Jill Blanchard - Shoestring Theatre Company

Jill Blanchard - Shoestring Theatre Company

Welcome to week 3 of Brandon Ferry Tales Adventures. Arsh Gill, our Marketing Intern interviewed Jill Blanchard from Shoestring Theatre Company, Brandon local theatre company. For the project they worked with professional storytellers from Snail Tales, who specialise in bringing the cultural heritage of people’s past to life by researching, developing and presenting their stories with engaging performances. Together they created an interactive promenade, where historical characters from the past were telling their stories to passers-by. All local Brandon stories and true characters.

How did you come up with Brandon Ferry Tales project idea?

As a Forum for an event this was a process of who had we got, and what could we do, and hopefully pick up others as we went along. We generally felt that Brandon had grown so much over the years and many people just didn’t know it. But no, we didn’t want a history lesson, but a fun event. Ferry Tales became the name as the High Street had previously been called Ferry Street as it led to the river, where originally a ferry had been employed to cross it.  Who had lived here in the past gave us the tales.

What did you get out of the event?

Personally, a lot of satisfaction that our members had learnt a new skill, which storytelling is, and that nearly all the members took part and thoroughly enjoyed it, and from comments, we received so did our audiences. Of course, we enjoyed the other entertainments, we could see on the day.

What was your most memorable time and participant from the activity?

That was seeing a member of Shoestring who doesn’t normally get involved “on stage” actually taking part and playing her part in the storytelling, as well as taking part myself (normally backstage).

She was telling the story of her family employed in gun flint making and flint knapping, whilst selling the natural items found locally. There was an influx of visitors once the railway had arrived in Brandon, they came to see the unique flora and fauna of our area. Her sisters, who on the day were further along the path, collected items for her to sell.

Lasting memories of the day?

A very long day but all of it enjoyable, lovely atmosphere. Would I do it again and would our members? You bet we would, hopefully with new members joining us.


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