Gramophones record funding for new aerial theatre show

Published: 20 November 2019
Reporter: Steve Orme

Nottingham-based all-female theatre company the Gramophones has received almost £60,000 from Arts Council England and other sources to mount a new aerial theatre show for families.

Aidy the Awesome features eight-year-old Aidy who discovers she is a superhero. Aidy and her granny embark on an adventure that will turn their worlds upside down.

Aimed at three- to eight-year-olds and their families, the show intends to prove to young women that they can be strong, resilient and empowered.

Hannah Stone, director and creative producer of Aidy the Awesome, said, “this is an aerial theatre show with a strong narrative. We’ll develop it to perform both indoors and outdoors with an all-female cast of four, including an older female aerialist as the grandmother, as we want to promote the idea that age is no barrier.

“According to The Guardian, children’s media and books are packed with gender stereotypes: princesses waiting for Prince Charming, fairies dressed in pink and heroic characters that are almost invariably male. So we’re keen to explore stories in which girls are protagonists in alternative feisty, funny and strong roles. We want to break down the princess archetype and offer young girls different role models to aspire to.”

Part of the funding will be used to create a series of free workshops with grandmothers and children aged between 5 and 12. They will be held at Nottingham Playhouse and other venues.

The workshops will explore how females are represented in stories and how they would like to be represented, breaking down the 'damsel in distress' and 'little old lady' stereotypes.

The first workshops will run on Saturday 30 November and Saturday 14 December from 10 until 11:30AM at Nottingham Playhouse.

Stone added, “it's so exciting to have been awarded funding to create this new show and workshops leading up to it. There aren't enough stories with awesome female protagonists and I can't wait to get started working on this and having real grandmothers and granddaughters to help shape it!”

Aidy the Awesome will tour to Lakeside Arts, Nottingham on 26 July and Déda, Derby on 31 July 2020.

More information about the workshops is available from Hannah Stone on 07929 168436 or at [email protected].