Train Hard, Fight Harder!

So we're all done with our first weekend long, intensive training course. All the attendees worked their socks off and walked away showing brilliant improvements and skill gains.

We have implemented a new "Range and Skill" system within the company's performers which allows them to have traceable progress and improvement based against standardised levels. At the beginning of this weekend, we don't think any of the attendees really had any idea what they were letting themselves in for!

To pick up range one you need to be proficient in at least 2 weapon sets, range 2 you must have 4 and so on and so forth. But the ranges aren't just based on the ability to fight well, there are also specialist skill requirements and performance points to hit for the "Skill" range too. So, given it was a totally new set up for the team how did they get on?

We're delighted to say everyone went away feeling like they'd really learned, progressed and skilled up. The work now begins to correctly grade our performers and give them all the feedback and coaching notes they require to grow and continue to improve. The most important thing is did they feel it was beneficial to their development? "The system's brilliant, you can actually see yourself improving" - Mark B, "Well, I've got a lot of work to do, but now I know what I'm aiming for!" - Ewan C "Definitely enjoyed it and with the range and skills we have something to continue to work towards" - Amy B

So from myself and the rest of the coaching team, a massive well done to everyone who came along and redefined their standard this weekend.

The dates for the next weekend have not been confirmed yet, but as soon as they are, we'll be sure to let you know! See you there.

Nobody died!

AVAST...Horde of Pirates are coming!

So it's nearly December, and for some folks that means decorations and trees and mince-pies and all that stuff. Not for us! It means PIRATES!

Well, for some of us it means PIRATES! For some of us it means "Stand ready to repel borders" and other such naval malarkey.

Yes, that's right! We're heading to the HMS Trincomalee this coming weekend for a showdown between the Brave fellows of the Hudson Bay Company and the Devious pirates that plagued colonial shipping in the 1800s...

There's loads of stuff going on through the days ranging from a festive market, to Storytelling aboard the magnificent vessel Herself all the way through to fire manipulation and of course our demonstrations of combat!

This means the crew are all busy with prepping costumes, weapons and generally getting their nautical heads on, we can't wait - why don't you come along and join us?

As if further incentive was needed this year marks Her Bi-Centenary, She's the oldest historic fighting ship still afloat. Come along and get all festive and get your hands on history!

 

Would you like to know more:

http://www.hms-trincomalee.co.uk/visit

It's about to get Wyrd...

So we're 4 days away from our next folklore performance and preparations are moving on a pace. The Wyrd Tales shows are always entertaining, for us as performers as well as for the audience. They are, by and large, unscripted and we try and have minimal rehearsals to allow the tales to take on their own organic forms as we tell them. We work from a traditional story and then develop it in our own, unique style.

This kind of show has it's own challenges compared to say; a regular stage show. The Wyrd Tales shows are performed with a small cast, so often (in-fact almost always) the performers have to play several roles, sometime in the same scene! There is no "back stage" area, everything happens in full view of the audience, costume changes, wig swaps, the whole works. 

We've always felt that stories should be told and there are so many ways to tell them. These shows have almost a Mummer's Play feel to them, but with the added chaos of never quite knowing what people are going to say or do next! It's all down to the Storyteller to keep the characters in line. Which should be easy, but we're in a pub, in front of a live audience, telling tales the team all know and love.

It's always fun, it's often silly and more often than not it's fairly inappropriate in the best possible way! An adult sense of humour is definitely required!

It's upstairs at The Bridge Hotel in Newcastle, opposite the Castle Keep. The bar staff are friendly, the food and beer are top notch and the company will, no doubt, be superb.

So...

See you there!!

 

Behind the Shows...

We've got 11 days until our next training session and 12 days until our next stage show. We're also getting geared up for our next event at the HMS Trincomalee.

So what are we actually doing when we're not at shows?

Well...

There's kit maintenance that needs doing almost constantly. This isn't a little job there's all sorts of things that need done between each show like repairing costume and props. The weapons we use are metal and so, require constant attention to keep them rust free and safe to use.

We write our own shows and scripts, so there's always work to be done there. None of our shows are ever "really" finished until we open - we're always tweaking and improving characters etc.

There's all the prep for our SFX, this involves ongoing practice and training, sometimes this is great fun, sometimes it's learning maddening details like composition of casting compounds.

There's all the training the team do too, it's not just one or 2 days a month for most of us - the display team are all working hard on their fitness and skills. Some of the team that are training for HMB/HEMA/Stunts also do regular training in multiple disciplines, gym work and so on!

There's more to a show than meets the eye - over the winter we'll have some "Behind The Shows" videos popping up on our Patreon and Youtube, so make sure you like and follow us on Facebook and twitter to keep up to date!