Dear B-it Universe,
This will be the last time that I write to you as Director of the B-it Theatre Company, the time has come for me to hand on the reigns to someone younger and more fantastic. So from immediate effect Peri Nightingale will be stepping into the Director role and I am sure she will continue to do a wonderful job. I am very excited about the company’s future under her.
If however I may be indulgent for a moment and just reflect back over the last 6 years of leading the theatre company, I would like to remember a few great people and great shows. I have been so blessed by God whilst Director, he has always provided me with amazing teams and teachers.
Scene 1: The teachers
In my early years I had a wonderful assistant director who went by the name of Nick Sherratt. As Nick moved on one of my youth theatre students took on the assistant role, one (soon to be famous) Anna Demetriou, who again was fantastic. At this time I was also hugely blessed with an intern who went by the name of Peri (you know about her, but what a gift!) I would also like to take a moment to thank Oli Wilderspin-Jones, who gave us many hours of volunteer time and faithfully served the theatre company over many years. Oli helped me get all of the youth theatre to LAMDA exams where they achieved distinctions, proud moments indeed. In the later years Harry Warrell joined the team and is now the Director of the Bits group. He too has been an amazing gift to the theatre company and to me, so a huge thank you to him. We’ve also had some wonderful placement students, thanks to Dan, Jess and Freya, you all contributed hugely.
Scene 2: The crew
We have also always had awesome crews available for our shows. Laura Walker has made more costumes than I’ve had hot dinners. Mike Walker has probably by now spent thousands on sound effects! More recently James Baird has also joined the family as a sound man. Douglas Monk, (who may be paying penance for smashing a light in his youth theatre days) is an amazing lighting guy. James and Kerry Prendergast have been great supporters of B-it doing the admin for the last 5 years. Finally, Christopher Wilkinson has been a great help over the years, filming shows, building the website, sorting out online tickets and generally being a super techy. For all of you I am so thankful, you are amazing and without you all the wonderful things we’ve achieved over the last 6 years would not have happened. Thank you.
Scene 3: The shows
I am proud of all shows and casts that I have had the pleasure of working on and with over the years, but if I may just pick out a few highlights. I will never forget the cast of Ui managing to tackle Bertolt Brecht with such class, especially with the amount of lines! I still chuckle at the weird pizza making scene in ‘Giant’s giant pizza’, which came straight out the surreal part of my brian… “tomato, tomato, tomato…” (you had to be there). I will always laugh when I think about the croquet scene in ‘Alice’, as a slow-mo head hog rolled around the stage after being hit by a teenage boy in pink lycra, whilst Vangelis’s ‘Chariots of fire’ played in the background. That was a really great cast and show. I will always be immensely proud of Bluestockings, the young people tackled a heavy topic, in a manner that was mature and honouring to those pioneering ladies as they fought to graduate. These are just a few of the many highlights I have from my last 6 years, I haven’t mentioned writing a play or building a wardrobe. Be assured if you are reading this and worked with me, know that I was very proud of you, your show and all you achieved.
Scene 4: The foundations
B-it is a beautiful mix of serious commitment to producing great work and enjoying the community and process of putting on a show. It values people before performance, and everyone who attends we truly believe is precious and valuable to God. It is this that I believe makes us different, maybe I might even go as far as special. With this in mind I would like to finally thank Jon Phillips, for setting out these foundations, for passing B-it to me, for mentoring me and for having the courage and faith to kick it all off in the first place.
Scene 5: The goodbye
Finally I would like to thank all of you for the love, support and generosity you have shown me over the years. Especially as I learned that admin and communication with parents was actually pretty important! Your grace has been spectacular!
So it is goodbye from me, I feel sad, but in a good way as I count all the blessings B-it has bought into my life and the lives of those who’ve been part of it with me. Fantastic memories indeed.
I leave you B-it in the hands of the amazing and talented Peri Nightingale, where I believe you have an exciting and prosperous future.
Thanks for reading and God bless,
Exeunt Sam D-H persued by a bear…