EFDSS bursary for The Theatre Ballads

‘The Theatre Ballads’, which is a project to translate traditional folk ballads into theatre has been chosen as the winner of a competitive commissioning process by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) through funding from the PRS for Music Foundation’s Talent Development Partner scheme.

The Theatre Ballads will be developed by Horse + Bamboo Theatre and feature singers and musicians Bryony Griffith, Kate Locksley, Ewan McLennan and John Kirkpatrick alongside puppeteers Gretchen Maynard-Hahn and Ailsa Dalling.

Horse + Bamboo Theatre in action. Photo by Ian Tilton.

The Lancashire based organisation will receive a £4,000 bursary to research and develop The Theatre Ballads, working in partnership with EFDSS, The Met Bury and Colston Hall in Bristol.

The show will debut at the home of EFDSS, Cecil Sharp House in London, on March 23 2017 followed by performances at Colston Hall on March 24 and The Met on March 25.


“We are delighted to have won The Commission Award. We aim to create an evocative new look at visual theatre and folk music combining voices, harmonies, stories, puppets, music and animation.

“This is a new style of performance somewhere between an evening at the theatre and a music gig. It will bring theatre to the traditional music audience and traditional music to a theatre audience.

“Folk ballads we have been researching so far include ‘Con Yo’ Help us a Bit’, a song about the consequences of the Lancashire mills closing, which is pertinent today, that will be developed into a stop-frame animation and ‘The Female Smuggler’ that could become a suitcase puppet show.”

Esther Ferry-Kennington, Producer, Horse + Bamboo Theatre


Read more at the Efdss website