Badapple Theatre Company are one of the most prolific and original rural touring companies in the UK, working under the artistic direction of established comedy writer Kate Bramley. Based in rural North Yorkshire we specialise in taking high quality, original comic performances to the smallest of venues nationwide. With a respected creative team drawn from BBC Radio, TV and regional repertory theatres you can be always be certain of an entertaining night out, finding the best of new theatre in the most unexpected of places.
Theatre on Your Doorstep
Our Theatre on Your Doorstep project was conceived to take a full theatre experience into small spaces, and to that end we travel with our own stage, full set, lights, sound and experienced performers and create a special theatre experience for audiences within their much-loved community spaces.
Our passion is for telling stories through the art of theatre, but our touring work is about so much more than that. In an age when people are sometimes more likely to communicate with friends and family overseas than pass the time of day with their immediate neighbours, we see our role as creating opportunities for modern rural communities to come together.
21 Years of Touring
Our high-quality professional theatre performances simply provide a focal point for communities to enjoy a good night out among friends in their own village or local area. We are now celebrating our 21st year of touring and our original plays always showcase engaging and uplifting stories that have their roots in village life and the concerns and debates affecting rural audiences.
In the past we have explored the farming stories of James Herriot (in An Honorary Yorkshireman) and recorded first-hand the reminiscences of Yorkshire Land Army volunteers that inspired two of our most popular pieces ‘Back to the Land Girls’ and ‘Lights Out Land Girls’. In ‘The Last Station Keeper’ our fictional village was faced with the debate about a new high speed line, in ‘Salsa Verde’ a poignant relationship between grandfather and grandson set against the backdrop of the village celebrating the Millennium with a Salsa Spectacular and in ‘The Carlton Colliers’ an allotment garden that changed the fortunes of the run down village and the failing football team.
Theatre for Social Change
And the rural lens can also shine a light on worldwide modern issues such as climate change and forced migration that affect all of our communities. Our Artistic Director Kate Bramley describes our commitment to shining a light on all kinds of stories for all kinds of people:
“Theatre For Social Change. By social change I don’t mean politics or divisive crowing, but a focus on inspiration, social cohesion and inclusivity. I want other children, not just my own, to have the chance to explore their own creativity and freedom. I want those on the outside or in the margins- young or old, rich or poor, of any race or ethnicity- to be welcomed in to events that bring communities together and remind us on a daily basis that we all benefit from caring for those around us.
My own creative work and that of Badapple Theatre will continue to follow these principles, bringing people together for a good night out but making sure there is no-one left uninvited. I ask all of the highly skilled members of my team to continue to hold this philosophy of inclusivity at the heart of all the professional touring and community work we do.”
"Bramley's dialogue fizzes with life, energy and humour and her storytelling and direction are constantly inventive"
"Full marks all round to Badapple, North Yorkshire’s own “doorstep theatre” enterprise"
"This is a production brimming with creativity and talent and a large feather in the cap for Badapple Theatre."
"You might be sitting in a village hall somewhere but what you will get will be up there with West End standards of performance, lighting and design – and at a fraction of the cost"
Badapple Theatre is led by Artistic Director and Writer Kate Bramley and Jez Lowe (Company Director- Composer and Music Director).
Kate Bramley is a highly respected theatre practitioner who trained under Sir John Godber at Hull Truck Theatre becoming the youngest professional director at the award-winning company. Born in Yorkshire, Kate has lived in rural areas for most of her life and her astute comic writing is often set within a small village, where the protagonists look out at the wider world from the unique perspective of village life.
Jez Lowe is a SONY Radio Academy Award winning songwriter and international touring musician who is also a featured presenter for Radio 4 ‘Open Country’ and commissioned songwriter for the BBC Radio 2 ‘Radio Ballads’ series. His witty and poignant lyrics and toe tapping melodies mean he is much in demand and has work exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum and collected for ‘The Museum of The Troubles’ in Ulster. Among his many achievements he has recently performed some of his original work from ‘The Ballad of the Great War’ alongside the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra for live broadcast on BBC radio.
Administrator and Company Director Claire Jeffrey assumes responsibility for the crucial administrative link between halls, funders and the creative team. She is the one you will usually find in the office talking to organisers, sending out publicity and ticket orders and generally keeping the company afloat on a daily basis!
Funding and media Manager Annabelle Polito is our PR and fundraising guru, ploughing through the many diverse forms, websites, tweets and posts that keep some much needed subsidy coming in to the company while celebrating all we achieve with that support. Our mandate is to make high quality performance accessible for all by keeping ticket prices as low as we can at the point of sale. This means that audiences in tiny villages can see internationally acclaimed musicians and actors ‘off the telly’ on their own turf for a tenner a night and Annabelle is a key part of making this happen.
Education Director Sue Rosser is the director of our year-round youth theatre sessions for 7-15 year olds and also our much-loved ‘Play In a Week’ summer schools. From 2001-2005 Sue Rosser was Associate Director and Head of Education and Outreach at Bury St Edmonds Theatre Royal. She went on from there to work as a Freelance Practitioner at Cheltenham Everyman theatre. She has an MA in English from the University of Edinburgh and a PGCE in Drama and English from Cambridge University. Alongside her professional theatre career she has also worked for PAC UK delivering training in schools about Attachment Theory and associated challenging behaviour presented by permanently placed children. Delivering training to key LA services (Social workers; EPs; Virtual Heads) around the experience of adopted children in schools. Consulting with schools and parents of adopted children to agree plans to support the children in school. Conducting systemic reviews in schools to raise awareness of Attachment Difficulties and to encourage schools to become ‘Adoption Friendly’. In 2018 she was Acting Head of Drama at Hymers College, Hull.