THEATRE Royal Bath’s egg theatre has won an international award, at a festival in Philadelphia, for a production which began life as part of the Incubator programme to develop new work.
Bath based performance poet Toby Thompson first presented I Wish I Was A Mountain as a scratch performance at the egg’s annual Incubator showcase in 2017. Since then this innovative piece of theatre, based on a fairy tale by Herman Hesse, has been developed into a full-scale performance which has been acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, with The Guardian describing Toby as “a star in the making”.
I Wish I Was A Mountain was presented at the annual IPAY (International Association for Performing Arts for Youth) Showcase in Philadelphia, alongside productions and companies from South Korea, Canada, USA, Australia, Chile, Sweden, Ireland and Belgium. It was awarded the Showcase Victor Award, for the show voted the most popular at the festival by more than 400 delegates in attendance.
This award is a huge achievement for all involved with the new work programme at the egg theatre, as well as for Toby, who was a member of the egg’s Young People’s Theatre. At the age of 16, he was asked to perform one of his early poems for Kate Tempest and Cicely Berry at the RSC, and later at the Roundhouse and House of Lords.
Since then, he has appeared at major UK festivals, including Glastonbury, and regularly on the spoken word circuit, with commissions from the RSC, the Royal & Derngate Theatre in Northampton, and Bath-based charity 5x5x5=creativity.
I Wish I Was A Mountain is produced in association with award-winning Bristol-based theatremakers Travelling Light and was originally commissioned by Imaginate and Brighton Dome. It is directed by Lee Lyford, a former artistic director of the TRB Young People’s Theatre and now the artistic director of Cardiff-based Theatr Iolo.
The Incubator development programme has been running since 2014. The aim is to deepen the quality of art available for young audiences, and to inspire theatre makers to think about children and their place in our society differently, by giving artists space, time and support. The egg offers three selected artists the opportunity to develop a piece of theatre for a young audience over the course of a year.
[See the FTR review at http://www.theftr.co.uk/i-wish-i-was-a-mountain-egg-at-theatre-royal-bath/]