July 29, 2016

Read extracts from Samantha Gillingham’s Production Diary on Company Of Wolves with Activate Performing Arts

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With the performances now imminent, it’s all in the detail. Today involves contacting our generous volunteers to make sure they’re happy ahead of their arrival on site, planning signage, receiving and sending ticket sales reports and, amongst many other tasks, a final social media call to sell our last remaining tickets. The concept of the show is certainly an original one; inviting the audience to walk – or run – different routes and experiences the performance along the way. It’s hard to picture as it has been tough to sell, especially the running tickets, but now we are almost there with sales, I can relax a little and now can’t wait to see how the audience reacts to this enchanting experience.



Today is Dress Rehearsal day and I’m excited to see how this unique show takes shape and how the company will use Durlston Country Park to its best advantage. Before we get there, more ticket sale reports need to be collected, social media analysis done, contact sheets to be created and last minute schedule information to confirm plus a delve into Activate’s storage locker for event equipment; we really are queens of the gazebo! (plus an unrelated meeting to attend on Dorset Tourism into the bargain).

Then, finally, it’s time to don walking boots, grab torches (see my last comment under ‘Things I learned’) and get the rehearsal underway.

It’s a great feeling to see everyone’s work coming together so well and really magical watching the tale suddenly come together under the darkening sky. All went without a hitch too, phew!



Tonight’s the night; the first of the performances is finally upon us. After getting through the day’s regular workload with a feeling of quiet anticipation, I head off to Swanage along with a volunteer Running Nun (yes, you read that right!). After a briefing with the cast, crew and volunteers, it’s Thunderbirds Are Go!

The audience are fantastic, playing along and engaging with enthusiasm and it’s lovely to hear low chuckles of mirth and gasps of surprise as we move through the trees and fields. As the sun sets and a full moon rises, there’s something very special about seeing the bobbing lights of torches and feeling safe amongst a group of fellow humans in the darkness. All technical aspects worked well and I’m going home happy.


Continue reading here.

Photo by Theo Moye 29/10/14 Burn the Curtain present 'A Company of Wolves' at Sharpham House, near Totnes.