All Saints Church Bradbourne

Community Spotlight: All Saints Church Bradbourne

Tuesday, 19 May

Community Spotlight

Live & Local wouldn’t run without our network of fantastic voluntary promoter groups and local communities. This is something we like to celebrate, with previous Community Spotlight articles talking to the teams at Wren Hall, Swayfield Village Hall and Alrewas Village Hall. The current worldwide crisis does cast a rather different light on our every day, however, as we’re not able to enjoy local shows with our wonderful promoters. Now perhaps more than ever, we have to remember what makes the Live & Local network so special and while we might not be able to be together in person, all our communities will be waiting on the other side to raise a glass and enjoy a live show – together!

As the saying goes, the night is darkest just before the dawn so we’re going to hold onto that thought as we hear from one of our promoters: Jenny at All Saints Church, Bradbourne. Their community has a history of facing hard times with their Doubly Thankful village status so, without further ado, here’s Jenny.

All Saints Church Bradbourne

The tiny village of Bradbourne in Derbyshire is very proud of its Doubly Thankful status – all of those who left the village for World War I returned safely, likewise for World War II. No surprise then that Badapple Theatre’s show ‘The Thankful Village’ attracted our attention, and with the arrival of several active and enthusiastic couples keen to see more community events – as well as the strong support of the vicar – the stars seemed aligned to join the Live & Local scheme and bring Badapple to Bradbourne.

The Thankful Village

On paper, we had insufficient space in our Grade I-listed church to stage the show. But never underestimate the determination of this ambitious band of Bradbourners! Ever resourceful, Eddie found a way to modify the pews to create an impressive temporary stage and in October 2018 we hosted our first Live & Local show. Ticket sales were slow at first, but by show night we had a waiting list at our (shoe)box office. Word of mouth and the passion of the volunteers were key to the success of the event.

There was a lot to learn for our first show but the team of 11 enthusiastic volunteers, (aged 13–74) took on the tasks with gusto and the youngest acted as compere for the night. Since then we’ve become adept at installing and dismantling the stage, forged links with the microbrewery in the neighbouring village to supply our interval bar with craft beers and discovered new social media and radio publicity opportunities.

We’ve packed the church for performances by Bonfire Radicals, Tell Tale Tusk, and a return visit from Badapple Theatre with ‘The Frozen Roman’. Our planning meetings combine hard work with fun, including cheese and wine, beer-tasting (in the name of research for our bar) and pancake nights. We finish with a relaxed post-show get-together, giving the opportunity to meet the performers and make new friends.

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