The final stages of rehearsals for GAME FACE

Olivia Mae Foong is a member of Curve Young Productions and currently in rehearsals for the Curve Young Company show GAME FACE (5-7 July).

Missed me?

Incredibly sorry about the lack of updates.  As many of you are aware, exam period has just finished and I could not be any more relieved.

However, all of that couldn’t keep me away from you for long. Despite all the exams that our company have taken these past few weeks, rehearsals have been equally intense. With not long until technical week, we started our run throughs a few weeks ago and things are definitely looking good.

Let me fill you in on a few things that our company has been up to:

Photo by Hollis Photography

Our amazing band of Milly, Rae, George and Prash performed at the National Tourism Awards across the road at The Athena to represent the Curve. It was a 1930’s themed evening and they had to wear clothes from that era (Milly even had rollers in during the rehearsal beforehand). They impressed an audience of over 500 guests with a selected few pieces from Game Face and we couldn’t be more proud of them.We have a teaser for the show on Youtube – Check it out here and share it with your friends and family. It’s also being played everyday up until the show on the big screen in town!

We also have some more photos of us on the Curve Young Company Facebook page, some rehearsal photos this time from the amazing Emma Kesterton. I’ve had a few people ask me what we’re doing in some of them, but it’s gotten to this point where I’m not sure what I’m allowed to tell you or not! You’ll just have to come to see the show yourself.

Remember me telling you about how our company has gone newspaper crazy? Well today our Curve Young Technicians spent the day fireproofing around 600 sheets of newspaper for the show. Standard procedure for the Curve Young Company…

With technical week fast approaching, I’ll try my best to keep you all more updated!

Rehearsal photo by Emma Kesterton

Curve Young Company present
5 – 7 July
Tickets £5
Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 /

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Is determination everything?

This month has been especially busy for the Digital and Online Team of the Young Marketing Forum, as this month we have prepared, cast and produced a trailer for the Curve Young production Game Face, assisting us with this task is aspiring photographer Briony Latter who helps us to bring our vision to life.

Online and Digital Team- Ricky and Victoria with Briony Latter. Photo courtesy of Jamil Teja. 

The concept for the trailer, was conceived from an inspiration image featuring a teenage girl holding a quote from author E.B. White, the initial quote did not fit the direction we were looking to pursue, but the expression, mood and feelings that the picture evoked were striking to members of the Marketing Forum, from this stimuli we wanted to create something that was simple, but allowed viewers to engage and recall relevant thoughts based on the questions we were asking – I guess you could say that the finished product, was designed to allow us all to interpret the questions in our own way, as after all we all see the world in a different way.

Does everyone have the same opportunities? Photo courtesy of Briony Latter. 

From the initial concept, we were able to meet the cast who I have to say were great fun to work with, so after watching short extracts from the rehearsals it was time to make a difficult decision, which members of the Young Company would represent the final 8 Olympic values that we wanted to show? We wanted to show the personalities of the Young Company, whilst still retaining the key values which we were trying to convey. And I have to say the list was changing right up until the final 8 were told that they would be featured in the campaign.

After casting was complete we had to finalise the 8 themes, and also the order we wanted to present them, one key thing to note here is that although some elements were planned, we wanted to keep it relaxed; but not too relaxed that it was chaos ;-).

Is determination everything? Photo courtesy of Briony Latter. 

Throughout our meetings Briony was able to see our thought process and also provide us with a technical prospective, we wanted our actors to convey the Olympic values through their screen time, and give the audience an opportunity to think about how the questions affect them in their everyday lives, and allow many different interpretations.

On the 8th May we agreed the layout, our young actors arrived- and then the transition from paper to reality began. We started by briefing the cast, and giving them an idea of the shots we wanted, as the video was reliant on still images, it was imperative that each shot was consistent with the previous, and blended seamlessly into the next, the shoot lasted just over 1 hour, and in that time over 600 still images were taken.

Between the main title shot, we wanted to add images of inspiration both from rehearsals, so that the audience can see the development of the piece. And also inspirational and metaphorical references, I cannot tell you specifically what each picture means, as that is for you to decide.

I am glad that as a team, we were able to explore some of the values we were trying to convey, mostly that success starts with opportunity as the Communications Team at Curve, placed a lot of trust in us to create this teaser and gave us an opportunity to shine, but opportunity alone does not equal success, you have to work hard to achieve your goals and above all enjoy the journey.


Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 /

Are you part of the Game Face cast? Keep us updated with how rehearsals are going here and have a go at writing your own blog – get in touch with Lucy Pickering to find out more.

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Curve Young Company present GAME FACE

Curve Young Company present GAME FACE

On your marks… Get set… GO!

Curve Young Company presents

Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 July
Press Performance: Thursday 5 July

Curve Young Productions are a group of talented and adventurous young performers who create new and bold pieces of theatre. Following last year’s sell-out success 3AM, 2012’s group are devising a daring production, GAME FACE.

Inspired by the Olympic values of respect, excellence, friendship, courage, determination and equality and carrying the official Inspire mark of London 2012, The story follows a group of reporters desperate to get an Olympic scoop, but the task proves harder than they first thought and they become drawn into the real stories that emerge.

This bold and original piece has been devised by a group of 29 young people in Leicester, under the guidance of the professional creative team at Curve. The young productions members (aged 12-26) have explored what the Games mean to the country, to Leicester and to individuals. The company have taken real-life stories framed in their ideas to create a fresh piece of drama for Curve’s Studio.

Follow our intrepid reporters searching for their next scoop as they uncover the true meaning of the Olympics. Game Face explores real-life stories through humour, physical theatre and on stage live music composed for the show by members of the company.

The production will have an original soundtrack is provided by a live band of CYC members:
Music, Lyrics, Piano and Vocals: Milly Bianchini
Bass and Guitar: George Hartop
Percussion and Piano: Rae Laverick
Guitar: Prash Gor

The production brings together all 50+ members of Curve Young Company on one project. The performers are working with an emerging playwright, Louise Singleton to devise the script. The staging of the productions will be realised by a young designer and a team of young technicians. A group of young workshop leaders will lead learning activities and the show will be promoted by Curve’s young marketing forum.

Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 /

Are you part of the Game Face cast? Keep us updated with how rehearsals are going here and have a go at writing your own blog – get in touch with Lucy Pickering to find out more.

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An update from a Curve Young Arts Entrepeneur

Bethany Taylor (aged 18) is one of ten ‘Young Arts Entrepeneurs’ (YAE) developing a project to deliver in their community with the support of Curve theatre. Bethany’s project is “Operation:Act!” by Cognito Theatre, which will be a Theatre in Education programme working with Years 5-7, introducing them to the world of theatre and drama whilst developing their awareness of emotional and mental health, and emphasisng the importance of talking about how we feel.

This is one of her updates on how she is bringing this project to life. To find out more and for updates visit Bethany’s blog 

Saturday 19th May – Young People’s Day at Embrace Arts

On Saturday 19th YAE went across town to Embrace Arts at the University of Leicester to showcase our projects and work with young people at one of the Young People Connected events run by Soft Touch Arts. In the foyer, along with other local arts people we were able to showcase any business cards or promotional items we had to start ‘putting ourselves out there’.

The morning was focused on kids aged up to 13, and so at a few points I helped run drama workshops with Aminata and Jenna, specifically I personally led some warm ups. Although the majority of kids were younger than those I plan to work with in my Theatre in Education workshops, the experience of being in charge of that sort of situation was still very valuable of course, and they seemed to really enjoy it which gave me a brilliant buzz!

One of the most important parts of the day though was being able to link in with the other practitioners and arts businesses who were showcasing themselves too. I had a brief chat with The Mighty Creatives about their funding opportunities and met Tom Cleaver of Mr Cleaver’s Monsters, a scenic artist who I have been chatting with about the possibility of him building some work for our installation. In the afternoon there were performances from those aged 13+, and one of the performers, a musician named Nijah, I have also been in touch with about possibly producing some music for the video aspect of the installation. This would get yet another young local person involved in the project, plus he already has  a fanbase who would also be perhaps interested in coming along to see the finished Cognito piece.

Demon FM (from De Montfort University) were covering the event and conducted an interview with myself and Jenna.

Through somewhereto, John Lewis have expressed interest in hosting the installation over the summer, and the city council are also going to provide us with details about possible empty shop spaces or other space in the city centre we could use. Getting spaces through somewhereto could ultimately save me a large chunk of funding.

I’ve also just finished a rough copy of the script for the film aspect for DYEMTT (Do You Expect Me to Talk?), although I now need to find another filmmaker as my original contact has had to back out. I’ve literally just started to call for interested local actors, but I’m hoping Curve can help me out with this.

Earlier this week, Claire the Media Officer at Curve contacted me asking if I’d do a phone interview with Meera at Pukaar Magazine. I quickly accepted and spent 30 minutes chatting with Meera about the YAE scheme in general, my own background in theatre, what Cognito is all about, and the importance of talking about mental health. It was a great chance to start spreading the word about our work and I’m indebted to Claire for the opportunity! Hopefully the next issue of the magazine will be out soon.

Workshop-wise, I now have a booking for a full day on Thursday 5th July at Husbands Bosworth Primary, and an afternoon at Dunton Bassett Primary at the end of June.

Nathan (from Citizen 598 Theatre) has recommended I start looking at pop-up banners etc, and I’ve found looks to be quite good for these sorts of items. I’ve now put all my budget work into a proper spreadsheet, so I think now I need to spend a bit of time analysing this and properly considering how I will spend the rest of my funding. I also need to get things sorted and planned for how I will spend my rehearsal day at Curve on Saturday 9th June.

Could your dog be on stage? Bullseye auditions for Oliver!

Paul Kerryson is looking to cast local dogs to play the role of Bullseye in Curve’s forthcoming community production of the ever-popular musical, OLIVER!

Following  last summer’s Curve Community Production, WEST SIDE STORY, the production team at Curve will once again join a talented cast of local individuals, and dogs, to present one of the most successful musicals of all time.

Director, Paul Kerryson has been auditioning talented hopefuls for the last few months and he is now looking for Bill Sikes’ brutal sidekick dog, Bullseye.

Appearing alongside the actor playing Bulleye’s owner Bill Sikes, Curve is looking to cast multiple dogs to perform on alternate performances. Close to confirming casting for the entire company, Bullseye will be the final addition.

Kerryson says:
‘I am looking for a Bulldog, English Terrier or similar breed of dog to perform in different performances of OLIVER! They will need to act fiery on stage, but of course be friendly backstage and in rehearsals. We recently had seven dogs in our recent production of GYPSY, who did very well and added something extra to the live performance.This is a unique opportunity and the successful dogs will have a substantial role in the production. Owners can of course be on hand in the wings – it will be a memorable experience for an owner and their best friend.’

Sara Hartop’s dog Fudge recently appeared in Gypsy at the theatre, she commented:
‘Fudge had a fantastic time performing at Curve. It was great for the whole family to see her on stage and she became quite a diva by the end of the run!’

The pets and owners will be required for a number of rehearsals starting in early July and have to be available for the run of the show: 31 July – 12 August

Interested owners should not delay in getting in touch to book their dog in for a meeting with Paul Kerryson by contacting Assistant Producer, Alex Smith by Friday 1 June.

Please include dog’s name, photo and owner’s contact details.
Alex Smith  0116 2423560 /

CYC Game Face rehearsals: music, photos and more scenes blocked

Olivia gives an update on this week’s Game Face rehearsals

Remember what I said last week about us having so much more? Well, another scene was blocked tonight! There’s nothing greater than it being 9:15pm and the whole ensemble performing a very emotional scene, with no major mistakes, which we’ve spent two rehearsals working on.

The company has been newspaper crazy for the past few days in rehearsals. I can guarantee that if you handed a cast member of Game Face a sheet of newspaper, they’ll either triumphantly start making some origami or break down in sheer confusion.

We also had a cast photo shoot today. It’s not easy to fit a twenty-odd cast into one photo, let me tell you, but from what I’ve seen, the photos are looking really good! Special thanks to Ricky, Vicky and the Marketing Forum for creating that!

Curve Young Productions, photo by Briony Latter

Perhaps the main highlight of the evening was the preview of the Game Face band’s music. We had a taste of Milly Bianchini’s musical genius last year in 3am and she’s back with some absolutely amazing new work. Such a beautiful piece we’ve listened to and I can say, on behalf of the cast, that we all feel truly honoured to be working with such talented musicians.

Even if you don’t like theatre, which would be odd as to why you’re reading this in the first place, I’d still say that you should get tickets just to hear the great music.

But if you are one of the sane people that have already bought their ticket, you should go and join the Facebook event page and jump in all the talk on Twitter using the hash tag #CYCGameFace

Olivia Mae Foong is a member of Curve Young Productions and currently in rehearsals for the Curve Young Company show GAME FACE (5-7 July).

Tickets and information: 0116 242 3595 / book online

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Game Face – early rehearsals

You know what’s great about falling flat on your face? Nothing really. But after that happens to you, nothing else can really go wrong.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, it’s because someone, namely me, got a bit too adventurous in today’s rehearsal when performing lifts for Game Face ’s opening scene and my first try of the evening went horribly wrong and ended up with me face down in Rehearsal Room 3. I don’t want to give too much away, but if you heard loud banging, shouting, screaming, a bit of ambient music and the occasional shout of pain; it was probably Curve Young Productions.

Today’s rehearsal was great though. With the actors, technicians and marketing team coming tgether, there’s definitely a strong sense of Curve Young Company in the building. It’s amazing to see short scenes and exercises that we’ve been working on since October, where we’d wonder “Why are we doing this? What’s our director up to?!” suddenly turn into a piece of theatre and guess what? We still have so much more to go.

Curve Young Productions rehearsals, photo by Emma

I know this is the first rehearsal blog post for Game Face, but I won’t get into too many details (just yet!) on what it’s about. Check the website yourself. Whilst you’re at it, you can book your tickets for the show too! After the success of ‘3am’ last year, tickets are guaranteed to sell out fast.Olivia Mae Foong is a member of Curve Young Productions and currently in rehearsals for the Curve Young Company show GAME FACE (5-7 July).

Tickets and information: 0116 242 3595 / book online


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YAE – How We Are Getting On

I am sat here thinking ‘All right, what’s the best way to sum up the past few weeks and moments that have passed without doing them any injustice?’ and frankly I don’t think it’s possible. However, I’m going to try and cut down on the injustice in my attempt to update you.

The journey so far has been fantastic, thought-provoking, enlightening and fun among so much more. From the word go we have been working with talented artists who have been an inspiration, great examples to learn from and a form of support throughout. Citizen598 in particular have been exceptional in their support and advice even outside the training sessions that we had at Curve. The different personalities that we are as the YAE seem to have blended in well. This was quite apparent when we spent the day with weapons of sound who led us through a process of creating 2 pieces of performances in a few hours. Personally, I thought it was absolutely incredible on their part and on ours as a group. We also met and spent time with Phil Mackenzie who has been in theatre for over 30 years and has what I would call a stash of wisdom that only experience can grant a person.

All the different ideas are starting to bud off and we had opportunities to show each other what exactly we’re going to be doing. Single-mindedness and open-mindedness are interesting things to have at the same time but the past few weeks have helped me to be better able to stand firm on my desired ground but also be willing to learn from others. This has been a learning process where we have taken on challenges in almost every session and watched each other grow in the process. Through all this there was always more than enough positivity resonating from the remarkable Tim Ford…who each time makes me wonder where he constantly refills…a question I should definitely think about asking him. He’s a talented artist who will do what he can to bring out the best out of everyone under his wing.

Every YAE session has had something different and new. It’s been a great atmosphere to come to and just so you guys don’t get a biased opinion I have asked the other YAE’s how they are finding the project and this is what they said;

‘YAE has given me a lot of knowledge and confidence in being able to go into the arts industry and do what I want to do. Also the YAE group have been so supportive of each other, every time I’ve had a bad day I’d have forgotten about my worries after a YAE session.’ – Kulvir

‘Curve YAE has been an amazing experience, I’ve learnt so much and I’m so grateful for the support. It’s been a fantastic opportunity that has allowed me to develop my skills on a number of levels. I always knew I wanted to make theatre and I always knew I wanted my own business. Curve YAE has enabled me to see how both passions can work together :D.’ – Aminata

‘I’ve really learnt so much in a short space of time and met brilliant people who are really passionate about the arts :)’ – Bethany

I am clearly not on my own in thinking we are privileged to be a part of the project and have gained so much in a matter of weeks. I am excited to see what the future holds for us all. Thank you for taking time to read and please do keep watching this space for more updates.

Vicky (Curve YMF and YAE)

Premiere of new stage adaptation of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS

Premiere of new stage adaptation of GULLIVER'S TRAVELS

Based on the classic book by Jonathan Swift World premiere of a new stage adaptation for schools and family audiences aged 9+

As part of Leicester’s Spark Children’s Arts Festival, a new adaptation of the much-loved tale of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS will premiere in the Studio at Curve. The production is the culmination of more than a year’s research and development work with local young people. Dragon Breath and Curve bring Swift’s tale to life for modern audiences with their celebrated epic, visual performance style, in award-winning playwright Peter Rumney’s adaptation.

It’s 1699. Lemuel Gulliver sets sail from England for lands unknown. Shipwrecked, he finds himself to be a powerful giant in one land, a tiny plaything in another. Then, abandoned by his crew, he discovers a flying island, and a strange world where men are beasts ruled by beautiful, civilised horses. Meanwhile, Gulliver’s daughter Molly waits at home for his return, and to hear his extraordinary tale. But Gulliver’s adventures have changed him for ever…. Can Molly help him truly return to the world he left behind?

Watch this space for behind the scenes blogs and updates from rehearsals.

Tickets and Information: 0116 242 3595 /

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Curve co-production DESH wins Olivier award

Curve co-production DESH wins Olivier award

Curve was acknowledged at the prestigious Olivier awards for the first time last night.

Their co-production with Akram Khan Company for DESH won in the ‘Best New Dance Production’ category was announced at the awards ceremony last night at the Royal Opera House.

DESH received its World Premiere at Curve in September 2011. This followed a six week residency by Akram Khan Company, in which they finalised the piece and took advantage of Curve’s technical capabilities and expertise. Taking inspiration from his homeland, Khan choreographed and performed this full-length solo show in which he used his body and voice to portray several characters familiar in daily Bangladeshi culture.

DESH, in addition to Curve’s previous co-productions with Khan, IN-I and VERTICAL ROAD have helped to put Leicester on the international dance map and built Curve’s reputation as a leading dance venue. Following their runs at Curve, all three productions have subsequently played London’s Sadler’s Wells and toured internationally. VERTICAL ROAD continues to tour the world having visited 55 venues playing to a total of 80,000 people so far.

Also nominated in the same category for ‘Best New Dance Production’, ZooNation’s SOME LIKE IT HIP HOP, has been co-commissioned by Curve and will visit the theatre in autumn 2012.

Fiona Allan, Curve’s Chief Executive says:

“We are incredibly proud that Curve has been acknowledged at the Olivier awards for the first time. Curve is a superbly equipped and versatile venue for dance. The team at Curve supported Akram through the show’s creation and it was developed here in Leicester. We are thrilled that Akram Khan Company and Curve to have received this recognition and we look forward to working together again in the future.”

Akram Khan said:

“It’s wonderful to receive the Olivier Award for DESH but it would not be complete if I didn’t mention the birthplace of DESH. In any creation, there is always an immense amount of fragility, darkness, and a sense of homelessness. And thanks to the Curve, we, the DESH team, has felt extremely supported, secure and rooted in a place I could call home. Curve for provided the strong soil in which DESH could grow.”

Did you see DESH at Curve? Let us know what you thought!