Skip to Content

Blog

Logging Lightbox Theatre activity...

R&D

June '16

Lightbox launches the first in its Lunchtime Shorts series- OTHER PEOPLE. Join us at St James Theatre on w/c 20th June for two overlooked comic plays by two of our foremost writers - Countdown by Alan Ayckbourn and Mill Hill by John Mortimer!

May '16

After 3 months of fantastic storytelling workshops with the brilliant group from Sound Minds, we presented a 30 minute show called FLY as part of Wandsworth Arts Festival. So proud of all who contributed and performed the final show!

Autumn '15

Excited to have received R&D funding from Arts Council England to explore future adaptation of Maurice Maeterlinck's enchanting overlooked fairytale, The Blue Bird. Watch this space...

June '15

The Air Around Us tours to Theatre 503, Clapham Omnibus and York Gardens Community Festival. So thrilled to bring George Cresswell's moving story to life.

May '15

The journey beginsBattersea Odyssey - seven shows, several hundred people, such a lot of fun...

Apr '15

The pace of work is increasing, ahead of Battersea Odyssey in May, and The Air Around Us, shortly afterwards in June. We are casting for Battersea Odyssey in mid-April, and starting work on the challenge design project that is Katherine Low Settlement.

Earlier this month we were delighted to announce that the Heritage Lottery Fund had awarded us a Sharing Heritage grant to support with the costs of producing Battersea Odyssey and the various digital outputs that will be created for future use by the local community.

News of the Sharing Heritage grant came shortly after we had been awarded a Wandsworth Arts Grant, monies from the Wandsworth Big Society Fund and a grant from Big Local SW11. This combined support from local and national bodies is a welcome endorsement of the value of our Battersea Stories project, both from a heritage and a community point of view.

Mar '15

If we didn’t post in January or February, it was not because we had nothing to say, but because we had too much to do! Sorry.

So 2015 is looking busy, with two shows on the schedule already. First up is Battersea Odyssey, a promenade show using material from our Battersea Stories outreach project. We’re proud to be mounting this as part of the ever-expanding Wandsworth Fringe Festival, and very grateful to the wonderful Katherine Low Settlement (where we have our micro-office), for giving us the run of their building for a whole weekend. As a company, we haven’t mounted a promenade show before, so we’re really happy to have Joanna Turner directing, fresh from the enormous success of Baseless Fabric’s promenade show A First Class Death, at Vault Festival. Our creative team is wrestling, at the moment, with issues that range from the very mundane (audience access to loos) to the highly esoteric (questions of authenticity and doing right by our contributors).

There is a really interesting and varied programme on offer for this year’s festival, but may we suggest that readers reserve a slot on the 15th, 16th or 17th May, to enjoy a Battersea Odyssey.

In related news, we’ve been awarded not one, not two, but three grants so far this year, from both local and national funders. These will all go towards producing Battersea Odyssey and various digital outputs from the show. More news to follow in April, about funding and our other upcoming show, The Air Around Us.

Dec '14

Well, December was certainly a whirlwind!

It was 27th November when we learnt that we had been selected for the Emerging Companies Programme run by IdeasTap and New Diorama. Part of the prize was a showcase night at the New Diorama Theatre, on 16th December. This was too good an opportunity to miss, but meant getting a scratch performance together in just two weeks. So the first half of December was spent....
Developing the script; securing availability of our brilliant actor, Liam Smith; preparing marketing materials; booking rehearsal space; developing the script; booking stage manager; booking cameraman; developing the script; rehearsing and developing the script a bit more; doing technical rehearsals and trying to avoid developing the script any further!

LiamAll the effort paid off. Our team did us proud, despite having had minimal rehearsal time, audience feedback was really positive, and it was great to be able to roadtest one of our Battersea Stories. We're really excited about bringing more Battersea Stories to life in 2015!

Nov '14

Thanks to all the people who participated in our autumn outreach workshops for Battersea Stories!

KLS workshop - Oct

Oct '14

Things are busy with further script development on Battersea Stories.

On the 16th, we'll be giving local people the chance to preview our latest draft at our partner, Katherine Low Settlement.

Meanwhile we're also recruiting for a part-time General Manager.

Sept '14

After the summer break, work now resumes on our ongoing verbatim project Battersea Stories...

Aug '14

Big Local SW11 have awarded us a grant to continue the development of Battersea Stories

July '14

Lightbox is officially a charity!

Thank you to our trustees for all their hard work.

June '14

Lovely reviews for John Ferguson:

The Guardian calls it:

"A powerful portrait of the strengths and weaknesses of an iron faith ….There is something of real substance in a play that shows how, in a religious culture, biblical texts can be used either to vindicate or deplore acts of class revenge.” Michael Billington

May '14

Things are gearing up for the opening of John Ferguson

zoe ciaran

April '14

Rehearsals begin for our upcoming production of John Ferguson

Fantastic cast onboard - really exciting!

Mar '14

After a week's in-depth script development with professional actors, Lightbox presents a work in progress sharing of Battersea Stories at a local community centre in Battersea.

Preview image for a video
Video play button

Feb '14

6/02/14

Wandsworth Arts Grants have awarded us funding for*Battersea Stories* to do workshops in March!

5/02/14

Battersea Stories: Met a lovely group at a reminiscence session at Hill Lodge Sheltered housing Scheme including a mother and daughter in their 70s and 90s

JAN '14

28/01/14

Battersea Stories: Met some lovely folk today at Katherine Low Settlement. More untold stories to follow up...

25/01/14

Battersea Stories: Today we did a storytelling session at the latest Big Local event at Wilditch Community Centre. There were some brilliant insights from a diverse group of people including two sisters who had everyone in stiches about their exploits growing up in Battersea…

10/01/14

More funding applications submitted for Battersea Stories

DEC '13

6/12/13

The end of a busy week for Battersea Stories.

We’ve been to youth clubs, sheltered housing schemes and lunch clubs right across Battersea doing outreach for our verbatim project.

ladies

We’ve heard stories from many folk including the above group of local ladies and a former employee at Madame Tussauds whose hands were used in Nelson Mandela’s wax creation…

We’ve even made some early morning trips to local boozers to hear tales from born and bred locals.

4/12/13

Battersea Stories: Local muralist Brian Barnes gives us his verbal and visual insights into Battersea now and back in the day…

Andy Cunningham

1/12/13

Battersea Stories: It’s becoming clear how much people feel that Battersea has changed and its identity…

gone

NOV '13

27/11/13

Today we continued our Battersea Stories outreach and met a resident on York Road Estate.

His account of Battersea post war right up to the present day was mind-blowing.

Things are getting really exciting…

26/11/13

Battersea Stories: Today we heard an amazing account from a resident in a local nursing home.

Did you know that people used to swim in the Thames?

15/11/13

We’ve been continuing our BS outreach by talking to young people at St Peter’s youth club.

Some great material and insights about the best chicken shops in the area!

OCT '13

Battersea Stories:We’ve started making lots of links with local organisations that might be able to put us in touch with local people and in particular, those hard to reach.

Meanwhile, we’ve started to hear Battersea tales from residents of the Winstanley estate, including people who have lived there since the Sixties and recall the era of Nell Dunn’s famous account, Up the Junction

winstanley estate

SEPT '13

3/09/13

Battersea Stories: Today we met Mac Downes of Wandsworth Older People’s Forum. Local legend. Lots of leads and local people’s stories to get the ball rolling with…

1/9/13'

We have decided to start doing some outreach to hear Battersea stories from people who know and understand it.

We want to meet real people and start recording real voices in order to kick-start a possible intergenerational verbatim project called…

Battersea Stories

funny enough...

AUG '13

There has to be more to a place than the negative stuff that makes the news.

What are the real and untold stories of Battersea?

Is there a way that real voices in this area, from young to old, can be discovered and woven together to understand, illuminate, even celebrate the place and its people?

JULY '13

18/7/13

Today we attended a local community fun day in York Gardens run by Big Local SW11. During the event Wandsworth Council updated residents about the re-generation plans for the area, which concerns several council estates.

Local people were asked what they did and didn’t like about the area

resident feedback

Feedback included:

  1. - Nothing really positive in this neighbourhood: drugs, young negative people EVERYWHERE!

  2. We need places for young people, that’s why there’s gangs

  3. No jobs

  4. We love living in our block and would hate to lose it after 20 years

  5. The area is like a prison block, the fire aspect is worrying. Dodgy things happening in the bin chutes - drug addicts sleeping there. We also need more streets not concrete

  6. Knock it all down start again. Not a good place to bring up children

  7. The York Road Estate is a ghetto and not safe, huge anti social issues, drugs.

places residents avoid

MAY '13

Over the Bridge opens...

The British Theatre Guide says:

What the West End needs is a small theatre to which fringe productions of this calibre can transfer.

Over the Bridge

APRIL '13

We're mad busy in rehearsals for OVER THE BRIDGE.

We’ve got a fab cast for this first play by Sam Thompson, which opens at the Finborough on 28th April and runs til the 12th May

So prepare for a tense anti-sectarian drama which highlights the need for greater tolerance and unity in our world today…

MARCH '13

19/03/13

Been thinking more about that article in the Guardian and the Council’s aims:

"We are working with local people to create an area that all residents are proud to call home - and it is important that everyone living on the estates continues to have opportunities to have their say as the project progresses."

Perhaps Lightbox can help to create such an opportunity?

Though it may need to wait for a bit as casting hots up for Over the Bridge…

18/03/13

David Cameron’s Big Society advisor, Philip Blond has branded conditions on three Battersea housing estates as "Soviet-era care."

Phillip Blond, director of think tank ResPublica, launched the scathing attack on Twitter after a tour of the Surrey Lane, Winstanley and York Road estates alongside professor Jane Wills, human geography academic at Queen Mary University.

In recent years the Winstanley estate, in particular, has been plagued with social problems and criminal activity.

Murders, shootings, Samurai sword attacks and kidnappings have all been recorded in the last five years.

A spokesman for the council said:

"We want to help bring about more positive changes in the area and are prepared to commit up to £100m to help achieve this as part of the Winstanley and York Road regeneration project.

"We are working with local people to create an area that all residents are proud to call home - and it is important that everyone living on the estates continues to have opportunities to have their say as the project progresses."

FEB '13

OVER THE BRIDGE: Useful trip to the Belfast shipyard for some Over the Bridge research

Harland and Wolff

2/2/13

Pre-production begins on Lightbox’s first show, OVER THE BRIDGE, a revival of a forgotten classic by Sam Thompson.

The play deals with the themes of tolerance and unity in a fragmented society.