It can be tough for theatre goers in London constantly bombarded by publicity from those entertainers who can best afford the advertising space. Well, here we are to redress that balance in our own tiny way and have a look at some of the most interesting work being done for next to, beside or near to nothing…
5. CEPTION THEATRE: We love Ception Theatre, love the childlike wonder of each of its new productions, love the homemade feel of their design concepts, love their passion for new writing. There’s a lot of love going around for them as you can probably tell. Anyone lucky enough to catch Little Bear last August will have a sense of what this company can do in their natural habitat: outdoors, any time, any where, it is the impression of effortlessness that makes this tight-knit little theatre company so particularly impressive.
4. LIMINAL STATE THEATRE: Liminal State, apart from taking their name from everyone’s favourite A-Level English Lit paper, has its greatest virtue in its sense of collaboration. The respect in which they hold their design and production team comes across as soon as you enter their performance space. Like Ception they do work for both children and adults but in particular their strength is in creating shows that appeal to both.
3. BOX OF TRICKS: Why are Box of Tricks great? Exclusively new writing (is very very exciting). Its always a problem with small productions: fresh writers are so often ignored because those new to the business themselves want to play it safe (role out a bit of Oscar Wilde…) but Box of Tricks really delivers in its choice of playwrights, often taking dangerous options but with a very high success rate. This is the place to go and see the next great generation of truly new work.
2. PELL MELL THEATRE: One of the most exciting new companies to come out of London theatre for a long time we are very interested in where Pell Mell may go next. Last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was an brilliant example of the kind of innovative work that can still be done with little money and lots of effort right in the heart of London. With a commitment to presenting classics in a way that reaches the broadest audience possible this is a shining example of what can be achieved in low budget theatre. We are really looking forward to The Second Shepherd’s Play, their Christmas production that looks like its going to introduce a whole generation of young people to Medieval theatre. Ambitious? Ambitious is good!
1. THE FACTION: Recent recipients of the Peter Brook Award the Faction are just what we need right now. Not afraid to take some pretty high profile risks when it comes to source material the company has a particularly close affinity to Schiller, they are really the best interpreters of his work in the UK. What we are especially looking forward to is their upcoming Rep season featuring Twelfth Night, Mary Stuart and Miss Julie. With some of the bigger houses getting increasingly excited about repertory work it is brilliant to see a smaller outfit take on such a challenging combination for its first go. With their history of unusual and effective pieces we are sure that if anyone can rise to the challenge it is Faction.