We've hit our target!!
Absolutely thrilled - and with a day to go, we've added some exciting stretch goals, so please don't stop now!
With just a couple of days left to go, we're so close to our target that we're going to add some very exciting STRETCH GOALS! If we get past our target, here's what we can do with the extra money:
If we raise an extra £500...
If we hit £13k we'll spend another £500 on some fabulous costumes for the show - Kirsty has already made a start on designs and we're really keen to get going. They'll be in keeping with the creative junkyard style of the set, easy to move around in, and with a few surprises built in for audiences to discover.
If we raise an extra £900...
After £13.4k we will make special tool belts for the kids to wear during the show. These will be loaded up with useful building materials, a mallet and some pegs!
If we raise an extra £1500...
Hitting £14k means we'll fund the materials and making time for a 'Mallet Making Workshop' to accompany the show so the kids can join us before the show to make and decorate their own mallet that they can use during the show and take home with them!
If we raise an extra £2000...
Achieving £14.5k means we'll go wild with exciting instruments for the music station - we want to give children an experience they'll remember, getting their hands on real and exciting instruments including a few that they may never even have seen before - let alone had the chance to play.
And if we raise an extra £2,500...
An extraordinary £15k will pay for more time with our brilliant carpenter Morris to help us make all these brilliant things!!
We're helping children rediscover their own creativity and power; we're promoting the benefits of taking managed risks through play and we're working directly with disadvantaged communities where most families don't get the opportunity to go to the theatre. Your support will make our tour of Almost Always Muddy something really special - together, we're going to build our very own venue.
The venue will be called ‘The Story Yard’. Inside will be lots of specially designed building materials and lots of gorgeous junk: fabric, wood, netting, buckets and more. Families are invited to use all the materials to build whatever they imagine. Then a team of five improvisers bring their creations to life through storytelling, puppetry and live music.
Our very own venue will allow us to take a magical family show right into the hearts of communities who don't have access to the arts. All we'll need is a bit of land! It will also create a truly immersive experience where everyone - audience and performers alike - can safely explore taking risks.
This Kickstarter will also be match funded by Arts Council England. So you only have to pledge £25 for us to get a whopping £50!
Also check out our rewards on the right - there are more details and photos at the bottom of the page to help you choose your thank you gift for supporting us.
Almost Always Muddy
The name of the show and a philosophy for life!
We started this project with a question.
What happens when we wrap children in cotton wool and don't let them explore their own limitations? Where do children safely explore risk-taking in a risk averse society? There is a gap between what people fear and what’s actually happening. Risk and adventure is slowly being designed out of children's lives. Can we use our theatre practice to design it back in?
The idea of Almost Always Muddy is that the audience are invited to face what to them seem like “really dangerous risks” and then conquer them. It might be asking someone to help build something, lifting something bigger than anything they've lifted before, using new tools, or offering an idea to a performer to use in the story.
We have created a show where risk, decision-making, creativity and adventure are at children’s fingertips; a show that gives young people true agency.
Why is this important?
if we're brave enough to allow our children to experience managed risk they'll enter adulthood better prepared for life's challenges.The world beyond the front door is increasingly viewed as one that is hostile to children. A report written for the UK National Trust contained evidence that the area where children are permitted to range unsupervised around their homes has shrunk by 90% since the 1970s.
A fear culture leads to parents making decisions based on an exaggerated perception of risk. As a consequence, children’s opportunities to engage in outdoor and risky play have been further impeded and many urban playgrounds are invariably neat and tidy, supplying playful options that are neither challenging nor exciting.
All these changes have been made in the name of child safety and protection, but are in fact exposing children to negative outcomes in terms of development and learning. Risky play is needed to form a foundation for the development of healthy self-esteem, self-reliance and resilience in the face of life’s stresses. (Sandseter, E.B.H., 2009b, ‘Children’s expressions of exhilaration and fear in risky play.’ Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 10(2), 92-106) (Little, H., & Eager, D., 2010, ‘Risk, challenge and safety: Implications for play quality and playground design.’ European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 18(4), 497-513).
Enter the Story Yard Arena, a place full of possibility and potential. In the first part of the show we are in a junkyard: pallets, tubes, ropes, nets, paint. Children are greeted by ‘the Story Yard Keepers’. They are handed wooden mallets and pegs and invited to use all the materials around them to build the kinds of places stories can happen. Partnerships emerge naturally. Young people build oceans, mountains, dens, a vampire graveyard! The landscape morphs into a magical place for adventure. And in all good stories there is a monster to be defeated, so meanwhile, the adults are invited to build the monster.
In the second part, the Story Yard Keepers invite the children to scrunch up the paper bags from their popcorn, fill them with magic and throw them into a bucket. Out of the bucket appears Paper Bag Girl.
The show is a story about her quest for courage in this strange new land. Five improvisers transform the audience's creation into a theatrical storytelling of Paper Bag Girl's Adventure with live music, live making and special effects. The story is improvised and led by the world the young people have built and the suggestions they give.
With your support we can lift our ideas off the page and make this crazy brilliant idea a reality.
Here is how your money will work:
Your money will build the world of the show. With the additional funds we will be able to incorporate live music and live making as an integral part of the performance. The Arts Council England money will cover the cost of two weeks rehearsing the show at Wild Rumpus Creation Space in Cheshire.
The money we raise is being match-funded with support from Arts Council England. This literally doubles your contribution.
Battersea Arts Centre, London, are producing the 2017 tour. The full schedule is on our website. And keep an eye out for our 2018 tour tbc, we may be bringing it to a bit of land near you. Come and play, proud in the knowledge you helped us build it!
Here is the impact:
Building our own 'Story Yard' enclosure, our own set, means we can take this show absolutely anywhere - we don't need infrastructure or an existing venue. Here's the plan.
- We will take this show to 9 Festivals, do 32 shows, and 22 free community engagement workshops.
- We will reach an audience of 2,845 young people.
- We will tour this show across the UK, do over 100 shows, over 70 free community engagement workshops
- We will reach an audience of over 10,000 young people.
- We take this show across the globe!
We are so, so grateful for your help. THANK YOU for understanding how significant live theatre can be, and how important it is to give children the opportunity to flex their creative muscles.
We've put together a set of rewards that we hope will help entice you, including a few special things that you won't get anywhere but here.
If you get your very own Paper Bag Girl puppet kit, you can build your own puppet at home and send her on adventures in whatever unexpected places you think of - plus we'll send you all the pieces in a paper bag which you'll turn into the puppet! Creativity and recycling all in one go.
Huge thanks also to those who've helped or offered rewards - especially Battersea Arts Centre, who have a well-deserved excellent reputation for supporting new and emerging theatre. They've kindly offered us two family tickets (four people, minimum two children) to their fabulous family Christmas show this year, Snow White & Rose Red, in its opening week (29 November - 3 December).
An adventurous Christmas show for children aged 5+ and their families. Snow White likes to tell stories and paint. Rose Red likes to race with the deer and the wolves. When a friendly bear knocks on their door, the mischievous sisters have no idea that it’s the beginning of a magnificent adventure. Based on the original fairy tale by The Brothers Grimm, acclaimed company RashDash present a musical quest for justice, love and friendship.
We've also had rewards donated by Professor Scrubbington's Emporium of Clean, a range of award winning bath, body and hair care products made from natural ingredients designed to help young people wash themselves from head to toe. They know as well as we do that some of the best fun ends up with everybody getting muddy, so they've supplied a goodybag of all their products:
- Magically Foaming Hand & Face Wash
- Magically Foaming Shampoo
- Magically Foaming Conditioner
- Magically Fragrant Roll-On
- Magically Foaming Hair & Body Wash
And we're absolutely thrilled to include a beautiful mud kitchen from Mud Kitchen London at our Gold reward level, worth £250. These are individually hand built using responsibly sourced, pressure treated timber, and the work surface area is made from high quality birch ply suitable for exterior use. And best of all, they have a whole page dedicated to the benefits of playing in the mud!
This beautifully illustrated poster for the show is having a limited A3 print run and being signed by the fair hands of the illustrator Suzi Dorey.
Wild Rumpus are supporting the project and we'd love you to visit us at their Creation Space, meet the cast, have lunch around a campfire and chat all things muddy!
Finally a big THANK YOU from all three of us! Together we will go on an unimaginable adventure.
Risks and challenges
This is happening - the 2017 tour is already booked! The main challenge for us will be turning everything round in time, but we already have the creation space booked, and the cast and crew have cleared their diaries. We're ready for a busy few weeks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)