First Bite Festival 2019: Take a Bite

Written by Andrea
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23rd April 2019
Two young women and two young men staring at a glass of water, another girl can be seen sitting in the background.

© Arnim Friess

Our First Bite Festival concluded at the Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester.

For the first time, three young companies were chosen to perform new work alongside the First Bite artists as part of Take a Bite – a new initiative providing Midlands based 16-21 year olds with professional development opportunities within the UK arts scene.

We caught up with Katie Holtom, one of the company members from Turkey and Cranberry Sauce; one of our Take a Bite companies; who performed their piece ‘On This Day’ at our final event at Attenborough – to see how they found the experience.

We had been rehearsing for weeks and the day finally came. We were nervous. Excited. Apprehensive. All of the above. But in the end, we had the best time ever!

As a group of young artists, Turkey and Cranberry Sauce were very lucky to be taking part in the Take a Bite scheme, especially alongside some very experienced artists who clearly knew what they were doing and were already making their way in the world. After all, that’s what we are trying to do too.

At first, this seemed a little daunting to all of us, I think, but everyone who took part were so lovely and encouraging, and there was a real feeling of support as we were waiting backstage. This was great encouragement, and we were able to perform with our heads held high, knowing that here was not a place where you were judged, but a place where you were supported, guided and helped in your work. That being said, it was also a brilliant opportunity for us as a developing company to begin networking, and we wouldn’t have had this opportunity had we not been offered a place at this festival.

Two young men and a young woman, holding small hand touches, the light illuminates their faces.

© Arnim Friess

For most of us, this was our first experience in a professional environment, so it was a perfect way to introduce us to the professional theatre world, with a more relaxed feeling that didn’t feel like we were diving headfirst into a world we didn’t know. It has only made us more passionate to continue doing what we are doing in order to stay around this environment for much longer.

The lovely Andrea deserves a mention from us too, and I can’t thank her enough for everything she did to help our little company for this festival.

We have learnt so much being here and gained an experience that none of us will ever forget. Our company would love to take part in the festival again and look forward to the day when we are the experienced professionals being looked up to by another Take a Bite company.

Once again, on behalf of all of us in Turkey and Cranberry Sauce, thank you very much for having us.

Words by Katie Holtom for Turkey and Cranberry Sauce.

For more information about our projects with Midlands-based 16-21 year olds, please go to our Young People page. To find out more about First Bite Festival, please contact Rosie Kelly.

Photos: Turkey & Cranberry Sauce performing On This Day.