In 1994 Sue Pyecroft and Christopher Davies approached the headteacher of The Mount Special School to discuss the possibility of a theatre residency for students with learning difficulties. She thought it a good idea so we contacted The Leicester Haymarket Theatre who agreed to provide the Studio theatre for a week. It just so happened that during that first residency the BBC were recording a documentary at the Haymarket and came in to film what we were doing. The film maker asked Christopher what the company was called. We hadn’t thought of that – had not really thought of ourselves as a company – certainly didn’t have a name. So Christopher called across the studio:
“Sue! What are we called?”
“Bamboozle” came the immediate reply.
And we have been Bamboozle ever since.
The residency went so well that we did another one, and then another – we were really enjoying it now so in
1998 we appointed a fundraiser so we could do more work. This led to a big increase in the amount of residency work we could do. We also ran our first artist training this year.
In 2001, we begin to work with children who have complex needs and their parents during the school holidays.
2002 – established our management board – this was getting serious now.
2003 – The Thunder Stone – interactive performance tours East and West Midlands
2005 – became a registered charity.
Tour to the Isle of Man.
2006 – became a full time company.
Our first book “The Bamboozle Book of Dramatic Starts” published.
2007 – received Arts Council funding and appointed our first employee – Sam Ireson became our managing producer.
Collaboration with The National Theatre to run residencies related to War Horse.
2008 – web site established.
Moved into new premises with office, storage, rehearsal studio and space for other companies to share.
2009 – Transition project with Birmingham City Council
2010 – Tour of Where The Wild Things Are © Maurice Sendak.
Became company limited by guarantee
Began 2 year relationship with Hillcrest School in Bedfordshire to “Change the Culture of Creativity” within the school.
PMLD schools’ tour of “Soap and Suds”
2011 – Schools’ Tour of “Crazy Hair” from the book by Neil Gaiman
Assitej international congress in Sweden/Denmark. Multi-sensory environment “Jelly Fish” and Keynote
Ziguzagj Children’s Festival in Malta – “Jelly Fish”
PMLD schools’ tour “Jelly Fish”
Autism project with Yeoman Park School Notts. “Finding creative ways to engage hardest to reach ASD students”
2012 - Autism project with Sunfield School. Worcestershire. Residency/INSET model to “Explore ways to engage hard to reach ASD students”