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Listen to Gem and Saskia as they join Louise Welsby from Buy From to talk all things ReachOut on The Good Stuff Podcast - released 1st April 2022.

Gem and Saskia join Michaela on Radio Shropshire to discuss the launch of The Magic Easel - To the Beach .

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Shropshire theatre company diversifies its portfolio

By Andrew Revill Bridgnorth Bridgnorth entertainment 

Published: Oct 11, 2021Last Updated: Oct 11, 2021

A Shropshire theatre company is awaiting the launch of a new children's book as the company adapted to the pressures of the pandemic.

Gem Bridges-Medley and Saskia Fuchs of Reach Out Arts, based in Bridgnorth, had the idea for the book in their heads, but hadn't the time to commit to writing the words and doing the artwork for it until Covid-19 forced everyone into lockdown.

Gem explained: "As a theatre and events company, when lockdown hit last year, our entire industry closed down. So as directors of our company we decided to use our time wisely and we created a series of children's books about a young girl who has a wonderful imagination that allows her to jump into and visit any world she paints at her Magic Easel."

The first book, The Magic Easel - To The Beach, will be available to purchase on Thursday this week through Amazon. It is inspired by holidays in the UK.

The next book that Gem and Saskia are currently working on is about a train visit, based heavily on the much-loved Severn Valley Railway.

Gem added: "We are so proud to still be standing as a company after the pandemic, particularly with the restrictions we have had to deal with, from a lack of financial support available to cancellations of performances and closure of our theatre schools.

"We have remained strong and are now seeing our company build back up, visiting schools and providing local businesses with creative support for their events - we are very excited to have more projects in the pipeline."

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Britain's Scenic Railways at Christmas  - Channel 4

Members of our team were delighted to participate in a documentary celebrating our clients, the Severn Valley Railway. 

Originally aired Boxing Day, 2021. 

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Christmas services selling fast at the Severn Valley Railway

3rd November 2021 Sam Hewitt NewsRailtoursSteam

The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) has revealed its range of Christmas experiences, starting from November 19 through until Christmas Eve. 

With limited availability on some services, and a sell-out on others, SVR hopes for a bumper Christmas season this year.

The Steam in Lights services depart from Bridgnorth, starting on November 19, and organisers promise the event will be bigger and better than ever, as the train, adorned with thousands of glittering lights, travels through the winter evenings. 

Lewis Maddox, events manager at SVR, said: “We have double the number of lineside displays,” explained events manager Lewis Maddox. 

“Everyone will be astounded by the magic, and we’re are delighted to be working with a local performing arts company on the entertainment for Steam in Lights, as well as our other Christmas services.”

Bridgnorth-based ReachOut Arts have been collaborating with the SVR for several years, and are providing pre-departure entertainment at Bridgnorth station for Steam in Lights, as well as the Christmas show at Arley that forms a central part of the Santa Train experience.

This year, the company also developed the script for the brand new Enchanted Express experience, which has been recorded by Dame Julie Walters in readiness for the event.

Although The Enchanted Express has sold out, there are still seats available on services for Steam in Lights (departing from Bridgnorth), the Santa Trains (departing from Kidderminster) and the Carol Train services (from Kidderminster) which feature a festive concert at The Engine House, Highley. 

Visit www.svr.co.uk for more information.

(Sam Hewitt, The Railway Magazine, 3rd Nov 2021 - This article also featured in other press)