Sam was a founding member of Gomito in 2001. As well as being a producer, Sam is a deviser and performer. He likes physical comedy, super-slick sequences, hopeful stories and a good hat.
Board of Advisors
Gomito is a collaboration of artists making new visual theatre. The company is made up of a team of continuously changing performers, designers, directors, musicians and writers who want to share stories in a certain way; with creativity, entertainment, humour, emotion, liveness and homespun roughness.
Gomito was formed in 2001 in Cambridge and since then have toured their shows across the UK earning the company an excellent reputation as makers of creative, surprising, universal theatre. From 2009 to 2011 Gomito were Associate Artists of The Junction in Cambridge and in 2011 the company became the first ever Associate Artists of Greenwich Theatre.
Gomito makes theatre for everyone who enjoys a good story told with creativity being at the heart of it. Sometimes the company investigate subjects which might be best suited to adults, however often the pieces are created with children at the front of their minds or address topics that are accessible to anyone no matter what their age.
The company state that: “Our dream is to make theatre which is understood on the same level by young and old, which doesn’t appeal to exclusively to intellect or a certain aged brain, but which binds an audience together and reminds us of what we share as humans.”
WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE FOR THEATRES, SCHOOLS, COLLEGES AND HIGHER EDUCATION
Gomito offer a range of bespoke workshops suitable for all ages and abilities. All of their workshops can be catered to the groups specific needs and requirements. THe company specialise in workshops in Storytelling, Puppetry, Devising, Theatre Without Words, Composing and a mix of them all in their Total Theatre Workshops (2 day minimum), where the participants make their own production from scratch.
There most most recent production is a children’s show called ‘Chester Tuffnut’ which uses puppetry and ensemble work to deliver the tale.
Below is the trailer:
But as briefly mentioned above, the company do not only use their creativity to entertain small children – in fact they use puppetry and physical theatre in many of their adult productions but in a completely different way and truly captivate their audiences. The puppetry is often on a much bigger scale and can appear much darker and sinister in some of the adult focused pieces, creating a mystic atmosphere and moving the audiences through their powerful means of storytelling.
The company have taken many of the above performances to the highly acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festival and have had incredible reviews and even been nominated and won awards for their productions.
Big Brum is a registered charity which was founded in 1982. Big Brum delivers Theatre in Education programmes and youth theatre work underpinned by a central artistic policy. Over 80 schools, pupil referral units and other educational spaces throughout the West Midlands, and over 5,000 children and young people benefit from the company’s work each year.
Big Brum seeks to provide the highest quality Theatre in Education programme for young people across all age ranges and abilities. The company uses theatre and drama alongside young people to make meaning of their lives and the world around them. The work has a strong theoretical basis: focusing artistically on the power of theatre images and dramatic action to create resonances and challenge us to new ways of thinking; whilst being educationally grounded in active learning and problem solving.
The company was awarded an Action for Children’s Arts Members Award in 2010 for its outstanding contribution to the aim of enriching children’s lives through the arts, and Big Brum is recognised internationally as a leading centre for excellence in arts education.
As mentioned, the company provide a variety of TIE productions and packages that are aimed at various age groups and adapted and created with the ages and needs of their audience at the forefront. For example their production of Rumpelstiltskin is clearly aimed at much younger children in Key stages 1-2 who may be learning about fairy-tales; whereas the Macbeth adaptation is obviously aimed at an older student who will be able to follow the story and language and cope with the brutality of the story line.
The photos below are from their recent production of Rumpelstiltskin, which demonstrate the minimalist style of set, the typical performance space and the costumes used:
‘OVER THE TOP’
Another Production of their’s is called ‘Over the top’ which focuses on and teaches about World War 1. The play was written by Chris Cooper and is based on events around the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The play is suitable for Secondary students and Primary Years 5 and 6, it raises many questions about values, belief and how we feel at home in the world.
The writer, Chris Cooper, talks about ‘Over The Top,’ their latest play in the World War 1 cycle, ‘The End of Reason 1914-18’: “This is a play about ordinary people undertaking extraordinary journeys: journeys that they were compelled to take by circumstances not of their own making and without knowing where they would take them; journeys towards and away from old and new beliefs; journeys towards a new life and self-discovery; perhaps to a never-ending living nightmare and an early death; or perhaps all of these things. That their journeys were shaped by the decisions of others is without doubt, as is both their naivety, resolve and great courage in the face of them.”
While the main actor, Richard, goes on to explain the story line of the TIE piece and how he hopes it will help teach the students more than just the history of the Somme.
“It is one of those stories that explores our journey in life, especially through the eyes of the main characters, Kitty and Jimmy. They find themselves somewhere, without knowing how they got there, propelled by forces that they don’t quite understand. The nursing Sister tells Kitty ‘Don’t go go back!’ – and of course, having got where she is, she can’t go back to the world before the war. The play raises big questions about where people belong and what they believe. I think this play is very much about what people believe; but just because they believe it, it doesn’t necessarily make it true. In rehearsals, we have started exploring ideas about what people are prepared to kill for, die for but also to live for. There is also something about people who deny themselves in order to help others. There is a lot to explore in this play.”