England. 1985. EastEnders debuts on BBC1, Everton are crowned champions of the football league, Jennifer Rush tops the charts with The Power Of Love and big hair is all the rage. But Britain’s youth are restless. And in the small seaside town of Penzance in Cornwall, two men are about to embark on a journey that will change their lives forever.
Set against the backdrop of Thatcher’s bleak and broken Britain, Two Punks And A Tandem is a moving tale of friendship, love and adventure.
In 1985, my dad and his mate set off on an 881 mile sponsored bike ride from John O’Groats to Lands End. The money they raised would be used to open a drop-in centre in Penzance, Cornwall, supporting the masses of young and unemployed people living in the town. Mitch was 21, and had become a dad for the first time three months previously. His mate, Leigh, was 25 and had just returned to Penzance after a pilgrimage across India by bicycle, followed by a brief stay in Australia where he’d shacked up in a giant warehouse with 200 punks and a pig.
Growing up, I’d hear snippets of the story every now and again, but it wasn’t until very recently that I was finally indulged in the full gory detail of it all. This is a story crammed full of comedy, drama, music, anger, fear, friendship and love. It’s a story that not only reflects the feeling of the nation back then, but has an abundance of parallels that can be drawn with Britain in 2014. And it's a story I am desperate to turn into a live show.
OUR APPROACH & SCHEDULE
The money we hope to raise through this campaign is the minimum required to get the project underway. We will be exploring other ways of acquiring support further down the line, and will endeavour to do so mirroring the attitude and spirit of those involved back in 1985. Each perk offered here will be produced with a punk aesthetic, using the people, materials and skills we have available to us to offer unique and interesting rewards to those who pledge their support. You will be given access and insight into the development of the project before anyone else via regular updates, excerpts and works-in-progress so that you can follow the process all the way.
Over the next 12 months we will immerse ourselves in the research and development of the show so that come spring 2015 we can tour the finished piece to village halls, pubs, community centres and theatres across Britain. We will attempt to do this following the same route as Mitch and Leigh, John O’Groats to Lands End, Silly Boys style. We are also considering taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 where we hope to attract interest from overseas. Two Punks And A Tandem will be a collage. Performed by two people, and featuring live music, poetry, film, puppets and more.
With the future of the arts in the UK under constant threat, it is essential to look at other ways of engaging audiences and financing work. Because this is a story with a strong sense of community at its core, the notion of creating our own community to support and inform the process is one that we find extremely exciting.
Founded in Cornwall in 2012, Silly Boys are a small, independent company dedicated to producing innovative and exciting theatre of the highest quality. Our aim is to provide shows and performances that are unique, diverse and above all else, entertaining.
Our first production, The Tallest Horse On Earth, toured nationally in 2013, while The Elves & The Shoemaker (commissioned by Colchester Arts Centre) will tour the UK autumn 2014 before a run in Colchester at Christmas. Two Punks And A Tandem will tour spring 2015.
‘Combining acting, animation and puppetry, these boys are clever and funny. One scene had me laughing so much that my stomach started to ache.' - Theatre Bristol.
‘Silly Boys are gloriously silly, beautifully inventive, original, engaging and daft.’ - Anthony Roberts, Director, Colchester Arts Centre.
'The audience were completely engaged from the beginning, and the company use music, humour, puppetry and illusion to present one surprise after another.' - Jo Burgess, Director, Fools Paradise.
'The likes of Kneehigh and Miracle can breathe a sigh of relief, the future of Cornish-bred theatre is in safe hands. Long may these boys be silly.'- Lee Trewhela, The West Briton.
Seamas Carey - Musician & Performer.
Joint Artistic Director of Silly Boys and multi-skilled performer and musician. Seamas’ theatre credits include, amongst others: Shanty Theatre, Bash Street, Dot & Ethel, WildWorks and Bristol Old Vic. He was most recently seen playing the part of Moomintroll in The Egg's (Theatre Royal Bath) Christmas 2013 production Moominland Midwinter.
Callum Mitchell - Writer & Performer.
I co-run Silly Boys alongside Seamas, and have previously worked with the likes of Show and Tell, Rogue Theatre, KEAP, CYDC and Falmouth University. As a poet I’ve worked/performed with companies such as Apples and Snakes, The John Betjeman Trust, Annamaria Murphy (Kneehigh), Buddy Wakefield and more. In 2013, I scripted both The Tallest Horse On Earth and my one man show, Ballad Of A Thin Man.
Mae Voogd - Art & Design.
Mae is an artist, animator, actress and general maker of lovely things. Theatre credits include: Silly Boys, WildWorks, Little Angel, Dot & Ethel and Kneehigh. Her short film 'Carousel' was selected for the Bristol Festival of Puppetry and Encounters Festival 2013.
Jim Carey - Director.
Jim Carey composes, directs, produces, records and performs music for events, theatre, TV, radio and film. Theatre credits include: Kneehigh, Miracle Theatre and WildWorks. He has worked with The Eden Project and performs regularly with his band, BragaTanga. Jim also directed Silly Boys' The Tallest Horse On Earth.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Two Punks And A Tandem will be developed as part of the Bristol Old Vic Ferment scheme. We are currently seeking other partners, so whether you are an artist, venue, producer, promoter or programmer, we would love to hear from you.
Risks and challenges
There are always risks and challenges to any creative project, but the main challenge with this show comes with our personal attachment to the story. We put pressure on ourselves to deliver a show that is as accurate and representative of the experiences of the community whose story it is attempting to tell, as well as being entertaining, evocative and exciting. Your investment will allow us the necessary time and support to properly research and develop the show, without affecting the other commitments we already have as a company. And we can guarantee that we will put everything we have into making it a success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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