Autumn 2016
But to leave his box, is Bardolph quite ready?

The tour finished on a high. We had two great shows at Harlow Playhouse, as part of their Pay What You Can season. Our youngest audience member was a baby of about six months, which I believe is our youngest fan to date! I really enjoy the family shows, watching the parents experience the production alongside their children and talking to them about it afterwards, perhaps having a closer look at our set. I wish we always had time to do this, and for our actors to talk to the children. Three little girls approached Stuart after the morning show to say how much they liked it, he has an ever growing fan club amongst young audiences!

I have a feeling this might not be the last we see of Bardolph and his box. The reception is always overwhelming positive, from pupils, teachers and families. Venue managers and programmers who have seen the show have been complementary too. There are a great many corners of the country we haven’t visited… However, touring to schools is getting harder and you need effective partners and willing teachers who understand the value of such a production. These past eighteen months have been an experience, so we’ll give ourselves a breather first before we embark on the next tour.

What else might Up The Road get up to? I know the piece I would like to make next, in a few months I hope to start thinking about how that might happen. The website might go quiet for a while, but we’ll still be here, thinking and planning. So, for now, goodbye Bardolph, and thank you. This year you’ve given over 3,500 children a truly memorable experience.

Nicola, 6th November 2016


Up The Road On The Road

Up The Road are firmly back on the road. After a few script amendments and a couple of alterations to costume, we were back in rehearsal in mid-September for our autumn tour. Lucy Heath and Gareth Wildig have joined Stuart Crowther in our exploration of Shakespeare’s plays, which gave us

the opportunity to address the show afresh, with new ideas and inspirations. There can be a temptation with revivals or remounts to stick to exactly what you did before, which isn’t very exciting for new cast members. I know what worked well last time, and I knew what we could alter. Gareth and Lucy have brought new ideas and interpretations, and Stuart has made new discoveries too. The essence of the show remains unchanged, and, I’m relieved to say, so has the reaction of our audiences.

There’s a new element of slow motion in the piece. To my amusement many of the children commentate on this section, although my favourite response was those in Cumbria who added their own slow-mo backing music. The audience interaction goes down well, with our audiences gleeful at Bardolph’s attempts to outwit Cleopatra. Lance has had some surprising reactions, whilst the Dromios inspire a similar angst to before. Reactions to different moments can vary, depending on where we are in the country. One Lakeland teacher commented that his children had been ‘taken out of their comfort zone’, although it was a place they seemed very content. We had a terrific set of workshops that day, I love being able to spend a bit more time with our audiences and explore the play with them.

The team are doing a great job on the road. Thank you to Janine for keeping them in line and managing the tour. Also thank you to Simon, because this is a tough job and without him there would be a number of children without their autumnal wonder.

Nicola, 12th October 2016


Meet our company for autumn 2016. Joining Nicola, and designer Alice Smith, in the rehearsal room are:

Stuart Crowther  stuart-headshot
  Lucy Heath
Gareth Wildig  
  Janine Bardsley

Company Stage Manager

New trailer!

Take a look at the new trailer for our upcoming tour.

Tour Schedule
Week 1
Monday 26th – Friday 30th
Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre

Monday 26th – Friday 30th: in schools
Week 2
Monday 3rd – Saturday 8th October
Cumbria and Northumberland

Monday 3rd: Beggar’s Theatre, Millom

Tuesday 4th: Cumbria Libraries

Wednesday 5th: The Heron Theatre, Milnthorpe

Thursday 6th: The Kirkgate, Cockermouth

Friday 7th: Cumbria Libraries

Saturday 8th: Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Hexham

Week 3
Monday 10th – Saturday 15th October
Malvern and Gloucestershire

Tuesday 11th: Malvern Theatres

Wednesday 12th: Gloucs Libraries (Stroud and Wotton)

Thursday 13th: Gloucs Libraries (Up Hatherley and Matson)

Friday 14th: Malvern Theatres

Saturday 15th: Malvern Theatres

Week 4
Monday 17th – Saturday 22nd October
Harlow Playhouse

Monday 17th – Friday 21st: in schools

Saturday 22nd: Harlow Playhouse