Meet our newest Made In Bristol generation: Play The Goat

15 May 2019

Meet Play The Goat, our ninth generation of Made In Bristol, a group of twelve young people aged 18–25 on some sort of gap year, who become resident at Bristol Old Vic for two days a week for one year. 

Made in Bristol is designed to give young theatre-makers an opportunity to train together, to become workshop leaders, facilitators and theatre makers, creating work that can reach out across Bristol and the South West, engaging with other local arts organisations as well as performing their own piece of work at the end of the course.

Play The Goat's members are George Descaillaux, Ben Foster, Holly Gifford, Georgina Graham-Williams, Molly Ingle, Carlota Matos, Esther Myers-Insole, Nathan Richards, Carlos Sandin, Chloe Thurlow, Hannah Tudge, and Flossie Ure.

This collective began training at Bristol Old Vic in September 2018 and are currently in rehearsals for their upcoming debut show in the Weston Studio in July. We caught up with them to find out more about their time together... 

Hello there! We are Play the Goat, formally known simply as the ninth Made In Bristol group. We have been resident at  Bristol Old Vic since last September and are currently in the process of devising a brand new show to be performed in the Weston Studio from the 3–6 July. But what does ‘resident at Bristol Old Vic’ actually mean? Let us explain…

Having been selected after applications and auditions last summer we begun our residency at Bristol Old Vic with a project you may have already heard of: ‘Limelight’, the theatrical tour which took place during the theatre’s Heritage Launch in November. From researching the theatre’s history, we devised a set of scenes and characters which audiences would follow as they walked through many areas of the theatre not normally open to the public. This project was our first experience of working together and a great way for us to get to know each other, the formation of our ensemble had finally begun!

Next, from late November up until mid-March our time was split between workshops with invited practitioners and being taught how to lead our own workshops. Invited practitioners included the likes of Sally Cookson (A Monster Calls, Jane Eyre), David Glass and The Wardrobe Ensemble (Education, Education, Education) amongst others. These workshops taught us an incredibly diverse range of thinking and theatre craft, from physical theatre to writing to devising. These sessions have certainly influenced the way in which we now create work together as well as the style in which we perform.

Leading workshops was an entirely new skill most of us had not flexed before. But by being thrown into the deep end and leading drama workshops in local schools we’ve certainly learnt a lot, and quickly! We went to three different schools and lead sessions to year groups 1-9, as well as leading Young Company sessions at Bristol Old Vic. Working in pairs certainly took the pressure off and made the process of writing up workshop plans and executing them a lot more fun too.

By late March we’d certainly learnt a huge amount both about making theatre and each other as a group, leading us to forming our own theatre company: Play the Goat. We chose this name because the phrase 'play the goat' is in fact an idiom which means to act comically, often to amuse others. A lot of the work we’ve made in sessions has been comical and the group is certainly full of clowns, so we felt this name suited us best! With our name confirmed we’ve been working on our first devised play over the last few weeks. The process so far has been particularly challenging as we make decisions but really exciting too as we’re finally working as a theatre company on our own ideas. The title of our show and tickets will be available in less than a couple weeks so stay tuned!

To keep up to date with what we’re up to and for more details on who we are, check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Thank you to our Made In Bristol supporters:

The Schroder Charity Trust
The Enid Linder Foundation 
Idlewild Trust
Plus our donors who wish to remain anonymous