Joe’s Thoughts

It’s been a week of clearing and tidying and getting our eye back on the ball after our wonderful weekend at Poltimore last week. We have been continuing our early workshops for Rogues and Wanderers (2nd,3rd, 4th November at The Bike Shed Theatre

At the moment, we are taking it in turns to facilitate a workshop for the group. With each workshop, we are realising the extent to which we have a luxurious set of tools to play with as we explore each other’s more individual skills and expertise in these workshops. Even though, we all worked together at university at some point, we all took different classes and modules and had different experiences of making performance. This is now presenting us with an exciting opportunity to learn from each other and share anything that we have to put on the table.

May we take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been reading our blog so far. It’s really nice for us to be able to share our thoughts and justifications for what we’ve been doing. As we progress into more focussed rehearsals and we start to focus more on generating solid material, the importance of this blog will become more and more important in documenting our progress.

In the meantime, SourDough member Joe Sellman Leava would like to share his thoughts about the beginnings of SourDough Theatre and what we’ve up to this week. (We applaud him for approaching blog writing in such a creative way) Enjoy!

The first conversation

With every member of SourDough present seems like yesterday

But already months have passed

Already we have staged two different shadow puppet performances at Poltimore house

Already we have begun workshops and meetings to generate material for Rogues and Wanderers

As our show-making month of September draws closer


Between our day-jobs and our night jobs

Between our early starts and our late finishes

Amongst every obstacle that life places just a few feet in front of the rehearsal room

SourDough Theatre keeps moving forward


In the space of just one week, the SourDough kitchen has gone from a puppet workshop

With cardboard off-cuts and paper fasteners littering the floor

Designs and cutting mats on the work surfaces

And puppets pinned on the noticed boards

To a meeting room with people crowded round our tiny table

Talking through narrative structures

And character archetypes

And plot devices


Some of us come to workshops after early shifts

Some come knowing they face a late shift afterwards

But everyone engages with them fully

Immerses themselves in each one with every creative fibre they have

Everyone takes a turn in leading workshops

Guiding their collaborators through exercises

And placing their trust in those who guide them


And then there are conversations about the future of the company

Ones that map out our schedules in days and weeks

Or our rehearsal process in months

Or where SourDough will be in a year’s time


That happen as we drag unwieldy chairs down old flights of steps

As we scribble notes by the laundrette window

As we polish glasses

And empty bottle bins

And pay our way through uncertainty

Conversations which remind us always why we’re here and what are goals are

And with each and every tiny breakthrough

With every baby step that takes us forward

Amongst the chaos and the calm

SourDough Theatre is working


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