Thursday, 5 July 2012

Guest Review: The Epilogue

On Wednesday Night, the Yr10 BTEC Theatre Company 'Two Face', produced two contrasting pieces of devised drama from their original scripted piece "The Grey Angel" which they performed back in February.  The original play was about Elizabeth Fry, one of England's key prisoner reformers and was set in Newgate Prison.
The first group (Tonya Greenhill, Heather Buchanan & Stephen Sullivan) sensitively explored the fortunes of what happened to two sisters after they were released from prison and portrayed this in the style of a "Who Do You Think You Are?" documentary. The second group (Naomi Kemp, Amy Broadfoot, Lucy Phelps) took inspiration from one of our regular professional theatre companies 'Gonzo Moose' and came up with a very witty spoof entitled "I'm a Dying Prisoner, Get Me Out of Here!".
It's great to see the impact live theatre has on our students and I'm really pleased to see them striving to achieve their best each time they perform.
- Mrs Stimson

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Guest Review: ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’

"It was an absolute pleasure to be entertained and notably educated by the Rambunctious Theatre Company’s performance of Dario Fo’s ‘Accidental Death of an Anarchist’ last night. The energetic, yet controlled cast did a superb job, it was easy to forget I was not watching a professional theatre company, but then again with this calibre of student... ‘watch this space!’  The cast of inspirational past and present students worked collaboratively in just a short space of time and achieved high quality theatre. Their witty and mature storytelling of the police corruption unfolding in Italy in the 1960s/70s transported us into their journey of investigation into how and why an anarchist in custody met his death through the window of the police headquarters’ interview room. The comical yet highly political performance was excellently executed with creative and convincing characterisation, impeccable comical timing, hilarious visual comedy, effective use of composite set and let’s not forget true understanding and appreciation of the well acclaimed script.
Each cast member, either past or present 'Bradoner'; Harley Viveash, Samuel Stafford, Anna Meares, Oliver Webb, Isobel Rowand and Fleur Calder were truly inspirational as they showcased the outcomes of their years of studying and practicing the craft of acting. Harley’s excellent multi role-playing skills made him ‘purpose built’ for the role of the Maniac impersonator, he can truly play his hand at any role with great success. The entire cast was a delight to watch and I am sure any tutor or teacher of each of these students past and present would be very proud to watch them perform and shine."

Miss C Parsloe

Friday, 29 June 2012

Where's the sun?

Unfortunately, due to the lack of 'Summer' in tomorrow's weather forecast, our Family Fun Day has had to be cancelled. Boo!

The Gonzo Moose performance will still go ahead though... that's inside. Yay!

Gonzo Moose Aristocrat poster

I'm An Aristorcrat, Get Me Out of Here!

Showing tomorrow night as our very special opener
 for the Summer Arts Festival!

Also showing:

Monday 2 & Tuesday 3 July
- Rambunctious Theatre Company present Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Wednesday 4 July
- Two Face Theatre Company present The Epilogue
Thursday 5 July
- 'Staff Band' Night - featuring Coach, Lydia Twenty, Iron Donkey and Lords of Chaos. The evening will open with student band, Fez!
Monday 9 July
- In For a Penny presents Peg Legs and Dental Plans
Tuesday 10 July

- Bradon Forest PE Department presents A Dance Celebration
Wednesday 11 July
- Bradon Forest Music Department presents A Choir Celebration - featuring The Bradon Forest Singers, Purton Village Voices and choirs from both Brook Field and St Mary's primary schools.

For full details, including start times and ticket prices for individual shows, see our website.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

It Could Be You!

This week the Key Stage 3 Drama Club have been performing their latest piece, It Could Be You. The group have spent the last few months looking at the idea of money and how it affects peoples lives, both for those who have lots and those who don't have any. In It Could Be You we meet a struggling single mum with little money, a winning gambler, an evil scientist who wants to take over the world looking for financial backing and a millionaire blinded by his hard earned fortune.

After being led to three 'chance encounters' with less fortunate people by three homeless people, the millionaire is taught to see the error of his ways before being overcome with greed and selfishness.

This imaginative exploration in to the value of money, was devised and performed entirely by our talented Drama Club and directed by Philippa Bradfield. The students all performed with confidence and really showed a maturity towards the topic. I'm looking forward to next years already!

It Could Be You turns out to be the first in a series of Bradon Forest Theatre productions based on the issue of poverty. Don't miss Molière's The Miser being performed by our new Year 10 students, on Wednesday 17 to Friday 19 October 2012.

The Little Mermaid Aquashow!

Bradon Forest Theatre are proud to support Curious Company's latest project. Get yourselves along to Devizes or Marlborough leisure centres to catch this exciting performance!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Bradley's Silver Arts Award Review

I watched Discombobulated at Bradon Forest Theatre, directed by Aitor Basauri and preformed by Angus Barr and Merce Ribot (Publick Transport).

It was a fantastic comedy performance about safety awareness at an airport and they turned the boring subject into a funky, funny play.

My absolute favourite part of the play was when they were doing the strip search and Merce Ribot got carried away and started to do a striptease.

It was a great experience to watch and be there it was directed and performed amazingly and it has taught me a lot more about drama because I used to think that drama always had to be serious, but the way they performed showed be that you should have fun with a piece of drama.

I would certainly recommend it to anyone it was brilliant it also was good family comedy and if I had the chance I would watch it again.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Ania's Silver Arts Award Review

On March 1st at 7:30 PM I went to see a brand new play called “Discombobulated” by Publick Transport, live, at Bradon Forest Theatre. It was a hilarious piece containing dance, drama, music and some great special effects. Both me and the friends who I went with and in my opinion the whole audience loved it!

When I walked into the theatre, the first thing I noticed was the set: a security check scanner for people to walk through and a luggage scan complete with a security guard’s desk. I loved it because it really matched the entire theme of the play- airport security, and it looked really realistic, just like at a real airport. I also noticed there was a disco ball hanging of the top left corner of the theatre, and I was to find out what it was for at the end of the show…

Though the general theme of the play was airport security, it was clear that the actors had thought “outside the box”. All of the scenes were different, comical and full of surprises. Two security guards were making fun out of how over-the-top airport security is. The main scenes included an introduction to the theatre company’s point of view and rather extravagant take on airport security using song and dance, a scene at a French café and an ending which involved another musical piece and some special effects.

Overall, I loved the whole performance. They used a lot if physical theatre and even audience interaction- they were talking about what other places can be dangerous and when asked I replied ‘at a school’ since we were in a school theatre. If I had to choose a favourite part it would have to be the “French Café” scene because the characters used were those of stereotypical French people, all of their features exaggerated which made me laugh throughout the entire scene. They also said things in French with and exaggerated French accent, which made the characters more believable and in turn more comical. I also liked the ending because it all seemed so over-the-top romantic due to the music, fairy lights, disco ball and atmospheric lighting, which made the entire scene almost “magical”, almost surreal, as if the character were in a fantasy land of their own.

Any improvements? Make it longer so that there is more to watch! To sum up, I would recommend this play to anyone (teenagers up), whether they like theatre or have never been before. It’s fantastic for anyone who wants a good night out or have a laugh; I would definitely go to see this crazy show again!

Kirsten's Bronze Arts Award Review

The De La Warr Pavilion: Some history
The De La Warr Pavilion is classed as an international building constructed in 1935 by the architects Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff. It is considered by many to be in an art deco style whilst others claim it to be the very first major modernist public building in Britain. Much to my surprise when reading up on where I visited I found that the building itself was in fact a result of a competition in February 1934 and from this the two architects mentioned above went forward to produce this magnificent building. It was only in 2005 the it reopened with a new generation of contemporary and modern art.

On Monday 9th of April 2012, I completed task B by 'being the audience' whether that be a music concert a piece of theatre or a dance show. I chose something a little different and went to the De La Warr Pavilion art gallery. As well as being an art gallery with art in side it also has an amazing architectural design. Seeing the gallery and the atmosphere within really showcases well how much the gallery means to the community. Going to the art gallery was a new thing to me and me realize how still photo's and paintings can be so simple but yet so beautiful and made me feel content and closed off from the world for a couple of minutes with questions flying through my head like who where and why.

Review on Cerith Wyn Evans...
Cerith Wyn Evans, an archaeologist and aspiring artist has just completed his most recent work at the De La Warr Pavilion art gallery in East Sussex, Bexhill-On-Sea. Evans has a very unique style of work with many different dynamics and almost in a surreal way he makes the impossible possible. My favourite part of Evans work was the self playing flutes. These were both unique and interesting but at the same time rather unnerving to watch as you would be walking past and all of a sudden out of no where you would hear music above your head. Overall I enjoyed the art gallery as it was both inspiring and interactive, certainly something I would consider doing again.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Emily's Bronze Arts Award Review

Bristol Fashion Week

I went to Bristol Fashion Week on Sunday 25th March 2012 at 3:00pm, Cribbs Causeway. The show consisted of the top fashions found in the shops like John Lewis, JD Sports, French Connection, Marks & Spencer, Clive Ranger, Bank, Gap Kids, Claire’s, Radley, Monsoon, BHS, Hush Puppies, Ernest Jones, Coast, Warehouse, Miss Selfridge, Timberland, Next, kids outfits from The Disney Store and many more. I thought that the show was really entertaining and I learnt a lot about all the new styles in 2012 and I loved all the outfits shown. I especially liked the Festival Clothes and the African Themed outfits. The fact that I had a good seat made it better too because I could really see how detailed all the outfits where. I really like how all the models didn’t just walk around because they danced, sang and did a bit of acting whilst modelling the clothes. The only thing I didn’t like about the fashion show was that there was a lot of waiting around at the start to go in but I guess that it can’t really be helped as there were other shows earlier that day. So to improve maybe next time they could spread all the shows over a couple of days.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Georgia's Bronze Arts Award Review


The play was based on an airport with the security being the characters. It was set at the hand luggage department and the play was showing what the securities think and do at the airport. However this was changed throughout the play, as it became more comical and entertaining, as there were musical numbers and many dance pieces in parts of it.

The play was announced as a comedy and it certainly was! The humour was for teenagers but also for adults, which was the interesting thing I enjoyed it. There was a scene where one of the characters swore at the other character and it gave a big shock to the audience but made them laugh a lot. The thing I enjoyed most about the play was definitely the humour but the way they carried it on with throughout the whole of the play. Another thing that I enjoyed about it was that there were only two characters in the play. This made the play more impressive towards the audience.

The only thing I would say that I didn’t like about the play would probably be the fact that I could see things coming and some things were obvious with what was going to happen. This made the play disappointing but I still found it funny.

As I have not seen many plays, I think I have definitely learnt something from the experience, this would be to involve the audience much more as it was used through the whole play. It has helped me because I never involve the audience in some of the task I do in my drama classes and clubs I have been to, so this has been a good help and improvement in my drama.

There was a lot of normal music in the play, like the type of sounds you would hear in a normal day. For example: Birds singing, wind in the air/breezing and tunes that didn’t have much tone in them. The lighting was interesting as they used a range of types. They used many different colours, spotlights, and a blue dimmed light was used in many of the scenes. One of the scenes had very stormy sound/ music involved, it also had flashing lights to suggest lighting, Throughout the play I realized that the stage became more crowded and nothing was being cleared up. I think this was a good feature as at the end there was a song and everything calmed down and the tension was gone.

If I had to give the play a star rating it would definitely be a five star as it had hilarious scenes and there wasn’t any parts of the play that the audience wasn’t laughing or had a smile on there face.

Oliver's Bronze Arts Awards Review

Suitcase Circus Review

The Suitcase Circus. What is the Suitcase Circus? Well… It is rubbish… rubbish… rubbish… very talented rubbish that is definitely worth watching. At the small price of £6.50 for an adult and £5.50 for a child I could not resist the opportunity! So on the 15th of May My Mum and I went down to Bradon Forest School in Swindon to see the show, and we were in for a surprise. The crazy compare of the circus was a wacky sock puppet called Wobulous Discombobulous, joining him was a whole range of exiting characters, each with its own story to tell. There is a dancing milkshake straw, the world’s first acrobatic potato sack, two old shoes, one of which is obsessed with his memoirs and many more characters that will leave you rolling on the floor with laughter.

Earlier on this year I went to see the show Discombobulated. Discombobulated was a comedy like Suitcase Circus by in my opinion, Suitcase circus was the better performance of the two because even though Discombobulated was creative, Suitcase Circus had the best ideas and implemented them more cleverly.

On the whole the Suitcase Circus was a very good show that is suitable for all ages and is fun for the whole family. It is a must see! It’s clever jokes and no-forgettable characters make this show one of the best I have ever seen.

Sophie's Bronze Arts Award Review

Fleur's Silver Arts Award Review

Dear “Folded Feather” company,

Please find below a review that I have written on what I thought of your wonderful puppet show, The Suitcase Circus:

On Thursday 15th March 2012 at the Bradon Forest School Theatre I saw Suitcase Circus, which is a puppet circus show. The puppets were made out of everyday objects but still looked amazing!

They had many different puppets doing different circus acts. There was a sock puppet which was the ring man; a dancing straw, a singing tea pot, the hypnotist tie snake, some talking shoes, a frog, a high rope walker glove, a gymnastic potato sack and a glove cannon ball!

I liked the whole show but if I was going to pick my favourite bits I would chose the singing tea pot and the glove cannon ball. The singing tea pot was an upside down tea pot with a black dress and a feather bower. I liked this bit because it reminded me of my friend; the way she sang and danced, she moved like a real person and had movements like a pop star like lying on her back. I liked the cannon ball glove because when he came on the music was very dramatic. His head was made out of a base ball so when he came out of the cannon in slow motion, another man got a baseball glove and caught him! It was very funny and I enjoyed it very much.

There were no bits I completely disliked but I thought the talking shoes weren’t that good. At at times they were funny and it was interesting to see how they made the shoes in to puppets too.

I would recommend this play to everyone who loves the Muppets. I would recommend the people who make the Muppets to see if they could make a puppet like that, and I would also recommend it to young children because I think that they will find it very funny and enjoy it very much.

When I was younger I saw a two plays a bit like Suitcase Circus where there were small puppets and life sized puppets. The company was called Pickled Image. The plays I saw were the Chatter Box and Houdini’s Suitcase. Houdini’s Suitcase was very much like Suitcase Circus because they were both about the circus but in Suitcase Circus they had audience participation but in Houdini’s suitcase there was the forth wall which means they act without seeing the audience.

To improve this play I wouldn’t change any of the other acts, but I would put more puppets and acts on because it was all so good and I just wanted to see more!

Watching this play has inspired me to make puppets for Unit 1 Part B of my silver arts award. At first I thought that I would make puppets out of materials, but I think I might try to make puppets out of some shoes or a tie.

So Folded Feature I hope that you think my comments were good and fair and I would love to see you more of your work again.

From Fleur Calder

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Still lots left to see!

Don't be saddened by the April showers, there's still lots going on at the Bradon Forest Theatre this season! Our first post-Easter show is It Could Be You, by the KS3 Drama Club on Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 May.

We also have the final Music Concert of the year, which will be celebrating all things sporting in their Olympic theme! You can book for Wednesday 30 May by emailing me or calling 01793 773981.

Tickets are already selling fast for Gonzo Moose and I'm An Aristocrat, Get Me Out Of Here! This wonderful show kick starts our Summer Arts Festival, which is already booking up fast! Make sure you check out our listings for full details and keep an eye on our Facebook page to be the first to hear about anything new.

The end of our two week Summer Arts Festival will mark the 2012 Swindon Does Arts Big Arts Day. The Bradon Forest Theatre will once again be supporting the event by running the Showcase Stage and Comedy & Theatre Tent.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Monday, 19 March 2012

Guest Review: Suitcase Circus

On Thursday I watched Folded Feather produce a unique puppet show called Suitcase Circus performed by “some very talented rubbish!” (Their words not mine!)

There were only two men doing the show, one was the main puppeteer and the other played a variety of instruments to add to the atmosphere. Surprisingly, the ringmaster was a sock called Wobulous Discombobulous. He introduced most of the acts which included a dancing milkshake straw; the world’s only acrobatic potato sack; a singing teapot who sang a Kylie Minogue song badly; Limbardo, the tightrope walking Italian driving glove; Windsor Knot, the hypnotising snake and Timrek, a very sick frog!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Suitcase Circus. It was hilarious. My favourite act was a fearless daredevil ski glove called Dan Der Uras. He was shot out of a cannon and caught by a baseball glove. The puppeteer and the musician were world-class. If you get the opportunity to go and see Suitcase Circus, take it! - Alex Duffell

I have to say, I agree whole heartedly with Alex! Suitcase Circus was a delightful show, with a wide variety of creative puppets. It was quite amazing how two people can create tension from a glove with a baseball for a head, flying across the stage in slow motion! Most enjoyable. Thank you Folded Feather. We look forward to the next time!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


Last week we had the pleasure of hosting the lovely Publick Transport in with their latest show, Discombobulated. PT's Artistic Director, Angus Barr, is a regular at Bradon Forest (having both performed with Gonzo Moose in the past, and toured the last three PT shows here) and on this occasion he was joined by the delightful Merce Ribot. The pair played members of airport security staff who were giving a demonstrative talk on security procedures and why they are important. After a brief and stern introduction from Malcom McClosky (Barr), the presentation quickly declined in to a competition between the two to either perform or inform the audience.

Varying dance routines, luggage tussles, flour fights, magic shows, Tommy Cooper impressions, Shakespeare excerpts and a role playing session led to the finale, which had to be seen to be believed. Somehow the two security officers end their presentation in an impromptu 'two man band' performance of Eternal Love... whilst covered in flashing lights... with confetti cannons. A brilliant bit of silliness, perfect for a Thursday evening!

Friday, 3 February 2012

BTEC and GCSE Drama in progress

We have two special evenings of performance featuring our GCSE Drama and BTEC Performing Arts students as part of their examination process. Both evenings will see the BTEC group perform a scripted play by Stephanie Miller called The Grey Angel, followed by a variety of GCSE devised ‘work in progress’ (different groups on each night).

If you would like to come and support the students, then please drop me a mail letting me know how many tickets you would like and on which nights. As these are ‘works in progress’, there will be no charge, but the students will benefit greatly from having a live audience to perform to!

A note about the Grey Angel: Mrs Elizabeth Fry (1780 - 1845) visited prisons and campaigned for improved conditions from about her late twenties till middle-age when ill-health forced her to retire. There was no segregation of the sexes in the prisons at this time.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Waiting for Dave

Last night, the Bradon Forest Theatre audience were treated to the first ever public performance by In For a Penny Theatre Company. The young company consists of three friends who met at studying Drama at the University of Aberystwyth; Adam Elliott, who plays Peter, David Reeves playing Chris and Philippa Bradfield who directed the piece.

'Waiting for Dave' has been devised by the three over just two weeks of intensive rehearsals. The story is based roughly on the play 'Waiting for Godot'. Two actors turn up to the first rehearsal for the play. But alas! There is no director. They then spend the next hour amusing themselves with various props and costumes while they 'wait for Dave'.

There was a variety of amusing characters, including a pirate, a dancer and an obnoxious father who are all created to help the 'detective' character find out what has happened to Dave. The two actors incorporated some comical physicality which really engaged the audience in to the story. I particularly enjoyed the 'hat-off' and 'dance-off'. Everyone loves a good dance-off!

There was only one element that I think I would change and that was the audience participation towards the end. With a strong Gonzo Moose and Publick Transport influence on the exaggerated characters, you can see why the devising process ended up going down that road, but I think that as the play was set in a rehearsal, it wasn't really appropriate to bring the actual audience in to the piece. A small point to make on what was otherwise a very enjoyable piece, especially when you remember the short amount of time it took to create!

Philippa is working with our Drama Club to create a new piece of drama for public performance in May. Watch this space!