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At the beginning of 2021, I’m sure that many of us will be breathing a sigh of relief. 2020 was challenging for everyone, and while no-one could have predicted the year playing out as it has, we need to look forward and keep going.

Building an audience for a theatre company without being able to perform has been a strange experience. This is the longest I have gone without being on stage or directing since Kindergarten, but we have had many successes this year that will hopefully mean that we will start bringing you live theatre very soon. So, here’s a look back at some of what we have achieved this year.

1. Successful Kickstarter Campaign

We completed our Kickstarter Campaign to fund a full run of Shakespeare’s Fool at the Edinburgh Fringe. Although 2020 saw the fringe cancelled, we will be back in 2021 with our fabulous one-actor show, starring Rob Leetham.

2. Launched an International Flash Fiction Competition

#FlashFiction101 has been a bigger success than we had anticipated and we now regularly get entries from across the globe. Worcester Repertory Company and Tortive Theatre have been publishing stories since July, and we have been delighted with the quality of work submitted.

3. Made a Short Film

A small team of creatives came together to adapt the play A Picture of ‘Elf into a short film. The finished article will be available on a major streaming service in time for Christmas in 2021.

4. Developed New Work

We have entered into development contracts with three different projects to bring to life in 2021.


Here’s a very brief snapshot of what we’ve got coming up in 2021.

1. Live Streamed Performances

2. New Work Programme

3. Live Performances and runs of theatre productions

4. New Short Films

5. New Writing Competition

6. Partnerships with Educational Establishments

7. Touring

8. Edinburgh Fringe Run

9. Creative Connexions Programme

And that’s just the stuff we’ve come up with in the past three months.

All of this has been made possible with your support, and I hope that you will continue to support us as we bring live theatre, film and audio drama to life in 2021.

I am often asked about the best way to support the arts and theatre and while donating money is great, truly the best way to help is by turning up and taking part. One hundred people each buying a £10 ticket is better than one person donating a £1000. Of course, both are even more beneficial!

One of our very first creative offerings of 2021 is a series of live-streamed performances in association with Finding the Will. BARD HEADS is sure to lighten your New Year Spirits and enable you to enjoy some excellent live theatre, streamed directly to your home.

Please do support us in bringing this to a wider audience. You can read more about the production here.

As we enter 2021, there is still much that needs to be achieved, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel for theatre and creativity. I look forward to getting there with you.


Ben Humphrey

Artistic Director

Tortive Theatre

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