BARN Growth Fund Awards

02 September 2021

Earlier this year, we launched the BARN Growth Fund to support the creation of live theatre in Somerset.

We were thrilled to receive 20 very strong applications, giving the panel - Robin Peters from Strode Theatre and our very own Sarah Peterkin & Mark Helyar - some difficult decisions to make! With additional support from Strode Theatre, we were delighted to offer 8 awards of £1000 plus a further three awards of £750 to projects that really caught the panel’s eye.

All of the successful applications met the criteria for the fund by aligning with the spirit of BARN’s intentions, particularly in the way they demonstrated a collective commitment to theatre-making in Somerset. For some of the projects that we were unable to make a financial award, we have offered support in other ways, such as rehearsal space, funding guidance and brokering new relationships.

The successful applicants are as follows:

  • SHEBA SOUL ENSEMBLE to create Jaaaaaaaaaazzzzzz - an unconventional theatre performance that explores how jazz came to be and tells a historical story of winds and rhythms, joy, love, tragedy and heartbreak that resonates with audiences throughout Somerset.
  • MATTHEW GARDNER to produce Autopia - a creative research experiment that will bring together autistic and neurodiverse artists to present examples of creative practices with a long-term goal for the research to create a live production inspired, created and driven by the ideas of neurodiverse and disabled artists.
  • A collaboration between two early years specialists - Dance Artist, HANNAH LEFEUVRE and Applied Artist, DEL TAYLOR - to create Willow Wanderings, a non-verbal, early years performance piece using willow, for rural touring to village halls and early years settings.
  • CORRINNE CURTIS to research and develop The Nornen Project - an outdoor production about the wrecking of the ship Nornen and the successful rescue of the crew (and their dog!) by the community in Burnham-On-Sea and Berrow.
  • VIV GORDON COMPANY to support production costs and survivor audience engagement activity for Cutting Out - part show, part installation, part collective act of resistance bearing witness to the 11 million adult survivors of child sex abuse (CSA) in the UK.
  • POCKET FLUFF PRODUCTIONS to create Trio Act - a new show that blends high level acrobatics with theatrical comedy and characters to create a viewing experience no one will forget.
  • MAKE THE SUNSHINE CiC to produce 374 Ways to Change the World - an experimental programme in collaboration with 1,100 young people across Shepton Mallet that explores the power of performing arts and creativity to change and challenge the world around us; and specifically how dance, theatre and performance can motivate social change.
  • OUT OF THE FOREST THEATRE & LADY GARDEN to research and develop A Discoverie of Sumorsǣte Herstory - a rural touring show for adults uncovering the stories of misremembered or forgotten females from Somerset’s history, particularly the women who went against the grain.
  • aKa DANCE to make Fashion Police - their first ever walkabout show that will spark joy with everyone it meets, entice new audiences and engage with people who wouldn’t go to a ticketed theatre event.
  • TOR THEATRE to develop the idea for a theatre show with music based on their spoof 80s band, Baked Alaska, to produce ‘taster gigs’ in Summer 2022, and tour Somerset later in the Autumn.
  • PLEASURE DOME THEATRE’s tour of a new production, Louisa, based on the true story the communities of Lynmouth and Porlock rallying in a raging storm in 1899 to save everybody on board the foundering ship, the Forest Hall, by carrying the lifeboat thirteen miles across the moors to launch it from Porlock Weir.

Thank you to everyone who applied. We look forward to seeing all the above projects come to fruition. Keep en eye out for more BARN activity over the coming months.