Thursday, 29 August 2013

Rehearsing Full Time

Heather and Ellis are enjoying the current wave of sunshine as they throw themselves eagerly into the somewhat intensive rehearsal schedule. One play already under their belts after the wonderful performances of "The Gingerbread Man" at the Southsea Festival. Only eight more plays to learn and they will be true veterans!
Performed to a lively bunch of kids at a birthday party in Bicester over the weekend - good practice for the new school term in a couple of weeks time.

Bookings are coming in already as teachers prepare for the new year. (Schools have different calendars from us mere mortals and start their years in September!)
Our mailing will go out to some 10,800 schools early next month and then the phone will "melt", and emails will pour in. The Autumn term (schools do not acknowledge Winter!) is our busiest period and we are already filling for December, so hurry and make your Christmas bookings.
Karen and I did manage a couple of weeks in France and Northern Spain: a well spent time doing nothing too much, unless you count eating, drinking and plenty of wine tasting. Sadly, that is now just history and it is back to business.
Until I next write, here are our new actors.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

James makes our day

Nothing pleases us more than fan mail.
We were truly delighted to receive the following earlier this week:-

St. Mary's Catholic Primary School
Webbs Wood Road
Bradley Stoke
South Glos.
BS32 8EJ

2nd July 2013

Dear Aesop's Theatre Company,

My name is James and I attend St. Mary's Catholic Primary School. Last week I watched an excellent performance of Robin Hood. Your show taught me a lot of science knowledge in an enjoyable way.

I now understand why chucking things in rivers is so bad. It pollutes the water and kills God's creatures. Until the show I did not know the importance of trees. I will try and use less paper to help the environment. I have told my dad we should buy a compost bin to recycle our fruit and vegetable waste.

Thank you for coming to St. Mary's. I would be honoured to be able to see another of your educational shows.

Yours faithfully,

Age 10

Thanks for that James. We hope to see you again soon.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Watch this space

We have had a very difficult but truly enjoyable time auditioning new actors for the next school year starting in September.
Heather Wilson and Ellis Seamons are delighted to be joining us, and we are throwing them in at the deep end with an early performance of "The Gingerbread Man" on the 3rd August at the Southsea Show.
They are currently getting to grips with this play before launching into extensive rehearsal schedules for the other eight productions.
Shortly their own blogs will be appearing on the website, and my readers will soon be treated to a glimpse of their portraits.
Bookings are now coming in for the children's Christmas treats: so do book early to avoid disappointment.
"The Story of Aesop's Fables" for the whole primary range, and "The Adventures of the Gingerbread Man" for the nursery and infants are always favourites for the festive season.
A couple of photos here to whet your appetites.
Back soon,

Monday, 29 April 2013


Well done if you managed to stay dry and warm. Our poor little Gingerbread Man nearly froze to death at a seaside theatre. It was so blustery we had to wrap him in a blanket. Mind you, he ran faster than he has ever run before just to keep warm! Now the sun has finally arrived, albeit intermitently, we will be seeing more beheadings as Henry VIII goes through his list of unsuspecting children at numerous schools in the months ahead.
One of the rewarding aspects from speaking with our actors is the variety in performing different plays. "It is never boring!" is often one of the comments made by our dedicated team.
Well, that's good to know;  as a writer and actor myself, I often think how lucky we are having ten plays available whereas, for example, some actors perform only one play every day in the West End for a year. Our work certainly keeps the actors fresh and on their toes. I have no doubt about that, and you never know how the children will react either. In our experience, kids are very honest and let you know exactly what they are thinking!
As, in the words of the great man himself, W.C. Fields;  "Never work with animals or children."
Of course, he has a point! I commend those actors and entertainers who do work with children for they will reap many rewards for their trials and tribulations, as do we with our own plays and workshops.
In conclusion, our actors have the best of both worlds; the traditional repertory style of live theatre where they learn many different plays and perform them ad hoc and the challenge of working with younger and older children with the improvisational and instinctive demands this represents.
With thanks to Karen for much of this input,
Until the next time,


Sunday, 17 March 2013

She brightened our week

Paula Evans, a student at The University of Cumbria studying musical theatre and drama, joined us for a week's work experience last Sunday.
She travelled south from her home in Bolton, and  I had the pleasure of meeting her with her mum at Clevelands Guest House where she was to stay for the week.
As Paula was to be joining the actors with some very early morning starts, I eased her in gently on her first day in the office learning about the business.
Bonnie, our shih tzu, took to her immediately, so a good deal of learning was done whilst walking the dog.
During the next three days Paula accompanied the actors to schools in London and the Home Counties, and saw seven performances of four different plays, including "The Gingerbread Man" on which she wrote an interesting and useful review. She paid particular attention to the suitability for the intended ages ranging from two to seven, the ability of the actors in holding the attention of some very young audiences for fifty minutes, and the benefit derived from the theme of the play. All in all, I think we passed!
I am sure Paula enjoyed her time with "Aesop's Theatre", and I know we all loved having her with us.
This is what she wrote:-
"When I was given the chance to go on work experience with Aesop's Touring Theatre Company" I never thought I would be given the fantastic opportunity to get so involved, and feel part of the team.
I have learnt so much in such a short time, and have met some extraordinary and wonderful people along the way.
I have really enjoyed my time here, and feel it has been most beneficial in giving me the experience I needed and wanted, and hope I will get the amazing opportunity to work with them again in the near future.
Last, but not least, I would like to say a huge thank you to Albert  and Karen Brooks for accepting me, and to the other actors for making my time with "Aesop's" so enjoyable."
Thanks again Paula.
Bye for now,

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Happy New Year

I am keeping my fingers crossed and fervently praying it will not happen this year. Just take a look at the picture and you will see what I am on about.
We travel over 30,000 miles every year to bring live theatre to schools and many other venues: as far north as Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, and on occasion for a 9.15 start.
You do not want to know the time we get up to achieve this, but trust me you are all warmly tucked up in bed.
So far, so good, we have survived November and December and, if you can believe the pundits, January is looking okay. We shall see!
Enough about the problems, let us look on the bright side. Talking of which, we have already started taking a good many bookings for 2013, including a couple of early birthday parties.
Last year, the obsessions were quite understandably the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games. I am sure this year will see a return to mainstream education and, if I am correct, we have all the plays and workshops lined up.
Don't forget, in addition to our substantial repertoire of established productions, we are also offering "themed" workshops of your choosing. Just give us a call or send an email saying what you are seeking, and I will happily create a package to suit you.
Enough of the sales pitch.
Until next time stay warm,