How Time Flies

by HandMade Theatre in Nottingham

We did it
On 11th May 2016 we successfully raised £4,495 with 97 supporters in 28 days

HandMade Theatre would like to create a new interactive family show 'How Time Flies' all about archaeology, ancient history and discovery.

by HandMade Theatre in Nottingham

New stretch target

Stretching our target will help us enhance this project.  Importantly we will be able to build and extend our interactive staging sections to offer more opportunities for our audience to get hands on and for our performers to reveal hidden treasures.  This will add to the visual effect and dynamic impression of the piece. 

We will also commission some extra benches for our audience to sit on, expanding our capacity and having less people on floor matting. 

With additonal funds we can undertake addtional research days working at our partner museums and expand our workshop series to offer more sessions to more groups.



HandMade Theatre makes unique, interdisciplinary work with performance at its heart.  We specialise in making interactive performances, which engage our audience in unusual ways.

We make artwork primarily for families, telling stories through creative happenings and live events.

We take inspiration from our surroundings and enjoy playing with unusual spaces.

Beautifully handcrafted sets, sustainably sourced resources and a dedication to research are important.

We believe in the well being benefits of arts and culture and take pride in our ability to engage a wide audience including those with additional needs.

We think the best ideas come through collaboration and participation – therefore we facilitate every event to be unique, tailored by those of any age who join us in play.


Taking inspiration from the theme of archeology, history and discovery, we want to create a new piece of engaging, contemporary theatre aimed at children and their families.  

The production will make history come to life! The audience will become part of the story, learning and engaging with the past through an exciting mix of music, puppetry and drama. We will use historical artefacts as an inspiration for story telling.

There will be a beautiful handcrafted and interactive set, featuring a tent like canopy which envelopes the audience. It will morph into new shapes as the show moves on and be designed and built using sustainable and tactile materials.

We are a company who pride ourselves on creating performance through a community engagement model. Therefore we will spend time researching with local archaeologists and running public workshops. This will include specialist workshops for those with additional needs.

We will devise a unique and contemporary performance and present preview performances this summer at Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival, Just So Festival, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, and Curve Theatre in Leicester.

Looking to the future we plan for this production to go on a full National Tour to schools, arts venues and festivals!

Touring productions are the bread and butter for HandMade Theatre and without a new show, our long term survival is in jeopardy. We want to continue sharing the unique, interactive and accessible performance style we are renowned for.  

Our participatory and sensory style of work is highly accessible. We are able to engage some of the hardest to reach people and believe in the wellbeing benefits of our arts activities.  HandMade Theatre is a not for profit organisation with a dedication to community working.  

We choose themes, which are highly enjoyable but also informative. We bring topics, facts and experiences to life in a fun and engaging way. This makes our work relevant to school curriculums as well as general interest, awareness and knowledge.

HandMade Theatre works with a fantastic team of very talented artists! We want them to have the opportunity to work on exciting and fulfilling projects and be paid for the wonderful work they do.


With serious cuts to public arts funding from Government, all arts and culture organisations are facing difficult times. We need to rally to support them and find new ways of raising money.

Despite the current challenges we feel as artists it is essential to continue. We want to secure good quality, accessible art for young people, for the future.

Our work is for an intimate audience and we believe in the quality this interactive experience can offer. A small-scale model needs financial support as theatre fees and ticket sales can only cover the touring of work, not the creation.

We strive to make high quality, well-researched, well-crafted work, which is sustainable.   This requires a talented team, strong partners and money.

We have been lucky enough to secure exciting partners for this project who want us to collaborate with them or present at their festivals and events this summer. Therefore we are working to a tight time scale and need to raise the funds immediately.

We are a company traditionally funded through Arts Council England, however due to cuts we have been forced to streamline our funding requests and raise much more match funding ourselves to secure our bids.

Crowd funding will help us apply for additional funds to support a bigger project and larger scale show suitable for National touring.


  • Lincoln University: We are lucky enough to have Carenza lewis on board with this project. Carenza was part of the popular archeology show 'Time Team' and is now a lecturer at Lincoln University. She is bringing her expertise to this project.
  • Nottingham Community Archeologists: Emily Gillott, community archeologist is supporting this project by giving her time and experience via research and hands on workshops.
  • Proteus Creation Space, Basingstoke: This is a fabulous residency opportunity to be based at Proteus theatre company's creation lab, where we will be provided with free space and our first public sharing of the piece, the feedback from which will inform the development of the show.
  • Just So Festival: This lovely family festival enjoyed Flying The Nest so much last year they are supporting us to make this wonderful new showto be presented at their festival in August. 
  • St Andrews Special School, Derby: We have worked with this fantastic school on all our previous projects.  Their young people and staff are so ethusiastic and bursting with ideas. 
  • Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival: Continued supporters of Handmade the festival have booked this show before it has even been made and their support for companies and artists is inspiring.


We are a small company, with limited overheads and so can offer real value for money. We are dedicated to the work we do and you can be safe in the knowledge that every penny of money donated will be carefully allocated.

In order to create a full-scale show we will also be applying for Arts Council Funding. The £4000 crowd funder pot will massively help us to secure this larger funding bid. With your help we can begin to create this exciting project, your money will contribute to the following:

  • The Set: We will build a beautifully handcrafted set using sustainable resources. This will form the stage for the performers and an interactive environment for our audience. This is the expensive bit where most of our crowdfunded money will go!
  • Costumes: We will design and make some unique costumes to bring to life our lead eccentric archaeologist characters and also various historical figures.
  • Puppets & Props: HandMade are known for their exciting hands on props and innovative puppets. This show will include lots of interesting artefacts to explore too.
  • Workshops in Museums: Museums will be a key area of research and we will also run some public workshops as part of the bigger project.
  • Workshops in Schools: We love working with young people – they have the best ideas!! We will be working with St Andrew’s Special school in Derby running some workshops and presenting a unique relaxed version of the show.
  • Rehearsals: We will be working with our company of performers and musicians to devise and rehearse the show. This will include working at the wonderful Indiboo space in Nottingham where we are based.
  • Preview performances: We will be presenting a number of preview performances this summer. Including a special event for all our crowdfunders!

Thursday 9th June: Proteus Creation Space, Basingstoke

Saturday 11th June: Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival

Wednesday 17th August Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Friday 19th – Sunday 21st August; Just So Festival

Saturday 24th September: Curve Theatre, Leicester


Your money will contribute to a project with a:

  • Long-term life (at least 2018)
  • Wide National reach
  • Beautiful tangible art products
  • Employment for Artists
  • Good quality, creative experiences for families, young people and those with additional needs!


We cant do this without you so to show a little of our massive appreciation we have put together some exciting opportunities and treats supplied by our wonderfully talented team.

We will continue to add to these throughout the campaign and hope you get as excited as we did coming up with them!

Our rewards include exclusive HandMade artwork, free tickets to a show and some exciting creative workshops. Many of these are limited in availability so check out the list and get contributing!



Creative Director: Amy Nicholson

Amy trained as a Theatre Designer at Nottingham Trent University and Wimbledon School of Art. She has worked on a broad range of professional design projects including sets, costumes, puppets, props, masks and make-up for both theatre and film.  She was recently awarded Best Production Design at the International web fest 2015 for The First Musketeer Web series.

Amy has also worked in education delivering a broad range of music, drama and art based workshops, including a current Artist in Residence role at Toot Hill School in Nottingham. She has a particular interest in working with those with additional needs and has experience in delivering musical interaction therapy for children with Autism.

With HandMade Amy has the opportunity to combine her two career passions of design and education. She is able to lead the innovative creative vision of the company and work with a team of very talented creative practitioners.


Creative Producer: Suzy Gunn

Suzy originally trained in Contemporary Theatre at Scarborough University and has been working as a Creative Practitioner and Arts Manager for over 10 years within creative industries in the East Midlands.

As a Creative Producer, Suzy has managed high profile international companies including Reckless Sleepers and Retina Dance company.  This experience has given her key skills in fundraising, company development, tour booking and project management.  

As a theatre practitioner she has specialised in contemporary devised theatre and toured work across the UK, her contemporary background and belief in creating theatre through play has helped to shape the companies performance style.

Suzy has a specialist interest in working with older generations in particular those with additional needs such as Dementia. She has recently undertaken training in this area and led a Handmade Theatre project working in collaboration with a Nursing home. She believes in the power of drama and story telling to unlock memories and support a wellbeing approach.


Creative Collaborator: Ben Thomas

Ben has collaborated with the company since its conception in 2011 and is responsible for much of its environmental focus. He currently works for START in Salford, a charity for vulnerable adults including those with mental health issues. There he runs a large creative engagement programme including a full time wood workshop.

He has a background as a Yurt builder and specialises in outdoor sculptures and structures made from natural materials. Ben attends many Greenfield festivals running exciting forest based woodcraft workshops, making anything from stools to hula-hoops.   Ben owns and manages his own plot of woodland from where some of the wood for HandMade sets is coppiced. Ben will be working with the company on this project in the development of the interactive set.

Musician & Performer: Matt Marks

Matt studied Creative Arts at Nottingham Trent University, and Composition at the Tisch School of Arts in New York.  He has an extensive CV composing original scores for theatre, including work for Nottingham Playhouse, New Perspectives Theatre, Lakeside Arts Centre, Maison Foo, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible and more.  He has had recent work performed in Poland, New York, Australia and China.  As a musician, Matt plays accordion with The Balkan Express  and keyboards with the jazz trio Kiplefti as well as numerous other bands.  He's excited to be joining the crew of the Flying Machine!  

Musician & Performer: Benjamin McElroy

Ben is a composer, lyricist and performer who graduated from New College Nottingham in 2008 with a degree in Sonic Arts. He has performed in a number of bands including Apples For Faces, Seas of Mirth, Mucus Mules and Howling Buddha and currently plays fiddle and cello in The Big Moose Ceilidh Band. He has spent time travelling through Europe and the UK as a street entertainer and also works as a private instrumental teacher.

Ben teaches guitar at Woodborough Woods Primary School, he is also interested in music as therapy and has undertaken voluntary work at various special needs schools. He is very excited to be combining a number of his passions working for Handmade Theatre.

Prop Maker: Charlotte Ball

Charlotte is a designer with a passion for set, prop, and costume making. She graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Theatre Design, which has fed her passion for hands on and practical experiences. Since then she has worked on a number of music videos, short films and theatre performances, includes working for Polymath Pictures, Spool Films and Chapter House Theatre.

Guest Director: Phil Stevens

Philip Stevens is an award-winning film and theatre director.  Following critically acclaimed tours of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream', 'Macbeth' and 'Romeo and Juliet', his short film 'Northmen' was nominated for the Polar Film Festival in Finland, The British Society of Cinematographers’ New Cinematography Night, Key Shorts Film Festival and a Royal Television Society award for best short drama.

In 2015 he completed 'The Road to Rome', a television documentary narrated by Sir Ian Mckellen in which he filmed a group of best selling ancient Roman fiction authors walking across Italy, and the short documentary ‘The Bank’s Endeavour’ featuring Sir David Attenborough.

He has just directed critically acclaimed UK and Ireland theatre tours of ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘The Jungle Book’.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£5 or more

£5 Reward

TUTANKHAMUN: A warm and fuzzy feeling and a big social thank you!

£10 or more

£10 Reward

THE VIKING: A bespoke thank you e-card and a big social thank you!

£20 or more

£20 Reward

THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS: A beautifully crafted and signed HandMade thank you card!

£50 or more

£50 Reward

THE SAXON: A beautifully hand-crafted felt brooch.

£60 or more

4 of 5 claimed

£60 Reward

THE COLOSSEUM A signed copy of Eagles At War by best selling historical fiction author, Ben Kane. To celebrate the next phase of our Crowdfunder campaign we've teamed up with best selling historical fiction author, Ben Kane. Ben has very kindly offered FIVE signed and personalised copies of his fantastic book, Eagles At War! For more info on Ben and his work please visit:

£75 or more

1 of 4 claimed

£75 Reward

THE CLEOPATRA: A caricature of your choice! We've teamed up with illustrator Mark Dickson to create a fantastic reward! For £75 you'll get a social shout out, personalise e-card and a single caricature of anything you want! It could be yourself, your better half or even the family pet!

£75 or more

4 of 4 claimed

£75 Reward

TERRA COTTA ARMY: A family ticket to an exclusive preview performance of 'How Time Flies' with a post show photo and celebratory drink of fizz with the cast and crew of HandMade Theatre.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

SUTTON HOO: A limited edition original artwork, hand drawn by designer Amy Nicholson.

£150 or more

2 of 10 claimed

£150 Reward

POMPEII: A one day willow making workshop with tea and cake.

£200 or more

£200 Reward

RICHARD III: Spend a day back stage with the company. Join us in rehearsal and hang out with the team, including a tasty afternoon tea.

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