I moved to Cheltenham almost three years ago and, to be honest, all I really knew about it before I moved here was the Festivals, Cheltenham Everyman and the fact everyone said ‘oooh how LOVELY’ whenever I said I was moving here (although no one seems to actually know where in the country Cheltenham is!)
Since I’ve been here though, I’ve discovered an absolute gem… and it’s not in Cheltenham! Based in Gloucester, Strike A Light are a performing arts organisation striving to bring exciting, contemporary performances to Gloucestershire. Strike A Light run two core festivals a year, ran the Rooftop Festival this summer and are creating a magical version of The Snow Queen for Blackfriars this Christmas.
Coming up next week is their autumn festival from 10 – 17 October and there are lots of really fantastic shows for all ages. As a registered charity with a mission to make culture for all, they aim to keep their ticket prices affordable for all, with most tickets at £10 or under, much less for their family work. Times and dates vary so check their website (https://www.strikealightfestival.org.uk) for more information:
Ages 2 – 5: Plink and Boo
Welcome to the topsy turvy world of Plink and Boo. Using acrobatics, live music and mountains of toys, join us in an interactive circus theatre adventure to explore what happens when people don’t fit into boxes (even if it is the neatest place to put them). A circus theatre experience for 2-5 year olds and their not-so-grown-ups. This show is accessible to Deaf and EAL audiences, and all performances are ‘relaxed’
Tickets £3 – you can book here.
Ages 3+: Moon
Follow Jack as he meets Mr Moon and together they embark on an amazing adventure; what secrets, characters and surprises will they discover on their quest?
Watch Jack’s world come to life with giant quilts, aerial hoop, breath-taking dance and a whole host of mess and mayhem.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s original story What The Moon Saw and reimagined by 2Faced Dance Company, this new accessible, outdoor dance and circus performance is perfect for little ones and their families.
FREE EVENT – you can book here.
Ages 7 – 12: Ground Control
NO ADULTS ALLOWED!
Here’s the situation: in 1974, a manned mission was sent into space to look for inhabitable planets. Now, in present day, the sensors aboard Shuttle X27-40 indicate that it may have found just such a planet. Three astronauts on board are about to be woken from their hypersleep …and they need your help.
Using a giant projection screen and a live, highly intelligent computer, you will be part of a team deciding on an identity for the planet, its laws and values.
Tickets £5 – you can book here.
14+: Foreign Radical
Thirty participants are invited into an intriguing theatrical game world, exploring security, profiling, freedom of expression and privacy in the age of cyber-surveillance. Mobile throughout the performance, participants collaborate, compete, investigate, debate and spy on each other.
Depending on personal and group responses to various questions posed by the game’s ‘host’, participants witness different perspectives on the action, gathering evidence from dramatic scenes and documentary media that colour their views and how they play the game. Each performance is unique in that the audience dynamic influences the outcome.
Winner of Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2017
Tickets £10 / £7 concessions – tickets available here.
They’ve also got three shows in association with Lives of Colour for Black History Month Gloucestershire (Water, Bread and Salt, Coat and Black), a beautiful piece of acrobatics about relationships (Knot) and a dance piece exploring the boundaries between the artificial and the real (I Infinite).
I absolutely love attending Strike A Light events and, in the spirit of being totally open and honest, it’s been an absolute pleasure working with the passionate and inspirational team behind it all for the last six months. I was so happy when I discovered them last year; this is exciting contemporary performance in Gloucestershire from acclaimed national and international companies at a truly affordable price.
My fellow theatre attender (in the feature image) thinks so too… (pictured at the March festival)
A Guest Blog from Emma Bright
Emma lives in Cheltenham with 2-year-old Arlo, husband Rich and dog Alfie. Emma runs Bright Marketing, a marketing agency which specialises in working with performing arts organisations. Passionate about really great theatre and encouraging people to know that theatre can be for everyone, Emma has been lucky to work on a huge range of shows from large scale musicals to a zombie apocalypse in an underground warehouse and with bestselling author Julia Donaldson on her live show.