Here’s to 2019…

Time for Mr Holly’s review of the year. Not really expecting anyone to read it, but you never know… and I guess it’s a good discipline : )

After a slowish start, 2018 ended up being pretty full and actually really quite successful with a wide variety of projects and festivals. The biggest event was the fourth Gravity Fields Festival of arts & science that took place in Grantham at the end of September. Like any ambitious event it was not without its challenges, but it was ultimately a huge success with highlights for me being IOU Theatre’s ‘Rear View’, Lost In Translation’s ‘The Hogwallops’, Luke Jerem’s ‘Museum of the Moon’ in St Wulfram’s Church and the Saturday Night Street Spectacular, ‘Voyages of Discovery’. Also a privilege to meet and chat with Robin Ince and Prof Brian Cox – mostly about the impending national balls-up that is Brexit…

In Lincoln at my old haunting ground (Lincoln Drill Hall) the Mystery Plays Company asked me to produce their 2018 Community Play ‘The World at her Feet’ a story about women’s football in the city 100 years ago. Written by local playwright Steve Gillard and directed by Sam Miles, it was extremely well received and gained support from a number of local organisations including BBC Lincolnshire, Lincoln City Football Club (both Cowley brothers came along to see it), LISA, the Lady Imps Supporters Association and Bishop Grosseteste University and the University of Lincoln.

I also began working with young artist George Barnett on the South Holland Emerge Festival that will take place on 6 April 2019 at Ayscoughfee Hall and which is led by The Mighty Creatives and, alongside 7 other Emerge Festivals taking place that same day across the Midlands, is entirely driven and delivered by local young people.

I was delighted to be asked to join the team at Threshold Studios as an Associate Producer, focusing on next year’s Frequency Festival, and continued to help organise the Lincoln MashUp as part of the Spud Collective’s ongoing commitment to support Lincolnshire-based arts professionals.

The year ended for me working with the wonderful acrobatic company, Mimbre, who presented ‘The Exploded Circus’ to great acclaim at the Leisure Centre in Burton-on-Trent – this also marked the end of 5 years of me working with the Brewhouse Arts team in Burton.

Well not quite ‘ended’ as shortly after that I was delighted to receive news from ACE that I had been successful in my bid to stage a Light Night in Spilsby in Lincolnshire with m’colleagues Andy Johnson Smith & Will Lindley. This is very exciting but also pretty terrifying as timescales now mean that we have just 2 months to make it happen!

The rest of 2019 is looking pretty full for me so far with the Emerge Festival in South Holland, the Stamford Georgian Festival, the 5th Frequency Festival in Lincoln, the Bridge project in Grantham with the Imagineers, 2 big Family Days in Stamford & Grantham alongside ongoing work with TMC as their Lincolnshire Artsmark consultant and ongoing positions as a Trustee of both Zest Theatre & Tom Dale Company.

And who knows maybe some other projects and ideas that I haven’t even heard of … or thought of… yet.

Here’s to a successful & creative 2019 for one and all : )