Glimmer Theatre is a visual folk theatre ensemble who create female-led action adventure stories, and exciting community events.
Andrew Brock and Sophie Crawford talk about their new collaborative project.
What will The Quarantine Quilt look like when it’s complete?
SC: We don’t know yet! Come back in July and see.
AB: It will be an enormous patchwork quilt, made up entirely of little red and white patches, which will ultimately be displayed in libraries and museums across Cambridgeshire. People can submit their patches online or by post.
What inspired you to do this project?
AB: I’m from Cambridge originally, and Cambridgeshire County Council approached us for their new initiative, The Library Presents: in your house.
SC: We wanted to channel the lockdown life into something collaborative and artistic, and The Library Presents are producing this project.
AB: On Zoom, when you have a group call, it looks like a patchwork quilt. I thought that would be an amazing starting point for a project. Millions of individual squares of light, making up our isolated population. We want to draw those squares together literally and physically into a hybrid of physical and digital art making.
What sort of things are you looking for?
AB: We are very open-minded!
SC: It’s a chance for everyone to create something inspired by their time in lockdown. It could be a symbol of the virus like a facemask; or it could be something wonderful like a bird. I’m excited to see what patches people come up with.
How do people get involved?
AB: We are particularly looking for people to make real-life patches with needle and thread. We will send all the materials!
SC: Even if you’ve never picked up a needle and thread before – we want to hear from you! Just go on the website, it’s all there. You can submit digitally or you can request patches to be posted to your house.
Visit the Glimmer Theatre website to design your own patch and get involved in The Quarantine Quilt.
Glimmer Theatre’s exciting new family show comes back to London’s Streatham Space this February half term, for eight performances only, promising ice skating, magic and adventure – brought to life with stirring live music, and Glimmer Theatre’s trademark beautiful imagery, inspired by “A Rich Theatre by Little Means”.
Co-artistic director Sophie Crawford, who has also composed the show’s live music, most recently appeared in Warhorse and Amélie in the West End. She chalks the show’s success down to the passion of the whole company: “We are passionate about creating family theatre with an inspiring message,” she says. “I think it introduces children to characters and places they might never have encountered before.”
Co-artistic director and designer Andy Brock agrees: “The show is very entertaining, and rehearsals have been extremely playful, which I think comes through in performance, too. But at its core, The River Runner is a story about a strong young woman, who uses her talent and skill to change the world around her.”
It’s 1901 in Isleham village, Cambridgeshire, and Annabelle Howgego is the best ice skater for miles around. With metal skates strapped to her boots, Annabelle casts off her dull life as a scullery maid, and becomes a champion skater. But this year, something rises up from the frozen river, and sends the village into chaos. It’s down to Annabelle to save her village and solve the mystery of what lurks beneath the ice.
You can read our review of the show here.
The River Runner will be skating back into Streatham Space 20 – 23 February 2020.
Glimmer Theatre are renowned for their “Rich Theatre by Little Means”, which takes audiences on unexpected flights of fancy, crammed with good humour, live music and bold images. With their emphasis on recycled props and costumes, like a rusty hat box, a cracked slide projector, newspaper and dustsheets, Glimmer Theatre create astonishing, emotionally charged works.
In this new production, Glimmer Theatre use live music and magical visuals to tell the riotous story of Annabelle Howgego, the extraordinary fen skater who set her village free. Following a private industry performance earlier this year, Glimmer Theatre immediately received maximum funding from Arts Council England, for Glimmer Theatre’s most ambitious project to date.
Starring Sophie Crawford (War Horse, West End) and Rozzi Nicholson-Lailey (The Railway Children, Genesius Pictures), Annabelle tells the true story of Annabelle Howgego, who cast off her life as a scullery maid and became a champion fen skater. But this year, something terrible rises up from the icy river and sends the village into disarray.
Director, designer and actor Andrew Brock is known for being the driving force behind all of Glimmer Theatre’s previous productions, which have toured nationally, as well as his work for Queynte Ladies and other companies. Glimmer Theatre’s Instagram (@glimmertheatre) is also full of their trademark humour, and a window into the exciting things to come.
Annabelle is skating into Streatham Space, London on 6 December 2018, and the Undercroft, Peterborough on 14 December 2018.