West Sussex theatre company has big plans for 2022

A new West Sussex theatre company is promising exciting, challenging work in the New Year.

Daisy Roe
Daisy Roe

After the success of her screen series Dropping Marmalade which was released on YouTube in the first lockdown in 2020, Daisy Roe has now set up her own theatre company Juvenile Behaviour Theatre with fellow members of the National Youth Theatre.

The company comprises young theatre enthusiasts with a passion for creating and sharing stories.

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“We have a number of key aims, the first being that we aim to push the boundaries of the actor and audience relationship. We are dedicated to showcasing new work, helping new writers in the industry develop their voice.

“We are also dedicated to young creatives. After all, this is a company formed by young people for young people and we want to provide as many opportunities for people new to the industry as possible. Our final aim is that our work remains playful and free, driven by process rather than result.”

Artistic directors Patrick Gregan and Daisy met whilst training with the National Youth Theatre and have been creators ever since: “The company was formed in lockdown but this proved no obstacle for our determined team!”

Daisy spent lockdown directing, writing and producing the screen series Dropping Marmalade while Patrick used his time offering acting lessons to colleagues and hosting a play-reading group once a week.

Now they are looking towards their first production as Juvenile Behaviour Theatre. The aim is that the dualogue Blue Balloons Pink will hit the stage in May next year: “We will hopefully be touring with this production at three of the UK’s biggest fringe festivals – Brighton, Camden and Edinburgh.”

The play was inspired by the man-made disasters of the US craze for gender-reveal parties, baby showers at which proud parents reveal the gender of their unborn offspring – blue balloons for a boy, pink for a girl. For a while there were all sorts of tales of things going horrendously wrong. One party caused a forest fire. Apparently another even caused an earth tremor.

“Blue Balloons Pink follows Ash and Maggie on the day of their baby shower. All Ash wants above his career, or even his relationship, is to hold his baby boy in his arms. All Maggie wants is Ash.

“The promise of a baby on the way should be a dream come true. At least for Ash. For Maggie, this one night could bring her entire world crumbling down. In the course of a single evening relationships are birthed, secrets are conceived and lies can no longer be carried. When the truth is inconvenient people delude themselves and others in order to preserve their desired reality.”

As for the company name, Daisy explained they brain-stormed for a while wanting a name that reflected the company’s aims. They felt that Juvenile Behaviour Theatre did just that – “the fact that we are driven by process, by exploration rather than result, the fact that we are finding our own voices through the work, the fact that we want the company to be a space to explore and to be playful. I am a writer and our first production has been written by me. But we also want other people to pitch to us. We are dedicated to new writing and to give a platform to other young creatives.”