Okay, we’ll admit it;
We didn’t realise taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival would be so expensive. We knew it would rinse us of all we had but didn’t anticipate it would happen quite so soon. We tried to plan, we really did but it turns out a whole lot of D.I.Y prop making and seven full time jobs just won’t cut it. So, we’re here to ask for your help. There is no easy way to do this but we’re hoping that by bombarding you with information, stories and pie charts you’ll see how passionate and determined we are to take this show as far as it will go.
Recently we were all sat on the floor of the children’s section of a book shop, looking fresh in our brand new show t-shirts (which are bright yellow so you can’t miss us) and surrounded by colouring pens, drawings and stickers. We were running little imagination workshops for kids and parents alike. It was a rainy Wednesday in half term and the flow of little feet was slow, so we passed the time reading our childhood favourites and colouring in. Then a lady entered, alone, wearing walking boots and a waterproof rucksack. She had rain frizzled hair and a kind face. She asked us what we were doing. Twenty minutes later she left us feeling inspired and fuzzy inside. She shared our passion for helping children be creative and her distaste for “the dull ones we have running the place.” She left us with a gorgeous sentence that we want to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS;
“We don’t want the next ones growing up dull.”
And she could not be more right. So, let us tell you a bit about our mission:
We are extremely passionate about the increasing disenchantment with the arts throughout society. We fear the dismissive attitude to drama, theatre, dance, music and art classes will lead to a generation stifled by the inability to express themselves and develop into analytical, creative, confident, empathetic members of society.
Education is important to us, whether it be education in schools, games in tiny corners of local book shops or a joke shared between audiences. Live theatre is the driving force to show the younger generation the beauty of getting creative and letting your imagination run wild. As a company we dedicate our time to creating work as an ensemble with our workshop devising style, focusing heavily on improvisation, play and our own childhood memories. Due to our discontent with the lack of acceptance of artistry within society, we strive to act as a force of optimism for the future of the arts and enrich the lives of children as well as regular theatre-goers with the transformative power of the arts. Ultimately we want to create theatre that encourages people to delve into their own experiences of growing up, cause the tears to fall and the cheeks to ache and entertain and inspire simultaneously.
Now we’re done with the heavy stuff, let’s talk about us:
Mismatch Theatre may only be two years old, and much like a toddler, we’ve had our fair share of tears, tantrums and fun new discoveries. Our debut as a company took place in our final term of our degrees and despite the stress, the essays, and the shattered sleeping patterns we successfully navigated the first performance of ‘The Den’, the story of five 11 year olds trying to survive the first turbulent year of secondary school to an audience of students and graduates. After some fab reviews we travelled north and performed a revised version to a very different audience. We were exhausted and one of us almost didn’t make it through but we had the most incredible time and decided then that we didn’t want to stop. Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Lum: and Other Colourful Tales is our brand new family friendly show for all ages. In a world that is becoming increasingly grey and divided, they want people to dust off their paint brushes, put on their dancing shoes, and find the things that bring us together!
There are six of us now. Three of us work as Front of House in theatres around Bristol, wishing with every shift that our roles were reversed and people were buying overpriced ice cream to see us belt a show tune at the top of our lungs. The other three literally lock people in rooms and watch them try to escape on little screens in a dark room…Games Master is a real profession apparently…
We work every waking hour (that we’re not rehearsing) so we can afford to live in Bristol and make our own theatre in this glorious city but we’re drying out. We’re run down, we’re eating pasta EVERYDAY and we really do need your help. Anything, ANYTHING you can give would help us immensely, and we cannot express how grateful we would be. Starting up is a struggle, but you gotta start somewhere!
A TIMELINE OF CREATING OUR MASTERPIECE... (Up to this point)
September 2018 - We were on track to remake The Den in the form of a play called "Yes, We'll Put The Chairs Back"- including our fan favourite scenes from the original, and new suggestions such as 'A Billy Elliot Parody'.
October 2018 - We were still deliberating over the plot of the revamped The Den script - we were even considering making Zoe a speaking role (and if you've never seen the show, then that's quite a big deal).
November 2018 - The seed was planted when we realised we couldn't just keep performing The Den, and Mia thought up the idea of a little girl, reading stories in a blanket fort in her bedroom (this may OR MAY NOT HAVE been based off real events).
23rd December 2018 - Ian Carter starts writing "Yes, We'll Put The Chairs Back" for the Bristol One Act Festival.
31st December 2018 - Ian Carter finishes writing the final draft of our One Act Festival entry. He can now officially be known as the fastest playwright in Mismatch history.
5th January 2019 - Our first read-through for the Bristol One Act.
17th January 2019 - Mia, James, Lily and Elle have a collective quarter life crisis and decide to go to the Edinburgh Fringe (because... why not?) and then broke the news (at 02:00am that morning) to Daisy and Ian but don't worry, they were cool about it.
11th February 2019 - We complete our technical rehearsal for the Bristol One Act Festival.
12th February 2019 - We finish actually making the show (lots of you will understand it's difficult getting work schedules to match).
13th February 2019 (Bristol One Act Festival Performance) - We are still totally surprised and grateful to have won best moment in theatre, audience choice, and adjudicator's choice for this performance. It was all worth the stress in the end.
March 2019 - We recruited the lovely Jack Daffin to score our show, and the equally lovely Louis Wood to illustrate our poster!
10th April 2019 - 'TooRaLooRaLum: and other colourful tales' gets registered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the writing begins again (this time it's all hands on deck).
1st May 2019 - Jack Daffin (our musical director) sends us the first piece of music for the show.
5th June 2019 - The final edits of the script are completed and learning lines gets under way!
7th June 2019 - Panic ensues...
So then, let's talk about the elephant in the room, the fact that we're asking for your help, and we don't want you to think we're stealing your money to go and set up new lives in Barbados, so we've set out a breakdown for you so you can see where every penny will be going!
A special shout out to Nick and Claire Jones, Steve Bearwish, Mick Bearwish, Julie Herbert, Louis Wood, Jack Daffin, Liam Jones, Mike and Mary from Waterstones and Jo Macleod, who have helped us out invaluably. From driving our set all over Bristol to putting us up in your house and providing a continental spread every morning for breakfast, you guys have our hearts, thank you.
You’ve come to the end of this hefty document, congratulations! We hope that you’ve been inspired to give a lil’ something. We’ll even take a ‘share’ or a ‘like’ on Facebook/Instagram, the publicity helps!
If you want to find out what this show is actually about, we're doing preview performances at The Alma Tavern and Theatre on July 7th and we'd love you to be there! Please find ticketing information below:
Finally, we want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for the support so many people have given us so far, we have the most incredible family and friends who are already embracing the challenge of raising a new theatre company from the ground. We love you millions.
Lily, Ian, Elle, Mia, Daisy and James,
Mismatch Theatre xxxx