Hup trailer and Behup the Scenes

We are delighted to share these lovely little films made by Geraldine Heaney during our short work in progress tour. Thank you everyone who was involved. Let us know what you think?

Hup trailer

Behup the scenes


Press Hup

On Monday we were on the telly!

Here is a link to the clip on STV.

We have also been in the paper:

The Herald “They were a little upset when it ended, so RSNO violinist Liz Lloyd started playing again and the little ones resumed their awe-struck state.”

And our very own film maker Geraldine Heaney took this beautiful photo at the Williamson Family Centre. A huge thanks to everyone who came to our performance there for all your support with the cameras and interviews.

Hup Cast

Hup Cast

Time(lapse) capsule

It was our last Nickum play sessions next week, as we move into rehearsals. Next week we will be sharing a work in progress performance with our groups and saying goodbye. Our session in Ashgrove Childrens Centre was outside on the lawn, and I wanted to share a little timelaspe film which captures the feel of our time here. We were joined by cellist Andrew Huggan, and director Matt Addicott.

Hundreds and Thousands…

…of lovely things happened last week.

Firstly, we had a visitor at Ashgrove and Maisie’s, in the form of theatre maker Emily Magorrian.  Emily brought lots and lots of jars and pots and tubs filled with hundreds and thousands with her.  We had lots of fun drumming, shaking, stacking and jamming.  They not only made a great sound, but looked lovely too. Thanks for your ideas and fun Emily!

It was really lovely to share some of our residency with Emily at this late stage in the process.  As we are now so close to the show, it was great to re-focus on our sessions and take some time to think about how much fun we have had in both centres week after week.  Introducing Emily to all our friends at Ashgrove and Maisie’s, reflecting on some of the process with her, and hearing how much she enjoyed sharing in our sessions was a final reminder of how fortunate we have been to be in two such brilliant centres for the last six months. We have been hugely supported by parents and staff and are so grateful for that. We have also had delightful babies to explore with, create with, dance with, play with, jam with and chill with… such valuable experiences for us, and we hope for them too.

It has been lovely at Ashgrove over the last few weeks to meet so many new people as well.  We enjoyed a fun session with friends we have known for months…


and with those we have known for only a few weeks…



Time is nearly Hup


Would you like to know more about Elizabeth Lloyd the fantastic violinist who we have had the pleasure of working with on development for our show Hup? Including what she might bring to a desert island? Thought so. Here is a link to an interview with her on the RSNO website.

The team also includes cellist Andrew Huggan and theatre director Matt Addicott (as our dramaturg) and film maker Geraldine Heaney. At the end of an exciting development week I feel very lucky to be working with so many talented, passionate artists who are so generously taking great care over our project. The show feels very exciting, and the process so far has been really special. It feels both personally rewarding because of the connections we have made in Aberdeen with the children, parents and childcare staff, and artistically rewarding because of these established artists from very different backgrounds collaborating in new territory. Hearing Abi’s composition played by these incredible musicians for the first time, I couldn’t hold back the huge grin on my face, and it didn’t go away all week.

Below are some photos from the last session at Ashgrove, and as I was looking at them just now, I got very excited about this weeks session. All the little ideas we have been working on over the last 5 months are now forming into a show, and on Wednesday everyone in the team is getting on the train to Aberdeen so that we can share them, and then work with the response. Not long now…

IMG_6988 IMG_6924 IMG_6907  The beautiful photos in today’s blog were taken by Geraldine Heaney.

A Conversation about baby theatre

So, you’re making a show for babies?

 Yep. For 0-24 month olds and their parents or carers.

Oh, that’s different. How does that work?

Well, we have written a script, and cast performers, and we will rehearse it like any other show and then do a tour.

In theatres?

Actually, this time we are touring round nurseries, crèches and libraries.

 So it’s educational?

Well, that isn’t our starting point. We believe that everyone should have access to quality artistic experiences (which is in line with the Curriculum for Excellence) and we are interested to perform in non-theatre spaces. We’ve also been working in a nursery and a family centre to come up with ideas for this show so it makes sense to perform it in similar spaces. It’s been great to develop it with the children’s responses in mind and they have enjoyed hearing live music and exploring creative ideas each week- so it’s win-win!

Does that mean that these babies perform in the show?

No. Professional actors and musicians perform the show.

So, the babies are the audience then? Do they just sit and watch? I don’t think my baby would do that…

They are the audience, and some of them do want to sit, or lie, or have a cuddle; but some want to explore and we have designed the show with that in mind. So whatever the baby wants to do is great with us.

So even if they dribble on you? Or cry?

Ha ha! Yep, we have been drooled on in the past. Our aim is to create a relaxing, stress free, enjoyable experience. But, yeah, babies sometimes cry, we know that- please don’t worry about it!

So do you teach them nursery rhymes? Is it songs with actions?

Actually, we wanted to try something a bit different and for this project we have been lucky enough to work with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, so we’ve been using classical music. So there are two violins and a cello in the show, and no singing or actions.

So is it storytelling?

Sort of, but acted out- with no words- if that makes sense. You have to come and see for yourself!

Music to Our Ears

Let me introduce you to Beth, one of the lovely staff members at Maisie Munro.


In a discussion about creativity at our first CPD session at Maisie Munro, Beth told us that she had been learning to play the guitar.  It just so happened that I had my guitar in Maisie’s for our session on the sea this week…. and with a little light persuasion Beth showed us her skills, along with her absolutely beautiful singing voice.  It was amazing!  She had the full attention of the whole room as the children stopped in their tracks and watched on with eyes wide – it seems like they loved her performance just as much as we did.  Thanks Beth!

Another interesting musical experience today was sharing some of the show music with the children.  Hazel and I have been working hard on the script and the music for the show over the past few weeks, and the music is almost ready.  To test it out we made a CD of a few of the tracks, which seemed to go down well in the nursery today.  The children listened really carefully and we saw some lovely responses.  An exciting moment as everything comes together!