I want to burn with the spirit of the times

“I want to burn with the spirit of the times. I want all servants of the stage to recognize their lofty destiny. Yes, the theatre can play an enormous part in the transformation of the whole of existence.” ― Vsevolod Meyerhold

We love all the arts, but theatre has a special place in our hearts. To this end, we present to you our tiny-theatre programme for the next month or so 🙂

Improvisation.. Discover the power of YES! with the SOOP Theatre Company.
Next get together is Sunday 11th May at 6.30pm.

To register, visit:

"It was a great chance to 'let yourself' go and see where things take you"

“It was a great chance to ‘let yourself’ go and see where things take you”

Improvisation is not just for actors or comedians. The principles that form the backbone of successful improvisation can apply to so many areas of real life. Learning how to unlock your spontaneity can help you to lead a more positive, fulfilling life, and SOOP can show you how.

Led by Nathan Chapman, the creator of SOOP’s award-winning improv show Instant Soop, our short courses in improvisation are the perfect introduction to this often misunderstood art form. In a friendly, fear-free environment, you will learn the skills that underpin improvisation, and it starts with one simple rule – just say ‘Yes!’

soopac06f023113417a424a06ac3f2f053dbAs well as being of great benefit to actors and any type of performer, however experienced, the benefits of improv have many applications in all walks of life. What you learn in these workshops will increase your confidence, improve teamwork and leadership, encourage you to be more open to the opportunities that life presents you with, reduce anxiety about being ‘up there’ in front of an audience, increase speed of thought and, of course, have lots of fun and laughter!

That’s easy for us to say, but people who have experienced SOOP improv workshops before agree, as you can see from these testimonials:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the fun way that Nathan steered us through an afternoon that was pretty packed with learning and activities and yet never once seemed a chore so that it flew by. I have come away feeling more confident and much more aware not only of the need to describe character and environment contexts for a good story/speech, but also how to do so in a concise one liner. Absolutely amazing.”

“I loved the relaxed nature of the session. I didn’t feel pressured to stand up or be funny, but I stood up, spoke and, at times, was funny! I’m really glad I went and got involved, but to be honest the session was so entertaining, I would have paid just to watch and laugh at the comedy the rest of the group produced!”

“It was a great chance to ‘let yourself’ go and see where things take you”

soopaa13d24408206531e52ea27dd7c4a5a1Our first term of improv workshops is now open for registration. Running fortnightly for six sessions, this term will cover the basics of improvisation. The course is designed to steadily increase your skills and confidence, but is also suitable for those who might just want to ‘drop-in’ and try the odd workshop. You can sign up for the full term for just £40, or alternatively drop in to any sessions you want for £10 per session.

Sessions run on the following dates at The Art House:
27th April, 11th May, 25th May, 8th June, 22nd June, 6th July

Interested? Then just say ‘Yes!” Here are the details on Facebook:

And on their web page:

Fruitcake (Ten Commandments from the Psych Ward)
The Art House, Sat 17th May
fruitcakeAbout Fruitcake

“Smart, funny and frequently very moving… a first rate show.” – Calgary Herald ★★★★★

UK-based stand up poet and reformed psychiatric nurse, Rob Gee presents a user-friendly guide to losing the plot.

Fruitcake charts a night shift on an acute psychiatric ward, seen through the eyes of a jaded nurse who hears the voice of God – a kindly Rastafarian woman – who gives him ten benevolent commandments to help him through the shift; and life.

“The missing link between theatre and rock-and-roll… his genuine empathy for the patients lifts this show into the ranks of superior entertainment… a tour de force.” – Victoria Times ★★★★★



Rob Gee image by Nick Rawle (1)Rob spent eleven years working as a registered nurse in psychiatric units around the UK and Australia. Specialising in acute psychiatry, he has also worked in adolescent and elderly units, drug and alcohol services, eating disorder and early psychosis intervention services, continuing care services and psychiatric intensive care. He has clocked up over 2000 shows and is sometimes sent into schools as a warning to children.

“Stunningly talented… amazing… so engaging it’s almost criminal… the hype was well-earned!” – The Visitorium, Ottawa

Rob says he enjoyed looking back at his old career with fresh eyes: “The hard thing was condensing everything into an hour, given all the themes I wanted to raise. Who actually gets to decide whether you’re insane or not is quite a meaty subject. I also wanted to debunk the idea that psychiatric illness is something that happens to other people. It can happen to any of us in the wrong circumstances.

“It’s Gee’s command of the quirky, fine-grained detail that gives each anecdote its kick. Running under it all is the idea that we’re all just a few unreliable brain chemicals away from the loony bin ourselves.” – Winnipeg Free Press ★★★★★


When I first wrote Fruitcake, I performed it to an audience full of people I’d nursed in the past. I was extremely nervous, because I knew if they didn’t like it, they’d let me know in no uncertain terms! Thankfully the feedback was very positive. It was a huge relief. ”


robgeb10004037101524389702407692146945823nFruitcake has sold out shows in the UK, Orlando, Toronto, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Victoria. It also sold out its complete run at both the Calgary and Edmonton Fringe Festivals.

Now a full time stand up poet, Rob has toured the UK, Europe, Australia and North America, won numerous poetry slams, including The Edinburgh Slam and BBC’s Why Poetry Matters Slam, and is sometimes sent into schools as a warning to children. He regularly appears on BBC radio. Rob’s is the only performance ever to have instigated a fight at the Leamington Spa Peace Festival.

“Gee has pitched it perfectly… this hour showcases Gee’s strong talents as a witty, skilful storyteller… he moves remarkably well, too, in a splendid sample of physical comedy… it’s all part of the varied pace of this happy hour, which ends with a song, the jaunty ska-flavoured It Could Be Worse, which really ought to be hit. And who better to cover it than Madness.” – Chortle, UK
“I have come into contact with many people who’ve been nursed by Rob that have said he was one of the few people that understood, and that he was able to make what could of been a traumatic inpatient experience a lot more bearable. I met Rob as a patient, I left him as a poet.” – Lydia Towsey, Arts in Mental Health Coordinator, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, UK

Director: Tracy Cruickshank

Tracy is a lecturer and subject leader in Drama Studies at De Montfort University in the UK. She has written and directed numerous acclaimed theatre shows, including This Vehicle is Rehearsing and Elvis Has Left the Building. She is also a recovering Slam Poet.

Voice of God: Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze

Internationally acclaimed dub poet Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze studied at the Jamaican School of Drama and began to write poetry in the 1970s, performing and recording in Kingston and London. She has worked as a director and scriptwriter for theatre, television and film, and performs her work around the world.

Music by Skatz

Skatz is a singer songwriter, music producer and writer. He sings and plays guitar, piano and percussion for the band Woodstock, as well as Nick Drake inspired band Bryter Layter. He also tours a show about heroes and legends called Daniel Lambert’s Trousers.




Fruitcake – More Reviews

robgee10172770101524389703057691849086825n“Rob Gee is the real deal, the kind of performer you pray you’ll discover at every festival. Terrifically well-written and confidently delivered, each chapter more outrageous, hilarious and – often – oddly touching than the last. This kind of high-wire act is what the Fringe is all about.” – Orlando Sentinel

“Really interesting… bizarrely funny… what I really like about this show is that, while there’s a lot of dark humour, he’s never disrespectful about his patients; and that really elevates it to a quality show.” – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

“Do whatever it takes to see Fruitcake… funny, touching, painful, witty, a joy… I loved it!” – Mooney on Theatre, Toronto

“A compelling storyteller… hysterical and the heartfelt… an unforeseen highlight, a convulsively funny and surprisingly moving tribute to humanity’s collective psychosis.” – Minnesota Examiner

“Edmonton Fringe – Best original song: Rob Gee’s Monty Python-esque ‘It Could Be Worse’ in his one-man show FRUITCAKE.” – Sandra Sperounes, Music Correspondent, Edmonton Journal

Rob on the web: http://www.robgee.co.uk/


Friday 6th June on board the SS Shieldhall, Dock Gate 4, Southampton


The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes features the great detective recounting highlights of his crime-busting career. Enjoy a whirlwind tour through the history of one of English literature’s best-loved detectives.

Sherlock lives! Well at least for now, as we meet him on the brink of certain doom. But while he does, he has time to regale us with the edited highlights of his sensational adventures. Against a small but fascinating set filled with the accoutrements a Victorian consulting detective requires for his art, Holmes describes his encounters with many nefarious gentlemen – and, of course, The Woman.

The Singular Exploits of Sherlock Holmes is a true labour of love, written and performed by Jonathan Goodwin, who has the distinction of being, not only a versatile actor, but a true Sherlockian, having joined the London Sherlock Holmes Society aged only 13 (only just pipped to the title of youngest ever member by Stephen Fry)” – The Secret Victorianist

It includes autobiographical snippets and an opportunity for the audience to ask the sleuth questions concerning his life and times, the adversaries he has faced and mysteries he has solved. The show is an affectionate one-man homage to the world’s greatest detective that includes quick costume changes and wry humour.

The show is presented by Don’t Go Into The Cellar! Theatre Company, the British Empire’s finest practitioners of theatrical Victoriana in a macabre vein!

“Goodwin is worth watching in himself, for his masterly handling of the audience, conversational air and captivatingly eccentric performance. There’s talent and some great ideas here, even if this isn’t your typical polished London theatre, and I’ d definitely go back into the cellar for more.” – The Secret Victorianist

1h20m + interval

There is a full review of the show here:

BOOKING: https://cellar1406.eventbrite.co.uk/


10270693_10152489821130769_4526975004564080915_nShieldhall is a Heritage steam ship and a member of the National Historic Fleet. Recognised to be the largest working steam ship of her type in Britain and probably Europe, she serves as a tribute to Britain’s maritime heritage and a living reminder of the golden age of steam.

Find out more here:

The address is:

SS Shieldhall
Berth 48
Dock Gate 4
SO14 3QP
United Kingdom

About Bik

I am a founding director of a Community Interest Company called The Art House Southampton CIC in the UK. I am a community artist / promoter / facilitator / technologist / general tinkerer! I believe that through the arts, people can rediscover themselves (and thereby reclaim their power.)
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