Rise of the Shadow Stealers

This remarkable new stage adaptation by Suitcase and Spectacles Theatre Company toured to libraries, schools and theatres. The playful, sensory performance used puppetry, music and mime, to take family audiences on an adventure that enthraled people of all ages.

Fletcher and Scoop go to a school for Story Characters. The trouble is, they can’t remember their own beginnings. As they search for their missing memories, they become entangled in the tale of the mysterious Storyteller, embarking on a quest that leads them through the shadow to the heart of creation itself.

Page to Stage: Adapting a Book into a Play (Part 1)

Being an author and theatre director, I spend a lot of my time either writing about fictional worlds or bringing them to life on stage. The perfect combination? Adapting my own book into a play! I’m currently in the process of bringing my first book in The Firebird Chronicles series, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, to the […]

Page to Stage: Adapting a Book into a Play (Part 2)

The first stages of bringing my book, Rise of the Shadow Stealers, to the stage involved discussing the themes, simplifying the complexity of the book, writing, and re-writing. In this blog, I’ll talk about raising funds, planning, finding the team and starting rehearsals. In case you missed the first part of this post, you can read […]

“Highly inventive…impossible not to like.”

Yorkshire Post

Miss Dotty’s Specs

Suitcase and Spectacles Children’s Theatre

Miss Dotty is the secretary of the ancient establishment of Blotting’s Academy and she’s lost her spectacles… again.

Join her as she tells of how she first found her unique eyepiece – a story of bandits, pirates and shipwrecks. Take the journey across the sea to discover that real treasure isn’t perhaps as far away as you might think.

This one-woman, hour-long play, is designed to be performed in the classroom or in a café style setting, transforming an everyday venue into a magical land.  Miss Dotty’s Specs draws on a selection of popular parables, bringing them to life in a light-hearted and fresh way.

Wind in the Willows

A promenade performance along the River Nidd

1 mile. 34 performers. 24 sell-out shows. 8 giant ducks. 6 weasels to avoid. 1 mole. 1 badger. 1 rat. 1 enormous party. And, of course, the one and only Toad!

“A rip-roaring, fun-packed, giant-sized hit”

Knaresborough Post

“A spectacular, interactive production.”

Living North Magazine

Thanks to Rachel Burrows for the footage.

“There is a sense that this company has got ‘under the skin’ to develop a play that has found both the misery of addiction and the communal hope – even joy – of those that are rediscovering dignity and self-worth. Those that literally have been given back their lives. … You don’t have to be an addict to recognise its relevance to all of our experiences.”

The Public Reviews

Drink with a Chimp

Common Chorus Theatre

We have all got a part of ourselves that can run wild and cause chaos sometimes. Have you ever found yourself asking ‘why did I just do that?’ Sally is just the same, but she is also a drug addict… and if she can’t learn to control the wild creature inside of herself she is going to die.

The Vampire Experiment

A promenade performance of four stories around the grounds of Knaresborough Castle

Dare you stare into the soul of a town…?

Knaresborough: by day a quiet market town on the banks of the River Nidd; by night something seethes beneath the streets.

Why this town of two halves, of two faces? When did the fracture begin?

Initial research undertaken by the Vampire Experiment has unmasked something sinister, something lurking at the heart of the town – a curse buried beneath the place where the hangman’s noose once swung, protected by the walls of the castle.


Read the script:

The Vampire Experiment: Steven’s Story

The following series of monologues, released as separate blogs over the coming days, form an account of an experiment performed at Knaresborough Castle. Investigators travelled around the castle grounds to discover ghosts, who waited, hungry to tell their stories. As you read the accounts, I invite you to imagine that you are standing where the […]

Desire

A devised, site-specific performance at Knaresborough’s Frazer Theatre, telling the fictional history of a surreal night the author C.S. Lewis spent in the town.

“The play challenged our intellects and literary experience… Energy and poignancy were at its core and I went home with a sense of having been ‘on holy ground.'”

Knaresborough Post

The Tunnel

A collaboration with set designers, Hannah Sibai and Pav Ghir, the Tunnel was based on Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man speech. The audience walked through seven rooms, each of which reflected one of the stages of life.

“Extraordinary. Being blind at the beginning was very illuminating. I felt vulnerable and scared. The questions people wrote on the blackboard were very interesting, with a common theme of a search for meaning. Altogether very thought provoking; I felt soothed (as a baby at the beginning), challenged and afraid. Thanks everyone.”

Audience Feedback

The Crossing

A site-specific performance at Left Bank, Leeds, involving over seventy community performers and production crew. The audience chose between four paths – north, south, east or west – travelling in small groups. Performers hidden along the paths told tales of rebirth from different parts of the world.

“Delightful fun, felt like I was 8 years old and experiencing my first magical adventure!”

“The atmosphere was incredible – I could believe I have travelled across continents tonight.”

“This is perhaps the most wonderful piece of theatre I’ve experienced. I was on the edge of tears numerous times.”

Audience Feedback

The Lone and Level Sands

Set on a construction site, this play combined great works of literature, Bible stories, historical accounts and autobiography to depict the growing power of Herod the Great. It drew parallels with other tyrants, such as Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler, Mark Antony and the Godfather. It was written and performed by a group of community artists, from both humanist and Christian perspectives, and commissioned by Leeds Minster, the Leeds Church Institute and Arts@Trinity.

“Evil is something that human beings do and if we want to understand and learn from their mistakes we need to see these people as human, even if we would prefer not to.”

Simon Brewis, Director

HEAVE

The HEAVE team pushed their land boat through the cities, villages and countryside of Yorkshire on a 105 mile, 22 day, journey to explore the values of the region. The Yorkshire On-land Boating Club recruited more than 100 volunteer boat pushers and collected over 2000 values, written on their land boat. The project was backed by the Arts Council of England and Seven Arts, Leeds.

“This is a bold and desperate venture to raise open discussion of social, religious, ethical, family and personal values… The presence of a boat is a beacon, drawing landlubbers to engage with the debate on the graffiti-wall, the discussion forum that is the Yorkshire Straif.”

Ben Goudie, In-Touch Magazine

The Leeds Pageant

Commissioned by the Leeds Church Institute and Leeds Minster, Pointed Arrow Performance threw their creative know-how into the mixing pot to create this epic and anarchic community-driven take on a ‘Medieval Mystery Play’.

Charting the history of Leeds from its creation to a hopeful future, over 100 volunteers of different ages and from different backgrounds – geographic, social and spiritual – came together for Leeds City Council’s flagship event ‘Light Night’. Featuring giant puppets, home-grown modern and medieval music, eight languages, stilts, masks, angels, lasers, and a terrifyingly big PA system, the Grade 1 registered building of Leeds Minster exploded into carnivalesque celebration.

“That there is everything community theatre should be.”

Howard Bradley, Farsley Youth Development Project

Leonard’s Bones

An epic journey to dig up some bones.

For two weeks Pointed Arrow Performance wended their way along the South Coast of England, from Lands End to Hastings, becoming wandering players, travelling in a big red postal van. As they travelled, they created the myth of a pirate, Leonard Le-Bec, performing stories of his adventures, and leaving clues to his whereabouts.

The project was made up of four short stories performed spontaneously and an hour long documentary show performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

“Like Scooby Doo meets Summer Holiday…This theatrical travelogue explores the process of storytelling and the mythologies that create our personal and national identities.”

The Scotsman

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