Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Shadow Road Productions' New Brochure!

My small independent theatre company, Shadow Road Productions, specialises in bringing exciting works of theatre, for all ages and occasions, to unusual spaces in creative new ways.

As well as continuing that tradition with Fireside Folktales, retelling myths, legends and classic stories from around the world as original short plays performed by a company of four professional actors, we also offer much more, including the UNBROKEN Festival & Short Film Prize, a variety of murder mystery events, full-scale theatre   productions, and our soon-to-be-launched cross-platform venture, Secret Storytellers.

This fantastic new project will see us producing some exciting online content based in a new, immersive story-world, in order to enhance the impressive work of our two-person teams, who will be busy delivering a range of thrilling live performances. In common with Fireside Folktales, and in keeping with the world in which the overall project is set, all music and sound effects are performed live by the cast, so no electricity or technical equipment is required, once again allowing us to be extremely flexible in terms of venue.

Finally, whether for team-building purposes, school visits, or those with a simple interest, we also offer several creative and educational workshops. Some of these are designed to accompany a particular production, so that you might watch the play and then take part in the workshop afterwards, while others - such as the general Drama Workshop, An Introduction to Playwriting, and An Introduction to Stage Combat, etc - can be delivered as standalone events. 

So that we have all the information in one place, we have put together a shiny, new PDF brochure outlining everything that Shadow Road has to offer theatre lovers, schools, events organisers and private clients with parties to throw! We hope you will find it both interesting and helpful. If, after reading, you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch - we would love to hear from you.

We look forward to working with you!

Monday, 22 June 2020

A Christmas Carol

A Fireside Folktales Performance 
Winter 2019/2020
Adapted & Directed by Emma King-Farlow

If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.” 

 Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean, miserly loner, destined to spend his afterlife making up for all the mistakes he made on earth – until, that is, a chilling encounter with the spectre of his late business partner, Jacob Marley, sets him on a different path.  Can Marley’s ghost – and those of Christmas Past, Present and Future – transform the unfortunate Scrooge in time, or is it already too late to save him?   

Variously described as ‘intimate’, ‘uplifting’ and ‘deeply moving’, this celebrated production has been a big hit with audiences across London and will return this Christmas.

After an extremely successful 2019 summer season, we were delighted to premiere this winter
production with previews at The Coach & Horses in Barnes, followed by a special, candlelit performance at the remarkable Southside House.  We were then privileged to visit a number of cancer support centres and care homes, including The Mulberry Centre, Teenage Cancer Trust and Brinsworth House, to stage some voluntary performances for patients and their families in December 2019 and January 2020 - something we plan to do again this Christmas, circumstances allowing!

To book a performance for your own venue, private event, school, library or care home, please contact us at firesidefolktales@gmail.com or drop me a line via the Contact Form in the sidebar!

~ Thank you for a brilliant & professional performance this afternoon. The changes of emotions & clothing with such integrity of acting was quite moving. So pleased to be with you - a gem of an afternoon! - John P

~ A beautiful production! Very emotional. Well done - Michelle

 ~ Really talented bunch, a really impressive interpretation & dramatisation - so creative with the props and the overall format.  Brilliant & congratulations! - Anonymous, Southside House

 ~ This was amazing, would love to view again - J Zaman

~ I loved it!  Utterly magical.  Thank you. - Anonymous, Southside House

 ~ This was an excellent production. I found myself entirely engrossed in the tale. Well done! - Jim

 ~ Such an innovative and engaging performance! My 4 year-old son and I enjoyed it - and we especially loved the future spirit and the magical tunes! - A.V.Elliot
~ Wow! Thanks you were wonderful - Lili L

~ A beautiful programme - very moving and the puppets /spirit of christmas yet to come were amazing. My friends' teenage daughter joined us and she loved the performance as well. - Yvonne, Southside House

~ Simply wonderful afternoon and I hope to see more of what you do come Easter? - Fran├žoise G
~ Stunning and talented. Thank you - Anonymous 

Sunday, 21 June 2020

Fireside Folktales

An ongoing project begun in 2019, Fireside Folktales sees the Shadow Road team retelling a growing collection of myths, legends, and classic stories from around the world. Each is presented as an original short play (see the Playscripts page for more information) performed by a company of four actors. In keeping with the back-to-basics philosophy of this particular storytelling project, all music and sound effects are performed live by the cast, with no electricity or technical equipment necessary.

Having previously staged Fireside Folktales productions in Shadow Road's own beautiful 8m bell tent, in the open air, and at a wide variety of indoor venues, we know they work in almost all imaginable settings.

We were delighted to launch Fireside Folktales at the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival over the weekend of 11th-12th May 2019, where we delivered no fewer than six performances of Aesop's Fables, Persephone & the Pomegranate Seeds, and A Tale of Robin Hood in our superb Story Tent, each to a packed out audience!

After the BCLF, we moved on to other venues - including the magnificent National Trust property, Ham House, and Horace Walpole's gothic wonder Strawberry Hill House - before moving indoors for the winter to Southside House and other venues with our new production of A Christmas Carol

The return of these productions in 2020 - and our new shows, Macbeth and The Musicians of Bremen - has been postponed by the outbreak of Covid-19 but we will still be back later in the year...

We are also now available for private bookings for parties and events for both children and adults, or for school visits - including optional workshops and Q&A sessions, alongside the performances.  

As well as our usual selection of tales for all ages and occasions, we are able to create a bespoke event, writing a new piece of work specifically for your celebration, if we are given sufficient notice.  Should you wish to discuss a private booking of any sort, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at firesidefolktales@gmail.com!

We look forward to hearing from you - and perhaps to seeing you at one of the public events we will be appearing at throughout the year, bringing the magic of myths and legends to life on your very own doorstep!

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For more information, please visit the Fireside Folktales website, follow us on social media (Instagram:@firesidefolktales & Twitter: @firesidefolks), like our Facebook page, or have a listen to the Fireside Folktales podcast!

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

The cast & crew of 'The Lion, The
Witch & The Wardrobe' 2018
Utterly brilliant, spellbinding and wonderful.  I have a lump in my throat as I think about it ....” Celia F
Great evening last night - your show is amazing!!! Well done and very pleased that the BCA supported this production. Steven Mindel, Chairman of the Barnes Community Association
Emma King-Farlow has mounted a truly magical productionMia Gibbons, Churches Together in Barnes

Edmund (Alice Hope Wilson) & Lucy
(Lucy Evans) in the Narnian snow
This production was such a pleasure.  The fine story by C.S. Lewis was performed by a great team of actors, all of them perfectly in character. The Christian allegory worked gently but effectively in the beautiful mediaeval St Mary's Church, Barnes. Acting the part of Aslan, the lion King of Narnia, is inevitably impossible, but Will Forrester gave it drama and dignity.  The White Queen & her wolf were superbly malevolent & frightening!  The opening 40’s dance set the scene in wartime Britain, from where the evacuee children escape through the wardrobe to Narnia.  Costumes were inventive & the simple set was used imaginatively.  Many thanks to all. A special evening.” Anonymous audience Member
Maugrim (Carly Borrow) captures
 Edmund (Alice Hope Wilson) 
These were just a few of the many personal reviews that we received from audience members, following our recent(ish!) production of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at St Mary’s Barnes (29th Oct – 3rd Nov 2018).  The show turned out to be rather more of a challenge than I first envisaged, and perhaps not quite as financially successful as it could have been if we hadn’t found ourselves up against the final of The Great British Bake Off early in the week!  It was, however, even more successful than I hoped in terms of the glowing feedback received and, it seems, the very different but similarly positive experiences enjoyed by cast, crew and audiences alike.  Indeed, the cast and crew - quite possibly the loveliest group of people I have had the privilege of working with - remain astonishingly close knit and in regular contact, and we are still hearing how much the audience thought of the show nearly three months after closing night!

Mr Tumnus Sr (Martin Parsley) watches
Maugrim terrorise small children!
None of this would have been possible without the financial and practical support of St Mary's Church and help from the Barnes Community Association, who recognised the potential of the project early on and awarded us a £500 grant to put towards the considerable costs involved.  I am extremely grateful to both organisations for their faith in the production, and to Bishop Richard Harries, whose fascinating pre-show talk on C.S. Lewis ensured that, despite adding as many extra chairs as we could, we still had to turn people away on the Friday night!

The White Witch (Kat Merrick)
Finally, I am delighted that the success of the production has enabled us to make donations not only to St Mary's but also to two fantastic children's literacy charities, both doing invaluable work with disadvantaged children around the country: BookTrust and First Story.
This wonderful play brought to an end a year of exhausting and exciting achievements for Shadow Road Productions and we now look forward to an equally exhilarating 2019!