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A hilarious, moving and madcap adventure. Brought to life with poetry, puppets and a kick-ass score. Read more

Bristol, UK Theater
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 25, 2014.

A hilarious, moving and madcap adventure. Brought to life with poetry, puppets and a kick-ass score.

Bristol, UK Theater
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Callum Mitchell
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Callum Mitchell

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About this project

THE SHOW

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. 

Leigh & Mitch.
Leigh & Mitch.

THE STORY

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.

Poster designed by Mae Voogd.
Poster designed by Mae Voogd.

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. 

Production still from The Tallest Horse On Earth. Photo credit: Steve Tanner.
Production still from The Tallest Horse On Earth. Photo credit: Steve Tanner.

THE COMPANY

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.

Silly Boys at Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2013. Photo credit: Farrows Creative.
Silly Boys at Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2013. Photo credit: Farrows Creative.

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.

THE TEAM

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.

Silly Boys at Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2013. Photo credit: Farrows Creative.
Silly Boys at Bristol Festival of Puppetry 2013. Photo credit: Farrows Creative.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

BLOG

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

PARTNERS

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.

PRESS

THE WEST BRITON

WESTERN MORNING NEWS

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.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge £2 or more

    45 backers

    THANK YOU CREDIT. We're delighted to have you on board and will make sure you get a mention in the programme.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £20 or more

    46 backers

    POSTER + THANK YOU CREDIT. You'll get a copy of the official poster for the show designed by Mae Voogd, as well as a shout out in the programme.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £30 or more

    17 backers

    POEM + THANK YOU CREDIT.
    You'll get a one-off poem written by Callum and a mention in the programme.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £50 or more

    12 backers

    POSTER + POEM + THANK YOU CREDIT. You will receive a copy of the poster, a one-off poem and a mention in the programme.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £100 or more

    2 backers

    MASS BUGGERY + POSTER + THANK YOU CREDIT. You will receive a copy of MASS BUGGERY, a punk poetry zine written in the voices of the two protagonists, as well as a poster and a mention in the programme.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £100 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    SIGNED BILLY BRAGG CDS + THANK YOU CREDIT. You can get your hands on signed copies of Billy Bragg's 'England, Half English' and 'Billy Bragg And The Red Stars Live Bootleg', as well copies of the singles 'The Boy Done Good' and 'Upfield'. We'll also big you up in the programme.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £150 or more

    0 backers

    CD SOUNDTRACK + MASS BUGGERY + POSTER + THANK YOU CREDIT. You will receive a copy of the official CD soundtrack to the show composed by Seamas Carey. To reflect the musical soundscape of the 80s, expect punk, europop and synth power ballads. You will also receive a copy of MASS BUGGERY, a poster and a thank you credit.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £350 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    ANTHONY FROST 'ZONES OF RUST' PAINTING + THANK YOU CREDIT. This is a very special perk. You will receive an original painting courtesy of renowned Penzance-based artist Anthony Frost, who donated a piece to Breadline for auction back in 1985. Anthony has produced album artwork for the likes of post-punk favourites The Fall, lectured at several UK colleges and has been artist in residence at various venues including Cyprus School of Art and Montmiral School of Painting, France. His work features in collections worldwide including Kasser Foundation, New York, Lloyds TSB, London, The Bank of America, London and Kings College, Cambridge. On top of that, we'll big you up all over the shop.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £500 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    HARD COPY OF SCRIPT + TWO PUNKS BUNDLE + THANK YOU CREDIT. You will get a copy of the full finished script for Two Punks And A Tandem, complete with illustrations by Mae Voogd. You'll also receive a 'Two Punks' bundle including a copy of the CD soundtrack, a copy of MASS BUGGERY, a poster and some extra treats thrown in for good measure. And we will of course sing your name from the rooftops too.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom

Funding period

- (30 days)