Big Telly Theatre Company has considerable experience in the creation of projects exclusively designed for corporate clients. These range from promotional events to arts-based training programmes and the use of actors within the recruitment process. Artistic Director Zoë Seaton has also worked with Management Consultants Venture International to deliver training and development programmes that use theatrical techniques. Clients include Allianz NI, Bass Ireland, Mi Wadi (in conjunction with Cahoots N.I.), Irwin, Donaghey, Stockman Accountants., Coleraine Town Partnership, Zing Design and Print and Macaulay Wray Solicitors.
Arts and Business
Sponsors of the arts can get even more value for money through the Arts & Business New Partners Scheme. This is an investment fund to help business undertake some new activity in the arts-or broaden and deepen an existing relationship.
Arts & Business will potentially match any funds secured from a sponsorship partnership under this scheme and if a successful application is made monies are directed to the arts partner via Arts & Business.
Examples of projects supported through the Arts and Business New Partners Scheme
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Sponsor: Irwin, Donaghey, Stockman Accountants
The Painting by Numbers project provided an opportunity for Big Telly and Irwin, Donaghey, Stockman Accountants to further develop an existing relationship and achieve individual company and mutual objectives, while involving and benefiting local schools. IDS had the opportunity to reach school-leavers and career teaching staff, internal staff, existing and potential clients, and the wider local community to promote accountancy. While Big Telly had the opportunity to further develop existing relationships with local schools (staff and pupils), the Riverside Theatre venue, artists, and reach potential future business partners, existing and new theatre audiences, and the wider local community. The exhibition provided the opportunity to promote the innovative approach adopted by Big Telly and IDS, as well as the company's commitment to investing in the local community. The project consisted of five maths classes from local schools taking part in a 'Painting by Numbers' workshop. Each class worked as a team to complete their portrait. Each section of the portrait contained not just a number, but a mathematical problem set by the accountants. On completion of the portrait, Siobhan Ferrie, Big Telly's Costume Designer, gave a talk about Set and Costume design for theatre, with particular focus on how mathematics is an essential part of the design process. Completed portraits featured in an exhibition at the Riverside Theatre Coleraine, to coincide with the performances of The Picture of Dorian Gray in February 2006. IDS held an exhibition reception for clients, the schools involved, and staff.
The Little Mermaid
Sponsor: Allianz NI
Big Telly Theatre Company toured The Little Mermaid, the first ever large-scale theatre production set entirely in a swimming pool and entered a partnership with Allianz NI for the project. The regional venues provided ideal opportunities for Allianz NI to gain promotional exposure in these areas outside of Belfast, within which they are currently strategically focusing on targeting potential clients. The Little Mermaid was designed for a family audience, which Allianz NI was subsequently targeting, and accompanied by an access programme that involved adults and children in the creative process. The ethos behind both the outreach programme and the production was that any environment or activity offers potential for a creative response. Allianz NI provided pool packs for workshop participants to take home, incorporating branded merchandise with a watery theme.
As the unique nature of this production attracted considerable public, industry and media interest, it provided a suitable platform to raise the profile of Allianz NI, as an innovative and creative organization, supportive of Arts initiatives and committed to providing relevant and accessible opportunities for the local community.
The project combined increased access to theatre and audience development with the marketing of both the work of the business and the activity of the arts organisation. The Exhibition was an opportunity to showcase the partnership between Big Telly and Allianz NI within national and local media, regional and city-based communities, and to promote the New Partners programme.
Sponsor: Zing Design & Print
Zing's investment in the production was matched by a New Partners' Award from Arts & Business which led to the creation of a unique training opportunity for the business' clients.
Staff from Zing joined Big Telly's Artistic Director for a workshop session to develop team building and networking within their organisation using various arts-based training exercises. Exercises included an icebreaker exercise called 'Thank you very much...' which is about accepting praise and then using it to enhance and develop performance, some synchronised story telling work, a teamwork exercise where the group worked together to prevent one person from getting to an empty chair, deciding strategy and analysing their performance, an exercise designed to initiate discussion about how language can be used to describe pictures, a team exercise paint pictures while blindfolded using paints which were scented to give a clue to colours and a whistle-stop introduction to filmmaking with Big Telly's crew, after which they worked in teams to prepare a storyboard. The cast and remaining crew of The Thief joined the group for the final exercise which included excerpts from the show. A pre-show reception was hosted by Zing Design & Print on Thursday 18th March at the Nerve Centre, Derry.
The Colleen Bawn
Sponsor: Macaulay Wray
Big Telly worked with Macaulay Wray Solicitors on an arts-based training project based on The Colleen Bawn, a play based on a real life murder story. Macaulay Wray's investment in the production was matched by a New Partners' Award from Arts & Business which led to the creation of a unique training opportunity for the business' clients.
A group of junior solicitors from Macaulay Wray looked at the themes of responsibility, perception and justice contained in The Colleen Bawn, as a basis for a session designed to develop their courtroom skills. The solicitors spent a rehearsal session with the cast and director, during which the characters in the play were placed on trial and cross-examined. The training session was felt to be hugely beneficial and also enjoyable. A reception was hosted by Macaulay Wray Solicitors on Friday 24th October at the Riverside Theatre.
The Playboy of the Western World
Sponsor: Irwin, Donaghey & Co.
Big Telly and Irwin, Donaghey & Co. received a New Partners award from Arts & Business for their collaboration on 'The Shoe Show'.
Staff from the Coleraine accountancy firm worked in rehearsal with the cast and production team to produce this unique sneak preview of The Playboy of the Western World - from the knees down! The action of the play was compressed into a frantic ten minutes with the story told only by shoes, and the show repeated nine times over the course of a Saturday afternoon in January in the window of Bishops' Footwear in Coleraine. This project was later awarded The Legal & General Arts Award as part of the Arts & Business Creativity Awards 2005.
Mad Hatters Tea Party
Sponsor: Coleraine Town Partnership
On Easter Monday (21st April) and Easter Tuesday (22nd April) 2003, Big Telly Theatre Company presented The Mad Hatter's Tea Party in two different locations in Coleraine town centre.
The project was commissioned by Coleraine Town Partnership, was devised and produced by Big Telly and was made possible with the assistance of an Arts & Business NI New Partners Award.
This specially commissioned theatre piece utilised magic, illusion and special effects to tell the story of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party and was performed by a cast of five who portrayed well-loved characters Alice, the Dormouse, the March Hare, the Queen of Hearts and, of course, the Hatter himself. Each performance lasted for sixteen minutes, and the show was repeated twice on each performance day, with the cast undertaking extensive walkabouts amongst the audience before, after and between the shows.
Big Telly has worked with Inbev on several projects, both to assist with candidate assessment in interview processes and as part of ongoing training programmes in specific areas, such as staff appraisals.
National No Smiling Day
coincided with the launch of Bass Ireland's comedy festival. Big Telly gathered together ten performers dressed as ordinary members of the public to stage a protest about smiling and laughter. The actors remained solemn throughout while admonishing passers-by for any smiling or laughing. The reaction from the public was very positive and Bass Ireland's comedy festival was a huge hit.
The Portable Telly
The Portable Telly is Big Telly's tiny four-seater Victorian mobile theatre which tours short pieces of theatre, sideshow style illusions/attractions or excerpts from work-in-progress.
The Portable made its first appearance during Autumn 2000 when it arrived at shopping centres, market squares and school playing areas all around the North with 'trailers' for the tour of Big Telly's production of Fish.