Tell Tale Theatre Company – Alias Smith And Jones
I interviewed Leanne Jones and Emma Smith about the launch of their exciting new community theatre company. The first performance is at the Kazimier in March.
How did you get together?
LJ– We both went to Chester University to study theatre and met there and found that we both had the same ideas about experimental theatre and did our dissertation together. Our aim was always to get back together after uni and form our own theatre company.
ES– Leanne’s put it perfectly. We had a shared dream and were always ambitious. We always push ourselves. What is key about our company is that we bring together adults who have not had the opportunity to perform before.
What first ignited your love of theatre?
ES– I’ve loved theatre since before I can remember. My mother was a lover of theatre and she influenced me greatly. I used to perform in panto on the village hall as a little girl.
LJ– A pushy mum to begin with! I had an understanding from an early age of the power of theatre. I attended summer schools at LIPA which was great for a girl from Bootle where there was little opportunity for practising drama. Working with community artists at LIPA was a real inspiration.
Why community theatre?
ES– We believe that theatre can have an influence on the individual. It is a great boost to self esteem and confidence.
LJ– Everyone comes from different walks of life in our small team. The teamwork is great, we all want each other to suceed.
ES– There is clearly a gap for adults over 21 who do not have access to drama. We don’t want to be conventional, we want to experiment with new approaches to drama.
LJ– At the heart of Tell Tale we want to work as a group, as a collective.
ES– We don’t want to be formulaic.
What is your speciality?
LJ– Definitley not musical theatre!
ES– At the heart of our company is good powerful drama.
LJ– We want to combine other media within our performance to assist the performance. We want to use other media as storytellers within the performance. We want theatre that provokes thought.
ES– We want to create a varied experience for the audience using other media within the performance. We want to try lots of thing out.
Why start this in Liverpool?
LJ– It’s a great city filled with so many amazing and committed characters. People will give it ago here.
ES– There is something about Liverpool. When I travelled I missed the city. It is warm and welcoming, such a hub with so much going on. There are so many reason we could give. This is not like any other city.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
LJ– Our aim is for this to grow. We want this to expand and give more and more opportunities to more people. We want to work with children and young people as we expand.
ES– We would want to be a real democracy, but maybe have a number of sub groups. Older people, youth group. Different departments within the company.
I really enjoyed this interview with two of the newer additions to the cultural life of this great city. Maybe a new ‘Actors Studio’ in the making!
Their first performance is in the Kazimier 1st – 3rd March.
Gemma Bodinetz and Deborah Aydon of the Everyman and Playhouse had better watch out!!!!