where we started
The Uninterrupted Theatre Collective was formed and commissioned as part of the' Making Theatre In Extraordinary Times' programme led by Farnham Maltings in 2020.
The aim of the commission was to respond to and reflect the impact of COVID-19 and Uninterrupted's piece was specifically designed to give particular voice to the generation of young people and their perspective on the challenges of lockdown and the future.
The Collective comprised originally of 5 emerging actors from the South East; graduates from accredited Drama Schools (Mountview Academy, Bristol Old Vic, East 15 and Central School of Music and Drama) within the past 2 years.
In the midst of a global pandemic, with the cultural sector entirely in lockdown, the Uninterrupted Theatre Collective was born.
Our first project was commissioned by Farnham Maltings as part of the 'Making Theatre In Extraordinary Times' programme. Over a period of 3 weeks during June 2020, the company members communicated via zoom (collectively and on a 1:1 basis with the Director) to create the material - 5 micro pieces, each less than 10 minutes long. Each actor submitted a short video diary every day of the main production week.
Performance locations were chosen for each solo performance piece and they were programmed to take place on a sunny day at the end of June with live, socially-distanced audiences. The locations were in Lancing (at a roof garden), in Farnham (in the courtyard at Farnham Matings), in Seaford (in a barn at Seaford Head) and in Brighton (one at Preston Park and one at Brighton Cemetery).
A postcard was designed and printed to be distributed to audiences at each performance, to offer some context and signpost people to online content.
Feedback from audience members was highly positive.
" I can't believe it! This is the first time I've been to the park in 3 months and I've seen this! This is the highlight of lockdown for me, thank you."
Each piece was filmed by volunteers and the resulting films were edited by filmmaker Rosie Baldwin and are available to view via our YouTube channel.
research and development work
Following the Farnham Maltings commission, Uninterrupted Theatre Collective was awarded Arts Council funding to support a period of R & D to continue to explore the themes and develop the material which emerged from the 'Waiting For My Real Life To Begin' project.
Firstly, the Collective now named itself Uninterrupted Theatre Collective and in the spirit of this name, continued to work together spite of the fact the during this period from September 2019 to March 2020 theatres and other arts venues were closed to the public. Between lockdowns, there were limited opportunities for the Collective to work together under COVID-compliant conditions. Apart from that, work was pivoted to online platforms and the following was achieved:
We made a callout for BAME performers to join the Collective and recruited Stephen Kyem.
We spent 3 full days collaborating together in studios in Farnham and Brighton.
We were supported and mentored by Playwright and Dramaturg Dinos Aristidou to develop material.
We produced a 'raw' script encapsulating material created as a result of verbatim interviews, original writing and devised material.
We composed 3 original songs.
We designed and launched our website.
We continued conversations with venue partners across East Sussex, with a view to performing there when live audiences are welcomed back. Our partners include The Old Market in Hove, The Towner Gallery in Eastbourne, Farnham Maltings, East Sussex College and Hastings Museum.
We benefited from professional development opportunities, sharing the frustrations and rising to the challenges of a process of collaboration via online platform
We delivered a workshop to Performing Arts students at East Sussex College in Lewes, trialling a blended delivery model, whereby one company member led the workshop with students in person and the others joined the session via zoom.