The ‘Back of the Van’ Trilogy

“These guys are AMAZING!!!!…our kids also loved them. What a treat!” Lucy Davies, St David’s

“Such a special environment with lots of friends and neighbors (never happens when you travel to a far away theater)” Fiona Catrin Hopkins, Bala

“We’ve changed plans and stayed another night in #stdavids to see another play by @boxedintheatre.” Steph.is.going.places, St David’s

17 locations, 6 people, 3 shows.

1 van.

In the summer of 2018, BoxedIn Theatre returned with another exciting tour. Over the course of 3 months, we took a trilogy of shows to 17 rural and remote locations around the UK and Republic Ireland. This project was all about experimentation – we wanted to better understand why theatre tickets in the UK are so expensive. And why, despite that, theatre rarely gets out of its established regional hubs.

We went to a wide variety of locations, from Enniskillen with a population of 11,000 to Roundstone, with a population of less than 300. In each of our locations, we engaged local communities in discussion, trying to better understand how we can make our work more accessible, more relevant, and more engaging to them.

The project culimated in a 10-day run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – a space for us to connect with other arts companies and share our learning. During this time, we completely sold out one of our shows (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), while two of them (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and To The Ocean) were shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Club Theatre Awards.

The Shows

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream…but not like you’ve seen it before. This production took inspiration from summer fetes that take place across the villages and towns of the UK and Ireland, but if the fairy world taking control. Filled with music, magic, and outrageous mischief, this weird and wonderful romp was performed by 6 actors, and lasted just an hour. Hecting, exciting, and most of all, a lot of fun.

To the Ocean

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“Magic isn’t real. That’s the first thing that you should know – and if the choice to begin our fairy story in this way is a bit shocking to you, that’s because. Well. This isn’t like any other fairy story you’ve heard before.”

BoxedIn took their devised piece from late 2017 on tour with them, inviting audiences around the country in to a world of family, freedom, and fairy tales. A modern feminist interpretation of the Selkie myth, it social understandings of single-parent families through the lens of myth and magic in the modern world. It focused on the Selkie’s daughter, who grew up exclusively with her father, and re-cast the Selkie as a doctor who decided to leave her family and focus on her career.

For more information about this show, check out its page on our website!

Play On

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Shakespeare filled his plays with music. The tragedy, of course, is that all the old fogies get to use this as just another way of rooting the Bard firmly in the past. Well we said NO MORE! Play On was a collection of Shakespeare’s songs and poems set to music, taking inspiration from indie and folk bands of today, and mainly aiming to have a bit of fun.

This show was performed anywhere and everywhere – on street corners, in pubs, and perhaps even out the back of the van! We wanted to connect with people who may feel that Shakespeare isn’t for them, and demonstrate that usually, it’s just about having a good time!