It's been a funny old year so far, here at Insane Root.
After an intense - but ultimately triumphant - production of 'Orpheus & Eurydice' in the Clifton Suspension Bridge Vaults (thank you to everyone who came!) Justin and I set about bringing our next project to fruition.
We'd been working on developing a large-scale Shakespeare, including site visits, venue hire negotiations, design conversations and even a read-through in advance of script editing, since September 2016......but sadly, by summer 2017 we reluctantly admitted defeat and decided that we just couldn't afford the venue. Yet.
We don't have any core funding as a company so we rely on being able to balance our budget through ticket sales (and sometimes sponsorship). And, as much as we love a challenge and do some crazy things in pursuit of theatre (our name is, after all 'insane'), we're not willing to risk thousands of pounds that we simply couldn't have made back based on the audience capacity and ticket prices we wanted to have. To give you an idea, we projected that the show would cost around £80k to make, and from tickets alone we would have had a shortfall of at least £10k. If we sold every ticket. (Btw, if you fancy helping us out with sponsorship, do drop us a line!)
So, back to the drawing board. Thankfully we have a few different ideas burning away at any one time, but the lead-time into them can be frustratingly slow as we attempt to marry story, location and timing. To let you into our process, our guiding principles about creating work are:
- has this site been used before?
- is it exciting when we walk in for the first time?
- do the people who run or own the site share our enthusiasm?
- what is the right story for this location and this time?
- what is the realistic (and safe) audience capacity?
- how much will it all cost?
- when can we do it?
It's a delicate juggling act, especially considering the fact that Justin and I also work multiple other jobs. But we are committed to making new work and are so grateful that interest in our company remains strong.
The good news is that we have two productions in the works for summer 2018 - our 'lost children' season (working title), and are even looking to squeeze in a small Christmas show. We will be going underground, deep into the woods and even hosting the ultimate outdoor Shakespeare party. We hope you'll love the locations we choose.
It all kicks off this weekend when we host some of our favourite actors at Insane Root HQ to read-through another Shakespeare, in advance of once again getting out our blue pencils and beginning the edit.
Stay with us. It's gonna be an incredible ride!