Collaborating with those we make work with

On this week’s blog, Producer Natalie Adams gives an insight into Coney’s Commissioned work – a strand which sees us exploring all kinds of avenues, across all kinds of sectors. Read on to discover what that looks like from the inside…

Coney are makers of interactive theatre, games, adventures and play. We are artist-led, with a varied programme of projects reaching young people and communities wherever people gather.

Projects such as A Lovely InterventionWe The People (of this place) and our carefully curated programme for the Young Coneys are free and accessible, supported by Arts Council England, Trusts and Foundations and Friends of Coney.

Alongside our free and accessible projects, we regularly work with commissioning partners across sectors to create interactive experiences and adventures in response to a creative brief with a challenge to solve.

As Producer my role at Coney involves developing new partnerships year round, meeting and hearing new ideas of some really exciting organisations looking for a creative collaborator, and understand their needs and what they are looking for. If we can help solve a challenge, create something innovative and one-off that meets a brief, in budget and on time, we’ll pitch for it.

The Commissions strand of Coney’s work means we can continue working with our exceptional talent pool of Associates and wider Network, with opportunities to make on a varied programme of work, which suits the diverse skill-sets of the artists we work with. When a commissioned project is given the go-ahead there are several stages in the process to get us from concept to delivery involving the commissioner, Coney and the wider team. My role sits in the middle of these key players all who have a stake in project and overall outcome, and it’s a careful balance managing expectations, needs, alongside the all important budget and schedule.

Commissions we are currently making and have made include:

Phoebe the Apprentice Ranger
Commissioned by the National Trust

Phoebe the Apprentice Ranger

Phoebe the Apprentice Ranger a family adventure set in a 400-year old ancient woodland at Polesden Lacey. Commissioned by the National Trust, this project is site-specific and is being created (as I’m writing this!) by Associate Toby Peach, Ear’d by Tassos Stevens, Designed by Kirsty Harris and is bespoke for their grounds. With the aim of engaging families to play together outdoors and in nature, it’s running for 3 weeks this August. More here.

Small People, Big Protest
Presented by All Points East Festival

Screen Shot 2018-07-19 at 12.09.09

Small People, Big Protest is a joyous protest led by young people who want their voices to be heard about issues they care about now and in the future. Presented by All Points East Festival in May, Coney were given the opportunity to be part of their mid-week free community festival and engage families from our home borough of Tower Hamlets, driven by Associate Georgina Bednar, Tassos Stevens and Kirsty Harris.

The Shadow of the Future
Commissioned by Imperial War Museums


The Shadow of the Future casts KS3 & 4 students as scientists during the Cold War and gets them making decisions on whether a preemptive strike should happen, playing out the consequences of their actions and the impact of their decisions. Commissioned by Imperial War Museums it’s completely self-guided -built for the American Air Museum in Duxford, facilitated using a digital platform created by Associates Gareth Damian Martin, David Finnigan, Kieran Lucas, Toby Peach, Graphic Designer Ben Jones and Ear’d by Tassos Stevens.

These are to name a few, in the last year we’ve worked with Chester Zoo, Greenpeace, C Space, Natural History Museum, Forum for the Future and the Museum of London. Looking ahead we have some really exciting new projects coming up in the next year which we will be announcing as soon as we can, but for now they are under wraps.

Coney are incredibly fortunate to be able to work in this way alongside our charitable projects, it means we can be self-sufficient and financially resilient in a funding climate which continues to be stretched, NPO funding remains at a standstill and fundraising is challenging. We continue to find new ways of making our work possible through various avenues such as our Social Impact strand (more about that on Becki’s blog here), as well as pushing forward with our Friends of Coney membership, for which tonight we are hosting A Night of Coney (you can find out more about becoming a friend here).

That’s it from me for now, I was asked to write this blog by Rowan our brilliant Administrator as she witnesses me pace between three projects for Commissioners all for delivery in the next two months. If you have an idea, a problem that needs solving or would like to start a conversation about ways in which Coney can work with you or your organisation, drop us a line.

We are always up for a cup of tea.

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