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Annual Review 2015–2016


People make theatre

London Bubble’s success is built on a myriad of relationships where people are welcomed, encouraged and celebrated. Groups come together to share their experiences – in schools, in sheltered housing, in community centres – where groups of between 10 and 30 people connect through making theatre. Our company is funded and our services purchased by individuals and organisations. They all become critical friends, helping us articulate and evidence the benefits of our work with people and with the community, connecting through making or watching theatre. The shows that are shared with audiences are imbued with the quality of the creative relationships nurtured in these workshops and rehearsals, and when work is performed to an external audience they notice how people are attended to – they remark on the care taken.

Although the company has grown during the year – 23% more sessions, 21% more attendances, and an increased turnover of 17% – we remain a small fish in the big arts ocean. This is because we still choose to swim first in local waters – and this is as it should be for, if we want truly to engage with our community, we have to develop sustainable local relationships based on being present and sharing spaces. However, we are also using the power of digital to link up with other organisations that too work very locally, and so we have shared our practice, co-created projects and built alliances across the UK and further afield. We would like to thank all those who helped us during 2015-16. Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes Chair of Trustees Jonathan Petherbridge Creative Director and Chief Executive

London Bubble would like to thank: Adrian Fleming, Age UK Lewisham and Southwark, Aileen Ryder, Andrew and Jane McManus, Anne Kavanagh and Nick Stanton, Arts Council England, Aqua Brit, Frances Jones and John Little, Francisco Mojica, Garfield Weston Foundation, Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Hot Yoga Society, Hudson Fuggle, J Bowman, KALMARs Commercial, Lloyds Bank Foundation, London Borough of Lewisham, London Borough of Southwark, London Youth, MO Holdings, Niwano Peace Foundation, Norton Rose Fulbright, School for Social Entrepreneurs, SHINE, Simon and Michelle Dyer, St George, St Olave’s & St Saviour’s Schools Foundation, Team London Bridge, The Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Fund, The Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust, The Amicable Society’s School, The Big Lottery, The Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation, The Brook Trust, The Futures Company, The Jack Petchey Foundation, United St Saviour’s Charity.


1,540 events and workshops delivered last year

17,726 attendances across all workshops and events

POPULAR

90% improvement in listening, speaking and learning reported by teachers after a year of Speech Bubbles

85.6% of all our activities are free at the point of delivery

EFFECTIVE 81% of Young Theatre Makers moved into further education, employment or training

People Make Theatre

ACCESSIBLE 51% of audiences and 65.8% participants were new to Bubble last year

REFLECTIVE

17 discussions and training sessions were hosted during the year

76 people engaged with the Bubble as volunteers

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People Make Theatre

GROW

Theatre helps people grow. As individuals theatre-makers grow in stature, voice, agency and confidence. This and the inherent sense of connection builds wellbeing and health. But Bubble grows too. More people join classes, watch performances, engage digitally or attend one of our Small and Thoughtful sessions to consider how we can improve our practice. And while working locally we connect nationally and internationally – Hiroshima Dispersed connected 9 companies from around the world digitally, to a powerful world story – Grandchildren of Hiroshima.

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‘It was a tight international group of 12 artists and cultural workers. Aside from doing the reading we folded paper cranes, feasted together and had charged conversations on peace, and our role as artists and social beings.’ SARAH (Hiroshima Dispersed Participant, Philippines)


People Make Theatre

SOCIAL

Our first ever Winter Festival brought together the different strands of the Creative Elders Project – through a tour of the sheltered housing schemes in which Creative Homes takes place. They shared stories, performance and songs – along with some tea, a sherry and cake! Meanwhile the Rotherhithe Shed celebrated its first birthday and welcomed its 58th Sheddist. The bi-weekly sessions involve a range of member-led activities from the mending of bikes to re-purposing a sewing machine as a lathe.

‘It keeps you active and lifts your mood. You have to do things that you have never done before, like being silly and laughing a lot and singing and acting.’ PAT, Creative Homes Participant

Fun fact: Upcycling at the Shed has included a piano stool made from discarded Apple computer and a bicycle trailer made from an old aluminum ladder!

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People Make Theatre

EMPOWERING

Young Theatre Makers (YTM) empowers 17-24s who are not in employment, education or training to reflect the experiences of their generation through drama. YTM is developing as a sustainable model, by employing programme alumni to deliver commissioned projects that reach other vulnerable young people at risk of becoming excluded.

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‘This work is a key part of our “desistance” strategy.’ JENNY BRENNAN, Head of Service, Southwark Youth Offending

Finance: In 2015-16, Young Theatre Makers raised £37,292 in earned income.


People Make Theatre

ENTERPRISING

In 2015-16 Speech Bubbles took place in 42 schools working with over 800 children with identified communication needs. The project has 7 franchise partners to date and 31 participatory artists helped deliver the project nationally. Thanks to SHINE we are gathering robust evidence of the impact of Speech Bubbles and have commissioned the University of East London to carry out a randomised control trial.

Fun fact: 15,744 metres of masking tape was used this year to make our story squares. That is roughly the height of 50 Shards!

‘We have seen all children make outstanding progress in terms of their receptive and expressive communication and their ability to listen, take part and participate.’ YEAR ONE TEACHER, Brent Knoll School

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People Make Theatre

INTERNATIONAL

This year we tested our Vernacular Theatre making process in Japan. Grandchildren of Hiroshima involved Hiroshima children, supported by Japanese and Bubble artists, recording interviews with survivors of the bomb which were then developed into an intergenerational production. Meanwhile in London After Hiroshima involved 258 volunteers in a similar process exploring the UK response to the A-Bomb, and resulted in performances at Dilston Grove gallery given by a multi-generational community cast and choir of 46.

‘A mix of actors from different backgrounds made me think a lot about the different countries involved in the tragic events depicted and I loved the involvement of so many people of different abilities’ AUDIENCE MEMBER

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People Make Theatre

PERSONAL

Bubble depends on participant’s stories, their physical presence, their voice and their generosity. At its essence theatre requires no equipment and no specialised technique. It does however require people to be physically present – collectively mindful. It requires performers to communicate through gesture and facial expression linked to wit and feeling. It requires audiences to interpret vocal tone, read faces, eyes and smiles – to empathise.

‘What an inspiring sharing … I had guests and we talked about the difficulties of watching some of the sketches that touched on personal issues… much better than reality TV’ EMILIA (mum of a participant)

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People Make Theatre

SUSTAINABLE

Total funds utilised during the year amounted to £612,708. Of this £236,723 was public income (national and local government), £186,512 was private income (trusts and small donations), £161,055 came from earned income (box office, hires and fees) and £28,418 came from specific reserves. Total costs for the year amounted to £617,087. Support costs including salaries for permanent staff, premises costs and overheads amounted to £281,557,activity costs were £313,644, governance £21,866. This has resulted in a deficit on the year of £4,379.

Funds utilised Public Income £236,723 Private income £186,512 Earned income £161,055 Specific Reserves £28,418 TOTAL £612,708

Costs Activity costs £313,644 Support costs £281,557 Governance £21,886 TOTAL £617,087

Deficit £4,379

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The people who help make theatre

Board Members Patricia Abraham Sylvan Baker Jonathan Barnes Jocelyn Cunningham Matthew de Lange Mark Dunford Charlie Folorunsho Sir Simon Hughes Pamela Hutchinson Francisco Mojica Thomas Pullen David Slater May Steele Simon Thomson Sue Timothy Core Team Adam Annand Amelia Bird Lucy Anderson Jones Georgia Bowers Lucy Bradshaw Sagan Daniels Ruth Dewa Joanne Gowling Shipra Ogra Jonathan Petherbridge Tajender Sagoo Marie Vickers

Freelance Artists Samantha Adams Yorie Akiba Alistair Armstrong Suzanne Biesty Amelia Bird Tytiah Blake Michael Breakey Lily Carasik Nicole Charles Abigail Coniah Sorcha Corcoran Josh Darcy Rib Davis Louise de Froment Caroline Dorset Jade Dowsett-Roberts Luke Drinkwater Rachel Essex Alex Evans Barry Fitzgerald Charlie Folorunsho Simone Gaye Peter Gazey David Gilbert Breanna Hacene Riitta Hakkarainen Alison Hale Valentine Hanson Chloe Harbour Matthew Harrison Ben Hauke Emma Hewitt Marigold Hughes

Ting Yan Rachel Kan Beatrice Kempton Martine Langthorne Fran Lobo Eric MacLennan Amanda Mascarenhas Rowan McKinnon Angela Michaels Rusty Monkeys John Morales Ben Myers Pip Nash Richard Neville Grace Nichol Azusa Ona Sam Petherbridge Wilfred Petherbridge Joseph Phillips Rachel Pooley Rebecca Rainsford Neil Reidman Adam Robertson Francis Roughton Claire Sexton Jenny Skene Imogen Slater Stanislaw Smagala Simon Thomson Julia Voce Shanika Warren Fiona Whitelaw Sarah Woods Miranda Yates Liam Yeates


Help people make theatre Donate through our website Be part of Double Bubble Become a Member of Bubble Mention us in your Will London Bubble Theatre Company London Bubble is a registered charity no 264359. Company no 1058397 Tel: 020 7237 4434 email: admin@londonbubble.org.uk www.londonbubble.org.uk Photographs: London Bubble staff team, Jonathon Vines Design: www.emmi.co.uk

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.

London Bubble Annual Review 2015-16  

Our annual review looking at 2015-16. Highlights key projects, challenges and achievements.

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