Three Women & A Dream - Michelle Inniss on Pitch Lake Production's debut tour
I received an email from Cathy Tyson in December 2014 saying, what do you think of this? The email was an application of interest to Black Theatre Live. She was surprised when I said, yes, let’s go for it! Well, why not? What did we have to lose?
We had to move fast though, and many emails, mobile minutes and how was the quality of your Skype call today? later, we sent off our application. To our complete amazement we had been shortlisted! We then went on to prepare our pitch for Derby theatre. Jonathan became our guiding light. It said somewhere on the form that if we had any questions we should fire away, and that’s exactly what we did!
Cara Nolan, our director, was now on board, we divvied up the tasks and many emails, mobile minutes and how was the quality of your Skype call today? later, we were off to Derby with our pockets full of dreams, well, record cards actually, and smiles on our faces! We did a lot of research on the theatres in the consortium looking at past shows, audiences etc. To our amazement, we had been selected for the second time! I remember a lot of screams and a few expletives among the - we’ve been chosen!
Then the big job - setting up our company Pitch Lake Productions, which is named after a lake in Trinidad. Sue Bainbridge helped us register our company. My daughter Rocío designed the logo and the website, and taught me how to navigate social media - she is very patient! Cathy became our marketing guru with verve and panache. Cara became our financial controller – tough job and all round magician – she needed to be! We maintained a good sense of (Northern) humour and got on with it.
In preparing for the tour with BTL the support from Jonathan and Milan has been unparalleled. We had regular meetings and cups of tea at the Royal Festival Hall – we all agreed a lovely place to meet. We went through everything, the poster, flyer, budget, creative team, marketing; you name it, we went through it. We’ve had some hiccups along the way, well, what did we expect , we were a new company. I believe we have taken these hiccups in our stride. We’ve also taken lots of mental notes not to let this or that happen again! However, whatever we have encountered Jonathan and Milan have been at the end of the phone or an email away.
The launch of Pitch Lake’s inaugural tour was sooooo exciting, really! After the preview I had my first Q&A ever which was fab. Then the Premiere! Stratford Circus was a buzz with people waiting to see the show. The set looked fantastic, the lighting was atmospheric, the sound of the Tannoy was just like being in London Bridge station, Amber the Stage Manager was calm, the acting was superb and the audience were absolutely fabulous! Then there were huge bunches of flowers, cards, kisses, hugs and Prosecco! Lovely! The whole experience has been one hell of a rollercoaster ride! All that’s left to say is a huge thank you to, Jonathan, Jatinder, Milan, Hardish, Elin, all at Tara Arts, and all the lovely people we have met from the 8 theatres in the consortium. Thank you for giving us this opportunity and for putting your trust in us!!
Michelle Inniss (Playwright & co-Director, Pitch Lake Productions)