‘I joined Gatecrash Theatre in January 2015 after needing a bit more creativity in my life. I have had a life-long passion for theatre which led me to study a Drama degree at Exeter University and then stride into the world of secondary school Drama teaching. I had been promoted to Head of Drama a few moths before joining Gatecrash. This success brought with it new pressures so I went in search of some fun. I found an advert for Gatecrash auditions. I thought It would just be a ‘bit on the side’, a nice little stress reliever. How wrong I was! In short, Gatecrash helped me to find myself again.
I had sacrificed developing my own passions in place of battling with the problem of teaching an arts subject in an increasingly stifling, exam-driven education system. I had fallen out of love with theatre but Gatecrash reignited the fire within me. As a result, I have now left teaching in pursuit of a more flexible, less stressful career which affords me creative freedom and allows me to be an artist again. Gatecrash has freed me and unearthed my artistic streak.
I’ve seen and created a lot of theatre during my Drama degree and teaching career but nothing which has excited me as much a Gatecrash does. I truly believe Gatecrash is the future of theatre in the South West and beyond. It is a company which has a lot to say and is finding a beautiful way of saying it.’
Rebecca, aged 25. Current member
‘Gatecrash provides a vital service that honours young artists as those young in experience, not simply young in age. It brings together teenagers and adults looking for professional vocational training in theatre post-college, university, drama school and beyond, including those taking time out of or alongside established careers. It empowers them to make choices about their creative learning, equips them with specific tools to apply to their chosen discipline, and promotes an ensemble collaborative approach to theatre-making. Gatecrash is fulfilling a gap in training provision in Swindon and the region, providing an environment that is not tied to a venue or a venue’s policy of programming where educational provision or community participation is simply a sub-category of ‘main stage’ work. It is wholly committed to bringing these two strands together and making themthe work: footloose and flexible, open to partnerships from other organisations and able to listen to its members’ request and respond quickly to their needs. Having worked twice as a playwright with the company’s Artistic Director, I can wholly recommend the work she is spearheading as an important part of the broader theatre ecology, bringing opportunities and self-confidence to a new layer of talent in the region who will no doubt go on to work nationally and beyond.’
David Lane. International Playwright and Associate Artist of Gatecrash
‘I have a fantastic job for a large company based in Swindon but my role is highly demanding. I can sit at my desk all day and barely move from my seat or speak to anyone. Gatecrash has given me a hugely rewarding creative outlet that allows me to let out all that tension in a fun and rewarding environment. It has had a huge impact on my overall wellbeing. For me it is my gym!’
Mark, aged 41. Current member
‘I have known Laura Barnes (founder of Gatecrash) for many years now and when she created Gatecrash it was at the perfect time for me. Swindon and the surrounding areas need this company. There’s a lot of talented people here that need somewhere they can be free to create. Jerusalem was the perfect production for me to be in and had a hugely talented cast. I have now moved to London and just spent the last 2 weeks working with a Hollywood acting coach so this company can certainly lead to better things. Join Gatecrash. Have fun. Work hard. Live your dreams.’
Ex-member, Nick, aged 24.
‘Gatecrash is filling a gap in the creative arts in Swindon: it’s a place where people involved in arts can still perform and create work whether they are waiting to go on to the next step in their careers or if they want to carry it on as a hobby at a high standard. From my experience, it’s an environment where I can gain professional experience and guidance from other actors and directors that I wouldn’t get elsewhere. I’m currently writing my first play and I’m provided with so much support and ideas and criticisms from all the guys involved.’
Current member Amber, aged 19.
‘Gatecrash is providing a fantastic opportunity for those trying to enter the profession and in particular offering a credible alternative to traditional London based actor training. For me, it is wonderful to be able to work with and recommend Gatecrash to those leaving my youth company at 18 and not only is it an innovative and exciting company but to have this in Swindon is simply fantastic. I believe that Gatecrash enriches the arts community and will continue to draw people to Swindon for the opportunities it provides.’
Anna Friend, Professional Director and Associate Artist of Gatecrash
‘Gatecrash has not only given me a weekly window to express my creatively but has activity restored my confidence and my love for acting. It offers an environment where people like me, people who may have lost acting as a hobby if not for gatecrash, have an opportunity to meet like minded individuals and create really great bits of theatre. I see gatecrash as a release from the tensions of everyday working life, a chance to meet with the hilarious friends I have made and an opportunity to have fun. It is important for me simply because it let’s me do something I love.’
Ex-member Frances, aged 24
‘Swindon already has outlets for young people up to 18 to participate in performing arts however what it has lacked is somewhere for the young adult. Those between the ages of 18 to 30 to refine and develop their performing skills. Gatecrash is doing this. As a young adult working in performing arts and teaching young people this, Gatecrash is giving me skills and ideas to help improve my teaching. Gatecrash is also a fantastic place to develop for those who have previously been unsuccessful, or not applied yet, for drama schools and are unable to get that support to help them with this, being too old and out of education. Gatecrash is a unique organisation in Swindon, something that needs to grow and help the town become a cultural hub for talent.’
Current member, Tom aged 24
‘Gate crash has captured the heart of south west adult professional and amateur performers who want to continue their passion to perform. This new and innovative theatre company provides the platform and training for adults in Swindon and the surrounding areas to unleash themselves with professional acting projects.’
Current member, Nicola, aged 27.
‘There are many many clubs and opportunities for school age people, but once you hit 18 they seem to dry up. I have worked with many talented teenagers who then disappear from theatre due to lack of any group to attend. Gatecrash is a much needed concept bridging the gap between youth theatre and professional theatre. My work is predominantly with under 16 year olds so for me personally, a company like Gatecrash would be an exciting chance to refresh my creativity and explore ideas I already have. It would also encourage me to keep learning new theatre forms and push my own boundaries. If only I lived in Swindon’.
Kerry Boorman, Theatre Practitioner and Associate Artist.