6 February 2015 •
Grounded on tourGrounded on tour…
We’re three weeks into the new year, and we’re passed the mid point of the Grounded tour. The team had a break from drones for Christmas, and this week we’re back on the road - our first stop is Sheffield Crucible Studio.
We had an excellent six weeks of touring in 2014 - visiting 17 venues, and doing 31 performances, for over 2,500 people. And by the time we finish at Chipping Norton Theatre on 19 February, Gate’s version of Grounded will have done 189 performances since it began at Edinburgh Fringe in 2013!
Six weeks of this tour has been to venues booked by house theatre, allowing us to take the show to more rural venues in the South East and East, or venues that traditionally struggle to programme contemporary work. This has been a real treat - we’ve been welcomed by some very warm and thoughtful audiences.
A highlight for me has been connecting with James Bridle’s Drone Shadow at a couple of places on tour - an artwork which I wrote a post about in September here if you’d like to know more about that brilliant project, when we created our first Drone Shadow in Birmingham. Whist in Manchester we were able to create our second Drone Shadow. The Royal Exchange was as excited as us, and invited us to create it in a very public part of their building. We created the life-size outline of a Predator drone this time, which is common in the UK. At over 8m long, it was a particularly imposing sight in the middle of the foyer next to the bar, and gave us good opportunity to chat to people about drones, and about the show.
That has been the thing that has been rewarding at every step of the way - how open people have been to discussing the issues raised in George Brant’s play, and how interested people have been in the show’s portrayal of the ethics and effects of remote warfare and drone technology.
It’s hard to believe there’s just five more weeks of travelling about England... 20 performances to go.