RSC announces acts taking part in evening of new theatre

2 April 2012

Thursday 12 July at 7.30pm
Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BB
Box Office 0844 800 1110

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has announced the artists it has chosen to take part in an evening of new theatre in July as part of this year's World Shakespeare Festival (WSF).

The RSC PILOT Night, which gives audiences the chance to see new material being tried out for the very first time, will take place on Thursday 12 July at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Established in 2002 by a group of independent theatre makers in Birmingham, PILOT Nights were set up to help artists from the West Midlands develop new work by giving them a platform to try out their material in front of live audiences.

The people behind PILOT Nights have now joined forces with the RSC to host this unique event in July during the World Shakespeare Festival and earlier in the year they put a call out to artists from across the West Midlands to submit ideas for new pieces of theatre that would explore and examine Shakespeare's relevance today.

Having received over forty applications, five artists have now been selected by a panel of directors and producers from the RSC and the regional independent theatre sector. With the support of the RSC's creative team, the successful artists will be developing their ideas over the coming months in preparation for showing their new pieces of theatre as 'works in progress' in front of a lively, supportive crowd at the Courtyard Theatre in July.

The selected artists are:

  • Kindle Theatre (Birmingham) 
  • Talking Birds (Coventry) 
  • Caroline Horton and Teasel Theatre Company (Birmingham) 
  • Graeme Rose (Birmingham) 
  • Lucy Ellinson (Birmingham)

Lucia Hogg, World Shakespeare Festival Events Producer, said:

'We've chosen a mixture of emerging and more established artists to take part in the RSC Pilot Night here in July.

'As part of the World Shakespeare Festival, this event is a celebration of the influence and legacy of Shakespeare and the artists' brief was to develop a performance idea that would examine his relevance today.

'The RSC Pilot Night promises audiences a fascinating insight into how brand new theatre ideas are formed and staged but we hope that the project will also be the start of a journey that explores how we support and collaborate with regional artists in the longer term.

'This is part of a bigger area of work where the RSC is collaborating alongside other independent artists and companies to create new theatre and it is something that the RSC is keen to develop further in the future.'

The RSC Pilot Night takes place at the Courtyard Theatre at 7.30pm on Thursday 12 July 2012. Tickets are now on sale and can be booked by calling the RSC Box Office on 0844 800 1110 or visiting

For further press information, please contact Mark Farnan in the RSC press office, E: or T: 01789 272438

About the selected artists:

Kindle Theatre
Kindle Theatre is based in Birmingham and creates performances that playfully reinvent the theatrical experience; exploring intimate and communal exchanges within a live event. The projects range from large scale theatrical banquet to sweaty rock gig; often including innovative food, audience engagement and live music. Their current show The Furies smashes together rock, metal and soul songs in a drastic retelling of the ancient story of Clytemnestra – a woman's loss, betrayal and bloody revenge – presented through original music, vocal-scapes and stark imagery. The work has recently completed a four week run at The Old Vic Tunnels in London and is currently touring the UK.  

Talking Birds
Talking Birds is based in Coventry. Since 1992 the Company has been producing thoughtful, playful, resonant, mischievous and transformative meditations on people and place. Performance work is characterised by a distinctive blend of humour, music and visual flair in venues both conventional and unconventional across the UK and internationally - from the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the South Bank, to Kilkenny Livestock Mart; from a giant underground car park in Scarborough, to a decommissioned hospital in Coventry. Talking Birds is credited as one of the companies that 'pioneered site specific theatre' (The Guardian) but also works in theatres, with its current show We Love You City about to be revived at the Belgrade Theatre in May 2012.

Caroline Horton and Teasel Theatre Company
Caroline Horton is a Birmingham based theatre maker, currently developing new show Mess commissioned by Triggered@Warwick, BAC and Parabola Arts Centre, funded by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and Arts Council England. It will premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe 2012. Her first show You're Not Like The Other Girls Chrissy (commissioned by mac, Warwick Arts Centre and China Plate) won Best Solo Performer in the 2010 Stage Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe and the show has since toured nationally and internationally. Caroline is an associate artist at The Bush Theatre.

Teasel Theatre Company is currently touring Grisly Tales From Tumblewater, a playfully gothic one-man family show, to rural venues and studio theatres including Bath Egg, Bristol Old Vic and Sheffield Crucible. A devised adaptation of a children's book, the piece is performed by Teasel's Artistic Director, actor-musician Edward Jaspers, and was directed by Caroline Horton. Currently in development is Dreams To Her Father, devised with support from the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England, which explores a dark chapter in the history of European psychiatry. Jaspers also co-wrote Hamlet! The Musical (Pleasance Edinburgh, Northampton Royal & Derngate, Richmond Theatre Royal).  

Graeme Rose
Graeme is a Birmingham based theatre-maker who has been creating innovative, collaborative theatre since 1988. A co-founder of Glory What Glory, Stan's Cafe and The Resurrectionists, he has worked and toured with companies including Talking Birds, Imitating the Dog and Foursight Theatre. He is an Associate Artist with Bodies in Flight, Red Shift and Australian music-theatre specialists Various People Inc. Graeme is a player with experimental music ensemble The Modified Toy Orchestra and a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol and Hull. Graeme has just returned from performing with Various People at the Adelaide Festival in Australia and will be working with Talking Birds, Stan's Cafe, Bodies in Flight and Kindle Theatre as a performer and director over the coming months.  

Lucy Ellinson
Lucy Ellinson is an actor-practitioner specialising in contemporary performance and is an associate artist with Third Angel and Forest Fringe. Lucy has long-term collaborations with artists including Chris Goode, Unlimited Theatre and Slung Low. She has toured extensively in the UK and internationally, presenting work at venues including The Barbican (BITE), National Theatre (Square2 Festival and NT Studio), Golden Mask Festival in Moscow, National Theatre of France (TNS/Strasbourg) and National Theatre Sarajevo (Future:MESS).

Her work with MAPPING4D Theatre Company has secured two national awards, including the The Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2004 (OSBTTA) and the Dark Room in 2006. At the Edinburgh Fringe in 2009, she was nominated for the Best Solo Performance Award as part of The Stage Awards for Acting Excellence for her role in Land Without Words. Lucy sits on the selection panel for the International Student Drama Festival in Sheffield. She is currently performing in Jane Packman's production, A Thousand Shards of Glass.

About Pilot Nights
Pilot Nights is a regular programme of 'scratch' nights that give theatre makers the opportunity to experiment with their craft and develop their ideas in front of a live audience.
Set up in 2002 by Simon Day of The B Theatre/Plasticine Men, Pilot Nights are now organised jointly by Sam Fox and Jess Mackinnon of Kindle Theatre, Paul Warwick of China Plate and other guest curators.
Pilot Nights are supported by Arts Council England, mac birmingham, The Public and Warwick Arts Centre.

About the World Shakespeare Festival
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 organisations, and with Globe to Globe, a major international programme produced by Shakespeare's Globe. It runs from 23 April to November 2012 and forms part of the 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 visit The Word Shakespeare Festival

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.

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