STRETCH GOAL: £7174
We have embarked on a very ambitious project – one that will consume us for the foreseeable future. As you know, less than £6,000 for a project as big as this is a tight budget and was the bare minimum of what we could make "The Book's the Thing" for - we didn't want to be greedy! Now we have this incredible amount of support and backing, we have a new goal of £7174.
Since launching the campaign, we've had a surge of interest from libraries all over the country. We're confident that we'll be able to extend the tour to meet this demand... but we're going to need the money in place to pay for it, should the Arts Council not come through.
Please help us reach our new target by by sharing online, and (crucially) telling people in person about the project. There is nothing quite as persuasive as a face-to-face conversation, so don't be shy - tell your friends, family, colleagues, the person sat next to you on the train... shout it from the rooftops!
Once again - THANK YOU. xxx
Welcome to Hamlet’s Library.
Where the Book’s the Thing…
To catch the conscience of the King.
We are Librarian Theatre: a new touring theatre company committed to supporting public library services – and celebrating books – by creating accessible, affordable, high quality plays specifically tailored to perform among the bookshelves.
Our debut production will be a new adaptation of Hamlet, with an original literary twist. A fast-paced hour and a half play performed by a cast of three, “The Book’s the Thing” will make a great introduction to Elizabethan text – and seasoned Shakespeare fans will love this refreshing new take on the classic too.
The show will initially tour libraries across the East, South-East and South-West of England in March/April 2016. We've already encountered enthusiastic support for the concept from dozens of libraries in Hertfordshire, Bristol, Devon, Barnet, Lambeth… the list is constantly growing, and we want to expand the tour throughout Great Britain, including Scotland and Wales.
We know from discussions with them that libraries and communities want this to happen as well. There’s just one teensy little obstacle…
Putting on a tour is expensive. We are committed to paying our creatives a fair wage – and we have to arrange travel and accommodation for them during the tour. Then there’s the rehearsal space, props, costumes, set... and of course the people who create and source them for us.
Can’t you do it on a shoestring?
We are. We’ve already received a huge amount of support in kind, and we plan on twisting many more arms as the project progresses.
Our £5862 target is the absolute bare minimum we'll need to go ahead. If we successfully raise this, it will be just enough to pay our three actors and one director UK National Minimum Wage for a rushed 2 week rehearsal period (3-4 weeks’ rehearsal is standard for most theatre productions), and a part-time multitasking stage-manager/producer. For the tour itself, there'll be enough to pay the actors a small fee for each performance, then after we’ve arranged travel and accommodation, there won’t be much left. Everything else we’ll have to beg, borrow, or steal (we won’t actually steal anything).
However, if you help us to raise our target amount (or beat it), together we’ll be making a strong statement that people really believe in what we’re doing. This will hugely strengthen applications we’ll be making later in the year, to the Arts Council and other bodies, for the remaining funding required to realise our dream production.
And when the tour is over?
“The Book’s the Thing” is not a one-off event for us. It’s just the beginning.
By supporting us in our first project, you’re effectively helping to… well, kickstart, Librarian Theatre to life. We want to build on the success of our first show and expand further over the years. Nationally. Internationally. We’re committed to the cause, and have loads of other ideas we want to explore – and with your help, we will.
Do have a look at the rewards we're offering for pledging to back us - we hope there's something for everyone! We're really proud of our colourful bookmarks, included in many of our rewards, which we'll sign for you to thank you for pledging.
If you like the artwork featured, by our very own Kelly Eva-May, why not consider investing not only in Librarian Theatre's future, but also in a unique piece of artwork? For a £500 pledge, Kelly will personally craft for you an oil painting on canvas of a landscape of your choice. Because of the time required to create this reward, there are only 5 available! Here are some examples of her work:
We'd like to extend our huge gratitude to Alex Heaton, who has put so much work into getting our campaign video together. To find out more about his services as a filmmaker, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A massive thanks also goes out to Rebecca at the Philip Richardson Library, Royal Academy of Dance and Nicki at ArtsEd for letting us film in their spaces, everyone who featured, Boady for her photography, and everyone else who has provided us with support and guidance up until this point, especially Jack and Ashon from Phundee – Empowering Entertainment.
Risks and challenges
We (Tom and Kelly) are both actors, in addition to the other things we do. We met one another on an acting job - touring children's shows for White Horse Theatre (the leading English 'Theatre In Education' company in Europe) - and one of the reasons we established Librarian Theatre is it gives us some personal control over our own careers, in the notoriously unforgiving industry we're in.
For "The Book's the Thing", Tom will assume the role of director, and Kelly will be one of our three cast members. The other two actors haven't been cast yet, but we want to take care in selecting them - in the knowledge that we can offer them a fair wage - and we're confident that with our existing industry contacts we'll find a cracking pair of additions to the company.
If you're wondering how we're able to offer a personalised 'Thank You Song' from the Great Wall as a reward, it's because we're lucky enough to have been offered a second tour with White Horse Theatre this autumn, performing in China for a 6 weeks. We won't be leaving until after the campaign – and we have a wonderful producer Dora to take care of things whilst we're away – but it'll be great to leave the UK behind (and social media, google etc.) safe in the knowledge that when we return, Librarian Theatre has the funds to hit the ground running.
Aside from a massive cultural awakening and an unforgettable experience, 6 weeks in the People's Republic offers us the perfect opportunity to work on two huge undertakings for Librarian Theatre: our application for Arts Council funding, and the final edit of Shakespeare's longest play. With well over 20 characters and a potential running time of over 4 hours, Hamlet will need a little trimming to reduce it to the 90 minute 3-hander we envisage. We have strong ideas of how this will be done - but we want to do it properly; thoroughly and thrillingly: by the Book, if you will...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)