10th March 2021

Natural Theatre Company to unlock BoA’s potential

Introducing BOA UNLOCKED!

The Town Council are collaborating with the Bath-based Natural Theatre Company to offer Bradford on Avon’s residents some light relief from lockdown, and a chance to share positives that have come from the experiences of the last 12 months.

At last week’s Full Council meeting, members agreed unanimously to fund the project, as part of the Town’s Covid recovery plans; promoting emotional well-being and encouraging engagement and visitors to the town.

 ‘BoA Unlocked’ will be a community event which will run both online and in people’s homes, gardens and the town’s open spaces.  Starting with a series of engaging virtual workshops from the end of March, the Natural Theatre Company will collate the positive lockdown stories and experiences of the people of Bradford on Avon, and then, in May, will creatively produce a living exhibition around the town of characters, visual art, writing and music that tells the positive story of this extraordinary period. 

That might include visual arts like photography and painting; learning a new instrument or language; reconnecting with old friends using new technology; walking and cycling more; and appreciating the wonderful spaces in and around the town.   The exact contents of the final work will be generated by the community, so we really look forward to seeing what you bring to the table!

Mark Bishop, Participation Co-Ordinator at the Natural Theatre Company said:

“We are really excited to bring this project to Bradford on Avon’s community, just across the border from our usual haunt of Bath! Whilst there are a lot of things we will all want to forget about the last year, there’s a huge amount to celebrate, share and UNLOCK from our psyches; what better way to do that than through creative expression!”

Given the amazing community spirit and artistic skills of all sorts – and ages –  within the town, the resulting artwork will certainly reflect the creativity and positivity of a whole community.  It will be able to be experienced either as a live walking tour or virtually via an online exhibition of the work professionally photographed and recorded as a legacy for the town, so can be enjoyed whether or not social distancing regulations are still in place. 

There will also be a social media platform for the participants to engage with throughout the project which will enable participants to stay in contact and share content, ideas and memories from beginning to end.  

Leader of the Council, Cllr Dom Newton, who proposed the project said: 

“We’ve all been through lockdown in different ways, and this project is very much focussed on helping people understand what they’ve experienced, and support their emotional well-being as we, hopefully, move towards a less-restricted normality. 
It’s really wonderful to be working with the Natural Theatre Company on this, which we hope will be a great way for us all to process the more positive aspects of the last year or so, and share them with our friends and neighbours.” 

About the Natural Theatre Company

The Natural Theatre Company is a world leader in immersive theatre. Their trademark street theatre has been successfully entertaining international crowds for 50 years, crossing cultural, social and geographic boundaries. The Company now produces new performances, creates immersive projects with diverse communities as well as developing outdoor wandering shows that celebrate stories of heritage and place.

The Company owns and runs a large arts building in Bath which is a shared resource to artists and organisations in the area. They collaborate with a huge range of organisations in the Arts, Heritage and Education sectors as well as communities groups, events organisations and national and international businesses.

Want to get involved in BoA Unlocked?

The Town Council will be releasing more information about how to get involved in this exciting project over the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye on our website, social media feeds and town noticeboards for more information.

All photos used with kind permission from the Natural Theatre Company