Annual Review 2014-2015

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Annual Review 2014–2015

How you can help people make theatre Donate through our website Make a pledge and see it doubled Become a Member of Bubble Mention us in your Will

London Bubble Theatre Company Tel: 020 7237 4434 or email London Bubble is a registered charity. Charity no. 264359 Photographs: London Bubble staff team, Steve Hickey, Jonathon Vines Design:

Every February, the Young Theatre Makers from Bubble organise the SE1 Flipping Marvellous Pancake race at More London, to involve people from local businesses and raise funds. Here we see flippers from Kalmars and The Futures Company locked in combat.

People make theatre

Theatre is not a building, it is not a script, it is not actors, nor is it a stage. Theatre is simply what happens when people watch other people perform – when the watchers find themselves drawn into a story, when they empathise or start to take sides. Of course this happens on stages and it happens in scripts – but we sometimes forget that the moment of theatre is a connection between people, between people who have chosen to speak and people who have chosen to listen.

The spaces which Bubble’s skilled facilitators create are very special. Thank you to them, and thank you to all who made or enjoyed watching people make theatre. Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes Chair of Trustees Jonathan Petherbridge Creative Director and Chief Executive

London Bubble would like to thank: Arts Council England Big Lottery Fund City Bridge Trust Children in Need Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Frances Jones and John Little Frances Spurrier Garfield Weston Foundation Heritage Lottery Fund Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales London Community Foundation London Borough of Southwark Peter Minet Trust SHINE Trust The Amicable Society’s School, Rotherhithe The Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Trust The Brook Trust The Henry Smith Foundation The Jack Petchey Foundation The Mercers’ Company The Wakefield and Tetley Trust United St Saviour’s Charity.


What ages were they 43% 0-12 years 23% 12-25 years 28% 25-60 years 6% 60 + years 37

6 3








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1 12

6 43



Where was the theatre made 36% Schools 41% Bubble HQ 10% Youth and community settings 12% Sheltered accommodation 1% Open and unusual spaces





Young Theatre Makers page 4

41 12 24

Who made theatre with us 24% Participants 2% Volunteers 5% Interviewees/ contributors 8% Trainees 58% Audience members 1% Teachers/ educators 2% Lead artists

% 58


Res i pag dent Th e5 eatr e

2 5 17 24

% 23

Cr pa eat ge ive 6 H

15 21





What form did our events take 17% Public performances 15% Sharings and discussions 21% Forum performances 23% Made and shared in groups 24% Commissioned events



Cover picture: A moment from Hopelessly De-Voted Jasmine has just spoken the words of someone who told us they had a proud record of “deliberately abstaining” in elections. Jasmine chose to express this by tearing paper into fragments and throwing it into the air.

Where do they come from 77% Southwark 9% Lewisham 5% Greenwich 6% Rest of London 3% Outside London

nal neratio Interge nce a perform page 8

We know that this work is hugely beneficial to people. It’s fun – you have to use your body and your voice, your wit and your facial expressions. It exercises the emotions and you connect with others – through eye contact, teamwork, listening and creating or forming a judgment about what is being made.

During 2014-15 over 3,100 people engaged with Bubble theatre making. Just under a half of whom were involved in creating and performing theatre. Together they amounted to 14,201 attendances the vast majority made up of people who came together to make theatre on a weekly basis. The youngest made theatre about things like mermaids and friends, the oldest made theatre about things like being an older person and... well, friends.

How do we know them 18% Were regular bubblers 45% Were new and referred 37% Were new and not referred

rh he ot eR Th ge 7 pa

We believe theatre is a good thing to do, and we’re a bit evangelical about it. We want everyone to have access to making theatre. So Bubble exists to encourage and support people to make theatre. Good theatre. Relevant, gripping, innovative, exciting, skilful, and beautiful work which connects with the audience.

3,131 people engaged with theatre at London Bubble leading to 14,201 attendances at 1,254 events.





Awarded the Gold London Youth Quality Mark

Nicole* is reading Mo’s story to the rest of the children in the group. It is about a princess who falls in love with a prince. In a moment Anne will take the part of the queen who banishes the princess for her disobedience and her friends will watch and take it in turns to play other characters. Next week it will be someone else’s turn to have their story written out and performed.

Rhyannon and Hugo play two young people pressurised by the expectations of teachers, boyfriends and parents. These are the central characters in ‘Pieces’ a forum theatre show created from workshops with young people across Southwark – those consulted wanted the company to look at the subject of pressure and the resulting show toured back into their schools and other youth settings. Also in the picture are Gloria who first joined the Bubble Youth Theatre after seeing Young Theatre Makers perform in her school, Bella who is currently a support facilitator on the Creative Homes project and Sol who remembers Bubble coming into his secondary school.

*Nicole is a Bubble artist facilitator who started her journey with us as a youth theatre member.

Statistics The project ran in 9 local authority areas and worked with 25 participatory artists nationally.

Funders SHINE Trust, BBC Children in Need, Alan and Babette Sainsbury Trust, The Mercers’ Company, The Communication Trust.

Finance In 2014-15 Speech Bubbles earned £43,349 in non-grant income.

Statistics 69 young people who were previously not in education, employment or training have completed the programme and 56 are now in employment, education or training.

Funders Big Lottery Fund, Jack Petchey Foundation, London Borough of Southwark.

Finance In 2014-15 Young Theatre Makers project attracted £37,149 in earned income, through commissions including the NHS, Norton Rose Fulbright, More London and Southwark Youth Offending Service.



People who watch theatre are as important as those that make it. To paraphrase Augusto Boal, “If the audience choose to turn their backs there is no theatre”. This group is watching a sharing by the Adult Drama group. We hope that those who are watching may at some point join a Bubble group to make more theatre!

In the lounge of Abbeyfield House, Christopher is working with facilitator Jools on a piece of table-top theatre. It’s about the lake that their home overlooks and how the seasons impact on the seven swans that live there. Another participant, Eunice has written the text and she and artist Matthias, have made origami swans. Christopher and the rest of the group performed the piece to Redriff Primary School, across the road. “Thank you all so very much for your care and kindness in giving us all a wonderful afternoon of dignity and delight” Ben (Creative Homes participant)

“Yes, yes we will be back! We really enjoyed the experience of power and participation. As always the Bubble managed to surprise us!” Audience member

People make theatre Age banded groups run termly and during the year 245 participants worked with one of the 17 professional artist facilitators making original and relevant theatre. The oldest participant was 80+ and the youngest 6.

Statistics 8 participatory performance events were attended by a total audience of 398 and 6 participants moved from other projects into a resident group.

People make theatre 56 residents from 8 residential settings, worked with a team of 10 artist facilitators. The participants shared their work with over 100 people at Bubble events during the year.

Funders United St Saviour’s Charity, The Wakefield and Tetley Trust, The Peter Minet Trust.



Brian is working on the new sign for The Rotherhithe Shed. The sign has had to be changed as, thanks to funding from United St Saviours and Big Lottery Fund, the shed is now open two days a week for anyone to drop in and mend or make something – or just have a cup of tea and a chat. The problem with the old sign was it didn’t show the new opening hours. Perhaps this is a sign of the times.

Lee and 30 others used what we call the ‘Foraging process*’ to co-create the piece they are performing here called Hopelessly De-Voted. The group, ranging in age from 11 to 70+ worked with directors Jonathan Petherbridge and Linda Straub to develop testimonies taken from interviews with politicians and voters – and then helped writer Simon Startin shape a script into a physical and interactive performance. Here they are using the original words of frustrated voters in a noisy scene of protest.

“I started a project two weeks ago and finished it today (well pleased) and good fun to be here.” Sheddist

“ Great. I loved it. Excellent theatre as usual. I’m a political activist, and the content was all so true!” Audience Member

Statistics The Shed opened in September 2014 and currently has 35 members.

Activities include: Creating a treadle-powered lathe, restoring furniture, renovating a doll’s house, making wooden bunting and taking shed activities to other settings.

Funders Big Lottery Fund and United St Saviour’s Charity.

People make theatre 25 people were interviewed, 28 volunteers helped interview and transcribe, a cast of 18 performed the final piece.

Foraging process* The five stages of the Foraging process are 1) Gathering material 2) Prepping (exploring) 3) Writing the recipe (scenography) 4) Cooking (rehearsing) 5) Feasting (or performing)

Funders Arts Council England, London Borough of Southwark.


Total income for the year amounted to £500,980. Of this £131,822 was public income (national and local government), £232,161 was private income (trusts and small donations) and £136,997 came from earned income (box office, hires and fees). Total expenses for the year amounted to £500,921. Core costs including salaries for permanent staff, premises costs and overheads amounted to £282,015 and project costs to £218,906. This has resulted in a small surplus on the year of £59, reversing the loss in the previous year of £32,819. The figures reflect a significant growth with income rising from £376,432 to £500,980 (an increase of 33%). Within this figure also sits an increase in longer term funding.

The people who help make theatre

Income Private income: £232,161 Public Income: £131,822 Earned income: £136,997 Total £500,980

Expenditure Core costs: £282,015 Project Costs: £218,906 Total £500,921

Earned Income Project income: £95,386 Membership: £2,020 Hires and other: £39,591

Board Members Patricia Abraham Jonathan Barnes Jocelyn Cunningham Matthew de Lange Mark Dunford Charlie Folorunsho Sir Simon Hughes Pamela Hutchinson (appointed September 2014) June Mitchell (stepped down 15 May 2014) Francisco Mojica (leave of absence Mar 2015 – Jul 2016) David Slater May Steele (appointed June 2014) Simon Thomson Sue Timothy Core Team Mike Adam Adam Annand Lucy Anderson Jones Lucy Bradshaw Sagan Daniels Ruth Dewa Joanne Gowling Jonathan Petherbridge Tajender Sagoo Shipra Ogra Marie Vickers

Artist Facilitators Sam Adams Marva Alexander Jane Annand Katy Annand Joseph Phillips Amelia Bird Tia Blake Dan Boyden Yolande Bramble-Carter Michael Breakey Jelissa Campbell Nicole Charles Fiona Creese Louise Dickinson Catherine Donaldson Jade Dowsett Roberts Alex Evans Russeni Fisher Raphael Flynn Simone Gayle David Gilbert Alison Hale Matt Harrison Ben Hauke Emma Hewitt Malick Kane Chris Larner Eric MacLennan Matuyizila Malalu Miles McDonald Angela Michaels

John Morales Ben Myers Pip Nash Wilf Petherbridge Rachel Pooley Thomas Pullen Maggie Rawlinson Adam Robertson Fraz Roughton Sophie Russell Claire Sexton Stas Smagala Simon Startin Linda Straub Matthias Straub Nora Tawfiq Simon Thomson Ronin Traynor Tamsin Tyers-Vowles Shazia Ur-Rehman Nirobi Vassell Julia Voce Shanika Warren Fiona Whitelaw Andy Whitfield