Our reasoning for starting Push to Shove Theatre came from an excitement to create work, so it was easy to initially overlook all of the things that go into making and performing an original piece. You would be hard pressed to find someone in the company that would rather sit behind a computer and do admin than be in the rehearsal room making a show - and we all love a good spreadsheet!
However, making Between You and Me (BYAM) has really opened our eyes to the fact that devising is a small (yet VERY significant) part to the whole process. We were so fortunate to receive Arts Council England (ACE) funding for this show which meant we had the opportunity to think more about the bigger picture and how our visions could be made a reality.
We’ve also experienced a lot of firsts throughout this process. For the first time we didn’t have to rely on finding and borrowing things and we’ve have had the opportunity to work with so many great artists to create different aspects of the show. Now we could spend a very long-time gushing about how lucky we are to have so many amazing people to work with, but we’ll save that for a new section of our website – COMING SOON!
One thing we knew for sure, for BYAM, was that we wanted a specific set. Even in the original concept for the show we knew that we wanted some form of structure that would house the world we have created for Dan and Jess. We went backwards and forwards on how that would be manifested, knowing early on in the process that in order to tell their story we would be using a non-linear narrative. We needed something that would help to anchor our main storyline whilst allowing us to explore the past without confusing the audience.
This is the first time that we haven’t been flexible with spacing in the show. It’s not to say that we have no freedom, we do but we have to be a lot more specific about the venues we can tour to. The set was purpose built for the show, which is great because it’s the perfect size and also mirrors story elements such as packing boxes and moving ‘outside’ of our own comfort zones.
BYAM is very much a studio show. We are incredibly lucky that we have the support of the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC), meaning we do a lot of our rehearsals in their studio spaces. All of their studio spaces are very well equipped technically and are also great in terms of size. While we are very much aware that not all venues can house the show due to the set restrictions, we are confident that there are so many great venues that the show can work and thrive in.
Throughout the process, we have realised that some alterations need to be made to the set to make it lighter and more manageable. For example, we’ve cut some 6 metre poles into more manageable 3 metre sections. We intend to continue these alterations of the coming months before finally taking the show on the road!
This whole process has been a learning curve. A fantastic one. We think it’s safe to say, and no matter how cheesy it sounds, that over the past year we have grown so much as a company and it is the strongest we have ever been as a unit. We are so excited to close our laptops and get out on the road to show off what we’ve been working on, but in the meantime if you want us, we’ll be keeping those cogs turning at HQ!