The Bee Project builds up a buzz at the Belgrade Theatre
Midlands-based theatre and dance collective Laura Ryder & Co are building up a buzz at the Belgrade Theatre this spring with a brand new show themed around the plight of Britain’s bees.
Packed with energy, attitude and tons of eco-friendly glitter, The Bee Project offers an antidote to forecasts of environmental doom and gloom, with its fun, messy and optimistic vision for conservation through collaboration.
The story begins at a bustling party, with drinks flowing and a hum of activity all around. As the first notes of your favourite song wrap around your ears and the first sugary sip passes your lips, you’re drawn irresistibly into the thronging hive of dancers.
Moving in time to the music, you feel at one with the room around you. But when your big night out takes an unexpected turn for the worse, you’re left to rely on your friends to pull you through…
Inspired by the complexities of bee communication and hive activity, Laura Ryder & Co explore how movement can be used to convey meaning, and the power of friendship and working together towards a common goal. Following successful performances at Derby Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre and Attenborough Arts Centre, this dynamic young company now bring their debut show to Coventry, highlighting the connection between caring for each other and caring for the environment.
Dancer and choreographer Laura Ryder said: “When making the show we explored what it means to look after each other as artists and applied the values of the piece to our artistic practice in the rehearsal room. The Bee Project has been devised in a completely collaborative way; incorporating movement, text and design to tell our story. We are really excited to share our work with audiences and engage them in discussions about how we can work together to tackle environmental issues and how, by looking after each other, we can also look after our natural world.”
She added: “We found a real joy in the physical mess that our bodies create throughout the piece, and our favourite aspect of the show as a company is the sections where we mimic the movements of bees. It was a really interesting part of our rehearsal process to explore how bees move and how we, as humans, can explore bees’ range of movements and the reasons behind them. We’ve had fantastic responses from audiences about the movement and mess in the piece; it’s a really fun way to tell our story and an impactful way to share a vital environmental message.”
Brought up and trained in the Midlands, Laura and her co-creator Freya Sharp have been performing together since their school days, attending classes at Derby Dance Centre and attending Derby Theatre’s youth theatre group. Freya then went on to complete her training at Birmingham School of Acting.
The Bee Project is created and performed by Laura Ryder and Freya Sharp, and directed by David Ralfe, with sound by Luke Galloway and production and lighting design by Maria Terry. The dramaturg is James Varney.