This has been a fantastic year for Finger in the Pie: We began 2015 taking our wonderful one woman show Waiting for Stanley on a UK tour. Finger in the Pie Cabaret Showcase began a year long residency at the RVT. We had great fun launching our two brand new cabarets – Cabaret of the Century and Cabaphonic. Our education program came into its own – with workshops and courses being programmed throughout the year in cabaret, drag, mask and puppetry. We worked internationally delivering Mask workshops in Korea and devising clown shows in Barcelona. We programmed cabaret performers for various events, shows and venues including the fantastic new musical These Trees are Made of Blood at the Southwark Playhouse. We also carried on developing new work with R&Ds exploring song and movement which will now be carried forwards into next years production of Sir Gawain and the Green Night, as well as completing the R&D phase of our one woman show – Appetite for Destruction in London, Colchester and the Brighton Fringe.
This has also been a big year for Finger in the Pie organisationally: we took up new offices in Theatre Delicatessen in the old Guardian building on Farringdon Road and welcomed a new Executive Director – long term Finger in the Pie collaborator Flavia Fraser-Cannon. These new developments have allowed us to begin a process of organisational development that will see us transition to becoming a charity in 2016. Part of this company development will see a rationalisation and streamlining of the different organisations and brands we have developed. When we started out 11 years ago Finger in the Pie was an unheard of small theatre company – so when we started offering networking and artists development opportunities it made sense to do this under it’s own Artists Anonymous Brand. However this year we brought all the artists development work Artists Anonymous used to carry out back under the Finger in the Pie banner. This has gone hand in hand with a major expansion of our outreach and artists development work: rolled out a new training scheme for production and marketing placements, developed a new artists in residency scheme to support emerging theatre and cabaret performers, relaunching the PubClub networking nights and continued our own residency at Middlesex University offering guest industry lectures and student bursary places to our workshops and courses.
This has also been an exceptional year for Theatre Bubble. After 2 years of outstanding work our editor Verity Healey moved on to even bigger and better things. Because no one person could possibly hope to replace her we’ve now expanded the editorial board – welcoming four new editors: Verity Bell, Luke Rollason, Leah Cooper and Alex Wood covering news, features and reviews respectively. As part of our consolidation we’ll also be bringing Theatre Bubble more explicitly under the Finger in the Pie banner. We’ll be relaunching all our websites in 2016 – with Theatre Bubble working alongside the Finger in the Pie site as our company news outlet. We’ll still be bringing you all the reviews, industry news and guides that we always have but from now on Theatre Bubble will also be replacing the news and blog section of the Finger in the Pie site – brining all our news together in one place.
2015 has also been a year where we’ve had to say some good byes. Having decided to bring Artists Anonymous events back in house with Finger in the Pie – it was felt that it was time to give Page 2 Stage a new life of its own. Miranda Harrison has been impressively running the night autonomously for the last few years, and as new writing is not at the heart of our artistic mission it was only right to give her full control. We wish her all the luck in the world and can’t wait to see how she carries on developing the fantastic night that she has helped create and mould. You can now keep up with everything Page 2 Stage via their Facebook group here. We’ve also drawn the curtain on our hugely successful monthly Finger in the Pie Cabaret Showcase. After 8 years it was finally time to say good bye to the showcase to make way for us to focus on larger and higher profile shows in 2016. We’ve had some of our fondest memories at Finger in the Pie at the cabaret – and it was a huge blow when Madame JoJo’s closed last year just on the eve of our 8th year in the venue. We’ve had a wonderful time this year at the RVT and would like to thank all the staff and regulars there for making us feel so welcome. I’m sure we’ll be back there again very soon with something new to offer them.
All this change will herald a new strategic vision for Finger in the Pie in 2016. We’ll be moving away from regular monthly public performances promoting other people’s work in favour of creating our own in house productions and presenting them as higher profile, one offs, tours and runs. The momentum that our regular monthly shows used to provide will now transfer over to our artists training and development program which will offer workshops, courses, networking events and residencies throughout the year. The result will mean that by the end of the year we’ll still have presented as many showcase nights as we did in 2015 – but from now on those showcases will be of our own students, showcasing their amazing talent and the hard work all our teachers and course tutors have put in to training them. The end of our regular cabarets doesn’t mean the end of us programming work either. We’ll continue to program the very best cabaret arts for all manner of shows – though from now on we’ll be focusing on offering that service to corporate clients, venues and external productions.
So 2015 really has been a year of fantastic transformations. To everyone we’ve worked with this year, who came to see our productions and support our work and who managed to make it such an amazing roller-coaster of joy, creativity and inspiration – from everyone at Pie HQ we’d like to say a huge thank you – and we can’t wait to see with you again in 2016!