Dear the cast of The Second Minute

Dear Reader,
This week a few of the birds went to see The Second Minute by Andy Barrett
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Mooney. C (2014)

Ellie and I could not fit in the car so we cycled and did some flyering on the way.
The play focused on letters being sent in the First World War ‘around nineteen thousand mailbags crossed the channel every single day and the art of letter writing enveloped the country, as people of all ages and from all classes tried to keep in touch with sons, brothers, husbands and lovers’.
Messages from the front line were sent from the soliders requesting their favourite food and telling their families they missed them. These are the types of letters my Great Granny Mooney had to deliver. Good news and bad. Letters and the delivering letter was crucial, it explored a mothers loss of her son.
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           Day. R (2014)

The story follows a mother called Laura who is a researcher and has discovered a solider called Tom’s letters. The honest accounts and struggle with Laura having one of Tom’s letters delivered a day recreates her relationship with her son in the war, who we find out died. She looks for something in Tom’s letters to give her hope and fill the void in her heart that her son dying has left.
We were so excited as a group to watch and experience how another theatre company dealt with a topic that was so sensitive. They performed with such a fantastic understanding of how important it was to share these stories that excited us all to perform our telling of the stories we feel are important to share.
Whilst there I asked the owner of the Terry O’Toole Theatre if she minded if we handed out flyers at the end to help market the show, she was so excited at the prospect of another centenary piece she encouraged our enthusiam.
The Second Minute is one to watch !!
Yours Sincerely
Charlotte
xx

Works cited
Day.R (2014)Terry O’Toole Theatre Website[online] Available from: http://www.terryotooletheatre.org.uk/events/the-second-minute/

Dear War Girls

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War Girls

‘There’s the girl who clips your ticket for the train,
And the girl who speeds the lift from floor to floor,
There’s the girl who does a milk-round in the rain,
And the girl who calls for orders at your door.
Strong, sensible, and fit,
They’re out to show their grit,
And tackle jobs with energy and knack.
No longer caged and penned up,
They’re going to keep their end up
‘Til the khaki soldier boys come marching back.There’s the motor girl who drives a heavy van,
There’s the butcher girl who brings your joint of meat,
There’s the girl who calls ‘All fares please!’ like a man,
And the girl who whistles taxi’s up the street.
Beneath each uniform
Beats a heart that’s soft and warm,
Though of canny mother-wit they show no lack;
But a solemn statement this is,
They’ve no time for love and kisses
Till the khaki soldier boys come marching back.
This poem by Jessie Pope we thought was a true representation of how hard the women worked in the war. After our working progress we discussed that it was a framing for a piece.
What I thought would be nice was to create a poem for the end which included the people who had created the piece, the women who helped us to create it and the women who inspired us in the first place. I devised the poem that you will hear at the end of the show.

I want to stage it so that the girls engagded with the poem so that the audience would. Every time the girls read out their roles or the process through the poem, you hear this incredible pride because we have come so far.
I hope you enjoy the poem and the show
Yours Sincerely
Charlotte
xx

Works Cited

Pope. J (1911) War Girls poem[online] Available from :http://allpoetry.com/poem/8605783-War-Girls-by-Jessie-Pope[Accessed on 15 May 2014)

WW1 at The Castle

Dear Reader,

for post

World War One Re-enactment Mooney. C (2014)

Today some of the girls from our theatre comapny spent an afternoon at the castle in Lincoln for a Wolrd War One re-inactment.

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Reading of WW1 poetry Mooney. C (2014)

All of their cast spent time talking to us about their experiences and what they had discovered.Stories of their grandparents going over the top and the things that they had read to help them understand their characters better. The period costumes that they wore were authentic and the props they had in the medical tent were all authentic, we were in awe of the objects we were beholding. Medical instruments they used on the front line, magazine articles and postcards that had been sent.

Sincerely Yours

Charlotte

xx

 

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)

Birds Eye View embroidered postcard progress

Take a look at the embroidered postcards and other items we found at the Lincolnshire Archives and Lauren’s Great Granddad’s postcards for original World War One designs.

Works Cited:

Birds Eye View Theatre (2014) Embroidered Postcard Progress. [online video] Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nOUE1P9slDQ [Accessed 25 May 2014].

Pearson, L. (2014) The Archives. [blog entry] 22 February. Available from http://birdseyeviewtheatre.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2014/02/22/the-archives/ [Accessed 14 April 2014].

Simpson, L. (2014) My Great Granddad. [blog entry] 26 February. Available from http://birdseyeviewtheatre.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/2014/02/26/my-great-granddad/ [Accessed 25 May 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

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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)

Promoting our performance!

Finally the bunting is in the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre I am so happy with it, even though it took a hours to make I am really pleased with how it looks. This is the LPAC version with minimal information on it, and below is the other version with contact details on. I am very happy with how it looks, now it’s time for a cup of tea.

Cox, E (2014)

Cox, E 2014

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Cox, E 2014

Creating the bunting

 

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Cox, E 2014

Unfortunately I had a complete nightmare with the colour printer the day I wanted a colour mock up! However, here is a teaser of the marketing bunting that will be available soon. They will eventually be red, white and blue after taking inspiration from The Museum of Lincolnshire Life, where they had bunting hanging in the vehicle room. I previously mentioned this in my blog, The Grand Day Out. The red section will be poppies, the white our logo and the blue the title, date, time and where it will be performed. We will be putting this up in the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, the Lincolnshire Archives and also in The Museum of Lincolnshire Life. We will be using this as our pre-marketing material bringing out the leaflets and flyers closer to the actual date.

I really enjoyed designing our own version of a ‘poster’ as it is something completely different to what you would usually see for a performance promotion. It is bold, decorative and eye-catching because of the three vivid colours. I love how the ideas and inspiration from our research process are creeping into our current development. I really want to use bunting in our performance in order to tie in our ‘visual identity’ (Pieters 2008, p.1) as a theatre company.

Works Cited

Cox, E 2014

Pieters, R. Wedel, M (2008) Visual Marketing: From Attention to Action. Routledge: USA.

My library experiment

I decided to broaden our audience by targeting those that could be interested from the library. I made some tiny ticket style messages to put in World War One/history books in our campus library. These cards ask whether they have any family stories and what they themselves know about the war. They then have to reply to our Instagram or Twitter pages. I have made 120 tickets and have hidden them in the library, will you find one?

Images

Cox, E 2014

What sort of flyer shall we have?

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Cox, E 2014

When we were deciding how to create flyers and programmes we took inspiration from what marketing and promotional materials we had seen around campus and at other theatre venues. We absolutely loved the postcard flyer for A Letter To Lacy,  we thought it was incredibly different, small yet eye-catching and bold enough to still have the distinctive image that will make people pick it up. We decided that this was the style of flyer we wanted, using World War One postcards as a template and creating our own stitched pattern on the front.

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Cox, E 2014

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Cox, E 2014

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Cox, E 2014

Cox, E (2014)

Cox, E 2014

If you want to see how well the process went click this link to read Louise’s blog post.

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Cox, E 2014

Marketing, what is popular performance?

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Vivsaks (2009) The LPAC at night

Drill hall

Lincoln Drill Hall (2011)

First to talk was Simon from Lincoln Drill Hall, he mentioned that their mission statement is to make ‘special moments’, that ‘art makes lives better’ and that they offer a ‘bucketful’ of experiences. The main importance is the accessibility of space, he gave an example of performances that are expensive but the reputation and accessibility of the show sold itself. These challenging performances that push boundaries have become incredibly popular, and this questions what we know about popular performance. Popularity is about ‘getting people through the door’ and The Drill Hall is already a Lincoln landmark so a lot of people don’t really see it as a traditional theatre venue like The Lincoln Theatre Royal. They even hold election night there and Simon even sees it as a ‘performance space’. He mentioned that there are three programmes available when it comes to performance: Challenging, Core and Popular Culture. Popular Culture is not about low production costs and values but it is about performance accessibility and its relevance. Simon asks questions about the audiences, ‘why would people be tempted to attend?’ and ‘what kind of experience do people have?’ However, he also mentions that the three programmes that are listed above are actually becoming fluid this also challenges about what can also be popular. It also pushes the boundaries of what the building is capable of and it is also a very versatile space. It is their responsibility to make high quality work popular and it seems that there is a complex relationship between the commercial and the popular.

Howes, T (

Howes, T (2013)

Richard and Laura spoke on behalf of Chapterhouse . They mentioned that they don’t get funding so performances have to make money therefore, they can’t do experimental work. The company performs in venues that want and need to bring people in e.g. stately homes, gardens, National Trust, Heritage sites, so it has to sell. The performance will usually be one of the busiest days the venue will have. After being asked what he thought of popular performance, Richard sees it as a ‘responsibility for himself and for the venue’. He mentioned that Shakespeare is a harder sell than it used to be so now the company have moved towards staging classics like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. This creates a nostalgia where they use things that people recognise but it is always vital to have an innovative take on the text. With Laura writing the company she wants to create nostalgia, with modern interpretations, creating existing plays within a nostalgic format that the audience recognise, but it is innovative within that format. She also has a feminist agenda, Chapterhouse has become Event theatre, an entire entertainment package and she notices that the majority of people who go to these performances are women, so they need to give the audience what they want.

The LPAC has the problem of being a presenting venue when it comes to discussing what is popular, so is it about how we present the work we offer? They have less control over the productions that are put on so balancing the programme is always tasking as it is how the LPAC is perceived and received. We need to start to think about different forms of popular for different audiences, as there are so many different popular avenues of performance.

The talk was incredibly insightful to understand that popular performance is so hard to define, it shifts and changes like the indecisive Lincolnshire weather. This is what we need to be careful of when marketing our piece, we need to understand the audience in order to market the audience.

Works Cited

Byrnes, W.J. (2009) Management and the Arts. 4th Ed. Focal Press: USA.

The Drill Hall (2011) [image] http://www.lincolndrillhall.com/events/lincoln-drill-hall-s-third-annual-bangers-mash-ball [Accessed: 16/05/2014].

T, Howes (2013) Chapterhouse at Chatsworth. [image] http://tamaraausten77.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/pride-prejudice-at-chatsworth-house-my.html [Accessed 16/05/2014].

 

Making the logo

We had been dancing around in the beginning with many topics and themes for our company name and ended up with… “Drum roll please!”

‘Birds Eye View Theatre’.

I played around with the computer hoping to develop a digital image however, I wanted the logo to reflect our company manifesto. So I had an arts and crafts day trying out some different ways of creating birds. I did not want to make the logo war themed as the theme for this performance could be a one-off, if we were to take our company on after this module. I ended up photographing the finished result – once I had secured it to my desk with plenty of tape. I then added a black and white filter to the photo.

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Cox, E 2014

Having made the logo, it keeps the aims of our manifesto applicable as it a real, handmade logo, an honest take on birds (especially as I am not the best at creating bird silhouettes, as you can see). The only thing I changed digitally was the filter, but I don’t think we would have wanted the original colour of the string, especially as it is pink!

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Cox, E 2014

It was important for me to get the right image for our logo as it would be our consistent ‘visual identity’ (Pieters 2008, p.1) and this is what people will relate us too throughout this process. I love how the birds look as though they are on a washing line or a telephone wire looking down, and literally have a “Birds Eye View”.

Images cited

Cox, E (2014)
Pieters, R and Wedel, M (2008) Visual Marketing: From Attention to Action. Routledge: USA.