Blog - LaPelle's Factory's HopBarn Package Holiday - Week Two

This year, In Good Company has teamed up with The HopBarn to offer a package holiday for one lucky company to develop their work in the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside and preview it at DEparture Lounge Festival. After a competitive application process we're delighted that LaPelle's Factory have been developing their new show Desperado in the peace and quiet of The HopBarn for two weeks. Here's their blog from week two.


We've come to the end of our residency at the HopBarn.

We've had two weeks out in the countryside away from the distractions of everyday life.

Desperado came together here.

The process has been more direct and focussed, our surroundings a thousand times more inspiring, and unquestionably we've worked faster, more intensely and more effectively than we would've been able to otherwise.

And we've made a show.  A show that reflects the times we live in.

It's silly and strange, at times it's unsettling.  It drives forward and refuses to stop.

It's satirical, historical, it verges on hysterical.

It moves in the purgatorial loops of dance marathons and pushes harder than it should.

It's about desperation, exhaustion, pain as entertainment.

It hopes that from dark times something good will always emerge.

We've been inspired by the Sydney Pollack film They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

We've been inspired by what we think we know about Dante.

We've been inspired by The Cure, by Sweet Charity, and by Jane Fonda's workout videos.

We've learnt words in Italian that nobody ever says.

We've sung karaoke, got strategically angry, and danced on the tables late into the night.

Our calves have filled with lactic acid and we've struggled to move the morning after.

We've laughed at things which under other circumstances would make us cry.

We've pushed and pulled our bodies, we've thought about energy and connection, we've fought like hombres and mujeres, we've fallen down and got back up again.  And again.  And again.

We'll keep going.  On and on.  When will it stop, when will it end?

Stuart and Mary, our hosts at the HopBarn, have offered terrifically supportive and constructive feedback on what we've created, as did our friends and other guests from In Good Company.

Objective thoughts and feedback are gold-dust.

We're in reflective position now, a strong place to be before diving into our final week of rehearsals, the lead up to our preview performance at Derby Theatre's DEparture Lounge festival.

When beginning this residency we had no idea we'd end in the strong position in which we find ourselves now.  On reflection, we realise how important this opportunity has been, how much we needed it as artists, to get away from everything. We're sure the show is stronger as a result.

LaPelle's Factory isn't keen to go home, however it's now someone else's turn to create and play here.

Thank you for giving us this chance, thank you for helping us make this show.

We're looking forward to unleashing Desperado on the world. 

Ollie Smith & Olwen Davies, LaPelle's Factory

Find out more about Desperado