TARZANNA: a new aerial theatre show challenging stereotypes for young girls

TARZANNA, a new aerial theatre show challenging stereotypes for
young girls
Originally commissioned by Derby Festé, supported by Déda and funded by Arts Council
England. UK tour: 2nd March - 1st June 2019.
According to a study published in the American periodical Science , by the time they are six, girls
already think that they are less capable than boys. The Gramophones created Tarzanna to tell
the story of an alternative female role model who is the hero, in charge of her own destiny and
with the power to make change.
“We were sick of seeing role models that were princesses in towers waiting to be rescued,
always the second string to a male protagonist. We thought how refreshing would It be to have
a female hero who is physically strong and has to save everyone else!”
(Hannah Stone, Gramophones Co-Artistic Director)
Tarzanna invites all children to think differently about the role of girls and their power and
potential to change the world. The show is non-verbal and is therefore suitable for D/deaf
audiences and audiences who do not speak English. Tarzanna was originally commissioned by
and performed at Derby Festé in 2016, and has since been performed at Circus Hub
(Nottingham), Curve (Leicester) and Leeds Castle. In 2019 it tours to six exciting venues across
the UK.
The show delights young audiences as they are taken on a journey into a magical world through
playful aerial storytelling, original music, moments of interactive fun, puppetry and acrobatic
Anna doesn’t like mess and prefers all things to be in order. Her neat and tidy world is turned
upside down when she is magically transported to the rainforest and discovers wonders she’s
never seen before. Wild creatures appear and dance before her as she swings through the
jungle of her dreams. When her new home is put in danger, she realises she can she let go of
her need for tidiness and become the wild Tarzanna, facing her fears in order to save her
newfound animal friends.
“I thought the acrobatics were really good. I want to do that!” - child in audience.
“An absolute treat, a real highlight of Inside Out 2017 and needs to be seen far and wide. Girl
power!” - Suba Das, Associate Director, Curve
“Tarzanna was wonderful. Just loved how everyone from 9 months to 90 got it- a beautiful
production” - David Lane, venue programmer
Tarzanna was originally devised with Derbyshire based theatre company Babbling
Vagabonds , and the 2019 tour has two Derbyshire artists at the helm. The production is being
directed by Ria Ashcroft , who hails from Ilkeston, and produced by Hannah Stone , who grew
up in Chesterfield. Hannah and Ria are founders and co-directors of Nottingham-based theatre
company The Gramophones Theatre Company . The Gramophones are a playful female
company, who devise honest theatre that places the audience at the centre of the
performances. They use inventive storytelling, physical theatre, clowning, circus and
autobiographical work to create accessible theatre.
★★★★★ “An injection of optimism…energetic storytelling” - Broadway Baby on End to End,
nominated for best show and best new writing at Buxton Fringe.
★★★★ “This is all told with imagination, inventiveness, energy, emotion and sensitivity;
making for an excellent evening at the theatre” - The Good Review on Wanderlust.
Ria Ashcroft is a circus artist, performer, director and producer, who also co-owns Circus Hub,
a circus venue in Nottingham city centre. Hannah Stone is an actor, writer and mother who has
produced several Edinburgh Fringe shows, national tours and festivals. The show is performed
by Farrell Cox (RSC, Mimbre, Hot Brown Honey, Les Enfants Terribles), Claire Crook (Theatr
Genedlaethol Cymru, Paper Doll Militia, Citrus Arts) and Florencia Leon (Artichoke Art Group,
Periplum). Design is by Mark Hornsey (Babbling Vagabonds), Lighting Design is by Alexandra
Stafford (Nottingham Playhouse, Fifth Word Theatre, York Theatre Royal), Music composed by
Darren Clark (RSC, National Theatre), and Choreography by Sarah Bebe-Holmes (Paper Doll
Militia, Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival).

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