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‘Taking drama out of the Theatre.

An unconventional theatre company both in principle and practice, Bamboo Grove Theatre Company was founded in 2002 by Cally Phillips, from a base in South West Scotland, in order to create new work in non-traditional theatre environments, focussing on inclusion , empowerment and partnership working with people who don’t normally get to participate in dramatic arts.  Bamboo Grove was about finding a way to make drama part of the everyday life experience – taking drama out of the theatre – from the belief that ‘the destination is in the journey.’

Over its five year lifespan Bamboo Grove achieved the writing of over 100 new dramatic pieces, with over 20 performances and more than 200 drama workshop sessions undertaken.

From the beginning Bamboo Grove Theatre Company expressed the belief that Drama is more than about being on stage. It is about being free to express yourself and finding creative ways of living. Such activities should be available to all irrespective of their social class and status.We can all engage with the dramatic given the opportunity.

Five years later in December 2006 the last ‘hurrah’ for Bamboo Grove Theatre Company was a collaboration with ABC Drama Group , of The End of The Age of Oil, which was performed at the Scottish Parliament.  To go from an idea to a performance at our Parliament in 5 years is no mean feat, but the greatest achievement of Bamboo Grove Theatre Company was the many collaborations shared,  the production of writing and development of writers who might otherwise never have been empowered to ‘share’ their voices dramatically.

Bamboo Grove was always inextricably linked with Cally Phillips as Artistic Director, and the people of Dumfries and Galloway and so when Cally moved out of the region in 2006, the Company folded. However, the work we started has helped many people to flourish creatively to this day.

If you are someone who ‘experienced’ Bamboo Grove Theatre Company either as a writer, performer, participant, creative collaborator or audience we’d love to hear from you.  Especially if you have happy memories or other stories to tell about the period 2002-2006, or indeed your creative life since then.


One response »

  1. I ‘experienced’ Bamboo Grove way back in the day (can’t remember when I actually joined) and have very happy memories of my time in it. I hadn’t written many monologues before I joined – precisely one, for a creative writing module – but was interested in the form and in writing from the pov of an unreliable witness. I learned a huge amount about the craft of writing monologues and about performance.
    One of my monologues, called Socks, won the first competition Cally staged. Apart from being a real boost to my confidence as a writer it was fascinating to see the process of page to stage. Drama students did the performances and I enjoyed watching the rehearsal and seeing how someone interpreted my words. Seeing the audience reaction was also fascinating. I’d written words I’d heard in my head and now people were hearing them in a different voice – and believing them.
    I’m still drawn to the monologue form, have dabbled in it from time to time and now my memory has been down the nostalgic lane to Bamboo Grove I want to write some more.


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