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How has 2020 treated The Boaty? So far...

By Alice Wyatt

Hello again!

It has certainly been a while since we caught you up with everything going on in the exciting lives of The Boaty! The end of our previous blog said that 2020 had big boots to fill and, well, in a way it sort of has… albeit in a different way than any of us could have imagined!

In much the same way as last year, the first few weeks of 2020 saw us performing Hamlet again, this time at The Lowry, Salford. We had originally scheduled two shows, both of which completely sold out, pushing us to add another night due to cast members families not yet having tickets! And yep, you guessed it…. The third night sold out too!

February came at us like a tornado. We were deep into our rehearsals for our performance of Dungeness with the youth theatre, for National Theatre Connections, and began work on two original plays, (‘Belladonna’ and ‘Tethered’) written by Laura Harris and Emily Sheriff, respectively. The latter two productions were set to be performed in the Leverhulme Drama Festival in April.

On top of all this, February saw us move into our new home on Whitby Road, The Boat Shed!!! We are immensely proud to now have a space that can be used for all of our creative needs. There is space for rehearsals, Sunday Social, not to mention our brand-new recording studio, lovingly donated by Chalice Media Limited.

And then… the storm that is Covid-19 hit us and hit us hard. With the closing of theatres in mid-March, our brilliant youth theatre group sadly did not get to perform at either Storyhouse or The Lowry as scheduled. The Leverhulme Drama Festival was also cancelled, meaning our original pieces have yet to be seen. HOWEVER… this could never stop the mighty Boaty team! We have moved all of our sessions online, rehearsals, Ed’s Riff Shop, and Sunday Social- we must say, although we can’t physically be together, we would much rather see our lovely Boaty family like this and safe than anything else.

T and I have also been extremely busy during lockdown – so much so that we are actually even busier during lockdown than before it! We have been putting together activity packs for children of low-income families, to keep them entertained while they’re stuck inside! So far, we have completed 200 packs, with another 200 more to go out! We hope everyone who has received a pack has had lots of fun with them!

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank the generosity of Arts Council England, Cheshire Community Foundation, and Cheshire and Cheshire West Council once again for their support and funding during these uncertain times. We could not have made it through the pandemic without you!

And that’s all for now folks! We will be sure to keep you updated of our adventures throughout the summer!

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