by Jez Bond

Another year on and, following the Theatres Trust conference, familiar faces returned to the Royal Horticultural halls for the annual ABTT trade show. It was a much quicker visit than last year – although my planned one hour quickly turned into well over two. Dave and I zipped round chatting with Steeldeck, Maltbury staging, Orbital, Hall Stage and others. Given that most of us in the industry are kids at heart and remembering how we all started experimenting with puppets, sheets and desk lamps, this place is like a giant playground.

My earliest memory of homemade theatre is this: I used to set up a mini ghost story in my bedroom. I had a rocking chair and would tie a piece of string, or perhaps thread, onto it and hide in the room. Then, unseen, I would pull the string and the chair would move. I would move other things too and would provide some basic sound effects and lighting with the light from my bed side table. The audience was usually an intimate group of two – my parents. Perhaps my sisters sometimes watched. I can’t remember. Wow, that’s a long time ago.

Now look what I’m doing!

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