Q&A with The Spring Director Sophie Fullerlove on Jump In!

Q&A with The Spring Director Sophie Fullerlove on Jump In!

The final preparations for our open day, Jump In! are underway and so with only a few days to go, we caught up with The Spring Director, Sophie Fullerlove to understand a bit more about what makes Jump In! so special and what our visitors can expect from our special anniversary event.

What is The Spring’s open day, Jump In! all about?

We are Havant Borough’s arts centre and museum and we want everyone to know what we’re about and all the things we offer – for everyone. Jump In! is all about throwing open our doors and giving visitors a taste of the activities we have on, from performances for babies to workshops as well as our café and museum. All the activities are free or very low cost, so we hope people will come along and experience The Spring to get a taste of what we’re all about.

How does Jump In! reflect The Spring as an organisation?

The Spring is a small place where big things happen. We aim to make everything we put on vibrant and exciting! Jump In! is no different. With every room hosting performances, workshops and activities throughout the day aimed at all ages and interests, it looks set to be a fun and exciting day.

How did you choose the shows that you programmed?

I wanted to showcase the huge range of events we have on but also the quality of our activities. I had to think carefully about the rooms we have available and the timings of the day to fit as much in as possible.

The first thing I programmed was I Believe in Unicorns, which is a family show based on the Michael Morpurgo story. I first saw it in 2013 and we had it at The Spring in 2014. It’s my favourite piece of children’s theatre so I was really pleased we could bring it back. It was also important to show the best of our contemporary theatre programme so I was determined to include It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, which was one of my highlights of last year.

Music and comedy form key parts of our programme so we were delighted to include shows from popular performers The Spitfire Sisters, Mitch Benn and Frisky and Mannish. We work with many local amateur groups throughout the year and so it was important that they played a part in our open day, showcasing the local talent we have here through various performance styles.

Beyond the shows we have heritage talks, which includes an interesting talk from a leading big cat expert that was inspired by our very own Hayling Island Swamp Cat. We will also host a tutor challenge, which will see two of our art tutors pitched against each other in competition!

What makes Jump In! different from other open days?

The Spring has hosted themed open days before but never anything that includes such a wide range of activity. We really have tried to plan something for everyone.

From two baby-friendly theatre performances for only £2.50 and heritage talks to our headline comedy music duo Frisky and Mannish, we believe all audiences will find something that appeals to them on the day and across our broader programme. The Spring belongs to our community and we want everyone to feel welcome, entertained and inspired on the day.

What can visitors expect?

As well as the wide range of performances, visitors will experience a very warm welcome from The Spring team, the opportunity to enjoy delicious homemade food in our café and discover the newly opened family role play area.

Even if you choose not to see a performance as part of the day, you can still come and take part in the many free activities that will take place, including family crafts, our fascinating museum, the new Wellspring video exhibition and lots more from 10am onwards.

Do you have any special recommendations?

It’s difficult to know where to start! For families with young children try Kaleidoscope, a wonderful first sensory theatre experience inspired by lights and colour. Then drop into our new role play area or try some family crafts.

Anyone with an interest in the state of the world, politics or how we relate to each other will enjoy Daniel Bye’s The Price of Everything. It’s an entertaining hour of theatre and performance lecture, which includes Dan telling the audience what happened when he tried to sell an air guitar on eBay!

I’m excited that UK leading storyteller Danyah Miller is leading a free workshop for us. Danyah is amazing and this session is suitable for anyone who wants to gain confidence in storytelling, entertaining or just chatting!

It’s True, It’s True, It’s True was one of the most powerful performances I saw last year. It’s based on a true story and shows how little our attitudes to women have changed in 400 years. If you consider yourself a feminist, you won’t want to miss it!

The day will finish with back-to-back performances by musical comedian Mitch Benn and pop comedy sensation Frisky and Mannish. Given how exciting the day will be I’m also looking forward to a few cups of tea (and maybe a gin and tonic later in the day – I highly recommend our local gins!) in our café and gallery space, and chatting to people about what’s going on.

For more information on Jump In! click here.