Established in 1985

Previous Projects/Productions

Timeline

1985 Strive
1986 Desire
1986 Fat Cats and Hot Dogs
1986 Street choreography – Pushing On
1987 Central TV City of Women
1987/88 Demon Lovers
1988/89 Dance for the Girls (2 tours)
1989/90 The Luddites community workshop project
1990 Paradise the Musical
1991/92/93 The Sale of the Demonic Women (3 tours – European)
1993 Florence – Magdalena festival
1993/94 Plaisirs D’Amour (2 tours)
1994 Falling Angels
2000 Wonderland – Blanes
2001 The Story Chair – story telling project
2002 Shoes
2003/4/5 War Stories – Rumania/ Phoenix Leicester/ Tricycle London
Development of A-Z Theatre
2002 Verbatim Theatre – Trafalgar Square
2005 Transplant
2006 Small Waves (UK and Canada)
2006 Smile (in association Lakeside Arts Centre)
2007 Sail Away (commissioned)
2010 The Container Education Project – Young Vic
2010-2014 Inside Out of Mind

In detail

1985 Strive
Regional tour
Written/directed by Stephen Lowe

A soldier home from the Falklands meets his fiancée as she returns from Greenham Common. An old G.I veteran does battle with his own dead wife.

“A series of heart-felt dialogues on the subject of peace. The dialogue is taut, rich and racy” – THE GUARDIAN

Desire (1986) Neil Dudgeon and Captain Ball.

1986 Desire
Regional tour
Written/directed by Stephen Lowe

4-hander: Neil Dudgeon, Wayne Foscett, Tanya Myers, Bush Hartshorne

1919, the return home of the soldier to the dark world of the ghost of Albert Ball and the macabre Punch and Judy.
Puppets and set designed by Kate Buffery.

“Desire wields together a kind of ‘Tales of the Unexpected narrative’, music and song, puppetry and theatrical effects into a single strand of dramatic story-telling …a thoughtful, intriguing piece of work, tautly written, imaginatively produced and acted with a downbeat logic.” – THE GUARDIAN
“Stephen Lowe and his company are striving to break the oppressive bonds with naturalistic theatre and the class barriers which take theatre away from working class people. Probably the most exciting new touring company in Britain.” – CITY LIFE
“A success story.” – RADIO NOTTINGHAM
“Dazzling entertainment” – YORKSHIRE EVENING PRESS

1986 Fat Cats and Hot Dogs

Animators Kate Buffery and Bush Hartshorne together with community artist François Matarasso workshopped with Hawtonville Community Arts Centre residents to create a participatory theatre event in Newark Market based on issues of World Hunger.

1987 Central TV City of Women
Directed by Steve Engelhart

Documentary about workers past and present in Nottingham’s notorious Lace Market – filmed imagination workshops devised by Tanya Myers. 30 mins.

1987/88 Demon Lovers
Co-production Liverpool Playhouse: National Tour
Written/directed by Stephen Lowe
Film directed by Frank Abbot
Starring George Costigan / Tanya Myers

Multi-media exploration utilising a bank of videos to explore the “Fascism of the Imagination”; drawn from research into the Moors Murders.

“Original, inventive and exciting.” – THE GUARDIAN
“It keeps us on the edge of our seats, hypnotized by the style which mixes soliloquy and interior monologue. The acting of Mr. Costigan and Ms Myers, both on screen and off is immaculate” – THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
“Raises a banner for inventive theatre that has not been much in evidence lately” – THE GUARDIAN

Demon Lovers (1987) George Costigan as Alan and Tanya Myers as Dawn.

1988 Pushing On
Conceived and directed by Tanya Myers and Tamzin Griffin

A Flash Mob! (Before the term ‘Flash mob’ existed!)
Large-scale Dance Feast in Nottingham city centre to raise mobility awareness – mums, toddlers & wheelchair users.

1988/89 Dance for the Girls
Produced and performed by Tamzin Griffin and Tanya Myers
Inspired by Magdalena Festival
Regional and national tour.

“A haunting look at ancestral possession- this schizophrenic voyage explores the controlling bond of relative ties beyond the grave.” – EVENING POST

Dance for the Girls (1988) Tamzin Griffin (with Tanya Myers under the blanket)

1989/90 The Luddites
Community workshop project

Two year series of documented workshops including schools, out-worker machinist’s, politicians, computer programmers, Indian and clog dancers engaging with major new historical research on the Luddites’ struggle and previous day battles to survive in the lace trade. Leading to Paradise the Musical.

1990 Paradise the Musical
Co-production with Nottingham Playhouse
Written by Stephen Lowe
Directed by Pip Broughton
Designed by Gerry Pilgrim
Music by David Wilson

A Tale of The Luddites struggle lead by the mythic Ned Ludd.

“Lowe’s new musical about the Luddites is a potential world-beater. A plot with a thriller’s twisting edge.” – THE GUARDIAN

1991/92/93 The Sale of the Demonic Women
Directed by Zofia Kalinska
Designed by Zofia de Ines

The company’s first European collaboration based upon the writings of Witkiewitz. Devised during six month improvisation with performers from UK, Germany, Poland. The show toured Germany, Britain, Italy and Poland for two years.

“What you will see is close to music in form, with repeating motifs and themes building on one another” – BETTY CAPLAN
“Powerful, beautifully orchestrated welding together ideas that are quite disturbing” – THE INDEPENDENT
“What divides men’s fantasies about women from their own fantasies about themselves? This ‘No mans Land’ between archetype and stereotype is what interests Kalinska most… Astrid Kuhl, Tanya Myers, Ulrike Johannson, Ishbel Whittaker give full blown performances which switch readily from the highest pitch to the most delicate nuance…” – THE GUARDIAN

The Sale of the Demonic Women (1991) Ishbel Whittaker as The Young Bride

1992/93 Plaisirs D’Amours
Directed by Zofia Kalinska
Designed by Slawak Lewcuk
Award – Edinburgh Fringe First.
Two UK Tours.
Performed by Hassani Shapi and Tanya Myers

Set in the vaults of a convent in medieval France, the drama examines ways of escaping clichéd and superficial portrayals of passion and human emotion explored through the relationship of Abelard and Heloise using the poetry of Ronald Duncan.

“A powerful tale of sex and repression. Powerful imagery and raw emotion… the clashing images of virgin and whore personify the stereotypes created by medieval religion yet still prevalent in modern life” – THE SCOTSMAN

1994 Falling Angels
Written/directed by Tanya Myers
Designed by Louise Ann Wilson
Music by Nikkie Kemp
Performers Sue Gardner, Zofia Kalinska, Martin Coles, Ishbel Whittaker, and Tim Thomas

Set in the Domestic quarters of Heaven, Martha breaks free from the Holy Family. This ‘visual audio feast’ explores sexual morality and transgression ‘as above as below’.

Falling Angels (1994) Martin Coles and Ishbel Whittaker

1995 Florence

Performers Pearl Myers, Tanya Myers, and Lily Lowe Myers (Grandmother/Mother/ daughter) explore relationship with Great Grandmother Florence May’s suicide. Hosted by Magdalena Festival – Mother of Invention Symposium Festival
.

“Such an emotional courageous journey to embark on … addressing personal, political and social narratives experienced individually and collectively” – FEMINIST THEATRE PRACTICE

2000 Wonderland
Written/directed by Stephen Lowe
Camera by David Wilson
Cast: Ulrika Johansson, Tanya Myers, and Martha Myers Lowe.

A Film shot in the Pyrenees (French/Spanish border) inspired by the historic journey of Jews (Walter Benjamin) through the region during World War II whilst attempting to escape to Spain. 30 mins.

2001/02 The Story Chair
Devised by Tanya Myers

A story telling project
 for schools in response to 9/11- a chair arrives unannounced into a School Playground and becomes a comfy host to a multitude of multi-ethnic stories inside the school. Supported by City Arts and Carrington Primary School.

2002 Shoes
Directed by Tom Wright
Designed by Steven Grainger
Performers Lily Lowe Myers and Tanya Myers.

Improvised Individuation Rite of passage.

2002 Palestine Verbatim Theatre – Trafalgar Square
Devised/directed by Jonathan Chadwick and Maysoon Pachachi

The writings of the citizens of Gaza read by Harriet Walter, Maggie Steed, David Calder et al. Supported by Artists against War.

2002 Just war Stories

International exploration of war and Theatre at the Royal Court Theatre.

“The personal stories we shared were our meeting ground… In a sense they were the moments of recognition of our common humanity. I believe that we as artists should use our arts to recreate this common humanity that war seeks to destroy” – PARTICIPANT FROM ALGERIA

2003/4/5 War Stories
Rumania, Phoenix Leicester, Tricycle London
 and Development of A-Z Theatre

Workshops on War and Peace in UK and abroad, including in Sibiu in Rumania, with theatre workers from Algeria, Gaza, Serbia and Rumania led by our co-artistic director Jonathan Chadwick. Sister theatre A-Z created specifically dedicated to develop this specific arena.

2005 Transplant

Transplant, a major musical theatre piece based on a play by Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O’Neal performed at Camden Road Theatre, London, November 2001 and incidental music for the play Nirvana by Konstantin Iliev, directed by Jonathan Chadwick, Riverside Studios March 1 – 20, 2005.

2006/08 Small Waves
UK and Canada tours
Written by Tanya Myers
Directed by Tom Wright
Design/Puppetry by Steven Grainger and Dan Cowland
Sound by Grant Bridgman
Performers Martha Myers Lowe and Tanya Myers

Inspired by refugee stories of Exile. In the depths of winter, a ghost train delivers child and crone to a bleak graveyard in the woods. They come to celebrate someone’s birthday.

“Imaginative, beautifully performed and directed with simplicity and sympathy by Tom Wright” – EVENING POST

Small Waves (2006) – 'Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds'

2008 Smile
In association with Lakeside Arts Centre
Written by Stephen Lowe
Directed by Matt Aston
Performers Tanya Myers and Dan Copeland
Digital design by Barret Hodgson

A psycho thriller. A war photographer discovers she has one photo that might cost her life. Stephen Lowe is shortlisted writer for Nottingham Creative Business Award 2008 for inclusive innovation of digital arts.

2010 The Container Education Project
A Young Vic and Amnesty International Production in association with Meeting Ground Theatre Company
Written by Clare Bayley
Directed by Tom Wright
Cast – Doreene Blackstock, Mercy Ojelade, Amber Agar, Hassani Shapi, Abhin Galeya, Chris Spyrides

Enclosed in a freight container somewhere in Europe, five people huddle together with a common aim. Reach England. Start a new life. Can they rely on each other? And how far will each of them go to get what they want? You can read a paper to know people smuggling happens. But watch The Container and it becomes a reality, putting faces and voices alongside stories of hope and sacrifice.
In July 2009 twenty-eight audience members were locked into a steel-shipping container parked outside the Young Vic for each performance.

“This short but riveting piece… leaves you with an overwhelming sympathy for all of the refugees.” ★★★★ – TIME OUT
“The cast, in Tom Wright’s edgy production (supported by Amnesty International), are very strong, drawing you into their characters’ plights. This is a powerful and disturbing drama about an important issue. I have rarely been so glad to leave a play – but that is the point.” ★★★★ – FINANCIAL TIMES
“The five characters we share the small dark space with are completely compelling… Tension and human volatility are intensified in this extreme, condensed arena… The acting is mesmerizing.” – THE OBSERVER
“The performances are necessarily intense… As a striking crystallization of the migrant experience, The Container is memorable and vital.” – THE INDEPENDENT
“The play makes those caught up in human trafficking and illegal immigration, so often reduced to statistics, seem fiercely real.” – EVENING STANDARD

The Container Education Project (2010)

2010/11/12/13/14 Inside Out of Mind
Co-production with Lakeside Arts Centre
Writer – Tanya Myers
Designer – Nettie Scriven
Sound – David Wilson
Digital Design – Barret Hodgson
Lighting – Richard Stratham
Performers – Maurice Roeves, Ulrike Johannson, Joanna Macleod, Maxine Finch, Lily Lowe Myers, Jim Findley, Holly Robyn Harrison Jarrod Cooke, Anna Mottram

This darkly funny, powerful, and deeply moving play was created from 600,000 words of ethnographic research conducted in dementia care wards. It received unanimous acclaim when it premiered at Lakeside Arts Centre, University of Nottingham, in June 2013 to an audience of 2,200, of whom more than half were sponsored by their NHS employers to attend. Audiences recognised their own situations as paid carers or as relatives of people with dementia being portrayed on stage. Crucially we want this work to facilitate a safe forum to give voice to debate and discussion between audience, theatre makers and NHS sector leads. Shortlisted for THE Awards 2013.

Inside Out of Mind (2013)

In development

2014/15 Sail Away: – “Forgiving is not forgetting”
Writer – Tanya Myers

Sail-Away is a psychological thriller set in a subliminal hinterland caught between high and low tide – dream and the mundane – exploring the fears of aging: Three women on the brink: Dolly faces Death, Prudence faces birth, Dead Angie holds the Lifeline as Horizon and tea-time beckon.

2014/15/16 Changing fashion
Book/lyrics – Stephen Lowe
Music – David Wilson
Director – Martin Berry

CHANGING FASHION is that rare thing for a British musical- a romantic comedy with political bite!
1989. East Berlin: Daniel dreams of becoming a great fashion designer in a land where Fashion is banned. The fall of the Wall seems to answer his desire as, in London, he falls in love with the wild LOLA – the “Kate Moss” of the nineties – a love affair that hurtles him into a passionate, and sometimes painful, re-examination of Fashion East and West and his own fight for freedom as an artist. He is accompanied on his journey by the Seven Deadly Sins.