Category Archives: Events

The Tempest on Tour in aid of Catching Lives

The TempestTour Dates:

15 September – St Mary’s Art Centre, Sandwich Buy tickets here

16 September – St Mary of Charity, Faversham Buy tickets here

19 September – The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury Buy tickets here

22 September – The Old Kent Market, Margate Buy tickets here

24 September – Central Bandstand, Herne Bay Find out more

30 September – St Mary Bredin, Canterbury Buy tickets here

This September Phoebus Fire are going on tour around the coastal towns of Kent and the great city of Canterbury raising money for the homeless through Catching Lives.

In this modern re-staging of the much-loved ‘The Tempest’, Naples and Milan become corporations rather than kingdoms, and Prospera is banished to the streets rather than a magical isle. She survives as an opportune herbalist and healer, using the feral Caliban and ex-junkie Ariel to help her bring up her daughter Miranda unscathed, in a secret corner of this desperate existence. Her business rival, Alonzo, is sailing with family and friends, including Prospera’s usurping sister Antonia. A terrible storm wrecks the yacht, depositing everyone, including the galley crew (Stephana the drunken sous-chef and Trinculo the pot-washer) onto Prospera’s streets. We see how Prospera takes advantage of an opportunity for Miranda and the chance of revenge on her enemies. The production retains the original Shakespearian language, in a reduced version that runs for approximately ninety minutes (plus interval). All profits will be donated to the ‘Catching Lives’ homelessness charity.

Catching Lives  runs an open centre in Canterbury to cater for the homeless people of Kent’s day time needs of food, clothing, shelter, washing and laundry facilities, counseling, internet access and company. During the three coldest months of the year they also provide somewhere to sleep over night, using a series of seven churches. This Winter Night Project costs upwards of £50 000 a year and we are donating all of the profits from our tour to help with this project and the daily running of the day centre. Catching Lives staff will be accompanying us on tour and you’ll see their information stall where you can find out more about their work and how you can help. At all venues (apart from the Marlowe Studio) you will also be able to bring and donate essential supplies of dried and tinned food stuffs and toiletries if you wish.

Please help us make life a little kinder to those on our streets this coming winter. Pass the word around, share and “like” our Facebook events pages.

Thank you

Two Down and Two To Go!

Half-way through our run of ‘Killin’ in Cactus County’ and what wonderful audiences we have had.

Our first show was at Worthgate Scout Hut, in Wincheap, Canterbury, as a fundraiser for the Scouts. We’ve performed here before, and it is a lovely small venue. Everyone seemed to have a good time, even though no-one guessed the killer!  She’s just too good at what she does! Some of the younger audience members got into the spirit of the event, and came dressed as cows! Well done to them.

Our second show was at the Chislet Colliery Welfare Club in Hersden – a new venue for us, but hopefully not the last time we’ll perform there.   Fund-raising this time was for the Sturry, Fordwich and District / Aire-Sur-Lys Twinning Association, and it was très jolie!  Another fun evening, with a different murderer (we never like to make things too easy!) and three teams correctly guessed whodunnit.

Two events left to go – two different endings to be worked out by two more audiences.  We are looking forward to seeing the good folk in Deal on Saturday 8th April, and then we’ll be in St Peter’s Greenhill on 22nd April.  Deal is sold out, but there are still tickets available for the 22nd.  Contact Lisa on 07482 599953

An introduction to the Meisner technique.


Thanks to practitioner Reuben Williams last Saturday for his encouraging introduction to the techniques of Sanford Meisner. He helped us take our first tentative steps into the world of connecting with emotional truths within our fellow actors and ourselves in order to bring authenticity of feeling to our characters and their situations.

In pairs we explored the “Repetition” exercise, learning to really listen and observe our partner and respond authentically to how we perceived they felt. In turn they did likewise and for those that acknowledged those feelings and went with them, the results were amazing.  In my turn as an audience member I became very aware of my emotional responses to the action “on stage” and when the actors’ emotions were authentic that’s when I became most engaged.  It really works!

Meisner, Reuben told us, advocated that we have an emotional primary palette of “mad, sad and glad” and all other emotions are mixes of the core three. I think we all felt the challenge of being confronted with an uncomfortable emotion, especially “sad” and by the end of the session we were recognising our own avoidance tactics as we tried to escape facing and owning that emotion in particular. At this end of the process, at the very introductory stages it was obvious how emotionally blocked most us are, a state encouraged by social conformities  but a real barrier for the actor between them and convincing their audience. I came away from the day wanting to do more and with the sure knowledge that here was a very powerful technique that, although hard won, would reap very real rewards.

We also had a brief look at Meisner’s textual analysis technique and the value of engaging the audience during a monologue rather than acting into a void.

It was an exhausting, and highly stimulating day. Another Phoebus Fire winner, thanks to Karen for organising, to Reuben for his encouragement and tuition and for everyone that took part who helped to provide a safe space to experiment and play.

Watch this space for the next workshop!

Meisner workshop

Reuben Williams is currently known for his fabulously fictional Bullshit Tours of London!


Phoebus Fire’s First Season of Murder

Our first season has been a real success during which we helped to raise funds / awareness for the Canterbury Christchurch College Christian Union, the Worthgate Scouts, the 2nd Reculver Brownies, the MS Therapy Centre Canterbury, the Hoath & District W.I.  and the MS Society Medway.   We performed three murder mysteries – A Valentine’s Murder; Cirque de la Mort; and Sea, Salt & Slaughter.

Many thanks to all our host organisations – we look forward to working with you again in 2017.

A Valentine’s Murder


Set in 1926 in a Chicago  speakeasy run by gangster Abe Bernstein and his Purple Gang, this was a night of mob warfare, dodgy dealings and affaires of the heart that ended in tears and  – not too surprisingly –  murder! The audience, as the patrons of the speakeasy, enjoyed extra entertainment in the form of two period blues numbers sung by Kit Stevens as the character Betsie Milberg.


Cirque de la Mort

Bow question-time

Our summer production was an up-to-date story of familial rivalry and workplace jealousy beneath the Big Top as we scratched the mysterious surface of circus life in Cirque de la Mort. The audience, seated around the circus ring, were entertained by an acrobatic floor show from the Bellini Bros, clowning antics from Hobo & Bozo, and the questionable palm-reading talents of the Great Fortuna. Led by the inept ringmaster FlimFlam, newbie Sam found he’d taken on more than he’d bargained for when he’d run away and joined possibly the worst circus on the circuit this summer. Rinky Dink Brothers wowed the crowds for us during June.

clownspose  Fortuna WSH

Sea Salt and Slaughter

mogs-tale Trio of trouble

With 18 September being International Speak like a Pirate Day we could not resist visiting Capt. Salt’s swashbucklin’, rum-swiggin’, tax-evadin’ pirate crew of the Plymouth Glory in the early autumn. Sea Salt and Slaughter was a rip-roaring and mind-teasing yarn spun in the Drunken Mermaid Tavern in 1720. It was enormous fun to put on and a sure-fire winner with the audiences who joined in on the sea shanty singing with gusto and came up with some intriguing alliances among the suspects. In addition to the raffle, the audience pored over the treasure map we’d drawn up and laid down their gold to have a stake in where they thought the treasure had been hidden. Arrrrggh, it were a fine show!

Avast!  crimson-questions


The Future


Our audiences absolutely loved their time with us, and we have been delighted with the enthusiastic feedback.   Audience members asking eagerly for details of the next show,  and those who enquire whether we can do the same for their community group or charity, have been a great source of encouragement and inspiration.  Thank you.



Last chance to experience murder mysteries this year

Our murder mystery season for 2016 is coming to an end this weekend. Saturday 17 September, yes, that’s THIS Saturday is your last chance to see one of our murder mysteries in action before the new season starts in April.


The Great Fortuna predicts a fabulous evening's entertainment.

The Great Fortuna predicts a fabulous evening’s entertainment.


If your group is contemplating collaborating with us next year and haven’t quite made up their minds, do buy a bunch of tickets and come along to Beltinge for a fabulous evening out! Then take your experience back to your committee and say YES, let’s work with these wonderfully entertaining people next year! More and more people are doing just that which is fabulous for fund raising in Kent, enormous fun for us and top entertainment for your audiences. It’s not another quiz night, it’s theatre on your doorstep!

Our dates and themes will be announced in the next week or two so watch this space.

Pirates Ahoy!

MS Therapy Centre

The motley crew of buccaneers be hangin’ out in The Drunken Mermaid, (they got thrown out o’ The Tattered Sail for bein’ too rowdy!) They be sampling the grog, singing shanties and swapping yarns of adventure on the high seas.

They’re gettin’ ready to set sail, and will be dockin’ soon in a venue near you. Don’t miss out on the chance to sing along, solve the murder, and have a great night out with friends, all in a good cause.

Performances 9th & 10th September at the MS Therapy Centre, Canterbury and 17th September at Reculver & Beltinge Memorial Hall.

A wonderful evening at Worthgate.

Our circus tour continued with a cracking night of murderous mayhem at the Worthgate Scout Hall, Heaton Road, Wincheap Canterbury last night as we raised funds for the Worthgate Scout Group.

Our circus folk wow-d the crowds with their grand entrance through the luxurious new stage curtains and gasped as our dozy clown Bozo almost used them to wiped her pie-ridden face. Luckily the Great Fortuna saw the disaster coming and was ready with a well-placed towel, much to the relief of the scout leaders!

Bozo gets to grips with tea drinking with a clown nose.

Bozo gets to grips with tea drinking in a clown nose.

Some more great questions from our detective audience kept the cast on their toes and at one point put Sam the Knife-thrower’s Assistant on his back as he demonstrated how he’d found “the body”, much to everyone’s amusement.

Everyone got into the spirit of the occasion and we found two audience members dressed up as a Circus Health and Safety Inspector and a Big Top! We like our audiences to feel comfortable and dressing up is always optional but we get a great kick out of seeing the efforts some people go to. Brilliant!

Cirque cast

A great last night for Sue as Hobo the Clown.

A great last night for Sue as Hobo the Clown.

The Great Fortuna predicts a fabulous evening's entertainment.

The Great Fortuna predicts a fabulous evening’s entertainment.

There be pirates docking in a town near you!

Phoebus Fire are getting very excited because Karen has her murder mystery writing hat on again and furious key-tapping noises are coming from under her door, along with the occasional muttering of “Arrrrggh, pass the rum”, and “Shiver me timbers that’s a corkin’ redherring, if ever I saw one!”

So all you landlubbers or even sea-faring hearties, if ye be lookin’ for a way of raising funds for your non-profit making group or favourite charity this September, get in touch and we’ll lay anchor and provide a keel-cracking evening of entertainment for you!

Phoebus Fire

murder mysteries for organisations

The Circus was in Town

Sunday 5th June 2016

Rehearsals are over and last night was the first showing of ‘Cirque de la Mort’.  Our audience in Hoath Village Hall was small but perfectly formed and they got truly into the spirit of detective work, asking plenty of interesting and sometimes tricky questions.  Our “circus performers” showed their colourful characters (and costumes), murder was committed and solved, and the circus goes on to perform another day!  Apparently one of the teams (who correctly identified the culprit) contained some real-life detectives!  All the feedback was enthusiastic, and we are now looking forward to taking our circus to Worthgate Scouts for a repeat performance on 11th June.  I can’t wait to entertain another audience.

Phoebus Fire Debut

What a great evening we all had on Thursday as Phoebus Fire performed their debut to a packed and appreciative audience.

A Valentine’s Day Murder was warmly received by the crowd at Canterbury Baptist Church, courtesy of Christchurch Christian Union.  A record 4 teams managed to guess the culprit, though the motives were somewhat dubious!!

thanks again to the organisers.