In 2014/15 we were commissioned by Red Ladder Theatre Company to make a new community performance with clients at Spacious Spaces Recovery Centre about their journeys back from addiction. In the end we made two shows; ‘Letter to the River’ and ‘Recovery Stories’. The stories, and the people we met, were so intriguing and we wanted to reach more audiences than these shows allowed logistically. The professional artist team decided to make our own show, inspired by the community shows, that could be toured beyond Leeds – and our first touring production was born; Drink With A Chimp,
Having previously directed a number of outdoor performances for Prof. Steve Bottoms’ Multi-Story Water project in Shipley, Simon and Steve teamed up in 2016 for Common Chorus’ After the Flood. This site based show took family audiences on a journey through the experiences of the victims, volunteers, engineers and agencies that responded to Leeds’ Christmas time floods six month earlier.
In late 2016 the ‘Drink With a Chimp’ team had a brainwave for a new show inspired by what we had learnt about ourselves from hanging out with people in recovery from addiction. We began developing a new storytelling performance where someone well into their recovery journey becomes embroiled in a modern day Western involving a Vicar, a gun and a car filled with flowers; ‘If I Say Jump’.