When the UK Lockdown was first announced in March, Strange-Twig Theatre Company (like many others) saw all of our confirmed plans for the year overturned in the space of 48 hours. Contracts were cancelled or postponed indefinitely leaving the future of the company uncertain. Rather than panic however, Strange-Twig brought their 15 years of experience and resources as a company to bear to fulfil a promise we made to the general public. Within 3 days of the start of lockdown the first episode of the ongoing series ’Stuck At Home!’ was released. Ever since then we have released a new episode every Saturday bringing joy, entertainment and much needed escapism to online audiences for free. Now, Strange-Twig Theatre Company are asking for donations to ensure their return to national touring in 2021. Please donate for one of our exciting rewards!
Founded in 2005 by Robert Coke-Woods and now managed since 2010 in collaboration with Penny Coke-Woods, Strange-Twig Theatre Company consistently strives for accessibility within the theatre industry. Working as a core team and employing other performers and professionals Strange-Twig seeks to bring theatre to the wider public by staging energetic and engaging outdoor performances with storytelling, world creation and fast-paced clowning at the very heart.
Since the creation of the company Strange-Twig has produced a huge array of both stage and street performances, turning its bombastic manner and innovative characters to any and all situations. Whether on the street or at a festival, on a stage in a large production or performing to intimate audiences in delicate surroundings Strange-Twig has always enraptured and enthralled its audience in equal measures.
As part of our community outreach we also run STEM and STEAM workshops for all ages. These workshops introduce participants to the electronic and engineering skills needed to create their own versions of the animatronic characters we use in our productions.
Each year Strange-Twig produces a brand new original show in their bombastic, high-energy style. This is then added to a repertoire of ongoing works.
Past shows include:
Our new show for 2021 is ‘Mystery on Darkening Moor’ and your donations will in part go towards creating this production.
As a company Strange-Twig fundamentally believes in everyone having access to storytelling and live performance. It was because of this that we decided to release our filmed shows for free so that no matter the financial situation anyone could have access. It has long been a policy of ours to ensure that we don’t ticket our live performances and it was important to us to continue this in our new online production. In normal times we are paid for our performances by the organising body hosting the festival or event. In the past this has come from County Councils, National Trust properties, Museums, Schools and libraries to name but a few. In line with our central company objectives we even offer subsidised prices to libraries and schools so we can bring our unique brand of energetic storytelling and clowning to as many people as possible. All of the year’s income then goes towards paying external performers, running the company and investing in the next year and the new shows that we have in development.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic we have been unable to get out and perform as we usually would at events and festivals. As a result we haven’t had any income at all this year from performing. We consider ourselves very fortunate to have secured a small relief grant from the Arts Council England Emergency Relief Fund which we have put towards our basic running costs for the year. A minimal amount of the grant has also been used to produce 'Stuck At Home!' with the majority of the funds coming from our previous years performance contracts. Unfortunately we have reached the limit of our resources and without income from our regular touring practice we will be facing a significant challenge in keeping the company running in the coming year. We are now asking for donations to help to company return bigger and better than ever before for 2021!
With your generous donations we will be able to:
- Pay for our yearly insurances.
- Maintain and replace vital touring equipment including our power systems, animatronic characters, audio and lighting equipment, the main pop-up theatre structure, practical effects, and stage makeup and prosthetics
- Invest in health and safety equipment to correspond to the government’s pandemic response legislation as it stands when we begin to tour again in 2021
- Hire a space to rehearse our new show ‘Mystery on Darkening Moor’ as well as re-rehearse our existing repertoire
- Buy set and prop materials for our new show
- Train up new performers and pay them for their time spent performing AND rehearsing.
Your money will go directly to the running costs of the company, the creation of new shows, the reviving of existing shows and the expansion of the artist pool Strange-Twig employs. As the core team, Rob and Penny always prioritise the audience expereince and the needs of the external artists. Everything left over from that goes towards the future of the company.
We have a range of wonderful rewards on offer for any size budget and even a couple of larger options for our dedicated patrons. Each of the items listed below are combined into the reward packages you see on the right of the screen.
A wonderful 2cm resin pin with antique brass backing featuring the distinctive Strange-Twig logo. The badge comes mounted on an A6 card emblazoned with our storytelling promotional image and “I Helped Save The Arts,” because you helped save the arts!
A collection of four stunning promotional images from our 2020 production ‘Stuck At Home!’.
A gorgeous 8-disc DVD boxset of all 3 series of ‘Stuck At Home!’. That’s 26 episodes of increasingly fantastical storytelling and inventive performance. Own a physical copy of the shows that have entertained over 120,000 viewers since the start of the UK Lockdown. Each episode has been remastered into a higher-quality version of the released show.
All 15 stories from the first two series of ‘Stuck At Home!’ on a fabulous 3-disc DVD boxset. Each story has been fully remastered since their original release and now include the same visual and audio effects seen in the later stories.
Alongside the regular series, Strange-Twig released three extra episodes exploring the behind the scenes workings of the show. These interim episodes feature bloopers, never-before-seen backstage footage and a mocumentary of the making of 'Stuck At Home!'. Get these episodes on this brilliant DVD!
Featuring beautiful photographs and production stills from all three series of ‘Stuck At Home!’, this 14cm x 14cm gloss photobook features snapshots of all the episodes plus some never-before-seen images from the series.
The perfect companion to the ‘Stuck At Home!’ series! An absolutely beautiful book jam packed with photographs, production stills and promotional images as well as special commentary and insights from the Strange-Twig core team about the making of the shows. This 21cm x 21cm gloss book tracks the story of the creation, filming and productions process of ‘Stuck At Home!’ from the perspective of the people that made it.
Who doesn’t want their very own Scamp the Dinosaur?! For our bigger reward packages we are offering your very own 'Scamp' handmade by the Strange-Twig team. This puppet is worn on the forearm and hand and is made from custom formed EVA foam and fabric elements. We still haven’t figured out what Scamp eats though so operate at your own risk!
If you have a Scamp puppet you definitely need a Tri-Fi-d Tentacle for him to play with! The tentacle is approximately 45cm long and is handmade by the Strange-Twig team out of custom formed EVA foam. We’re pretty sure it won’t attack you but the purple juices might make your skin tingle - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
A must have for all underwater explorers! Unforuntely, this one isn't waterproof... One of our favourite costume pieces from the series; get your own handmade Diving Helmet made out of EVA foam by the Strange-Twig team. We unfortunately know from experience that they won't protect you from psychic clams. Sorry!
“The stories were told with so much enthusiasm and energy. It was like nothing we’ve ever seen before.“
Audience review - Ripon Library, 2019
"Appealing to the imagination through clowning and detailed costumes [they] had an interaction only possible through a real love of play. These characters are the careful creation of passion and skill and remind us not to take life too seriously."
Gabriel Jones - Colourscape and Eye Music
“…Drive, wit, energy and inventiveness…”
The Yorkshire Post
"Full of laughter and play, such fun and I just loved it."
Katie Cassells - Education and Learning Officer, National Trust
“From a standing start to mania in under a minute is truly the best we could have asked for!”
"Strange-Twig Theatre Company were a magical additional to our Big Camp event. Every one of our guests had nothing but praise for Strange-Twig and they captivated everyone with their actions, props and voices - despite the horrible weather!”
Sarah Dewberry - Education and Learning Manager, Waddesdon Manor