Annual Review 2018-2019

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Introduction The journey of the Bubble is a rope woven from the journeys of many individuals, and this year’s review focuses on some of the stories of people who are a part of the company today. Bubble is one of the oldest theatre companies of its type. Formed in 1972, it has evolved as the world around it has changed; responding to events, adapting to conditions, and pioneering new practice along the way. My hunch is that the Bubble has endured because it is small enough to listen and big enough to respond. To listen both to the changing world and to the way people want and need to develop their skills, ambitions and ideas with the company. Because the company is not too large, those who work for, volunteer with, or participate at, Bubble, find support and a value-based organisational memory that sort of demands that they collaborate and connect with others. So the development of Bubble is inextricably linked to the development of Bubblers themselves. There are loads of examples that are not included in this review - people who joined the company as children and now advise on projects. Others who had formative experiences as young people and now lead projects that support and encourage more young people to make theatre. There are many who have started a personal journey with Bubble and have changed, aged and grown as the company has. I am no exception. I came to Bubble as an orthodox Artistic Director, programming and directing text based plays. The space the company provided has allowed me to experiment with forms and think more fundamentally about the benefits of theatre making as well as theatre watching. Bubble has radically broadened the definition of who those theatre-makers can be and shown how they can change theatre. The wonderful team I work with today, are on their own journeys developing new programmes that connect with all ages, making new theatre, new friends and new confidence. I’d like to say thank you to them, and to all who make this such a special company. Jonathan Petherbridge 2.

Creative Director

Our Aims for 2018-2019 Oversee randomised control trial Speech Bubbles with national partners Successfully fundraise for Bubble Young Theatre Makers co-ordinator Design and deliver value-based training for new Bubble facilitators.

Our Aims for 2019-2020 Refine our organisational purpose and core messages

Describe, hone and share our ways of working Involve our local community in delivering the culmination of the Mayflower project.




Bubble Today....A Venn Diagram


Speech Bubbles


Young Theatre Makers


Creative Elders' Programme


Drama Groups


Charting the Mayflower


Lantern Procession






Our People


Drama Groups

Paid For Speech Bubbles

Bubble HQ Weekly Termtime

Progression within bubble

Research Referrals




london Bubble



Your story

multiple locations

Charting the mayflower

Volunteers Free

Group Trips Young Theatre Makers

Creative Elders


Speech Bubbles Now completing its tenth year as a national primary school drama intervention, Speech Bubbles continues to flourish. It won the 2019 Shine a Light award for innovation in Speech, Language and Communication needs.


Paul jokes that he is on an overnight journey at Bubble; that he may as well get a bed and sleep here! He first heard about us through a friend and completed training with Bubble long before working with us. He began assisting on collaborative workshops organised through the Young Theatre Makers but with a background in storytelling it wasn't long before he became a Speech Bubbles practitioner. Now facilitating the drama group for 6-8s, he reports feeling proud and emotional when children move from Speech Bubbles up to the drama groups or from the 6-8s to the 9-11s. Having just become a father himself, he is more certain than ever that nurturing the imagination and voices of children is the most important work we can do.

Sessions have been delivered in 64 schools in 12 local authorities in the UK.

1260 children in KS1 attended Speech Bubbles.

"I'm a big fan of the process more than the actual product at the end, because it's more like where [the children] have grown. They've done something. I only started at Bubble last year but I feel like I'm part of the family. I do so many projects." - PAUL 7.

Young Theatre Makers

Our Young Theatre Makers create plays that inspire other young people to talk about challenging issues. This year we held the first annual WE NEED TO ACT ON showcase; an evening celebrating the thought-provoking work produced by our community of young people whilst further exploring the social observations and concerns that they share. 8.

Deshaye came to Bubble via The Princes Trust and completed the Young Theatre Makers programme in 2012. He left to attend Central School of Speech and Drama for three years but he always kept one eye on Bubble activities. After drama school he circled back to Bubble to work as a freelance actor and facilitator on various YTM collaborative projects and commissions. This year's route has led him to host Bubble's WE NEED TO ACT ON SHOWCASE 2018 which was held at Canada Water Theatre.

"Growing up I had lots of youth centres to go to, but the older I've gotten, the less they've stayed prominent in the community. This is different." - DESHAYE

252 11-18 year olds were involved in BYTM partnership projects 15 young artists from the programme have been employed as lead practitioners, support practitioners, actors and trainers

20 18-24 year olds completed the programme this year. We devised 2 brand new forum theatre plays which have been seen by 472 people


Creative Elders' Programme

Providing opportunities for creativity, collaboration and connection by taking drama practitioners, artists and volunteers into the lounges of Sheltered Housing Units and community settings.

Sessions have taken place at 10 venues.

18 volunteers have assisted in sessions and at events.


We have had 155 participants on the programme; 57 at the Rotherhithe Shed, 70 at weekly Hubbles and 28 at pilot Hubble groups.

Creative Elders David has been a consistent Rotherhithe Sheddist since 2015 but simultaneously he has travelled through Bubble's intergenerational projects; picking up new friends and skills along the way. His first intergenerational project at Bubble was AFTER HIROSHIMA, where he took part in every phase from research to performance. He is currently a participant on Charting the Mayflower. David enjoys being a member of cast as much as he does helping to create props and build sets for Bubble performances, summer shows and sharings. When he's not at Bubble, he stays home.

"I come to the shed every week. At the shed I do woodwork and I paint the Rotherhithe Man. Bubble is very important because it keeps people happy after retirement." - DAVID 11.

179 people have been part of our drama groups this year. 4 children have journeyed from Speech Bubbles onto our weekly drama group.


We've held 11 events and sharings.

When Jade was at primary school, it was mentioned that a friend of hers 'went to Bubble' but at the time she had no idea what that meant. As a shy little girl, she once tried the drama group for 6-8s and hated it. Ten years later, with dreams of becoming an actor she returned to Bubble; signing up for the Young Theatre Makers programme (then called LB+) and emerging more confident than ever. It has been an eight year Bubble rollercoaster ride for Jade; whizzing at high speed through training at and working with Bubble. She now facilitates the Saturday 6-8’s, Youth theatre and Creative Elders groups as well as freelances on our bespoke shows which involves devising and performing commissioned plays. She describes herself as an actor and a theatre-maker and she describes Bubble as her 'roots'.

"Without Bubble’s guidance it would have taken me a hell of a lot longer to find my route into the industry. I am forever grateful for their help, support and their belief in me - especially when I didn’t believe much in myself..." - JADE

Drama Groups Led by our team of supportive theatre professionals; these weekly agespecific groups help people to build confidence, get creative and have fun among peers. To round off this year we made theatre themed around 'journeys' and held our sharing event, BUBBLING SATURDAY, at St Peter & the Guardian Angels Church.


Charting the Mayflower

Together with historians, artists, volunteers, actors and participants, we have been gathering a broad range of research, stories, objects, facts and testimonies to commemorate the 400th year of the sailing of the Mayflower from Rotherhithe. Through a series of public workshops and events, our project will culminate in a large scale performance in 2020.


75 volunteers participated in creative research on the project.

Jane has navigated a participant journey across a number of projects but remembers first experiencing Bubble as an audience member some twenty years ago at a promenade in the parks. She later joined the adult drama group and her first performance was at the opening of Canada Water Square. Jane has been a part of a number of our intergenerational projects, including FROM DOCKS TO DESKTOPS and PRIMARY so it's no surprise that this year she is CHARTING THE MAYFLOWER. No matter what else is going on, Jane always chooses Bubble over other hobbies or activities.

135 people took part in our first public event 'The Measuring'.Â

"It's immersing you in a history that you think you know something about but actually you know nothing, and you realise how biased your perceptions have been." - JANE


Lantern Procession

In November, Bubble artists and volunteers brought the residents of Rotherhithe together to make beautiful handmade lanterns. Intergenerational workshops were held in schools and community settings. The Shed created a giant whale and, on a crisp autumnal evening, lanterns and music filled the streets of our neighbourhood. Magic!


I felt like it was a really satisfying project because it brought together lots of different strands of the company. Like, probably somebody from every single Bubble project was involved in some way." - GEORGIA

Georgia journeyed from an adult drama group participant (Jan 2016) to a placement student assisting on the then Intergenerational project PRIMARY, all while studying for her Masters in Community Arts at Goldsmiths. After graduation and a bit of Bubble admin, Georgia began coordinating on Illuminate Rotherhithe (Nov 2017) and this year she also leads on the pilot creative volunteers programme. She is now onboard Charting the Mayflower; facilitating workshops, roadshows and co-curating public events.


Impact 82%

of Speech Bubbles pupils improved emotional behaviour and conduct behaviour.


of the invited audience attended our drama groups' sharing event, Bubbling Saturday.

72% of Bubble Young Theatre Makers felt greater selfcontrol and greater self- regulation.


55% of our Creative Elders are 65 - 85+ years of age.

86% of Bubble Young

Theatre Makers feel more useful.

100% of our Charting

the Mayflower participants felt that they regularly learnt new things on the project.

Finances Total income for the year amounted to £626,621. Of this, £90,019 was public funding (national and local government), £388,155 was private income (trusts and small donations) and £148,447 came from earned income (box office, hires and fees).

Total expenditure for the year amounted to £625,690. Support costs including salaries for permanent staff, premises costs and overheads amounted to £210,552, activity costs were £393,313 and governance £21,825.

Public Funding Earned Income Private Income

Support Costs Activity Costs Governance


Our People

LONDON BUBBLE WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR SUPPORT: Age UK Lewisham and Southwark Arts Council England Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Neighbourhoods Fund British Land Francis Winham Foundation LB Southwark – Revenue LB Southwark – Other London Youth Micheline Steinberg Associates Newcomen Collett Foundation North Southwark Environmental Trust Rotherhithe Consolidated Charity School for Social Entrepreneurs SELCHP Community Fund Sellar Developments SHINE Trust Southwark Neighbourhood Fund St George Swire Charitable Trust Team London – City Hall The Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund The Amicable Society’s School, Rotherhithe The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation The Big Lottery The Brook Trust The City Bridge Trust The Clothworkers’ Foundation The Drapers’ Charitable Fund The Education Endowment Foundation The Expat Foundation 20. The Henry Smith Charity

The Jack Petchey Achievement Awards The Peter Minet Trust United St Saviours Walcott Foundation BOARD MEMBERS David Slater Emma Nutland Janes Stokes Louise Owen Mark Dunford Sarah Macnee Sir Simon Hughes Siri Nomme Sue Timothy Sylvan Baker Thomas Pullen Tinashe Sithole CORE TEAM Adam Annand Amelia Bird Fran Jones Georgia Clark Helena Rice Jonathan Petherbridge Kehryse Johnson-Fraser (appointed Dec ‘18) Lucy Anderson Jones Lucy Bradshaw Marie Vickers Natalie Clarke (appointed Aug ‘18) Shipra Ogra (resigned Sept ‘18) Wendy Lee

FREELANCE ARTISTS Adriani Scordellis Alan Chadborn Alexander Philips Alison Hale Amie Taylor Angela Michaels Angela Yorke Arianne Carless Ben Hauke Brian Lavery Ben Myers Callum Coates Cassie-Ann Eaton Cathy Wren Claudia Carlsen Cormac Murphy Cruzer Films Daniel Copeland Daniel Marino David Gilbert Deshaye Gayle Ella Becker Emily Megson Emma Hewitt Gemma Wisdom Harriet Mann Imogen Slater Jack Tricker Jade Dowsett-Roberts Jenny Harris Jocelyne Quennell Jonathan Vines Joseph Phillips

Josiah Versace Mutupa Sorcha Corcoran Julia Voce Stanislaw Smagala Katherine Gill Stephanie Clarke Katherine Hart Tanya Muchanyuka Kelly Roberts Thomas Latham Kois Miah Wilf Petherbridge Lauren Spence Zoe Williams Les Zoings IN MEMORY OF Liz Atkin Vivian Gussin-Paley London Sea Shanty Collective Madeleine Faye Graham Max Spiel Michael Breakey Miles Mcdonald Monica Alcazar-Duarte Muna Liban Nekesha Biggs Nicole Charles Donate via our website O. Davies-Norman Patrick Evans Leave a legacy by mentioning us in your will Paul Andrew Peter Olatunji Follow us on social media Phil Webb Rebecca Milner @bubbletheatre Reg Garwood Russeni Fisher Sagan Daniels LondonBubble.Theatre Aroob Sajjad Sally Hardcastle Sam Petherbridge @lbubble Sapphire Joy Simon James Batchelor 21. Simon Startin

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