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Theatre collaboration set to come to the stage

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Monday, 28th October 2019, 09:00

TinkCo is the name of the new group TinkCo is the name of the new group

A collaboration between two popular theatre companies is set to come to the stage at the Barn Theatre in Cirencester.

The new group, named TinkCo, is made up of members of the Swindon-based Theatre Ink and Cirencester’s COS Productions.

“Theatre Ink and COS Productions have been working together since 2011,” said Barry Austin, who will be directing the upcoming production.

“We share resources, creative teams, members and audiences, and whilst we strive to put on great productions, the costs of running an amateur society are not getting any cheaper and with both groups having so much to bring to the table it was only natural that we came together.”

Barry grew up overseas whilst his father served in the army, and he himself also joined the forces.

His final posting was in South Cerney, and after leaving the army he lived in Cirencester, before moving to Swindon around 20 years ago.

He says he has always maintained an interest in drama.

“I have been performing and directing now for over 25 years,” he continued.

“When I moved to Swindon I was firstly involved with a theatre group in Royal Wootton Bassett, before setting up my own group – Theatre Ink.”

With less than 20 miles between the two towns, both companies inevitably crossed paths and struck up a good working relationship.

Barry continued: “A few years in Theatre Ink put on the show ‘Chess’ and we cast Rachel Wright as Florence, who introduced me to Ian Carling, Chairman of COS Productions, who did the sound for the show.

“We then moved from performing shows in Swindon to performing shows at the Barn Theatre, before it was the Barn Theatre. With Ian providing light and sound for our productions it was only a matter of time before I started directing for his group.”

The upcoming production of ‘Big Fish’ will be the first official collaboration between the companies, and Barry is pleased with how things have been going.

The show will be TinkCo’s version of the classic story, which was written as a novel by Daniel Wallace in 1998 and has been adapted for both stage and screen.

“I became aware of ‘Big Fish’ years ago after listening to the soundtrack and fell in love with the music and the story,” said Barry.

“Last year it came to the West End with Kelsey Grammer in the lead role and I fell in love with it a little bit more if that’s possible.”

The show, which was made into a feature film in 2003 starring Ewan McGregor and Albert Finney, tells the story of a dying man recounting his fantasy-filled life to his son.

“The story shifts between two timelines,” explained Barry. “In the present-day real world Edward Bloom faces his mortality while his son Will prepares to become a father himself.

“In the storybook past, Edward ages from a teenager, encountering a Witch, a Giant, a Mermaid, and the love of his life, Sandra. The stories meet as Will discovers the secret his father never revealed.”

Rehearsals began in July, and for a show with a big cast of 30 people, Barry says they have been going very well.

“As this is people’s hobby we try and get a good balance of having fun but also working hard to put on a great performance for ourselves and importantly, for our audiences,” he said.

“This is a musical which involves the full cast in many scenes so there has been a lot to learn and do – but the cast are a talented bunch of people and it will be well worth the night out.”

‘Big Fish’ will be at the Barn Theatre from Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th November.

For more information visit www.tinkco.co.uk

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