commissions. Here's a taste of what's on offer...

Classes with EQ Dance Co

EQ Dance are offering a series of 'pay what you can' dance workshops. These include a pilates workshop with Panagiotis Pavlopoulos, 'Dandelions' workshop with Amber Dollin and 'Between the Lines' workshop with Alys Davies. Designed to keep your bodies and minds moving and creative during January, these workshops run from January 15th to January 29th. Booking is available here.

REWIND R&D - Short film and Q&A

Ephemeral Ensemble invite you to join them on zoom where they will share a short film through a Vimeo link and go back to zoom for a casual Q&A. The Q&A will be done in English, with a Spanish translator.

The film was created during two weeks of research and development inspired by testimonies from Latin American refugees, whose lives were affected by dictatorship in Latin America in the 70's and young adults migrants, whose lives have been affected by the current situation in Latin America.
You can book your donation place here.

Storytime with Mama G

Seeing as how we're all stuck at home again - Mama G is back! Combining panto, drag and storytelling: Mama G is here with stories for the whole family about being who you want and loving who you are. And she'll be making sure to finish your week with some laughter and sparkle!
Join her at 6pm on facebook live for a brand new story, a quiz, songs and of course: the infamous arts and crafts section.
Find out more here.

Community Engagement Lead
East End Women's Museum

Are you passionate about connecting with diverse communities in creative and meaningful ways? Do you see the power and potential of working with women’s stories and voices? Are you up for the exciting challenge of a new role which will take our community engagement to the next level?

The East End Women’s Museum, are a small charity that researches, shares and celebrates stories of East London women, past and present. In the next 15 months they will open a new building in Barking town centre. It will be a base for new exhibitions, learning and engagement programmes for schools, community, family and adult audiences.

In the lead up to opening the new site, they are planning a year-long community engagement and co-creation programme which puts local voices at the heart of our decision-making process. They want to create a sense of local ownership of the museum, and ensure the building designs and new community programmes are welcoming, relevant and appealing to local audiences.

We’re looking for someone with relevant experience, excellent relationship-building skills and an audience-focused approach to create inclusive and impactful programmes that help put local women’s stories in the spotlight. More information and how to apply can be found here.

Artist Residency and Commission Brief: Decolonising Natural History

In partnership with the Delfina Foundation, the Horniman Museum and Gardens is offering a three-month residency opportunity to a UK based artist, as part of the institution’s ongoing decolonial work, to engage with its Natural History collection and produce a new commission for the museum’s ‘Inspired by Nature’ space.

More information and how to apply here.

News

Elephant Tips #8

Date published
Monday 30 November 2020

This week's Elephant Tips are a festive feast of family shows. We're so impressed with anyone making theatre events happen in these challenging times so we're spreading the word about some small companies going over and above to bring some Christmas magic this December.

There's also a fantastic charity stocking filler from our friends at Lazarus Theatre.

Eunice- A Christmas Musical
Stanley Halls from Dec 15th

Eunice the Horse? That's a silly sounding name! And Eunice thought so too! You see, Eunice knew she wasn't a horse...

Join Eunice and her best friend Hortense (now that IS a good name for a horse) in this magical Christmas musical story, as they go on an adventure to find out who Eunice really is. They'll meet a whole array of wonderful characters, and rumour has it that Santa will be making an appearance - during the Christmas week you'll even be able to meet him!

Make this a Christmas to remember as the Stanley Halls presents Eunice! A brand new musical adventure - with original songs and a hilarious story - that the whole family is going to adore! Tickets are available here.

The Elf who was afraid of Christmas
Charing Cross Theatre from 8th- 23rd Dec

Meet Figgy and Cupcake, two of Santa's Christmas elves. For eleven months of the year, Cupcake is a bright and bubbly bundle of joy. But come December 1st, all that changes - because Cupcake is The Elf Who Was Scared Of Christmas.

Come and join Figgy in an original Christmas story as he tries to help Cupcake overcome her fear of Christmas. Using the power of imagination, and with a little help from you, will he be able to remind her of the importance and magic of Christmas? And, in helping Cupcake, will Figgy solve some of his own Christmassy problems?

This December, join Figgy and Cupcake on a journey of self-discovery, friendship and Christmas cheer, ending in an all-singing, all-dancing musical celebration, featuring some of your favourite Christmas songs. You can book here.

Elfvis’s Christmas Adventure
Tiny Tigers Family Club from 3rd Dec

Join Elfvis on a fun and magical adventure as he tries to create the perfect present for a very special person. This specially crafted show features a heartwarming story, with plenty of giggles and action to keep children entertained.

Created by Venetia Twigg and Alice Sillett, with performances from veteran actors Matthew Houlihan, Venetia Twigg and Ellen Butler, Elfvis's Christmas Adventure offers wonderful festive entertainment for children and their grown ups. You can book tickets here.

A Little Further Afield...

Stranded Santa
Charlton Park, Canterbury 28th & 29th Dec

NEWSFLASH! Storm of the century sends Santa and Jingles the Elf crashing down to earth! Charlton Park are providing B&B for the magical duo!

Thunder and lighting, reindeer on the loose and a grounded sleigh; t’was the night after Christmas and all through the house, nothing was stirring, not even St Nick…. Join Jingles the Elf in her quest to wake Father from his slumber and discover the magic that will help them on their way back to the North Pole!

This fun, interactive and charming show is developed and performed by Grotto At My Door. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

And a charity stocking filler...

Lazarus Theatre Calendar

Lazarus Theatre Company in association with Acting for Others present the inaugural Lazarus Charity Calendar for 2021. 
Featuring 12 iconic production shots taken by company photographer Adam Trigg the Lazarus 2021 Calendar is the perfect Hello 2021 Christmas stocking filler!

The calendar costs £12.50 (including UK p&p) with all proceeds being split equally between  Artists featured in the calendar, theatrical charity Acting for Others and our Covid recovery project: Year of Exploration.

#LazarusCalendar2021 #ActingForOthers

Order here. before Dec 20th to get your calendar before Christmas!

News

Recruiting Trainee Facilitators!

Date published
Friday 20 November 2020

Are you ….

18 to 24 yrs old?

Not in Education, (secure) Employment or Training?

Or may not be much longer?

Or facing other challenges to finding work?

Looking for an opportunity to…

Learn about running Drama sessions?

Work with young people?

Develop your employability, skills and confidence?

Get paid work experience?

We are looking for four people aged 18 - 24 who are interested in learning about running drama sessions with children and teenagers.

There will be seven training sessions, with expenses paid, and paid work experience after that.

If you would like to know more about the project, you can download full details
here

Please email recruitment@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk by the end of November 30th with a little bit about yourself and your suitability for the role if you are interested. Interviews will be held via Zoom on December 3rd.

This project is supported by The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and the Alan & Babette Sainsbury Trust.

News

CASTING CALL – THE STORY OF LITTLE SNOW

Date published
Friday 20 November 2020

After embarking on digital arts offerings over the last year, Blue Elephant Theatre is excited to announce its Christmas filmed show, The Story of Little Snow. This story is about a Pixie whose job it is to instigate spring by planting Snow Drops. However, our Pixie has other plans and wants to discover the roles of various magical creatures, including Santa’s elves! This short piece will also serve as exploratory work to inform a face to face family production which is tentatively planned for early next year, government guidelines permitting. It is aimed at ages 4+.

Dates:

Application Deadline: 22nd November
Online Auditions: 25th November
Rehearsal: Tuesday December 1st
Filming Day: Wednesday December 2nd (possibly Friday 4th)
Total Payment: £300 (£150 per day)

Rehearsals and filming will take place at Blue Elephant Theatre and will be carried out with Covid-secure measures in place. The actor will be sent a copy of our Covid Risk Assessment in advance.

Casting Breakdown:

Little Snow - A little immature but with the capacity to become less so. Feeling lonely, bored and disenfranchised and desperately wanting friends and an exciting colourful life.

This is a one person play and so the actor may multi-role to portray the other magical creatures who have unique personalities.
Movement and vocal skills are essential for this role; the actor should be comfortable singing and dancing. Character work, slap stick and comic timing will also be important. Ideal applicants will have considerable experience of children’s theatre as well as some experience of playing to a camera.

We seek to represent our local community in our casting, being based in a multi-cultural and working-class area, and particularly welcome applications from those who are under-represented in the arts.

This role is open to all genders.

How to apply:

Please apply by emailing submissions@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk by end of day on Sunday 22nd November with a link to relevant work/Spotlight/Mandy and a little bit about your experience. It would be helpful if you could indicate if you have had a DBS check within the last three years and if you could fill out our monitoring form which can be downloaded from here

We will be holding auditions via Zoom. A link will be sent to shortlisted candidates.

For more information about Blue Elephant Theatre, please visit our website www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk. Please email Niamh at niamh@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk if you have any further questions.

News

Two brand new artist opportunities

Date published
Monday 16 November 2020

We have just launched two fantastic opportunities to get you through lockdown 2.0.

Playwriting Competition

We love new writing at the Blue Elephant and building relationships with writers at the start of their careers. We’d like to invite emerging playwrights to submit the first scene of a script (up to 6 pages) and a short synopsis of what will be explored in the rest of the script (whether it is already written or not).

Blue Elephant Theatre is particularly interested in new writing which reflects contemporary multicultural urban life or which engages with pressing issues.

The writers of two of the scenes submitted to us will receive a prize of £100 each and mentoring and support to develop their script over a six month period with at least three support sessions as well as feedback on drafts.

Anyone living in London who does not consider themselves to be an established playwright is welcome to apply. Please send your script extract and synopsis to submissions@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk by December 2nd.

Dance Film Festival Call-Out

We also love dance at the Blue Elephant. We want to hold a dance film festival and we are seeking submissions! Have you made a dance film in the past or have you been making short dance films in lockdown?

We will stream an online festival of them and - ideally at the same time - screen them at the theatre, like an exhibition at a gallery. We aim to have approximately an hour’s content and there will be £300 prize money to be divided up amongst all the winning films.

To apply, please email your film to submissions@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk by December 2nd.

You can find all the information about these two opportunities below as well as Easy Read versions.

Lockdown Call-Outs

Dance Film Festival Easy Read

Playwriting Competition Easy Read

News

Elephant Tips #7

Date published
Thursday 29 October 2020

We have some fresh new Elephant Tips coming your way today including a few crafty ones to help with that Christmas shopping.

While things are still disrupted and opportunities for artists are limited, we wanted to spread the word about what is out there and available to you. Like most Blue Elephant seasons, there's a selection here and hopefully something for everyone, whether young or old, working in the arts or not...

Voila! Europe Festival

Voila! Europe is an annual theatre rendez-vous in London, bringing together British and European theatre makers each November. Our curated programme is a border-busting mix of multicultural, multilingual, and multidisciplinary performance.

A particular shout-out to our friends Julia Masli & Viggo Venn who are presenting We Missed You . During the pandemic Julia & Viggo went out to unexpected public spaces in Lambeth to do playful, magical and socially-distanced performances to lift the spirits of local people. These moments of connection were filmed and will be screened as part of the live performance. Check out the festival here.

Home Baked Bling

Alice Rose offers a range of handmade polymer clay jewellery in bright colours and bold patterns. The perfect stocking filler for the festive season and custom orders are available here.

Iain Gibbons Art

Iain is a cartoon and fine art artist. His Etsy shop comprises of bird images on canvas and hand-inked cartoons on paper and a range of work printed onto cards. Take a look around here.

Baby Bear @Home

Moon On A Stick presents their brand new show for babies. Baby Bear is being screened as part of Harrow Arts Centre’s HAC From Home season. Cosy in her cave, baby bear doesn’t want to leave but the creatures from the forest outside have other ideas. With beautiful puppetry, a mesmerising soundtrack and plenty of interaction, this is the perfect at-home theatre experience for babies 0-2 and their families here.

New Stories

Yellow Earth present their digital short play festival. They are thrilled to be showcasing 17 British East and South East Asian (BESEA) playwrights with 17 new short plays. Brought to life by over 60 BESEA freelance theatre-makers, these plays will be live-streamed throughout the day on Friday 30 October on our social channels.here.

Le Cat in (re)Boots

As part of the 23rd South Ken Kids Festival, Exchange Theatre is back on a stage with a new family show Le Cat in (re)Boots!, exploring themes of Kindness, Fraternity and Diversity.

Charles Perrault’s Puss in Boots, or Le Chat Botté, is one of the most beloved heroes for the children as adults, a master trickster who breaks down all barriers of class and origins. He makes his master's fortune by playing tricks on everyone, even the King; but are they tricks or justice?

Wednesday 18th November at 4pm, suitable for ages 5 and up and performed in English. More information and to book tickets click here.

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries 2020-22

Over 2020-2022, the programme will support 50 salaried jobs in arts and cultural organisations across the UK, for individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds. The programme is dedicated to supporting outstanding early-career artists, curators, producers and creatives to thrive, and working in partnership with leading arts and cultural organisations to take an inclusive, intersectional approach to recruitment, artist development and organisational change.

You can find out about some of the bursaries on offer here. all over the country but check back for regular updates and don't forget to spread the word.

News

Celebrating Black Voices

Date published
Tuesday 20 October 2020

Five short monologues have been written specially for Blue Elephant Theatre for Black History Month 2020. These monologues by Sandra Brown Springer, Elizabeth Adejimi, Angela Mhlanga, Saana Sze, Olu Alakija are inspired by Black people of past and present and intended to introduce young people to heroes they may not have heard of previously.

The monologues focus on Mary Prince, the first woman to have her account of slavery published in Britain, Mary Seacole, who nursed men on the battlefield of the Crimea, Madam CJ Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America, Claudia Jones, activist and a founder of Notting Hill Carnival, and legendary tennis player Serena Williams.

The monologues are being recorded as rehearsed readings by Sharla Smith, Romy Foster and Amelia Parillon. They will premiere on Saturday 24th October at 12pm and will be available to view here.

This work is funded by Southwark’s Black History Month Fund.

News

Celebrating Black Voices – Blue Elephant Writers Announced

Date published
Thursday 15 October 2020

This Black History Month, Blue Elephant Theatre is commissioning five writers to write short monologues, suitable for primary school-aged audiences, around the theme of Black Heroes. The monologues will be recorded and available to watch on YouTube.

We are delighted to share that the writers chosen are:

Sandra Brown Springer
Sandra is an emerging writer of prose and poetry who was shortlisted for the Nick Darke Award for Playwriting 2018 for her first play, Seb’s Soles. She has written an Amazon Kindle e-book for children called Alice and Her Magic Hair. She is writing about Mary Seacole.

Elizabeth Adejimi
Elizabeth has chosen to write about Madam CJ Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in America.

Angela Mhlanga
Zimbabwean born multi-disciplinary artist, Angela focuses on writing and creating unique silhouetted paintings, sculptures and puppet shows out of recyclable materials. She has recently collaborated with Coventry City of Culture, Talking Birds Company and Shoot Festival. Her monologue is inspired by Serena Williams.

Saana Sze
Saana is an East London based playwright and poet and she is writing about Claudia Jones.

Olu Alakija
Olu is a playwright, screenwriter and script reader. In 2020 his play Mr Ten per cent reached the top three in Just Some Theatre’s Forward Dialogue Initiative. In 2019 he was long-listed for The Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and he was shortlisted for the Theatre 503 Five. Olu was one of the Year 4 Tamasha Playwrights 2017/18. He is writing about Mary Prince.

The monologues will be available to watch from October 24th.

This work is funded by Southwark’s Black History Month Fund.

News

BET Artist Network

Date published
Tuesday 13 October 2020

Blue Elephant Theatre is very excited to be launching our Artist Network.

We are launching it to keep in touch with emerging artists, share opportunities and facilitate new collaborations.

Artists are invited to sign up to our mailing list here and will receive emails a couple of times a month - we're also very happy to include other opportunities from artists in these emails, so please do get in touch if you have something you'd like to share.

We're also inviting artists to share details about themselves and their work on our Artist Network Google Sheet, which is open for anyone to view, make connections, to offer or ask for mentoring, or just expand their network of other artists.

News

Elephant Tips #6

Date published
Friday 9 October 2020

While things are still disrupted and opportunities for artists are limited, we wanted to spread the word about what is out there and available to you. Like most Blue Elephant seasons, there's a selection here and hopefully something for everyone, whether young or old, working in the arts or not...

Today's Elephant Tips mark Black History Month so we've got a selection of events and opportunities for, by and about Black artists and communities.

Young Gifted & Black

Theatre Peckham celebrates its reopening with Young Gifted & Black, a multi-artform programme of socially distanced, in-person and participatory digital events, taking place throughout October and into November. The line-up features theatre, new writing, spoken word, poetry, scratch nights, panel discussions, workshops, seminars and exhibitions. Curated by Associate Director malakaï sargeant alongside Artistic Director Suzann McLean, more than ten events spread across five weeks, shine a light on lived experiences of London’s Black community. Find out more - here.

846 Re:Play

Slightly further afield but a free opportunity from Stratford East open to Black* young people aged 16-18 in East London and nearby boroughs. All you need is passion and commitment. Work with writer Natasha Brown and director Abigail Sewell to write and perform an audio play on Stratford East's main stage. To register click - here.

Digital Patchwork Quilt

Celebrate Black History Month and contribute by creating a digital square for the Southwark Stands Together Digital Quilt.

Our digital patchwork quilt project is inspired by Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and freedom fighter; whose brave and noble work liberated many fellow slaves by means of an underground railroad – a network of secret routes and safe houses. A square at a time we will build a quilt that symbolises togetherness, peace, equality and justice. Families and friends can create a patch together, or you can send in your own. Your square can be created and then photographed, or produced digitally.

The finished digital quilt will be available to see online, at libraries and in chosen venues across Southwark. To take part click - here.

Windrush: Portrait of a generation

A photo essay by Jim Grover capturing the daily lives - church, home, social, funerals & more - of Lambeth families who came from the Caribbean 70 years ago will be on display in Brixton Library from the 1st of Oct. Find out more about this poignant exhibition here.

Free online dance classes

Upside Down Dance is inviting you to celebrate Black History Month with them and is offering free dance classes for children and adults. Get a free taste of Afrobeat, Dancehall, Soca & hip hop classes for a week on Zoom. You can book tickets to a class here.

And one for luck...

Tata Storytime

Tata Storytime is a new online kids' show where fantastic actors read beautiful picture books. With Authors from African, Caribbean & African American heritage these stories will engage your children pre-school to 8 years. You can find them all on youtube.

News

Celebrating Black Voices - Writer Call-Out

Date published
Wednesday 30 September 2020

Black History Month in Southwark: Celebrating Black Voices

Blue Elephant Theatre is seeking five Black writers to write very short monologues, suitable for primary school-aged audiences, around the theme of Black Heroes.

Each monologue will be about a Black person from history who was/is heroic or significant in some way but may not be well-known to children.

The monologue can be written as this person, as someone close to them or as someone talking to them – the choice is the writer’s!

Each writer and the Blue Elephant will agree on a subject and the Blue Elephant will provide some basic research so that the writer only needs to concentrate on writing. The monologue is expected to be 3 – 6 minutes long.

The plan is to record each piece as read by actors and share them as audio files and via YouTube.

There is a payment of £120 for each monologue, this includes:

• Agreeing on the subject with BET
• Writing and submitting a monologue by October 15th
• Addressing any small points raised on submission by October 17th
• Allowing the monologue to be recorded and shared – an agreement will be made but ideally it will stay publicly online for more than six months
• Checking that you are happy with the subtitles added on YouTube

This project is funded by Southwark Council’s Black History Month Fund and decisions have only just been made so time is very short. To apply to write a monologue, please email Niamh at Niamh@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk with:

• An attachment with a sample of your writing, up to one page long, that you think showcases your suitability for this call-out. Please include no personal details or indications of identity on this page as it will be sent to our two trustees who are making the decisions completely anonymously. Please do not write anything new for this – we are looking for extracts from pieces you have already written. They don’t need to be for children.
• Please indicate in your email only if there is anyone you would particularly like to write about or already have a lot of knowledge on
• If you are also an actor, please say in the email if you would also like to be considered for the recordings/receiving information about them. The recordings are to take place on October 19th and 20th.
• Please include your phone number in the email

The deadline to apply is 12 noon on Saturday 3rd October! Please also email Niamh or call 02077010100 to discuss alternative ways to submit an application.

As this is a celebration of Black voices, this commission is for people who are Black/of Black heritage only. With the short turnaround, we are also limiting it to people who have a base in London (if you have moved away temporarily and plan to come back, you can still apply). Finally, please only apply if you are able to commit to completing the monologue by October 15th.

We aim to notify the five writers on October 6th.

News

Interview with Rebecca Tortora, Director of 'The Title of the Drama about Ante is Written Here'

Date published
Monday 21 September 2020

Why did you want to direct Ante?

When I was working at BET as Education Officer Jasmine asked me if I wanted to direct a rehearsed reading of Ante as part of Writers at Work. It went well and then BET decided to programme it as a fully realised production which was a great opportunity.

I really liked the way the play took a news headline of a big picture political conflict, the Croatian war of independence, and made it personal through one family’s experience. I also really enjoyed the theatricality in the script, juxtaposing intense emotional content with the actors describing their actions from the outside.

The writer, Ivor Martinic, had developed the script from improvisation and it had a free, spacious quality to it which allowed for a visual style of storytelling. I tried to recapture that in the show so that the actors were always on stage, jumped in and out of character and discovered the story as they performed.

What are your favourite memories of the show?

I got to work with a really lovely team of people who all brought lots of energy, creativity and positivity to the process.

Playing with recreating a sense of improvisation was a creative challenge for me and for a while it slowed down the action. George Mann and Nir Paldi from Theatre Ad Infinitum had been working at BET and came in and watched a run about halfway through. They gave me some really useful feedback which helped to unlock the energy of the play. The cast were great and really went for it.

It was exciting working with Dinah Mullen on the sound design. She introduced a simple sung live theme which recurred at various moments and some recorded sound too. Live singing is something I’ve incorporated in all the shows I’ve done since. I love it!

It was also really great to work with the design team on creating a world of newspaper and a white box theatre that could be drawn on like a giant white board. It was lovely to play with lighting on white walls.

The whole thing was a brilliant learning experience. It was really exciting to watch the show with a full audience, feel the buzz and see it come together.

I’m forever grateful to Jasmine for taking a chance on me as a director. Thanks!

How would you describe Blue Elephant in one sentence?

Fun, inclusive, experimental, DIY, kind, community oriented and unpretentious.

Are you working on any shows now?

I’ve just made a show called #TheMarket which looked at the themes of consumerism and self-worth. It explored cryptocurrency, pyramid selling, cryogenics, fake news, social media and the art of manifestation. It was created with students from East15 Acting School and I’m now adapting it for a small professional cast.

I’m putting together a bid for ‘Theatre on Film Fest’ an online festival of new work focussing on magical realism, physical theatre and new stories created by theatre makers and shot on mobile phones. If funded this will take place early next year.

I’m also planning to R and D a one-person show, ‘Flying or Falling,’ to be filmed and presented digitally, exploring the theme of mortality through extreme selfies, base jumping, astral projection, masks and painting with your eyes.

News

Elephant Tips #5

Date published
Tuesday 8 September 2020

While things are still distrupted and opportunities for artists are limited, we wanted to spread the word about what is out there and available to you. Like most Blue Elephant seasons, there's a selection here and hopefully something for everyone, whether young or old, working in the arts or not...

We're continuing to try to support the artists we work with so these opportunities will be by artists who have worked with Blue Elephant or who are at the very early stages of their careers or they are activities that might be of interest to emerging artists.

Hate 2 Love Collective

“All the Feels" features monologues and vignettes of original work from emerging and existing talent: actors, writers and creatives in the UK and from around the world. This work was streamed live in August but is still available for you to watch here

Camden People's Theatre Call-outs

Camden People's Theatre have announced a series of call-out opportunities for artists. Another theatre that supports emerging artists and innovative ideas, the opportunities include the offer of 9 seed commissions to artists from marginalised backgrounds, to support the development of innovative new theatre projects. You can find out about them here. Hurry as the deadlines are fast approaching!

Swish by Moulded Theatre

Whilst they are unable to tour live in 2020 to venues, hospitals, schools and libraries around the UK, Moulded Theatre have made Swish online! They have details of the online tour of their show for 3-7 year olds - which is suitable for audience members with complex needs - here.

Hatha Flow for Creatives

Yoga for creatives who struggle with stress, anxiety and lack of motivation. These classes are designed to help you balance emotions, relax, and ease into the present moment. Reducing stress and anxiety helps with feeling more open and creative. here.

Shannen Dance and Fitness

Fun online dance and fitness classes with Shannen Redmond. More details and video workouts can be found here.