Meet the special people who make The Bear Pit the community venue it has become since it opened in 2008.
We join Bear Pit Associate Artist, Tony Homer, who shares with us his thoughts about our ‘little’ theatre company and discusses how he has spent his days during these challenging times.
Tell us about how you got involved with The Bear Pit Theatre
A Christmas Carol in 2013 was my first production, playing Bob Cratchit twenty years after playing it in a Second Thoughts production. I soon realised the quality of actors and directors and crew that The Bear Pit attracted was of such a high standard that I’ve stayed loyal to The Bear Pit ever since.
What have been some of your favourite Bear Pit shows?
‘Allo ‘Allo was one of the first I saw as an audience member and was impressed by all aspects of the production. As an actor my absolute favourite would be Brief Encounter, having the opportunity to be directed by the hugely talented Nicky Cox and being part of such a fine ensemble cast and crew.
Shows I have enjoyed watching include Goodnight Mister Tom, Blackadder Goes Forth, Two.
My last role as Richard Hannay was an absolute joy, being part of a small cast under the direction of Coxy again. And, of course, I was delighted and extremely proud to direct Visitors two years ago.
Why is the Bear Pit important to you?
The Bear Pit allows me to be part of a group dynamic that comes together in order to provide entertainment in such a professional manner, it’s joyful, stimulating and ultimately hugely gratifying experience.
The Bear Pit offers a space for other local groups and touring artists, as well as The Bear Pit productions to provide quality entertainment for Stratford Community of all ages. Family productions, music, comedy, drama.
What are the upsides and downsides to being in lockdown?
Lockdown hasn’t affected me as much as others. In fact I have joined Stratford Oaks Golf Club in July 2020 and played more golf in 5 months than I have in 5 years. And my work as Stock Controller at The Farm at Snitterfield has continued apace as we diversified into deliveries and collections of food boxes. My main concern is for my wife and children who are largely home working and home schooling. All three are managing but it’s not easy.
How are you staying connected with the outside world?
I’ve kept contact with friends through dog walking, going running or simply standing in gardens drinking mulled wine. Fortunately my parents live nearby and I have been able to see them most days, often delivering food parcels or newspapers.
What help would you like to see being given to the arts?
The Arts desperately needs funding to stay afloat AND it needs to be allowed to perform. Money is one obvious solution but that is not limitless. Outdoor productions are not always feasible (looks outside at snow falling). Zoom theatre is not suitable for everyone.
What lesson would you hope could be learned from the pandemic?
Lessons? Listen to the science! Follow the guidelines!! Be patient!!! Help those who need help.
The Bear Pit Theatre is a registered charity and a voluntary organisation. If you would like to make charitable donation, it would be gratefully received. The easiest way to donate is via our JustGiving page.
The Bear Pit Theatre Limited is a not-for-profit company and a registered charity no: 1156259.