The Space Shed wins ‘Unique’ Shed of the Year!

My dream has come true! Honestly, this is so cool. I’ve been a fan of Shed of the Year since it launched. As a kid I used to write and paint models in the garden shed and back when I was still using Facebook I ran an “I Love My Shed” group. I really do love sheds. And I love The Space Shed the best. It was always meant to be a thing of wonder and joy. Conceived to DELIGHT anyone who encountered it – young or old. And, thanks to all the brilliant people who have worked with me to make it real… I think we’ve done exactly that.

So my heart-swelling thanks and love to:
Rhys Jarman – my ‘theatre husband’ and most constant collaborator with whom I’ve made more shows than I can count now. You were here from the beginning of this one when we first started to imagine what a Space Shed could be and drew our imaginings all over my kitchen table…
Space Shed beginnings
Also in this photo… the LIFEFORCE that is Ellie Carter – the most uplifting of people to work with – and Producer Extraordinaire Ric Watts who I had the privilege to work with for 6 years.

Huge shout out to my wonderful colleagues at that time of inception who trusted and supported me when they didn’t really understand what I was trying to do. Mark Hollander, Christie Hill and Alison McIntyre without whom the whole Unlimited Space Agency project simply would not have happened. Alison in particular has been a constant presence graduating from Flight Activities Officer and responsible for helping bring Mini Jon to colourful life…

…to Flight Director running the show immaculately whenever she’s in charge.

Also in this photo is one of our planet’s most gorgeous, patient and kind human beings – my FIDO (Flight Dynamics Officer) and one of my most constant Space Shed and touring companions Simon Perkins. The first time my wife saw the Space Shed in action she said to Simon “So… are you like Jon’s carer?” which doesn’t feel too far from the truth. Thankyou Simon for always looking after me and the Space Shed with all the care and love you have.

Also there from the beginning, originally as an Assistant Producer and also graduating to Flight Director, the hilarious and SUPER CAPABLE Anna Turzynski (left) pictured here with Christie Hill (right) during the original rehearsals at the Space Vehicle Assembly Building (the barn at Pond Farm)

Anna loves to camp

…and is (literally) the one to pick me up when I fall

We always work with and rely on committed volunteers and ground crew to make the Space Shed events run as smoothly and as enjoyably as they do for audiences so THANKYOU to all of you who have joined us as Ground Crew, particularly our regulars Pauline Mayers

and Bridget Fry
Rocket Woman
Joining us fresh for 2019 is our second in command FIDO, the totally unflappable Steve Watling (far right below) who wears Simon’s costume rather excellently and back up Flight Director (Unlimited’s awesome new Exec Producer) Alice Massey (second left)…
Space Shed Crew 2019
And to my current Unlimited colleagues Tessa and Sarah  – thanks for always being there when needed. Especially when my tent explodes.

The Space Shed remained a concept on paper and in drawings until we took it the genius builders Andy and Neil at the now (very sadly) closed Q Division. There was never a single feature that we asked for they didn’t have an idea or a solution for how to make real. They literally built the Space Shed from the ground up and, if you’ve seen it working, you’ll understand how much of an immense feat this is. Thankyou Q Division and all the best for your future freelance lives.

Equally ingenously, the Space Shed has spectacular lighting/video/sound systems plumbed into it thanks to the extreme creativity (and spirit lifting company) of regular designers Josh Pharo and Sarah Readman (lighting and video) and Elena Pena (sound) who also (whisper it) helps Mini Jon find his voice, assisted by Dan Balfour and Richard Bell. Without them it wouldn’t be able to do any of THIS!

Graphic design (everyone loves the Space Shed branding, right?!) is by our long term collaborator and lovely human Lee Goater
and the dedicated websites, and are all designed with care and passion by the excellent Maraid.

Shout out to Verity Sadler – the loudest art director in the biz who dresses me and the Shed under Rhys’ careful supervision…
The Vezzer…the man who’s made all the original music for UNSA and the Space Shed (and a load of other Unlimited shows!) David Edwards aka Minotaur Shock
Dr Rob Appleby who was instrumental in helping us get the DJ function up and running

..and not forgetting our brilliantly generous patron who continues to support all our activities, even when he’s in space!
NEARLY FINALLY… to all the people who originally supported us building and making the Space Shed (Without Walls, Ian Morley at Barnsley Civic, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre)… to all the people who have invited the Shed to their festivals and events – particularly the fabulous Tania Harrison (until recently of Latitude)… to the children and teachers of Skyswood School for providing voices for the shows… to the scores of guest speakers who have joined us to help inspire the next generation of scientists, artists and activists with their inspirational work and stories. Please do check out the wonderful conversations I’ve been having with them on our podcast Live From The Space Shed which is edited and engineered by the ever youthful Andy Wood. And if there’s anyone I’ve missed, I’m sorry and nudge me with a text!

ACTUALLY FINALLY… to any of you who have joined us at the Shed, stumbled across us at a festival or in a city square or garden, applauded a show, asked a guest speaker a question, helped spread the Space Shed love on social media, voted for us in Shed of the Year – a sincere and heartfelt thankyou. We made this for you. We’re so very proud and glad that you’re enjoying it.

Unique Shed of the Year