In a Pickle


An Oily Cart and Royal Shakespeare Company co-production

In a Pickle
A multi sensory introduction to Shakespeare for two - four year olds

Swan Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
23 May – 17 June 2012 and on tour
Press Performance: Wednesday 6 June at 12.30pm

The Royal Shakespeare Company joins forces with leading creators of theatre for the very young, Oily Cart, for an interactive theatre piece that introduces two to four year olds to the magic of Shakespeare for the very first time. Inspired by The Winter's Tale, In A Pickle combines live music, beautiful costumes, smells and textures for a multisensory journey through the landscape of Shakespeare's imagination and the music of his language.

The adventure begins in the woolly pastures of the Shepherdess and her flock of little sheep. She is having a party to celebrate the sheep shearing. When she discovers a lost baby, the audience is called on to help solve the clues about where the baby comes from. Together they travel over the salty sea to the sad court where a happy ending is found.
Part of the World Shakespeare Festival, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the youngest audiences at the festival will experience In a Pickle in the oldest room in the RSC building, the historic Swan Room above the Swan Theatre, The Swan Room is normally used as an exhibition space and was recently the venue for Tim Crouch's one-man show for children – I Malvolio.

Tim Webb Artistic Director of Oily Cart said: 'This is Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale for two to four year olds, and yes, it's a challenge but one we're revelling in. The original music by Max Reinhardt and Finn Peters derives directly from the musicality of Shakespeare's language. As the young children and the performers journey together through a dreamscape created by Claire de Loon, they will find something to delight all of the senses. This is not another of those shows you look at and listen to. It's one you can touch, smell and taste - a pitch perfect introduction to Shakespeare for the very young.'

Geraldine Collinge, the RSC's Director of Events and Exhibitions said: 'We are delighted to be collaborating with Oily Cart to create this new production inspired by Shakespeare for the very young – specially for the World Shakespeare Festival. It is the first time the RSC has made work for such a young audience and we are looking forward to exploring Shakespeare in a new way.'

RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd added: 'Our Schools Stand Up For Shakespeare campaign has successfully championed the introduction of primary school children to Shakespeare since 2008. This collaboration with the magical Oily Cart is the perfect way to share our house playwright with an even younger audience.'

added: '

2011 marked the 30th Birthday of Oily Cart. The year saw Artistic Director Tim Webb receiving an MBE, and the company was selected by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as one of just twenty six charities to benefit from their Royal Wedding Fund. | | @oilycart | @TheRSC #wsf2012
Running Time: 55 minutes | Suitable for ages two – four (and their adults)

Company Information

Written and Directed by Tim Webb
Designed by Claire de Loon
Musical Director Max Reinhardt

Tim Webb
Tim is a co-founder of the Oily Cart and over the past 30 years has written and directed over seventy shows for the company. The company creates work for two audiences; very young children (6 months to 6 years old) and young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disability and/or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder aged 3-19. He is on the Board of TYA-England.

Tim has worked as actor, writer and director at theatres large and small throughout the UK. His scripts have been produced at the Leicester Haymarket, the Albany Empire, Contact Theatre, Manchester, and by Greenwich, Glasgow and Leeds Theatre-in-Education companies. Tim has directed productions for, amongst others, the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, the London Bubble and Glasgow's Giant Productions, Canada's Carousel Players and the Chicago Children's Theatre.

He received his MBE in 2011 for services to drama for children with special needs.

Max Reinhardt
Co--founder of Oily Cart. Max has written and arranged the music and songs in all the productions and performed in many of the shows. He enjoys a varied freelance career as radio presenter (BBC Radio 3 Late Junction), music event curator, Club DJ and, formerly, musical director for a childrens TV series. As a muso & DJ, he's played all over the place, from Moscow to Caracas via Shanghai and LA, in various mutant collaborations such as Andy Sheppard's Short Cuts and the Shrine Synchro System. Recently he's performed a series of live soundtracks for silent films and composed work for Oxford Contemporary Music and Spitalfields Music Festival.

Claire de Loon
Claire spent the first seven years of her working life as a freelance theatre designer, working mainly in rep, at the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow, Cheltenham, Chester, Crewe and the London Bubble. Her work for young people includes productions for the Unicorn Theatre, Greenwich Young People's Theatre and Glasgow Citizen's TIE.
Claire has combined her design work with a career spanning thirteen years in arts education. She was Kids Klub Ko-ordinator at Battersea Arts Centre, director of the Tower Hamlets Youth Arts Project, ILEA Advisory Lecturer in Fashion & Design and Art & Design Team Leader for Hammersmith & Fulham Community Education.
Claire is a founder member of Oily Cart which is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year.

The In a Pickle Company

Laura Street – Stage Manager, performer and choreographer

Laura trained as a dancer at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance, a conservatoire for Dance in Leeds, where she obtained a Foundation in Dance Performance and BPA(hons) degree. She is based in Bristol and is a founding member of both The Movement Collective and The Cardboard Chorus line who make site-specific work for cabarets and festivals.

Griff Fender - performer

Griff came into theatre after being engaged by Oily Cart as Company Stage Manager for a special needs play, Blue (2006), going on to play characters in several Oily Cart productions since. Before that Griff had several careers starting with some years as a singer and songwriter in the British chart band Darts clocking up six top ten singles and three top ten albums and touring in Europe, Asia and USA. In the years after Darts Griff managed and produced bands and was also a live sound engineer, returned to education gaining a BA and MA then worked in the cultural arts sector facilitating collaborations between musicians and bands from Europe and Africa for recorded and live performances before his current stint with Oily Cart.

Elayce Ismail - performer

Elayce trained as an actor at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) and with the National Youth Theatre. She is an Associate Artist of NYT and teaches mask/physical theatre for Trestle.
Her credits as a performer include: Oily Cart's Ring-a-Ding-Ding, A Peasant Of El Salvador (Arcola), All My Sons, Six Characters In Search Of An Author, Arcadia, City of Angels (Bloomsbury Theatre), Murder In The Cathedral (NYT), The Brothel Project (site-specific, Paris) and performing/directing her own devised work: La Valse, Poem Clown and Our Green and Pleasant Land. Directing credits include: Director of Bed & Breakfast (Brighton Fringe Festival & tour),

Elayce trained as an actor at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA) and with the National Youth Theatre. She is an Associate Artist of NYT and teaches mask/physical theatre for Trestle. Her credits as a performer include: Oily Cart's , (Arcola), (Bloomsbury Theatre), (NYT), (site-specific, Paris) and performing/directing her own devised work: and . Directing credits include: Director of (Brighton Fringe Festival & tour),
Alicia McKenzie - performer
Alicia has been working in children's theatre as an actor and facilitator for over 10 years. She first acted and led workshops with the National Youth Theatre and since then has worked at the Unicorn Theatre as a workshop facilitator and acted with Chain Reaction Theatre Company. Alicia has a degree in French and Italian and loves to travel. She is delighted to be performing with Oily Cart. Her favourite colour is coral and when she was little she wanted to be either an Actress or an Astronomer.

Finn Peters – musician and co-composer
Finn Peters is one of the leading flute and sax players in the UK today.

Finn has released a number of his own recordings: two Dr Seus EPs released on his own label, Mantella; two tracks for Club Brasil, Joyce covers Femenina and Aldeia de Ogum; and two co-productions with The Deal for Trip do Brasil which were also club-land favourites. In 1999 his achievements were recognised when he won the London Young Jazz Musician Award. In 2007 Finn's Quintet won the BBC Jazz Awards Best Band category, while 2008 saw a successful Arts Council UK tour and appearances at the North Sea and Gateshead Jazz Festivals for the Finn Peters Sextet. The album Butterflies, released on Accidental Records and co-produced with Matthew Herbert, was received to great critical acclaim and went on to win the Radio 1 Worldwide Awards for best session in 2009.

Recent projects include Music of the Mind (2010), which looks at new ways of generating music using Electroencephalograms and Brain Computer Interfaces. He has also been nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Composition Award.

Notes to Editors

• Listings Information

Swan Room, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

23 May – 17 June (various times) 0844 800 1110 | | £10/£5

Stratford Circus, London
19 – 23 June (various times) 0844 357 2625 | | £7/£5

Northern Stage, Newcastle
27 - 30 June (various times) 0191 230 5151 | | £8.50/£6.50

• Rehearsal photographs are available on request

• A Q and A with Tim Webb available on request

• Oily Cart has been creating and touring its unique forms of theatre to children and young people in schools and theatres since 1981. The company challenges accepted definitions of theatre and audience by creating innovative, multi-sensory and highly inter-active productions for the very young and for young people with PMLD and ASD. Transforming everyday environments into colourful and tactile 'wonderlands', Oily Cart invites its audience to join in a world of the imagination. The company has used hydrotherapy pools, trapezes, trampolines, video projections aromatherapy and puppetry together with a vast array of multi-sensory techniques to create highly original and specialised theatre for and with young audiences.

• The World Shakespeare Festival (WSF) is a celebration of Shakespeare as the world's playwright, produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company, in an unprecedented collaboration with leading UK and international arts organizations. It runs from 21 April to November and forms part of London 2012 Festival which is the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad, bringing leading artists from all over the world together in a UK-wide festival in the summer of 2012. For further details The World Shakespeare Festival is supported by BP, as founding Presenting Partner, and by the National Lottery through the Olympic Lottery Distributor and Arts Council England.

• Social media links at and

For further information and interviews please contact:

For the RSC:

Nada Zakula (national enquiries) on or 01789 412622
Or Dean Asker (for Midlands enquiries and press tickets) on or 01789 412660

For Oily Cart and tour:

Amber at Mobius on 020 7269 9929 or

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