History - Blah Blah Blahs Theatre Company
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History

Artistic – a few milestones

1985 – The first Blah show, Battlefield – inspired by Jeff Nuttall’s book Bomb Culture and a very large record collection. Youth workers liked it and we did a youth centre tour. We are still touring youth centres.

 

1987 – The House That Jack Built the first of ten shows the playwright Mike Kenny (included on list of top ten living playwrights in the Independent on Sunday 2003) has written for us so far. He is a big influence on the Blahs.

 

1991 – A Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare adapted for a primary school audience and our first piece of participatory theatre merging the play and workshop.

 

1996 – Stuck by Mike Kenny, the story of the Siamese twins Chang and Eng – short listed for Writer’s Guild Best Children’s Play.

 

1998 – Angel, a production of Mark Catley’s first play which set him up as a playwright.

 

2002 – Five week residency in a primary school in India where we created our first programme for professional development of teachers.

 

2000 – 2010  Silas Marner, a participatory theatre programme commissioned by Richmond Hill Primary Learning Network initially for a three year project but just kept on going.

 

2005 – Dice by Mark Catley – first show produced and directed by Ruth Cooper for the Blahs.

 

2005 – Dick Downing introduces the Blahs to the concept of the Mutual Learning Triangle describing a learning exchange between artist, teacher and pupil.

 

2006 – Raft of the Medusa is the first participatory show to be produced through our Company of Teachers project in Rotherham.

 

2009 – When the Wind Changed first show produced by the Blahs for Early Years children.

 

2010 – Stuck gets its second production after fourteen years. Directed by Ruth Cooper for a national tour in the Blahs twenty fifth year.

 

Collaborations which have made an impact on the Blahs work

The Gallery and Studio Theatre at Leeds Met, Connecting Youth Culture in North Yorkshire, Richmond Hill Primary Learning Network, West Yorkshire Playhouse Schools Company, BDR Creative Partnerships in Rotherham.

 

Mentors who have made an impact on the Blahs work

Mike Kenny, playwright; Eileen Pennington, drama specialist and long term collaborator with Dorothy Heathcote; Sue Morrison, clown through mask teacher; Guy Dartnell, theatre maker and mentor; John Holt, consultant; Mick Connell, School Improvement Adviser English, Drama and the Arts.

 

Structure and Funding

1985 – 1993 the Blahs operated as a partnership.
1994present, the company became a company limited by guarantee (No 2909605) with charitable status (No 1039935) and appointed a Board of Directors.

 

We are an Arts Council of England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) and we are part of Leeds City Council’s arts@leeds portfolio.