The North Wall: Theatre Laboratory

This Easter, the North Wall has been transformed in a theatre laboratory. Which sort of sounds like all of the team are wondering round in white lab coats growing news plays in test tubes – an odd thought, though not far from the truth…

If our brochure were to be believed, it looks as though we’ve all taken a long holiday but the building is actually a hive of activity. Three different theatre companies will be in residence over the Easter holidays in the main auditorium and our two studio spaces, creating new work that will eventually be staged not just here in Oxford but all around the UK as well.

At this very minute, award-winning puppetry specialists Pickled Image are perfecting their ventriloquism skills in the dance studio with some very creepy looking puppets, putting the finishing touches to The Shop of Little Horrors, which will premiere at the North Wall at the end of May. A dark and twisted horror show with a wicked sense of humour, it should be a marvellously macabre event! You can buy tickets online by clicking here.

Also resident (as of next week) are European ensemble New International Encounter who you might remember from their previous ventures, Past Half Remembered and Tales from a Sea Journey.  N.I.E will be working on their new play North, North, North which will be staged at The North Wall in the autumn. They’ve just returned from a research trip to Svalbard, and need time and space to experiment and explore the visual life of their new piece. Check out some of their photos from the expedition here.

Finally, our artistic director Lucy will be working with six young actors and Catriona Kerridge, an emerging writer, on Fast Track, a play which Cat wrote whilst here for last summer’s outreach project. Catriona has now been awarded funding by the Arts Council and new writing powerhouse HighTide Festival to develop a second draft of her script, which we are hoping to stage at The North Wall in Spring 2014. According to playwright Fin Kennedy’s recent report, In Battalions, it is the development of new work which has been most affected by cuts to arts funding, so we recognise the importance of supporting the theatre of tomorrow.

Watch this space for snippets of behind-the-scenes action – we’ll be posting photos, videos and Q & As with all the visiting artists so you can see how things are progressing.


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