Performer

Performer


Clown, Actor, Theatre-Maker  

Photo by Guy Bellingham Photography

I'm Leela, I make meaningful, quirky, devised theatre that shines a light on untold stories, with humour and heart.


I am also one half of Shoebox Theatre and very proudly Somerset-based.



CURRENT AND PAST PROJECTS

I am delighted to be part of the company developing THE OWL MAN

(Over the Wall Productions)

in partnership with Strode Theatre. 


https://overthewallproductions.com/


Photos by Pauline Burr

Photo by Jonathan Sawyer




We were hugely fortunate to receive Arts Council England funding for the R&D for a new show exploring land rights and enclosures

Tomorrow the Fox

(or The Tragedy of the Commons)

working with the brilliant

Dan Gaisford

(When the Eye Has Gone),

Shane Morgan (Roughhouse Theatre) and

Emma Callander (Theatre Uncut)

with kind support from Strode Theatre



Shoebox Theatre

The Library of Lost Memories


Shoebox Theatre is

Ged Stephenson and Leela Bunce.

The Library of Lost Memories is a devised clown show exploring dementia, memory and identity. With a brilliant Somerset-based creative team, we toured the SW in 2019 and have plans to tour more widely once it is possible to do so. Supported by Take Art and Arts Council England. 

_______________________________

 "Brilliantly crafted, performed, thought provoking....a delight"

"A wonderful piece of theatre - exquisite clowning and storytelling with real emotional punch."

Audience Feedback


Devised and Performed by: Leela Bunce and Ged Stephenson

Sound design: Jules Bushell

Lighting design: Joe Rockett

Design: Mumblecrust Theatre

Direction & Dramaturgy: Matthew Floyd Jones

Tour Technician: Stuart Comley




"A Walk on the Wild Side"


Shoebox Theatre have a new Covid-safe outdoor/promenade clown show for Summer 2021 exploring  nature and connection, which premiered at the Norton-sub-Hambdon Show Safari on June 19th. 


Next shows August 1st, Croscombe

August 30th, BARNfest @Strode Theatre


Devised and Performed by

Leela Bunce & Ged Stephenson

with artist support from the Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton (thank you!)



After years of running acclaimed cabaret show Night of the Bluestockings in London (Time Out Critics Choice), The Bluestocking Society are BACK, with our touring theatre-cabaret show


SECRETS OF THE BLUESTOCKINGS


"...a riotous sell-out success.

Definitely recommended!"

Theatre Royal, Nottingham


Telling the fascinating stories of trailblazing, little-known women in history, Secrets of the Bluestockings is "like Horrible Histories meets a WI meeting meets a MI5 recruitment drive."


(The show has always been technically self-sufficient

and we have adapted it to be

fully socially distanced and Covid-safe while restrictions continue)


Devised and Performed by:

Leela Bunce, Heather Tyrrell, Emma Waterford

Direction and Dramaturgy by: Matthew Floyd Jones



 For the last three years,

 the Bluestockings have

 also made original pieces

 about the voyage of the

 Mayflower for the

 Illuminate Rotherhithe

 Festival, in partnership

 with Sands Films.

My solo show, produced by the brilliant Finger in the Pie Theatre Company & directed by Alexander Parsonage, was a five-star hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012 and toured the UK Spring 2015. TOP 10 BEST REVIEWED SHOWS OF EDINBURGH FRINGE 2012 – THE LIST


Using clown and puppetry, and based entirely on true stories, the show told the story of women's experience on the Home Front in World War 2


AUDIENCE REACTION TO WAITING FOR STANLEY AT EDINBURGH FRINGE 

Devised by Leela Bunce and Alexander Parsonage

Performer/Puppeteer: Leela Bunce

Direction: Alexander Parsonage

Movement Director: Robin Guiver

Puppet Designer: Oliver Smart

Lighting and Sound Design: Ed Elbourne

Design: Fiammetta Horvat

Produced by: Finger in the Pie Theatre Company

REVIEWS

Cream of the Fringe – ★★★★★

This charming solo performance by Leela Bunce captured my attention and my heart from the off. The performance is compelling and affecting; humorous, moving and vibrant...The design of the piece is stunning and inventive, with beautiful use of props and music. Highly recommended!


Fest Theatre (FEST BEST) – ★★★★★

With endearing warmth and beguilingly subtle humour


EdinburghGuide.com – ★★★★★

It’s been a long time since I’ve been swept off my feet. But tonight, my heart remembered the joyous call of love. Waiting For Stanley is the reason the weather has been so nice at the Fringe this year. It is the friendly glow and cosy warmth that the city has been missing. It is the sunshine of the Fringe...

Endlessly inventive and blessed with a charming central performance by the female lead, the beauty of this show can be felt all around. Hilariously funny as well as deeply poignant, this is a show that you simply have to see. A work of pure genius.


Hairline Fringe – ★★★★★

The performance of Leela Bunce is simply delightful. Whether she is leading the audience in a rousing chorus of daisy-daisy or miming the characters stiff upper lip as her son is evacuated from the city, the audience can find easy empathy with her portrayal. Superb and extremely touching, ‘Waiting for Stanley’ might just be the show not to miss at the Fringe 2012


Theatre Guide London – ★★★★★

A warm, moving, cheering hour, this is a theatrical experience that cleanses your soul and sends you out feeling that life is, all things considered, pretty good.


The List – ★★★★

Leela Bunce is the architect of this captivating one-woman performance, opening each box of tricks to reveal a world rich in imagination. Never has a pile of socks had such an illustrious career in metaphor.


Fringe Review – ★★★★★

This is fast paced physical theatre combining clowning, puppetry, mime and visual storytelling delivered with panache, humour and warmth. Bunce’s performance is outstanding, the pace never flags and each story element moves seamlessly into the next, punctuated at intervals by the next delivery of letters... This show offers so much more than an entertaining hour for physical theatre enthusiasts – it is a master class for any performer, as well as a poignant reminder of the incredible resilience of our mothers and grandmothers who fought on the home front.

"This charming solo performance by Leela Bunce captured my attention and my heart from the off"

OTHER WORK

Sublime Boudoir, New York, 2017

Photo Credit: Allan Amato


I was thrilled to be asked to reprise my role of the Housekeeper as part of the brilliant cast of Sublime Boudoir, an immersive theatre and cabaret show set at the achingly beautiful Alder Manor in Yonkers, New York



One Minute Theatre Festival 2020

Monologue by Maxine Ridout-Prime for Theatre Nights Digital Edition

A dream come true being cast as the Tuppence half of Agatha Christie's famed detective duo Tommy and Tuppence in Tricity Vogue's brilliant touring show "Blue Murder",

Performed by Dusty Limits, Tricity Vogue,

Leela Bunce, Michael Roulston and Champagne Charlie. Such a delicious vintage treat!

Photo by Clive Holland

Photos by Pauline Burr

I have worked with East London based Chiffchaff Children's Theatre for the last ten years, playing Baby Bear and the puppeteer in Jill Murphy's Peace at Last and Whatever Next, at Leytonstone Library, Woolwich Bathway Theatre and Greenwich Theatre

IN SEARCH OF CINDERELLA 2021


I was overjoyed to be part of the brilliant cast and crew of In Search of Cinderella, a unique pantomime, written and produced by Richard Crowe (Over the Wall) for the people of Somerset, filmed in various of the county's fantastic arts venues. It premiered online on

20 January 2021, a much needed bit of fun and laughter in the depths of lockdown 3! 



Photos by Greg Veit