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Young Harrogate theatre company looking for support to take production to the Edinburgh Fringe

The Bellyfeel theatre company was formed in January 2016, however as a company they have worked together through school and various amateur projects for many years.

They now have a production that they are looking for support to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

All have attended or are currently attending Harrogate Grammar School, they range in age from 17-19.

The company consists of Amélie Roch, Joseph McDonnell, Hannah Margerison, Esme Lees, Lucy Ireland, Georgie Smith, David McCabe, Carla Addyman, Roisin Sheridan and Jack Hennighan – they have all worked to devise this project.

Amélie Roch said:

Working together on devising this project as we feel we each have strengths that will benefit the writing of the script.

You may recognise some of the Bellyfeel faces from Harrogate’s famous pantomime or work with Opera North, however this will be the first time any of us perform as part of Edinburgh Fringe Festival and we are extremely excited.

The team consists of talented artists, technicians, writers, musicians and of course dramatists, each member of our company has applied to work within the arts for their further education. Amélie and Hannah were involved with Oliver at the Harrogate Theatre whilst working with the amazing Harrogate Phoenix Players. Phoenix also performed Fiddler On The Roof with company members David and Lucy this year.

Joseph was involved in the tour of Carousel playing the part of Enoch Junior in 2015 whilst Esme has been performing with Leeds Youth Opera.

Amélie Roch

Amélie Roch said:

From spending a lot of time in London and around cities like Leeds and York, the homeless have always been there but never spoken about.

I remember first going to Millennium Square in Leeds whilst volunteering with a theatre company.

On a huge sign before me, I saw an advert telling people not to donate to homeless people as they will spend all the money on drink and drugs.

I was shocked that this sign was so bluntly voicing the opinion of the many walking past and I was disgusted that no-one else reacted the same way I did.

Was this addressing a problem or causing one?

I wanted to challenge the people who designed the adverts and ask them why they thought it was okay to promote this type of stigma.

I wanted them to meet the people they were talking about and hear what they had to say.

What better way to do this than through theatre; an environment where you are open to everything from the ordinary to the magical.

To take the production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, financial sponsorship support is needed. This will help pay registration fee, venues costs and accommodation

Amélie Roch said:

We want people to sponsor us so that we can make challenging, political theatre.

No-one in the company is doing this show with ambition to make profit for themselves, but to promote a cause we hold close to our hearts.

Whilst busking to raise funds one Saturday in Harrogate a man came and stood before us.

He was clearly wearing his home on his back and was shaking in the cold but he put his hand in his pockets and pulled out four or five pounds and put it in the guitar case.

David ran after the man to give him some of his money back in order for him to get a warm meal, the man responded with “that’s what it’s for, to give”.

We hope more people can adopt this philosophy and we will do what we can to give back to them.

Sheltered is about the people of the streets. The lost, the wanderers, the people who have found their home without a home and those who are still looking. At the beginning of the show, the audience will be given a token which they can then donate to their chosen characters. The four who have the most donations will perform, the others will be left behind.

From these characters the production will show as many perspectives as they can whilst keeping true to the experiences they have had or heard about.

Amélie Roch said:

As we are in the devising process at the moment the show we are completely open to any new influences we may come across.

The beauty of devising ourselves is that as our knowledge grows and develops, the show will also morph into what will ultimately be our final Fringe performance.

The only mutual theme that will be kept between characters is that of homelessness.

The rest is free for our company to experiment with. We aim to have a mix of light comedy with some darker stories to take the audience on an emotional journey, it may surprise them with the sorts of people they can empathise with.

Through the techniques of many different practitioners we will explore these personalities in a way that is something new and exciting for our audience.

The mixture of styles and approaches will hopefully result in something that is both entertaining and powerful that resonates with our viewers.

If you have an interest in the production then please email

A gofundme page has also been setup

They can also be followed on Facebook

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