By: Justine Watkins-Fife On: November 13, 2019 In: News Comments: 0

Hooray! It’s a joy to be back in the rehearsal room with Gecko’s  Associate Director Helen Baggett again, after the success of LaunchPad. Helen is back working with us as Movement Director on our next exciting project which will see us create a piece of touring theatre entitled The Drum. Taking inspiration from a Hindu story of a boy who dreams of having a drum and the journey he goes on,  we will devise and create an exciting original piece of physical theatre exploring themes of  well-being, sharing and building stronger communities.

The Drum will see the trainees from our weekly Actor Training Programme work alongside two physical theatre performers, Laura Ryder and Chris Yarnell. Laura is a theatre maker and performer based in the East Midlands, she creates shows about the environment and her next show Slow Violence has been commissioned by China Plate. Alongside making her own work, Laura works with Derby Theatre’s Youth Theatres and has worked as an Associate Artist with Hubbub on the This is Derby Project and One Moon.

Chris is a director, theatre maker and actor who trained with the acclaimed New Wolsey Young Company and received a first-class honours degree from East 15 in 2014. He is a skilled stage and close up magician, singer/ songwriter and choreographer in addition to being a member of the Young Vic’s Genesis directors scheme. His previous work has won the Les Enfants Terribles Partnership Award and The Stage Award.

The creative team will also see Composer and Musician, Ines Sampaio and Designer Maria Terry join our Artistic Director, Jen and Helen in the Creative Development process.

Alongside creating the physical theatre piece we will be involving local community groups, schools and organisations who work with people with learning disabilities, through workshops and invitations to join us to see the work as it progresses. Please do contact us if this is of interest to you or watch out for more updates…

It is really exciting for us that this project will also give us the opportunity to share our methods of working that have brought us to where we are today. We will be creating a film and toolkit about ‘The Hubbub Way’ and also delivering workshops to artists and students in Derby.

As ever,  The Drum will help us to promote inclusive working, showcase the potential of people with learning disabilities and challenging perceptions.

We managed to grab a few minutes with Laura and Chris in between rehearsals and here’s what they had to say about getting involved with The Drum:

Laura said,

“I’m delighted to be starting working on The Drum with Hubbub, the story feels so relevant and political and I’m really excited about the creative ideas that will come from the R&D rehearsal period. Having seen Hubbub’s work and had the joy of working with them on previous workshops and shows, I can’t wait to see how we bring to life this story with a Hubbub twist. I’m really looking forward to the collaboration with Helen Baggett and the team and can’t wait to get in the rehearsals with everyone.”

Chris Said:

“I am super excited to be working with Hubbub on The Drum. Having trained as a physical theatre performer, and working as a theatre maker, all I ever want to do is collaborate with exciting and passionate people to create work with a strong message at its heart. This is exactly what first attracted me to working with the company and since meeting them, I am even more keen to get stuck in, have some fun, tell some stories!”

We’ll introduce you to the rest of the creative team in the coming weeks and will be sure to post some photos and film footage from our first rehearsals very soon.


The Drum is being created with funding from Arts Council England and The Garfield Weston Foundation, Derby City Council, Foundation Derbyshire’s Ashby Fund and the Forbes Foundation

Special thanks to our funders and our partners at Derby Theatre and Déda for helping to make The Drum possible.



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