Wednesday, 30 January 2019

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

The cast & crew of 'The Lion, The
Witch & The Wardrobe' 2018
Utterly brilliant, spellbinding and wonderful.  I have a lump in my throat as I think about it ....” Celia F
Great evening last night - your show is amazing!!! Well done and very pleased that the BCA supported this production. Steven Mindel, Chairman of the Barnes Community Association
Emma King-Farlow has mounted a truly magical productionMia Gibbons, Churches Together in Barnes
Edmund (Alice Hope Wilson) & Lucy
(Lucy Evans) in the Narnian snow
This production was such a pleasure.  The fine story by C.S. Lewis was performed by a great team of actors, all of them perfectly in character. The Christian allegory worked gently but effectively in the beautiful mediaeval St Mary's Church, Barnes. Acting the part of Aslan, the lion King of Narnia, is inevitably impossible, but Will Forrester gave it drama and dignity.  The White Queen & her wolf were superbly malevolent & frightening!  The opening 40’s dance set the scene in wartime Britain, from where the evacuee children escape through the wardrobe to Narnia.  Costumes were inventive & the simple set was used imaginatively.  Many thanks to all. A special evening.” Anonymous audience Member
Maugrim (Carly Borrow) captures
 Edmund (Alice Hope Wilson) 
These were just a few of the many personal reviews that we received from audience members, following our recent(ish!) production of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe at St Mary’s Barnes (29th Oct – 3rd Nov 2018).  The show turned out to be rather more of a challenge than I first envisaged, and perhaps not quite as financially successful as it could have been if we hadn’t found ourselves up against the final of The Great British Bake Off early in the week!  It was, however, even more successful than I hoped in terms of the glowing feedback received and, it seems, the very different but similarly positive experiences enjoyed by cast, crew and audiences alike.  Indeed, the cast and crew - quite possibly the loveliest group of people I have had the privilege of working with - remain astonishingly close knit and in regular contact, and we are still hearing how much the audience thought of the show nearly three months after closing night!

Mr Tumnus Sr (Martin Parsley) watches
Maugrim terrorise small children!
None of this would have been possible without the financial and practical support of St Mary's Church and help from the Barnes Community Association, who recognised the potential of the project early on and awarded us a £500 grant to put towards the considerable costs involved.  I am extremely grateful to both organisations for their faith in the production, and to Bishop Richard Harries, whose fascinating pre-show talk on C.S. Lewis ensured that, despite adding as many extra chairs as we could, we still had to turn people away on the Friday night!

The White Witch (Kat Merrick)
Finally, I am delighted that the success of the production has enabled us to make donations not only to St Mary's but also to two fantastic children's literacy charities, both doing invaluable work with disadvantaged children around the country: BookTrust and First Story.
This wonderful play brought to an end a year of exhausting and exciting achievements for Shadow Road Productions and we now look forward to an equally exhilarating 2019!

Monday, 19 February 2018

A Look Back at UNBROKEN 2017

Following a hugely successful debut at Theatre503 on World Mental Health Day the previous year, the UNBROKEN festival returned in 2017 with the inaugural UNBROKEN Short Film Prize; a creative writing project and festival bookstall; a talk on Mental Health in Current Children's Literature' by Charlie Sheppard, Publishing Director at acclaimed children's publisher Andersen Press; and Under My Skin, a funny and powerful play about adolescent mental health by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor, having been added to the art exhibitions, live music, new writing, original choreography and panel discussions that proved such a hit in 2016.

Find out much more on the UNBROKEN Festival website - see in particular the Reactions and Gallery pages - and do get in touch if you'd like to get involved this year! 

In the meantime, you might enjoy watching the following film from WinkBall Video, who reported from the festival on its final evening, Monday 30th October:

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

UNBROKEN 2017 - The Programme!

World Mental Health Day has just ended and the second UNBROKEN mixed arts mental health awareness festival, produced by Shadow Road, draws ever closer!

As I'm sure you can imagine, it's pretty hectic right now!  Despite the stress, however, I'm really excited that we've managed to expand from one day at one venue in 2016, to three days and two venues this year.  We have also, with the new Short Film Prize, been able to encourage exploration of the issues through yet another art form.

I would love it if you would consider joining us for any/all of the festival at the end of this month.  We have put together a fantastic programme which offers something for everyone of all ages - from theatre, film and literature, to art, music, dance, discussions and even a taste of some therapy!

The new writing, original choreography, art exhibition, live music and panel discussions that proved such a hit in 2016, have this year been joined by a practical Art Therapy taster workshop; a literary event with Charlie Sheppard, Publishing Director at Andersen Press; Under My Skin, a powerful play about adolescent mental health by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor; a small festival bookstall and, of course, the inaugural UNBROKEN Short Film Prize at The Frontline Club!

A more detailed version of the programme can be found on the festival website – – but in the meantime, I have copied a simpler version below for you to look at. (The links won’t work, I’m afraid, as it’s a screenshot of our Facebook announcement!)  If you aren’t able to join us yourself, we’d all be really grateful if you could please help us by spreading the word to others.

Thank you very much and see you at the festival! :-)

Saturday, 27 May 2017

UNBROKEN 2017 - the festival is back!

As you may remember, UNBROKEN made its debut as a 'mini-festival' produced by Shadow Road at Theatre503 on World Mental Health Day 2016.  Following an extremely successful and at times deeply moving day, we are delighted that the festival will return to 503 this year from Saturday 28th  until Tuesday 31st October.

As well as the art exhibitions, live music, new writing, original choreography and panel discussions that were such a hit last year, the 2017 programme will feature some practical workshops, a literary event, a staged reading of a powerful play about adolescent mental health, short film screenings and a free event open to all.  We will also be running a small but perfectly formed bookshop throughout the festival!

More information will be available on the new UNBROKEN website soon.  Do get in touch if you're interested in getting involved - we'd love to hear from you!

UNBROKEN - A Mental Health Awareness Festival from Shadow Road on Vimeo.