The Past, The Present and The Future

Dear Reader,

Beware this may end up being a slightly gushy post as I am feeling very proud of our company right now!

I will start with the past:

The rehearsal process has been one of collaboration and professionalism. Although, the show was led by its three directors, the company banded together to share ideas and form structures and transitions between scenes.

Pearson, F. (2014) Piecing Together Material

Pearson, F. (2014) Piecing Together Material

This style of collaboration is similar to the work of Tim Etchells and his company Forced Entertainment. We took on a fun developmental process consisting of play which allows you to try out numerous ideas, “leaving behind a trail of failed attempts and nonsense, and…slowly, very slowly, you accumulate a store of scenes and fragments that you love” (Etchells 2012, p. 36).

Now onto the present:

My present is consisting of post-show blues as you can tell by the date of this post. The show was 4 days ago and I miss it terribly.

Pearson, F. (2014) Heart Balloon

Pearson, F. (2014) Heart Balloon

However, I am very proud of how the performance went and this is reflected well in the audience feedback. If you haven’t already checked out our twitter page and have a read of some of the comments from our peers and the venue stage manager. The performance itself, I feel, was the best we have ever performed it.

Pearson, F. (2014) Beginning of the Show

Pearson, F. (2014) Beginning of the Show

Any finally, the future:

So, what is the future for Birds Eye View Theatre? Well, we are unfortunately losing a couple of the birds as they have travelling plans…lucky them! However, we are planning to keep in touch via letters and blogs. So I doubt this will be all you see of us! Throughout this process we have really found our identity and it would be such a shame to let this go as it is an identity that can be revived for many other events. For example, we are considering reforming in a few years’ time for events like the anniversary of women earning the right to vote. Feedback after the show, also suggested that we take the performance to schools. Whether it is teaching them about women’s role in the war or teaching them about dramatic tools such as, shadow work or verbatim, this performance can be utilized in an educational setting. So watch this space reader and supporter, but for now this is Lauren Simpson, actor and part of the marketing team signing off.

Pearson, F. (2014) Birds Signing Off

Pearson, F. (2014) Birds Signing Off

Sincerely Yours



Works Cited:

Etchells, T (2012) ‘In the Silences: A text with very many digressions and forty-three footnotes concerning the process of making performance’, Performance Research, 17, 1, pp. 33-37.

Pearson, F. (2014)

How to Promote on the Radio

When you think about performance promotion on the radio, you automatically think of interviews. This is not the only way to promote a performance via the radio!

Simpson, L. (2014) BBC Radio

Simpson, L. (2014) BBC Radio

As part of the marketing team, it is imperative that you conjure up new and creative strategies that are guaranteed to grab your audience’s attention. For our particular piece, we discovered a lot of letters sent from the front line which are not all being used within the performance itself. To me, this seemed like a waste of such good material. So, why not use them as a marketing tool?

I contacted the local radio station and pitched my idea to them and asked for their advice on how best to tackle this project and also asked if they are interested in the idea themselves. I proposed that we read the letters out as a weekly feature leading up to the show. The radio station, Siren FM ,expressed a great deal of interest in this project and brought a lot of new ideas. They offered us the chance to turn the letters into a selection of mini radio dramas, complete with sound effects of the war.

Siren FM Studio

Simpson, L. (2014) Siren FM Studio

Last week, I went along to the studio with a male actor to play the voice of Billy Lounds in the mini dramas. We spent half an hour recording 5 of the individual letters, and then I edited them into individual tracks. I then left them in control of the people at Siren, to add relevant sound effects or music to. They will then be released every few days leading up to the performance, so stay tuned to Siren FM. The latest dates and times are as follows:

May 14th – 1pm

May 15th – 2pm

May 17th – 10am

May 20th – 12pm

May 21st – 7pm

May 22nd – 11am

But for now, here is snapshot of one of the letters…


Let’s hope that it brings in a big audience!

Works Cited:

Simpson, L. (2014)

Taking the Social Media Reign

The Social web is an oasis

(Evans 2008, p. 15)

Now, I have been involved with marketing a lot throughout my three year degree in Lincoln so you would think being in charge of the social media for a few days would be like a second nature. Wrong! Emily has gone home for the Easter holidays and so I have taken the reigns of the oasis that is Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I am not the best with networking sights and the pressure really has been on as Emily is so good at it.

I became very ‘snap happy’ taking photos of everything the birds did and videoed all the singing and dancing that happened from multiple angles and with various filters. Okay, so maybe I went a tad overboard but hey, you can never know too much about our fabulous show! (Great plug there for you all)!

Here are a few of the snaps I took throughout my three day reign…

Works Cited:

Evans, D. (2008) Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day, Indianapolis, IN Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Simpson, L. (2014)

A Day in the Life of the Marketing PR

“Theatre is a people business” and so contacts are key to any marketing team (Kerrigan et al, 2004, p. 43). We are currently building contacts across Lincolnshire and generating interest in our performance. Newspapers, libraries, museum, councils and schools all need to know about your performance.

“The diversity of market participants differentiates the marketing of the arts from most other contexts” (Butler 2000, p. 353) and this is the biggest challenge we are facing when marketing for our theatre company in particular. We are branching out to a huge variety of audiences because the topic of war is very relevant across generations. So, watch this space to see if we can pull it off!

Works Cited:

Butler, P (2000) ‘By Popular Demand: Marketing the Arts’, Journal Of Marketing Management, 16, 4, pp. 343-364.

Kerrigan, F, Ozbilgin, M, Fraser, P, Kerrigan, F, & Fraser, P (2004) Arts Marketing,  Oxford: Burlington, MA Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Simpson, L. (2014)

Where we Sit on a Local Scale


Simpson, L. (2014) WW1 Commemoration Timeline

In Lincolnshire and the surrounding areas, we have stumbled across numerous other World War 1 projects which are currently in the development stage.

1. Andy Barrett is putting on a performance called ‘The Second Minute’ at Nottingham Playhouse

The performance is a letter based piece focussing, in particular, on the letters of the Sherwood Foresters regiment.

2. Mystery Plays  project called ‘The Last Post’ at the Lincoln Drill Hall

This is a performance based on letters sent back to Lincoln from the eight Beechey brothers who were all sent away to war. The piece is aiming to be a tribute to the family and the bravery they showed.

3. Events taking place in the Local Museums and Archives

Over the next four years, various different events will be held around Lincolnshire, in museums and on the streets. Lectures are to be given on different aspects of the war. There is one which focusses on the women’s role during the war which is particularly relevant to our performance. Family events and craft workshops will also be held to engage with the younger audiences.

Although there are similar projects around, we are still unique as we are offering an insight into the role of women during the First World War, using the letters that were sent and the stories that people still tell today. However, more and more projects are being announced all the time, so from a marketing point of view it is important to keep an eye on the other projects to keep our performance original and fresh!

Works Cited:

Simpson, L. (2014)

My Great Granddad

So, a trip home last weekend uncovered some amazing family history for me. My grandma had an entire folder full of original postcards that were sent during World War One.


Simpson, L. (2014) Postcards

The postcards vary from being written by my great granddad to his mother and father, to then some being written to him by his French girlfriend, Juliette. There is not always much written on them due to censorship but they always let the family know that he is safe.


Simpson, L. (2014) Postcards

There are also some lovely hand stitched cards in this folder, sent on special occasions like Christmas or a birthday. The detail on them is incredible which shows the amount of time that must have been spent on them.

We really love the aesthetic of these and so we are currently looking at ways of incorporating this style into the set. The words that are written on them will also, hopefully, make an appearance in the final performance. This adds a real personal element to the performance for me and it will hopefully ring home with a lot of the audience members too. Here is a final picture of the man himself:


Simpson, L. (2014) My Great Granddad


All Images:

Simpson, L. (2014)

Finding Our Pebble…

Something Ollie Smith said in the post-show discussion of The Trilogy (2013) hit home with me. “You start with your pebble and you toss it in the lake and watch it ripple”. The pebble represents your initial idea and the ripples are continuations of that idea that spread and develop. This analogy calmed my initial nerves about creating a fully developed and functioning theatre company from scratch. We just needed to find our pebble!

finding our pebble

With this mind-set, we began our first meeting. Simply throwing around our own preliminary ideas showed that we were all having similar ideas, which is a huge advantage with such a big group of people. We wanted to create something of our own and as 2014 is the beginning of the centenary of World War One, this is the topic that seemed most appropriate.

There is so much existing material regarding World War One that the script wouldn’t need to be totally devised. We want to take extracts from poems, novels, plays and newspaper articles and incorporate them with our own words to create a performance. We also like the idea of using real people’s voices throughout, to give an element of truth. This combining of extracts from multiple sources reflects altermodernist Nicolas Bourriaud’s ‘postproduction’. He states that: “artists today program forms more than they compose them; rather than transfigure a raw element…they remix available forms and make use of data” (Bourriaud 2005, p. 18). He draws a parallel between this and the work of a disc-jockey (DJ). A DJ doesn’t use original music, but collects them from other sources. The remixing of the music creates a new way of listening to the songs. This is the technique that we want to adopt when creating our piece.

Our initial rehearsals are well and truly underway and we have dived head first into the research and development stage. As we are right at the beginning of our devising process, we are simply playing. Just as children would when given a large space, we have been dancing, singing and playing games. However, this is not all in vain.

The songs we have been learning have been from World War One, as have the dances. The foxtrot and the castle walk are the first two that we have attempted. Having the freedom to play without the pressure of creating ideas seems to allow ideas to happen more regularly. Simply from a dancing workshop, we created the idea of having no men present and just representing them by dancing with a jacket or a hat, for example. This is a beautiful idea to come at such an early stage in the process.

Games have also proven to be useful in channelling our thoughts and ideas. For example, we were inspired by a picture of blindfolded men leading each other through the trenches.


We wanted to create a similar feeling and so we blindfolded ourselves and then set a task for us to complete. One of which involved us having to get in height order without any form of verbal communication. We just about managed it, but it proved a difficult task.


These early ideas are exciting as we have no idea if they are going to make it into the show or not at this stage. Watch this space!


Works Cited:

Bourriaud, Nicolas, Schneider, Caroline, Herman, Jeanine (2005) Postproduction: Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World, New York: Lukas & Sternberg.

Simpson, L. (2014) Birds Eye View of the Company.

Singer Sargant, John. (1919) Gassed, Accessed from: [online] [12/02/14].

Smith, Ollie (2014) The Triology Post Show Discussion: Thursday 30th January 2014.