Black Sheep Collective's Review Of 2019

It's always great to look back at the year when we reach the festive season, so we asked our leadership team to give us their thoughts ...

Danny Quinn

2019 has been another amazing year at Black Sheep Collective CIC. From our living statues being commissioned by BBC America to appear in season 2 of 'Killing Eve' (which is now the most-streamed programme of the year) to continuing our award-winning programmes elsewhere, engaging varied groups of participants and new and emerging artists.

We also had the exciting news that our Lottery Community Fund application had been successful, which meant that we could begin our large scale programme, 'CR8Community' which will increase capacity to set up and deliver more creative sessions. We'll be supporting local people to run the activities they want to see happening in their community and increase the facilities available at Bar Bar including a media suite, makers studio, meeting and workshop space and more room for our guests.

I'm also delighted that due to the kind support of our guests we have been able to donate over £10,000 to the local community across a number of initiatives including repairs and maintenance to local parks, funding a football kit for a new girls' football team, replacing stolen iPads from the children's ward at MK Hospital, funding new groups led by local residents and our ongoing commitment to supporting the growth of Social Enterprise.

We close this year by feeling truly honoured that our flagship social enterprise, Bar Bar Black Sheep coffee shop has yet again become an award-winning community asset. We were voted the Best Independent Cafe in Milton Keynes in the Circus Magazine Food and Drink awards, which is again another he step forward for social enterprise in the city.

Georgia Tillery Randak

This time of year it is always nice to look back on the achievements and creations of the company. Due to the nature of our work, we often move onto projects consecutively, and quite quickly, so there is often not enough time to celebrate their successes.

In 2019 I have honed in my approaches to theatre and performance starting to cement Black Sheep's theatre style and language. This was demonstrated in our production of 'The Cagebirds' by David Campton back in February, where we really challenged audiences perceptions of our work. We featured some amazing performers and built a solid ensemble which was a pleasure to collaborate with.

We have started working with more organisations in and around Milton Keynes to deliver some really interesting and vital outreach work with young people. I'm excited to see where these collaborations can go in the coming new year.

Towards the end of 2019, we established our Black Sheep Young Company which has been a goal of ours for a long time. It has been amazing working with forward-thinking young people to nurture their own skills and creativity. In 2020 we want to grow the company and produce some exciting new work with them.

As well as this, more workshops and events will be organised exploring variest theatre practices for all ages. Watch this space for announcements of all our upcoming projects and performances.

Sian Philpott-Gibbons

After working as a performer with the Black Sheep Collective since 2015, I finally became a full-time member of the team in April. Since then I have been getting my teeth stuck into Bar Bar Black Sheep. It's been a dream to add another element that I love to my work: COFFEE!

I couldn't ask for more variety in a job. When I'm not dancing with fire or playing at being a statue, I get to serve coffee and chat with local people in the heart of the busy, thriving community that is Wolverton.

Other highlights of this year for me have been performing living statue alongside Danny at the British Museum back in June at a private cocktail reception and also at the first Circus magazine food and drink awards in which Bar Bar Black Sheep won the award for best independent cafe of the year.

If you feel inspired to find out more then do call us on 01908 804257 or leave a comment below and we'll be in touch as soon as we can.