Brook Tate’s family musical Mr Maglump makes online debut this weekend12 Jun 2020
Brook Tate is a Bristol-based artist who has worked his way through Bristol Old Vic’s extensive talent development strands to become one of the theatre’s Supported Artists. From Open Stage to Open Session to Made In Bristol to Ferment, Brook’s journey showcases the bespoke support offered by the theatre to help emerging artists discover their voice and share their craft with the city. This evening, his new family musical Mr Maglump will premiere on Bristol Old Vic’s YouTube channel as part of the Bristol Arts Channel, celebrating online content by the city’s cultural organisations.
Brook’s journey with Bristol Old Vic started through his volunteer work with the local charity Borderlands, which supports refugees, asylum seekers and those with insecure immigration status and, in a partnership with Bristol Old Vic, gives them access to various theatre productions. Brook then appeared on the Bristol Old Vic stage himself during Bristol Open Stage in 2017, the theatre’s annual birthday call-out which sees people from across Bristol perform whatever they like in the historic auditorium over the course of one day in May. Brook performed his song Dry Ground and was subsequently put in touch with Bristol Old Vic’s Writers Department to become a 2017 Open Session writer, a year-long attachment to the theatre, which supported the development of his first theatre show, Mr Maglump.
Mr Maglump is based on a novella by Brook, written for his two little nieces, which focuses on themes of integration within communities and sticking true to yourself. It features original music by Brook and was developed by Bristol Old Vic in collaboration with students from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The piece was shared in a scratch performance in Oct 2018, after which Brook joined Bristol Old Vic’s 9th generation of the Made In Bristol programme, an annual residency scheme for young theatre-makers to train within the building.
A full-length iteration of Mr Maglump was featured in the theatre’s New Plays in Rep season in March 2019, where it sat alongside other scripts developed through the Open Session and was brought to life by students of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The performance was witnessed by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber who came down from London to see the show.
On a street where everybody knows their neighbour, one man stands alone – Mr Maglump. Behind his door lies a rather marvellous secret which could turn the town upside down, and quite possibly the right way up. Just one brave child has the courage to find out what it was, or who it was, that put the glum in Mr Maglump.
The musical, captured on film in the Weston Studio, will be shared as part of Bristol Old Vic’s pilot ‘At Home’ season from 6pm on Fri 12 Jun and will stream until Fri 19 Jun. Wraparound activities designed to help children at home tell their own stories will also be featured on the theatre’s Family Arts Hub page.
Brook is now developing his second family show, My Great Giraffe, a show about a giraffe which appears in a little girl’s garden, which was shared as part of Bristol Old Vic’s Ferment Fortnight in July 2019. Brook’s giraffe ‘Martha’ became the recent face of a campaign by Bristol Old Vic to ‘keep your head held high’ during lockdown, with countless giraffes popping up across the city to keep spirits high and celebrate the tireless work of the NHS.
Various giraffes spotted across Bristol and beyond...
Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.
They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.
On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.