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Ine Van Riet Appointed Executive Director of Boundless Theatre

Boundless Theatre

17 February 2019

Boundless Theatre today announce the appointment of Ine Van Riet as Executive Director. Ine joins the company from Bush Theatre in April 2019 working alongside Artistic Director Rob Drummer to continue to push at the boundaries of theatre for young adults, grow audiences and extend our reach further. Ine takes over from Zoe Lally who leaves after 3 years to join Oily Cart as Executive Director.

Ine Van Riet said today,

“Boundless Theatre’s work is always dynamic and fearless, and I’m thrilled to get started as we look for new ways to best serve and speak up for young artists and audiences. I am excited to join Rob in leading a new chapter in which the company will be inventive, representative, bold and boundless.”

Artistic Director Rob Drummer commented,

“I am absolutely delighted to welcome Ine to the team at Boundless and am really looking forward to working with her on creating even more relevant and innovative productions and projects for young adult audiences and artists.  Ine already has big ideas for the company and taking Boundless in bold new directions.”

Charles Glanville, Chair of the Boundless Theatre said today,

“Boundless and its unique vision and work attracted a great list of applicants for the Executive Director post. Throughout the process Ine’s skills and vision really stood out.  The Board knows that Ine, Rob and their team will lead Boundless to the next stage in providing relevant, exciting theatre for young adults.”

Ine Van Riet joins Boundless from the Bush Theatre where she is currently Development Manager and jointly responsible for creating and implementing the fundraising and talent development strategies. During her time, the Bush fundraised for and completed the largest capital project in the organisation’s history, reopening the venue’s refurbished Shepherd’s Bush home in 2017. The Bush Theatre was recently awarded London Theatre of the Year by The Stage.

Prior to this Ine was General Manager for Iris Theatre and Development Officer & Associate Producer at Tara Arts. As a freelance producer she has presented UK premières at Southwark Playhouse, Theatre503 and the Finborough Theatre, and toured work both nationally and internationally.

BOUNDLESS THEATRE

Boundless Theatre creates exhilarating, relevant and shareable theatre with and for teenagers, young adults and curious others, responding to a vibrant and diverse global culture. They promote conversation, collaboration and exchange across the UK, Europe and internationally. The company has continued to push the boundaries of work for this audience since it was established fifteen years ago. Under Rob Drummer’s artistic direction the company has a bold new brand that celebrates the unlimited potential of our young adult audience. Beyond their work on stage they empower and inspire teenagers and young adults through a range of opportunities across the UK. Through the Associates programme and artistic development initiatives they invest in future artists now, and empower a new generation of artists to be extraordinary.

www.boundlesstheatre.org.uk                                                                    @boundlessabound

For further information please contact:

Freya Cowdry         07944 539 508 / freya@katemorleypr.com

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Boundless Theatre Today Announces New Show For 2019 – The Parakeet Experience by Brigitte Aphrodite and Quiet Boy Also Announced Today is the Launch of Boundless Accelerator and Search For New Advisors

Boundless Theatre

17 February 2019

Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre, Rob Drummer, today announces a new production for 2019 – The Parakeet Experience by Bridget Aphrodite and Quiet Boy. The production will play in March and May of 2019, with further dates to be announced.

Also announced today is the launch of Boundless Accelerator – a new artist support programme to explore the themes of mental health and wellbeing, culminating in sharings and an event later this year.

In addition, the company are expanding their Advisory Group – a group of 18-25 year olds who work year round with the company to inform and interrogate the company’s programme. In return they receive support and mentorship, as well as a valuable insight into the workings of the theatre industry.

Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer said today, “Our new programme of work allows us to directly connect the most exciting artists and our teenage and young adult audiences.  The Parakeet Experience pushes the form of our work, Boundless Accelerator will unlock daring new work and our Advisory Group puts teenagers and young adults at the heart of everything we do”

THE PARAKEET EXPERIENCE

Boundless Theatre and Boom Shakalaka Productions today announce the first dates for The Parakeet Experience, the latest show from Brigitte Aphrodite and Quiet Boy (My Beautiful Black Dog) will play to its first audiences in March (as the Closing event of POW festival in Margate on Sunday 17th March) and in May (at the Canada Water Theatre) with further dates to be announced.

The Parakeet Experience is developing on-the-road, it’s a gig-storytelling show and coming of age fantastical tale about a teenage girl and the urban ring-necked Parakeets of South East England.

Follow our girl’s journey from moving to Margate with her mother under difficult circumstances, to overcoming hardship, making new friends and celebrating the alien bird phenomenon of Parakeets.  A sensory musical for the eyes, ears and heart. A cacophony of words and progressive beats, twisting the musical form.

Brigitte Aphrodite commented, “The Parakeet Experience is all about a new kind of punk, a kinder punk, rebellious, anti-establishment, thoughtful and caring at the same time. Punk with empathy!”

Gemma Cairney, from Boom Shakalaka Productions added, “Collaboration and team building are at the heart of fantastical multifaceted artistic pursuits. The meeting of minds and expertise between Boom Shakalaka Productions, who got Brigitte’s show ‘My Beautiful Black Dog’ off the ground, & Boundless, who are making tidal waves in the art of theatre for young people, makes me very excited about the future of the Parakeet project.”

BOUNDLESS ACCELERATOR

Boundless are looking for 4 artists or artistic ideas to support on the theme of mental health and wellbeing for a new Artist Support programme called Boundless Accelerator.  Providing a Bursary of £2500 per artist or artistic idea alongside a package of in-kind producing support, Boundless will mentor and encourage co-creation and development with young adults culminating in sharings and a public event at the end of 2019.

Boundless Accelerator aims to connect artists and young adults through artistic exploration of urgent ideas.  The theme has been identified by the young adults Boundless works with on a regular basis, and the application process will take in to account bold ways to respond to the brief.

Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer said today “Boundless Accelerator is our way of investing in artists and new ideas that impact on and start conversations with the teenage and young adult audience we are developing. These bursaries aim to unlock meaningful and perhaps daring new work around mental health and wellbeing which so many young adults cite as the most important issue of our time.”

Boundless is committed to supporting the most talented artists of the future, now and is seeking proposals from around the UK, from artists under the age of 30

For details on how to apply, see the Artists section of the Boundless website and follow @boundlessabound. Applications can be submitted until 8 March 2019.

BOUNDLESS ADVISORY GROUP

Now in its third year, Boundless is expanding its Advisory Group of young adults aged 15-25 who provoke, support and interrogate all of the company’s work through full access to the organisation.  Following a successful fundraising campaign as part of The Big Give in 2018, Boundless are looking to expand the current Advisory Group.

The Advisory Group at Boundless Theatre is a purposefully evolving group of young adults, who meet with team members regularly, and work together on ways to connect the company’s work more widely with teenagers and young adults around the UK.  In return, they receive mentorship and support, as well as paying for culture trips, providing creative opportunities and facilitating ideas for projects around the year.

In 2019/20 the Advisory Group will work with Boundless on Extended Universe, a narrative podcast, created by Nina Segal and connect with young people in Denmark, Spain and Greece (co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union).  They will also help the group create and deliver a project or event in late 2019/20 with a budget and producing support from the Boundless team.

For details on how to apply, see the 15-25? section of the Boundless website and follow @boundlessabound. The window for applications closes on 11 May 2019.

BOUNDLESS THEATRE

Boundless Theatre creates exhilarating, relevant and shareable theatre with and for teenagers, young adults and curious others, responding to a vibrant and diverse global culture. They promote conversation, collaboration and exchange across the UK, Europe and internationally. The company has continued to push the boundaries of work for this audience since it was established fifteen years ago. Under Rob Drummer’s artistic direction the company has a bold new brand that celebrates the unlimited potential of our young adult audience. Beyond their work on stage they empower and inspire teenagers and young adults through a range of opportunities across the UK. Through the Associates programme and artistic development initiatives they invest in future artists now, and empower a new generation of artists to be extraordinary.

www.boundlesstheatre.org.uk                                                                               @boundlessabound

 

BOOM SHAKALAKA PRODUCTIONS

Boom Shakalaka is the brainchild of Gemma Cairney, known for cultivating a dynamic and wide reaching career across broadcast and arts (BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, BBC Radio 4, BBC 6Music, World Service). Having won multiple awards for self-pitched shows, such as an intimate dinner with Grace Jones broadcast on 6Music, to a SONY Gold Award for her honest and visceral investigation of abusive relationships among young people on BBC Radio 1, she is no stranger to upping the ante when it comes to telling stories – pushing boundaries with the BBC and beyond.

Then there is Beth, the thoughtful, pragmatic and robust partner in crime to Gemma’s publicly known enthusiasm. An English lit graduate of Oxford University, she worked in marketing and project management in independent music for 9 years before discovering a passion for radio making which she developed with indie radio production company Cast Iron. She has also project managed a diverse number of arts and music projects, and more recently works with Nick Cave’s management team across music and film projects.

As business partners Gem and Beth have access to talent across a huge breadth of specialisms. Boom works with an impressive pool of makers, writers, producers and collectives and is committed to finding new ways to tell stories. They are particularly well connected to music, visual arts and acting talent as well as more traditional broadcasters and presenters. Boom’s structure is rooted in eclecticism.

Boom was born from an appetite for connecting people, and telling stories. They bring some of the best and most creative individuals together and as a result, make memorable work.

www.boomshakalakaproductions.com

@BoomShakaProd

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New Cast and Additional Tour Dates Announced for Tom Wells and Matthew Robins’ Drip

Boundless Theatre

15 January 2019

Boundless Theatre and Script Club today announce that Josh Tucker will play the role of Liam in Tom Wells and Matthew Robins’ Drip, as it embarks on a new 2019 tour following its recent run at Bush Theatre. Directed by Jane Fallowfield, the production tours to The Lowry, Salford; Customs House, South Shields; Curve, Leicester as part of #DMUpride festival; North Wall, Oxford; The Coliseum, Oldham; Slung Low, Leeds; New Wolsey, Ipswich; Nonsuch Studios, Nottingham; Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal; Phoenix Arts, Hampshire; Harrogate Theatre; Cast, Doncaster; LIVE, Newcastle; and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough.

Drip is a one-man musical comedy about a 15-year old boy who signs up to Hull’s first ever synchronised swimming team, though he can’t swim. It tells a story of getting the hang of being a queer teenager in Hull, and feeling proud of yourself and your city.

#DripTheMusical

@boundlessabound

@ScriptClubPlays

Tom Wells is a playwright. His theatre credits include Me, As A Penguin (Arcola Theatre/UK tour), The Kitchen Sink – which won the Critics Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the George Devine Award (Bush Theatre), Jumpers For Goalposts (Watford Palace Theatre/UK tour), Cosmic (Hull Truck Theatre), Folk and Broken Biscuits (UK tour). He has also written Ben & Lump (Channel 4) and Jonesy (BBC Radio 4). He is currently under commission to the Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre.

Matthew Robins composes the music following his previous collaboration with Tom Wells on Broken Biscuits in 2016. His writing and performing credits include Flyboy is alone again this Christmas and Lullaby (Barbican). As a designer and puppet maker his credits include Something Very Far Away (Unicorn Theatre), A Most Peculiar Wintry Thing (The Ark, Dublin) and Laila (Watford Palace Theatre). He also recently directed and designed an adaption of Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man (Unicorn Theatre). A collection of Matthew’s animations, songs and mechanical puppet installations is on permanent display at the Science Museum in London in the Information Age gallery.

Josh Tucker plays Liam. His theatre credits include The Dip (Bunker Theatre/Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Five:Eight (Bernie Grant Arts Centre) and Witch, Witch, Witch (Camden People’s Theatre).

Jane Fallowfield directs. Her credits include Germ Free Adolescent, Bird (Derby Theatre), Fingertips (Clean Break), Cosmic, Spacewang (Hull Truck), The Only Way is Chelsea’s (York Theatre Royal/Soho Theatre) and Lagan (Ovalhouse). She is the Literary Associate at Talawa Theatre Company.  Previously, Jane was Director on Attachment at Clean Break, Director on Attachment at Birmingham Rep (John Fernald Award) and Senior Reader at Paines Plough.  She is a mentor for Graeae Theatre Company and she has been on the script panel for the George Devine Award panel, BBC Writersroom and Channel 4 Screenwriting Course.

NOTES TO EDITORS

BOUNDLESS THEATRE

Boundless Theatre creates exhilarating, relevant and shareable theatre with and for teenagers, young adults and curious others, responding to a vibrant and diverse global culture. They promote conversation, collaboration and exchange across the UK, Europe and internationally. The company has continued to push the boundaries of work for this audience since it was established fifteen years ago. Under Rob Drummer’s artistic direction the company has a bold new brand that celebrates the unlimited potential of our young adult audience. Beyond their work on stage they empower and inspire teenagers and young adults through a range of opportunities across the UK. Through the Associates programme and artistic development initiatives they invest in future artists now, and empower a new generation of artists to be extraordinary.

SCRIPT CLUB

We are Script Club (the new name for Root Theatre). We discover, develop and make new work. Work that combines theatre and activism. Work that is political in the stories it tells and the way it is made. That’s what gets us out of bed in the morning.

Our flagship project is Script Club. We take a writer back to their hometown to create a new play with and for the local community.  The first Script Club play was ‘Cosmic’ by Tom Wells (Hull and East Riding); the second was ‘Germ Free Adolescent’ by Natalie Mitchell (Medway); and the third ‘Drip’, our first musical, with Tom Wells and musician Matthew Robins which premièred as part of the Hull UK City of Culture in Hull.

http://www.roottheatre.co.uk/

@ScriptClubPlays

The original Drip production was supported by Hull City Council and Hull UK City of Culture.

 

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£9,816 raised in Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018

5 December 2018

Over 7 days, we successfully raised more than our target of £9,000 to launch our Future Now project in 2019.  Over 50 donations were received, all of which were match funded through the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2018.

At Boundless we believe in the limitless potential of all young people and seek to encourage and enable creativity in teenagers and young adults.  All donations will directly fund young people, supporting development of skills and demystifying jobs within the arts that are suited to young people of diverse backgrounds.

Boundless Theatre is a charity and we simply couldn’t do our work without the generous support of individuals.  The donations received during the Create The Future Now campaign are going to have real impact.

You can read more about the Future Now project here. 

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Boundless Theatre Announces Extended Universe Funded by Creative Europe with Partners in Denmark, Greece and Spain

2 August 2018

Boundless Theatre today announces Extended Universe, a two year project funded by Creative Europe where they will partner with three European theatre companies to develop new young independent theatre audiences across Europe.

Boundless Theatre will lead the project partnering with four politically-engaged, outward-looking theatres from across Europe, Teater Grob (Denmark), Entropia (Greece) and Sala Beckett (Spain) with the shared aim of connecting more with young audiences and maximizing digital developments for storytelling. The partners have connected through conversations about recent social, cultural and political shifts in each country; together they will explore ideas around power, utopia and youth culture offering a platform to young adults and their perspectives.

The four companies will each work with a theatre-maker (to be announced shortly) and 15-25 year olds over the next two years to co-create a narrative for multiple platforms (including live theatre), adopting a transmedia approach to storytelling. Work will be presented in Copenhagen, Barcelona, Athens and online (created in London) in May 2020.

Rob Drummer, Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre, said today,

“This is an extraordinary and exciting time to be working with three inspiring and innovative companies across Europe.  Extended Universe will honour the conversations we’ve all had with teenagers and young people and will reflect a changing Europe through the eyes of a generation living with the impact of recent upheavals in the UK, Denmark, Greece and Spain.  Creative Europe funding is a real endorsement of an outward looking collaboration across Europe and an investment in Boundless Theatre’s audience-first approach, for which we are incredibly grateful.”

 

@boundlessabound

#ExtendedUniverse

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

Creative Europe Co-Operation Projects support the delivery of cultural and creative transnational cooperation projects across any art form for a maximum duration of four years.  The 2018 results for Creative Europe’s Cooperation Projects have been announced with 40 awards to UK lead and partner organisations in European projects. Overall, 37 of the 101 selected projects involve the UK, which means that the UK continues to be one of the most partnered countries in what is the principal funding opportunity in Creative Europe’s Culture sub-programme.

 

#CreativeEurope

#CooperationProjects

Boundless Theatre creates exhilarating, relevant and shareable theatre with and for young people. We empower, inspire and invest in future audiences and artists, promoting conversation and exchange across the UK and Europe.  Since 1991 the company has pushed the boundaries of work made for and with young people, producing over 25 high quality productions.

We have worked with partners across Europe for 15 years delivering Pan-European partnership projects including Theatre Café (lead partner, Creative Europe funded) and Boundless Dialogue (Erasmus+ funded), to empower and inspire young adults through contact with high quality theatre artists across Europe.

Following a rebrand, the company is now audience-centric, with a focus on independent theatregoers aged 15-25.  An advisory group of teenagers and young adults informs artists’ decisions to make new work relevant, and we support the best young artists through our Associates programme now in its tenth year.

Teater Grob was established in 1993. Since 2009 Grob has had its home in a black box theatre in Copenhagen. We focus exclusively on new works. We encourage the artistic exploration of what it means to be human in contemporary society. A society that it global and interconnected, for good or worse. International co–creation is a necessity for any artist who wants to dig deeper into society and the human condition of today.  We seek to support young talent that will define the future of the theatre landscape. Not only in the themes and stories that will be put on the stage, but also in the way it is created and presented. Extending the local stage beyond its immediate framework, represents a new potential that we are very excited to investigate.

Entropia is a non-profit cultural organization (first established in June 1997 and based at the homonymous Theatre space in the centre of Athens until 2014), that presents and produces theatre, live art, site-specific, interdisciplinary and multimedia performances, promoting the creative dialogue amongst different art disciplines, the pioneering approaches in form and content, and the exchanges between Greece and the contemporary international Performing Arts scene. Entropia has been supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture, the European Cultural Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Education of Cyprus and various cultural institutions nationally and internationally, as well as been sponsored by the private sector.

Sala Beckett/Obrador Internacional de Dramatúrgia is a theatre of Barcelona which, from its very beginning, has been run on two axes. On the one hand, its constant support for home-made playwriting. Since its creation, more than 20 years ago, Sala Beckett has endeavored to introduce new Catalan playwrights and consolidate others. This has been done not only by premiering plays, but by offering playwrights a space where to experiment and test their work. Sala Beckett’s second line of action throughout its history has been premiering works by foreign authors who, despite enjoying deserved and growing recognition in their own countries, were unknown in Catalonia. Apart from these two main goals, Sala Beckett promotes specific work addressed to young audiences. By means of working with secondary schools and having its own young permanent company, Els Malnascuts, Sala Beckett produces 2 shows per year which want to involve young people with creating processes.

For further information please contact:

Freya Cowdry: freya@katemorleypr.com 

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Full Cast Announced for Confidence

Boundless Theatre

23 March 2018

Boundless Theatre today announces the full cast for a major revival of Judy Upton’s Confidence. First performed in 1998 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer, directs the previously announced Tanya Burr in the role of Ella. She is joined by Anna Crichlow (Ruby), Vauxhall Jermaine (Edwin), Will Pattle (Dean) and Rhys Yates (Ben). The production opens at Southwark Playhouse on 25 May with previews from 23 May.

To book tickets check out the production page here 

Mixtapes, Argos catalogue Christmas lists, VHS. Crop tops, chokers, disposable cameras, Boundless Theatre is bringing the 90s back. As another summer season on the seafront gets underway Ella is turning up the heat in a high stakes game to get as far away as possible. Whilst Ruby keeps the café going and Dean mans the ice cream kiosk, Ella learns there’s no fast track to success.

‘If you’re not interested in earning a new pair of Nikes by the end of the day…complete designer wardrobe by the end of the week…all the beers you can drink…if you don’t want to meet Uma Thurman…then okay, stay here, as King of the Slackers, that’s fine by me.’

Confidence, will explode back on to stage, for a new generation of dreamers.

Full Cast Confidence Photographer Helen Murray

Anna Crichlow plays Ruby. Her theatre credits include Common (National Theatre), Pride and Prejudice (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) and The Lost Art of Lost Art (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). For film her credits include Memento Amare.

Tanya Burr makes her professional stage debut as Ella. This year, she has starred in Go90’s Love and Cheese as part of the Love, Daily series. She has appeared in pilot series, Making It, appears in the forthcoming Bulletproof and plays the lead in the forthcoming Disconnect – a short film. Tanya also runs a successful YouTube channel.

Vauxhall Jermaine plays Edwin. Theatre credits include Old Man and Princess (Soho Theatre). For television his credits include The Attack, The Five, Suspects, This is England ’90 and the forthcoming The Virtues. For film, his credits include Peter Rabbit, 90 Minutes, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation, Svengali and Weekend.

Will Pattle plays Dean. As a recent graduate of The Brit School this will be Pattle’s professional stage debut.

Rhys Yates plays Ben. His theatre credits include Rockstar (Lyric Hammersmith), Table (Stratford Circus). Television credits include Britannia, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man, Plebs; and for film Postcards from London and Common People.

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Tanya Burr To Star In Major Revival Of Judy Upton’s Confidence

Boundless Theatre

9 February 2018

Boundless Theatre today announce Tanya Burr, will star in a major revival of Judy Upton’s Confidence. First performed in 1998 at Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer, will direct Burr in the role of Ella and the production opens at Southwark Playhouse on 25 May with previews from 23 May.

Mixtapes, Argos catalogue Christmas lists, VHS. Crop tops, chokers, disposable cameras, Boundless Theatre is bringing the 90s back.  As another summer season on the seafront gets underway Ella is turning up the heat in a high stakes game to get as far away as possible.  Whilst Ruby has been keeping the café going and Dean mans the ice cream kiosk Ella is about to learn there’s no fast track to success.

‘If you’re not interested in earning a new pair of Nikes by the end of the day…complete designer wardrobe by the end of the week…all the beers you can drink…if you don’t want to meet Uma Thurman…then okay, stay here, as King of the Slackers, that’s fine by me.’

Confidence, will explode back on to stage, for a new generation of dreamers.

Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer says:

‘Rediscovering Judy’s play in the context of 2018 and looking at the legacy of 90s youth culture is an exciting prospect.  In the hedonism of the 90s and the changing tide of political optimism did young people get what they want? For a new generation now, we want to see what has changed and why instilling confidence in young people to take up space and have a voice matters more than ever.’

 

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Boundless Theatre Advisory Group

Arts Council England endorses Boundless Theatre with continued NPO funding

27 June 2017

Boundless Theatre is delighted to have been funded for a further 4 years as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  For the funding period 2018 – 22 we are due to receive £744,252 of public funds which will support our mission to create the best possible theatre for a diverse audience of teenagers and young adults.

This funding gives us the sustainability to continue to develop new work on stage and off, across the UK and Europe.  It allows us to work with young people aged 15-25 across the UK and to support diverse emerging artists to respond to the challenge of engaging a young audience.

Boundless Theatre’s Artistic Director, Rob Drummer says:

“the continued investment from the Arts Council and our ongoing support as an NPO is a very real endorsement of our work for young adults.  Now, more than ever we seek to bring the best theatre to a new, young and adventurous audience of 15-25 year olds and continue to invest in the visionary artists of the future.  I’m looking forward to delivering our ambitious plans over the coming years and to growing our work in new directions.”

 

Boundless Theatre’s Executive Producer, Zoë Lally says: “this is fantastic news that gives us the stability to develop and grow our vision and to continue to push the boundaries of how theatre can engage a young audience.  Working in partnership with other organisations and sharing the best work for young adults around the UK and further afield is at the heart of our plans over this next funding period.”

Whilst this funding provides a vital base for delivering our vision, it only represents 50% of the income we need to realise our plans.  If you would like to support us in realising our vision, you can make a donation via our just giving page, or see our donate page for all the ways in which you can support us.  Donations no matter how big or small can create a huge impact for young people.

Rob Drummer on panel discussion at the London book launch of The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting

10 May 2017

Theatre is failing the Netflix and YouTube generations, according to leading playwrights.

During a panel discussion at the London book launch of The Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting, artistic director of Boundless Theatre Rob Drummer and writer Stewart Pringle called for more innovation in new playwriting.

Drummer said: “When you look at the most diverse generation we have known, who are culturally sophisticated, who are watching Netflix and YouTube and engaging in game culture, they aren’t necessarily meeting the equivalent work in the theatre.

“With theatre we are panicking about where the audience comes from, what work sells. Marketing holds a huge sway over programming.”

He added: “When you turn your attention to young adults and teenagers who have been so well served in young adult fiction, if you look at a decade of dystopian, Hunger Games-style fiction, I’m really frustrated that theatres didn’t pick up the baton and take those stories into their buildings.

“There are a lot of us saying, ‘We’ve kind of dropped the ball’. These stories are not stories that couldn’t have had their equivalents on stage.”

Drummer said that young people are “frustrated, political and really up for big stories”.

He added: “I’m convinced you can get teenagers in front of five hours of theatre so long as it’s relevant and it rewards their attention.”

His comments were echoed by Pringle, associate dramaturg at London’s Bush Theatre, where the book launch was held, who said he wants to see people approaching the venue with projects that “push us outside our comfort zone”.

He added: “Theatre should be consistently inventing the future, not just reflecting on what is happening in the present, not just attempting to produce that well-made, commercially successful or artistically viable play.”

Panellists also discussed cuts to arts education and a lack of diversity within scriptwriting, with panel chair Jennifer Tuckett, who leads the dramatic writing master’s course at Drama Centre London, stating that “writing training is in trouble”.

Tuckett said: “It begins at school and if we cancel courses like the A level in creative writing, which is due to be cancelled this year and which we are running a petition to save, I believe we are closing the door to students considering writing as a career.”

Pringle added: “The idea that theatre and playwriting are only for a certain kind of writer with a certain kind of experience is still pervasive.

“One of the best ways of breaking that down is people need to feel their voices are engaged with.”

Pringle argued that it is vital theatres continue to read unsolicited submissions of work from playwrights, despite it being costly, claiming it was the only way of creating a “truly democratic opportunity to submit plays”.

He said: “A lot of the ways writers get their first agent and therefore get their play sent around to all the theatres is by having a play staged at a London fringe theatre, or at the Edinburgh Fringe.

“Those opportunities are largely only available to the middle class. It’s not generally easy to have your play staged above a pub somewhere if you have no economic resources.”

He added: “It’s a terrifying world if they’re the only voices that get heard.”

The event included performances from the five winners of the first ever Student Guide to Writing: Playwriting competition. This was jointly set up last year by Drama Centre London, writers development organisation Writers at Work Productions and publishers Oberon Books to give student playwrights the opportunity to have their work performed and published.

The reviews for Natives are in!

7 April 2017

****
The Guardian
‘[It] unfurls with the tension of a thriller in 90 minutes that gets right inside the confusions and emotional complexities of the teenage mind’

 

****

Metro

‘It’s the best play I’ve seen this year to articulate an urgent contemporary moment’

 

*****
Theatre Weekly

“Natives is a high-energy production that ticks plenty of boxes, not least the fascinating nature of the stories and the way they are told by a strong cast.”

 

*****
Theatre Full Stop

“Every secondary school Drama teacher needs to read this play. Boundless Theatre is making work for teenagers that is exciting and original, stripping theatre for education of all its cliches and instead opening up the guts of reality.”

 

*****
Jack the Lad

“This superb production has definitely reset the bar for 2017, with it’s incredibly fluid and well paced writing, performed faultlessly by the three impressive leads.”

 

****
The Reviews Hub

“Rob Drummer’s production is lively and animated, reflecting all the exuberance and anxieties of youth.”

 

****
London Theatre 1

“The characters […] and the stories they tell will stay with you long after the play has finished. A fascinating and highly watchable piece of work.”

 

A Younger Theatre

“Packed with pace and utterly uncompromising.”
“Waldron’s writing is incredible”.

The Stage interview Rob Drummer

23 March 2017

The artistic director of Boundless Theatre – formerly known as Company of Angels – speaks to Catherine Love about dramaturgy, telling stories and the challenge of making theatre for teenagers. You can read the article online here.

When did you first get into theatre? Was there a show that particularly inspired you?

I was taken on a school trip to a Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Tempest at the Barbican in London and it was incredible watching a really highly theatrical version of that play. I remember being taken to this huge, quite fortress-like building, right down into the Pit, and watching this expressive, playful, beautifully designed show and being really in awe of it. That definitely whetted my appetite for theatre. I am indebted to teachers and family for supporting and recognising that early interest. I grew up in a working-class family and so we weren’t at the theatre every single week, and yet my parents were very smart to see that I was interested and they found whatever opportunity they could to put me in front of work. I felt my eyes were opened in those important teenage years to everything that theatre could be.

At what point did you decide which role you wanted to take on in the theatremaking process?

Acting was the first thing that I started thinking I wanted to do and I went through a couple of years of applying to a whole host of drama schools. In the second year of applying, I got down to the final rounds at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and they said to me: “We think you should take a year off and come back to us.” So I put in a very late application to the University of Manchester to study drama and ended up going there for three and a half years. And actually very quickly I started becoming really interested in writing and directing and making. I then decided to apply to Central School of Speech and Drama to their MA in advanced theatre practice as a director. I was one of two directors, and there were some writers, there were some puppeteers, there were some designers and some performers. That process was chaotic and there was some good work and some bad work, but really it was about learning the ropes of telling stories. By that point I knew that it was directing and making work that was my main interest.

You’ve since worked as a dramaturg with both HighTide Festival and London’s Bush Theatre. Dramaturgy remains something of a confused and contested term in the UK. What does it mean to you?

Within the practice of dramaturgy there are very different philosophies and approaches. Are you there to support early research and to develop an academic sounding board for a writer? Are you there as a deviser or co-creator? Within that definition there are many sub-definitions. Specifically referencing the Bush, it was about creating a full-time artistic position within that team. What Madani [Younis – the Bush’s artistic director] identified was a need to support many different kinds of artist. During my time at the Bush we were commissioning straight plays and working with writers from pitch through to production; we were also supporting companies and artists like Caroline Horton, who make their work in a variety of different ways. What was important for the Bush was that there was somebody who could sit within the producing team. For me, dramaturgy is a supportive but also an artistic role. It is another pair of eyes, it is a valve on an artistic process, it is somebody who can be the audience, it’s somebody who can ask why, what and what if as often as possible. I think if I were to reduce everything down to its simplest, it is somebody who questions a narrative, a piece of storytelling.

What brought you to Boundless Theatre and what direction would you like to take the company in over the next few years?

It was the opportunity to be really rigorous and interrogate what a teenage audience at the theatre in this country needs. Working with this company, you have 15 years of doing that work and fighting for young people both as artists and participants, but also crucially as audiences. That was the early hook for me. But the company wasn’t necessarily finding the largest audiences all of the time. So it’s about working with a number of really exciting large producing theatres to ask that question of what does theatre need to look like, what does it need to do, what are the stories we need to tell to engage a young audience. I think it’s an exciting moment to be doing that. The world has shifted, the world is in some form of chaos, and young people are not oblivious to that at all. And yet most theatre for young audiences will strive to simplify the world or perhaps sometimes not even engage with the world head on. I think if we get our job right over the years, the work should feel highly relevant to young people and should slightly terrify parents or teachers. And yet if we can be sophisticated about it, that is part of the point; it’s about forging a conversation.

Tell me about your new show Natives. Does that embody your ambitions for the company?

Natives is the beginning for us as a company. It’s making a piece of work that is uncompromising and putting three teenagers on stage. The play just asks this question of what change can young people bring about for themselves, whether that’s a small, personal change or whether that’s the biggest political change. There is a great pressure on young people to grow up, there is great pressure on young people economically and socially in this country, and so the play kicks around those ideas, but it also does it in a celebratory way.

CV: Rob Drummer

Born: 1987, Ashford, Middlesex
Training: Central School of Speech and Drama
Career highlights: The Train Driver, Hampstead Theatre, London (2010), Flora, Theatre503, London (2011), Perish, HighTide Festival, (2012), Eisteddfod, Latitude Festival (2012), Sense, Company of Angels (2013)
Agent: Dan Usztan, United Agents

Natives runs at Southwark Playhouse, London from March 29 – April 22.

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Full casting announced for boundless theatres’ production of Glenn Waldron’s ‘Natives’

6 February 2017

Boundless Theatre Artistic Director Rob Drummer today announces the full company for the UK première of ‘Natives’, a new play by Glenn Waldron. Previously Company of Angels, Boundless Theatre produces exhilarating new theatre in the UK in conversation with Europe. Drummer directs Ella Purnell (A), Fionn Whitehead (B), and Manish Gandhi (C) in the production which opens at the Southwark Playhouse on 31 March, with previews from 29 March, and runs until 22 April.

Director: Rob Drummer
Designer: Amelia Jane Hankin
Movement: John Ross
Video Design: Cate Blanchard
Lighting: Zoe Spurr
Sound Design: Father.

About ‘Natives’

“Where are the grown-ups to do something, where are the grown-ups in this story?”

Three countries. Three teenagers. One average, life-altering day.

A young man battles with feelings of love and violence. Another is stuck with the image of someone being pushed from a rooftop. And a girl must choose between her friends and her conscience.

‘Natives’ is a rallying cry to a generation of unlikely heroes and celebrates coming of age online in a chaotic world.

Glenn Waldron

Glenn Waldron is a London-based playwright and writer. A former magazine editor and journalist, Glenn was Editor of i-D magazine and his feature writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Vogue, W magazine, and other publications. His first play Forever House premiered at the Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth and his work has since been performed in Germany, Norway, the Netherlands and the USA. Upcoming productions include ‘The Here And This And Now’ at TRP and ‘End of the Pie’r at Hackney Showroom. Glenn also lectures in journalism and pop culture at the University of the Arts London.

Ella Purnell

Ella Purnell plays A. She is making her professional stage debut. She was one of Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2010. For film, she will appear in the forthcoming ‘Churchill’, her credits include Miss Peregrine’s ‘Home for Peculiar Children’, ‘Never Let me Go’, ‘Maleficen’t, ‘Intruders’ and ‘Kick Ass 2’.

Fionn Whitehead

Fionn Whitehead plays B. He is making his professional stage debut. He was one of Screen Internationals Stars of Tomorrow 2016. For television his credits include ‘Him’; and for film, he will appear in the forthcoming Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘The Children Act’.

Manish Gandhi

Manish Gandhi plays C. He was included in the British Council’s 2016 global list of 33 cultural influencers from around the world promoting freedom and equality. For theatre his credits include ‘Now We Are Here’ (Young Vic), ‘Brown Shakespeare’ (Efua Theodora Sutherland Drama Studio, Legon-Accra), Rizwan (FTII, Pune), ‘Limbo and Cock’ (National Centre of Performing Arts, Mumbai). For television, ‘Rides upon the Storm’, ‘Judwa Raja’ and ‘Na Bole Tum’; and for film, ‘That Transient Interval’, ‘Chai Shai Biscuits’ and ‘Rizwaan’.

Rob Drummer

Rob Drummer joined Boundless Theatre in July 2016 as Artistic Director. He previously worked as co-director on the company’s production of Sense by Anja Hilling at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA), alongside Andrea Ferran. He was a mentor to emerging playwrights from the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Norway on the European Writers’ Lab component of the company’s Theatre Café Festival. Prior to becoming Artistic Director of Boundless Theatre he was Associate Dramaturg at the Bush Theatre where he ran the Literary Department, responsible for all playwriting work including the commissioning and development of new plays for production. He has established ongoing partnerships with Playwrights of New York (PoNY), delivered projects with Kudos Film & Television and established a partnership with Drama Centre London and Oberon Books on the ‘Student Guide To Writing: Playwriting’. Before joining the Bush Drummer was the first Literary Manager for HighTide Festival Theatre where he supported the expansion of the festival, doubling the number of productions and for HighTide he also directed ‘Eisteddfod’, ‘Endless Poem’ and ‘Perish’. As a Dramaturg and Director he has worked with playwrights at theatres including the National Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Contact, York Theatre Royal and Theatre503. He was one of the first recipients of an Artists’ International Development Fund from the Arts Council and British Council and spent time working in South Africa with playwrights and theatre makers at the Baxter and Market Theatres.

Father

Father is a music composition and sound-design studio which works on the principle that sound and image should work in tandem. Founded by Joe Farley and Freddie Webb, Father uses a variety of approaches that bridge musicality and sound design for rich, provocative and emotive sonic landscapes.

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Company of Angels relaunches under new name Boundless Theatre

28 October 2016

New Artistic Director Rob Drummer today announces the relaunch of Company of Angels as Boundless Theatre along with his first production as Artistic Director – ‘Natives’ by Glenn Waldron which opens at Southwark Playhouse in March 2017.

On announcing the relaunch Rob Drummer said, “It’s with huge excitement that we today relaunch Company of Angels under its new name Boundless Theatre. We feel the word Boundless perfectly reflects our ambition to present bold, fearless and enterprising theatre without limits and to break down barriers to engagement and access. It also seems appropriate that as an international company, based in a post-Brexit UK, we choose a name that reflects our commitment to working with partners from all around the world. In light of this, I am delighted that my first production as Artistic Director – ‘Natives’ by Glenn Waldron – is a global story which follows three teenagers in three different continents.”

For fifteen years, Boundless Theatre has produced and toured new plays, nationally and internationally and created projects and experiences that young adult audiences share in. It nurtures and empowers the next generation of artists, brings plays, diverse perspectives and ideas from Europe and engages with a range of artistic forms beyond theatre-making.

Its award-winning productions have included ‘Hannah and Hanna’ (which toured to India, Malaysia and Phillipines), ‘Truckstop’, ‘Apples’ and in 2015, with the Young Vic and New Wolsey Theatre, it co-produced the critically acclaimed ‘World Factory’, developed by METIS.

Current Boundless Theatre programmes include a partnership with Théâtre National de Toulouse and Théâtre National de Belgique introducing 14–16 year olds to contemporary plays in translation, and a collaboration with Drama Centre London providing guidance to its MA Dramatic Writing students on how to write for young audiences. Over the course of the next year, Boundless Theatre will also work with an advisory group of 15–25 year olds who reflect the audience and artists it works with. This group will be engaged in every aspect of the company’s work and will be a vital influence on decisions that are made relating to programming, artistic development and the wider work of the company.

Since 2001, over 50 organisations, embassies, cultural institutes, trusts and foundation have funded Boundless Theatres’ work and between 2015 and 2016 it attracted over 5,000 audience members and participants, of which more than 10% were outside of the UK. All of this takes place with a core team of just two full-time and three part-time staff.

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