Blue Elephant Theatre and Covid-19

Like other theatres, we are dark at the moment and will be for some time. We are trying to continue as much of our work as possible - looking at what we can do online, like delivering youth theatre sessions, how we can support artists and our local communities and how we can begin to plan ahead. We have been very humbled by the support shown to us recently and concern over our future. Our funders have been very supportive and we are relieved to say that the Blue Elephant is not in any immediate financial danger, despite the income we have lost recently.

Please have a look around our website and social media - the theatre is turning 21 and we are marking it with the sharing of many memories from many people involved over the years. We also welcome everyone - artists, participants, audience members - to get in touch if you would like to talk about what the next 21 years could hold.

Some Resources

We have put together a list of organisations and resources who may be offer help and advice to our local community - please click here for further information.

For activities and resources for young people, please see our spreadsheet here

Check out our An Elephant Never Forgets Section for news of past Blue Elephant shows which are now streaming online.

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Past programme

Showcases an eclectic range of fresh and interesting contemporary work, largely by emerging artistslondondance.com
Dance

Treasure (Cancelled)

Presented as part of Elefeet dance festival

Date
Monday 23 March

Treasure will no longer be performed on March 23rd. Ticketholders have been informed and refunds issued.

When the storm comes, what will you hold on to?

Our lives are shaped by our connection to the sea. It flows through our memories and our history, with each passing day measured by the turning tide.

Treasure is a fearless and physical dance performance, exploring our innate human fascination with our seas and coastlines. Through powerful movement and beautiful original music, five dancers uncover our deep-buried past and confront a future shaped by climate change and pollution.

As seas rise and ecosystems start to collapse, Treasure asks: what have we lost? And what happens now?

This emotive work sets urgent questions alongside a rush of explosive dance that echoes the power and unpredictable beauty of the sea.

Forged Line Dance company was founded in 2016, and is based in Bath. The company creates accessible and thought-provoking contemporary dance, telling human stories inspired by science and heritage. Forged Line’s first work Lina told the story of sibling astronomers William and Caroline Herschel, and toured in 2017 and 2018.

Treasure makes use of some flickering (but not strobing) lights during the performance. Please contact the Box Office on 020 7701 0100 or email info@blueelephanttheatre.co.uk for further information.


Artistic Director
Emily Brown
Score composed by
Cam Crook
Lighting design
Ellie Bookham
Cast
Luke Antysz, Emily Brown, Tia Hancy, Vicki Hearne and Deepraj Singh

Supported by

Dance

Murmurations: The Last Bird & Seeing Earth

 

Presented as part of Elefeet dance festival

Date
Sunday 15 March

A Counterpoint Dance Company and Lunar Salute Company double bill

The performance also includes dance films:

Interprète - Inappropriate Behaviour (2015) by Sonia Yorke-Pryce

Journeys of Internal Migration by Counterpoint Dance Company

The Space Between by choreographer Mary Davies and film maker Eleanor Mortimer

Counterpoint Dance Company presents Murmurations: The Last Bird.

Murmurations: The last Bird is a dance work that questions the world as we observe its slow destruction through human behaviour. We are observing climate change, a change in the resources of our planet and what impact that has on humans and animals. We ask: What would happen if there was only one bird left? How would we feel if nature was destroyed? If we would not be able to hear another bird singing?

Counterpoint Dance Company share a passion for valuing older dancers and their potential by developing them as dance artists and performers. They believe in bringing high quality work to theatres, festivals, community and non-traditional arts settings. With their work, they wish to inspire younger and older people to go beyond their limitations, believing as they do in the transformational power of dance.

With thanks to Ann Clifford for the inspiration provided by her poem, Murmurations, and to Silvana Desira for her contribution to costume design and choice.

Seeing Earth

Have we let the planet down?

Only fifty years since the moon landings, is the Earth irretrievably broken thanks to our careless behaviour?

Seeing Earth shows how we landed on the moon and saw Earth for the first time. It takes the elements of Earth, Air, Sun and Sea, showing their beauty and questioning the future.

Lunar Salute Company is a small collective of older professional dancers who came together in 2019 to make pieces that challenge everyday beliefs and expectations. Their first piece Lunar Salute was made for a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landings and was danced under Luke Jerram’s moon sculpture at Bloomsbury Festival. Following the success of Lunar Salute's first showing, the collective have developed work, expaning on the theme of a view of the Earth from space. In Seeing Earth, they ask if that perspective of incredible beauty has stuck with us?

Lunar Salute consist of three core members, Fionuala Power, Simona Scotto, Teresa Thornber-Mann (known as TT). For this performance at Blue Elephant Theatre, they will be joined by guest artists Nicholas Minns and Kim Mendez.

Original concept: Teresa Thornber-Mann

Music: from Skylight by Kim Planert

Photo Credit: Chris Daw


Dance

Love Your Mind

Presented as part of Elefeet dance festival

Date
Friday 13 March

Love you, love your mind.

EQ Dance Company presents its first mental health dance evening Love Your Mind.

EQDC hopes to make this a first of many events to help support and join the mental health conversations through the medium they know best, dance. This evening consists of exploration around the topics around loneliness, growing up, self-reflection, and male mental health.

Come see this evening of live dance, and dance film made by Artistic Director David West, and member Ana Cristina De Albuquerque. Come join the conversation, meet others that share an interest in creating a healthier, happier society in body, mind, and soul.

The evening consists of the following pieces:

Treading Water

Treading Water is upcoming production around the subject of growing up, and self-reflection told in the form of a narrative around two characters Jo and Ashley, set in the school they both went to. Throughout their lives, they take a walk in each other shoes from when they first meet as kids, to when they meet again as adults. The production has just finished its final development stage, and this excerpt is taste towards what the final production may look like as it makes its way to the first preview.

Stigma MH

Stigma MH explores male mental health not just in its broadness, but how its effects those in marginalised groups. Stigma MH delves into some of the things the LGBTQ community face, exploring masculinity, what it is and/or could be. Amongst all this what we have found is how important it is with who you decide to surround yourself with and the company you keep.

P.s: Ama-te

P.s: Ama-te explores the duality between solitude and loneliness. It is inspired by the frequent and sometimes suffocating internal monologues, which can emerge in these moments of introversion. It shows a mystical and deceptive reality, with a possible perspective on what solitude can bring, or even, the sensations one might experience as a social outcast.

EQDC is an exploratory project-based company of dance artists, working in collaboration to create and deliver dance experiences with impact based in London.

Led by choreographer and Artistic Director David West, EQDC connects freelance artists with a group of talented dancers to explore and enliven creative ideas, and advocates for positive mental health.

Content warning:
Stigma MH contains references to suicide.
Recommended for ages 15+, or 12+ with parental supervision.


Choreographer
David West
Writer
Josh Baker Mendoza
Dance film by
Ana Cristina De Albuquerque
Dancers
Eva Gonzalez, Melanie Little, Liam Hill and Panagiotis Pavlopoulos
Dance

Good Blood

by Keira Martin in collaboration with Sioda Adams

Date
Friday 6 March

Good Blood looks closely at the relationship between two sisters. Keira and Sioda use dance, live music, song and storytelling to bring hilarious, nostalgic and familiar family scenarios to the stage. Their honesty and humour shed light on the bonds that hold us together and the people who make us who we are.

Keira Martin and Sioda Adams were born and bred in Barnsley, Yorkshire. They trained at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and have gone on to have successful careers working for the past 20 years travelling around the globe, including; Bermuda, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Brazil, Spain, USA and Ireland, to name but a few.

The two sisters are inspired and influenced by their working-class upbringing, politics and Ireland, where their parents came from. They are both mothers and have an unforgettable dynamic that is humorous and heartwarming. If there is one thing they both agree on, it’s that you don’t get owt without hard graft.

Praise for previous work:

"These are the stories that people must hear; this is the art people must experience if we are going to live in the compassionate world most of us desire to live in."
danceartjournal.com

"The sheer physicality of the performance was stunningly visceral"
Audience Member

Commissioned by Northern School of Contemporary Dance - Northern Connections, 2Faced Dance Company - The Bench Seed funding, with support from Yorkshire Dance, Vincent Dance Theatre, Spin Arts and Dance City.


Concept and direction
Keira Martin choreographed in collaboration with Sioda Adams
Performers
Keira Martin and Sioda Adams
Director
Charlotte Vincent
Music
Jamie Roberts
Images
Joe Armitage
Lighting Design
Huw Williams
Costume Design
Ryan Laight
Producer
Sarah Shead, Spin Arts

Supported by

Dance

The Cocoon

Presented as part of Elefeet dance festival

Date
Wednesday 4 March

This raw and uplifting celebration of womanhood uses music, spoken word and exhilarating choreography to explore the female experience. On this humorous, poignant and empowering journey, we encounter mothers, daughters, sisters and friends as we shift and emerge into new worlds, from Greggs in Leeds to the beaches of Cornwall and everywhere in between. These worlds and the stories within are a colourful mix of fantasy and reality. With stories gathered and shared by women's groups across Greater Manchester, this work searches to connect women to each other, and to themselves.

The Cocoon premiered at Z Arts in 2019 to great acclaim and now embarks on performances in both Manchester and London. With a newly commissioned musical score by Richard Smithson, and an updated cast of five unapologetically fearless female dancers, The Cocoon promises to be a joyous celebration of femininity.

Coalesce Dance Theatre is a Manchester-based, female-led contemporary dance company. Directors Fern Wareham and Rachel Maffei have established an ethos that places people at the heart of their practice. Coalesce Dance Theatre approach subjects that are current and topical, uplifting and engaging audiences with their thoughtfully crafted choreography.

The company was formed in 2017 and have received a number of commissions, as well as support by Arts Council England's Grants for the Art for a range of projects.

Praise for Coalesce Dance Theatre's previous work:

"Episodes are knitted together with unison movement hinting at strength, comradeship and the multidimensionality of femininity...thoughtfully crafted and elegantly performed."
Emma Hopley - Emma Reviews Shows.

Coalesce Dance Theatre - The Cocoon Trailer from CoalesceDance on Vimeo.


Reviews

"An uplifting production encompassing the highs and lows of the female experience...the entire company are a joy to watch as they demonstrate the pain, joy and strength behind these women’s stories. An inspiring and emotional show."

Fairy Powered Productions

Directors
Fern Wareham & Rachel Maffei
Composer
Richard Smithson
Artistic Mentorship
Keira Martin
Producer
Laura Broome
Graphic Design & Technical Support
Emily Davidson
Image Credit
Josh Hawkins
Cast
Emily Barber, Jenna Anne Nathan, Jemma Stein & Rebecca Callow

Supported by

Family

Cow's Rainy Day

 

Dates
Thursday 20 February - Sunday 1 March

Cow is very excited about celebrating his best friend Amy's birthday. He's planning to make her the most amazing card she's ever seen.

But things don't go quite to plan and Cow feels down.

Luckily Amy is there to help Cow feel better - but she needs some helpers. Can you join her and cheer Cow up?

Cow's Rainy Day is a new short play for children, about learning new things, accepting mistakes, trying hard and being friends.

Suitable for ages 2+

Running Time: 30 minutes approx

Performances:
Thursday 20th Feb - 11.30am, 2pm & 4.30pm
Thursday 27th Feb - 2pm & 4.30pm
Sunday 1st March - 11.30am, 2pm & 4.30pm


Theatre

Luncheons and Flagons: An Epic Immersive Adventure

Date
Saturday 15 February

Your epic quest awaits - will you answer the call?

From the award-winning Paper Mug Theatre comes an interactive choose-your-own-adventure, where three lucky audience members will be the masters of their fate.

There is unrest in the medieval realm of Gondolar. As the tyrannical King Titranoss prepares his heir for their name-day, an underground band plot their bloody rebellion. Through unlikely circumstances, the Heir, a Soldier and a Peasant are flung together to choose between rebels and royalty, embarking on a quest to the far reaches of Gondolar's kingdom which tests the limits of their morality. With over a thousand potential story paths, Gondolar is about to change forever - what side are you on?

A tongue-in-cheek homage to all facets of nerd culture, particularly inspired by the campaigns of Dungeons and Dragons, Luncheons and Flagons is an exciting live-action gaming experience, bringing imagination to the forefront.

Paper Mug Theatre focuses on meaningful stories with humour, pathos and a contemporary perspective. They devise, write and work with actors to bring the best stories to life.

Paper Mug Theatre's work has been awarded China Plate's Pick of Pulse Festival, Theatre Weekly's Best Fringe Debut and an Off West End Commendation, and was longlisted for the prestigious Bruntwood Prize.

Praise for Paper Mug Theatre's previous work:
"Incredibly funny, raw and clever… sharp and hilarious"
Amy Toledano, WithinHerWords (for A Partnership)

"…superb, naturalistic and effortlessly funny…"
Fiona Anderson, Ed Fest Mag (for A Partnership)

Luncheons and Flagons is presented as part of Elephantology, Blue Elephant Theatre’s festival showcasing the work of recent graduates.

Show may contain fantasy violence - recommended for ages 12+


Director
Rory Thomas-Howes
Assistant Director
Josh Tucker
Fight Director
Sebastian Gardner
Musical Director
Louise Barron
Choreographer
Samuel C Jones
Cast
Ami Okumura Jones, Andrew Mapperley, Louise Barron, Marie Danielsen, Margherita Deri, Daniel Kettle, Harris Allen, William Shackleton, Josh Tucker and Rory Thomas-Howes
Theatre

Noot Patoot

by Natalie Patuzzo and Soft Pedal Collective

Date
Thursday 13 February

Watch a clown wrestle with the departure of her youth. Featuring physical comedy, mime, audience interaction and improvisation, Noot Patoot is a comical whirlwind of short episodic scenes.

Funny, nostalgic and absurd, clown Natalie Patuzzo’s debut solo show has been developed from The Hoe-ly Trinity, created with Soft Pedal Collective, which won the 'Best (Theatre) Play 2019' award at Guildford Fringe Festival 2019. Natalie trained at Rose Bruford College, HAMU Prague, and L'École Jacques Lecoq Paris, and currently works in Nottingham as a drama facilitator.

Noot Patoot is a work-in-progress showing.

Noot-Patoot is presented as part of Elephantology, Blue Elephant Theatre’s festival showcasing the work of recent graduates.


Family

Little Star

Date
Monday 10 February

Meet Little Star in our show for little ones ages 6-18 months. Join her as she swings from shooting stars, slides down crescent moons and bounces on fluffy clouds. Using puppetry, music and captivating visuals to delight our young audience, an intimate, relaxed setting makes this the perfect first theatre experience.

Little Star features the popular song ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, taking us on a journey with the star herself. Little Star wants to explore space. Not content with the same spot in the sky, she wants to see, hear and touch everything!

Praise for Little Star:
“The music and sensory experience was mesmerising for the babies”
Audience member

"We saw Little Star today, my 8 month old absolutely loved it! Very engaging and interactive for the babies and a brilliant sensory experience. Thank you for making our babies first theatre experience a brilliant one"
Audience member

"My 7 month old little girl loved this production. She was captivated by all the lights and sounds. A great first show for babies and a relaxing time for parents too."

Little Star (Baby Show) Teaser from Moon On A Stick on Vimeo.


Director
Alice Sillett
Composer
Joseph Bell
Set Designer
Valentina Turtur
Puppet Maker
Maia Kirkman-Richards
Movement Director
Sheri Sadd

Supported by

Theatre

Not Four Girls

by big mess

Date
Monday 3 February

big mess are on a quest to unleash their inner dancer. Come and see them take their first steps into the world of performance in their new comedy show Not Four Girls.

Inspired by the work of Leona Lewis, the protagonists bring spectacle, splendour and sweat, Not Four Girls reach heights that they have never reached before; exploring friendship, trust and bravery. These girls (sort of) are working hard and giving you everything they’ve got. So relax, take a deep breath and prepare yourself for a show like no other. Rice, Ribbons and Bleeding Love are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg

big mess are a theatre company emerging from the University of Surrey intent on making work to empower and inspire all! big mess are passionate about the world, about politics, feminism, gender identities and so much more. They’re here to make shows that matter, even if it gets a bit messy in the process.

Not Four Girls is presented as part of Elephantology, Blue Elephant Theatre’s festival showcasing the work of recent graduates.


Performers
Cathryn Fenton, Lucia Adamou, Leona Wilson, Rebekah Kerley
Photo credit
Emilie Veale
Theatre

Move Fast and Break Things

by Freight Theatre

Dates
Friday 24 January - Saturday 25 January

“Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” Mark Zuckerberg

We are moving fast.

Really fast.

Powered by data, we are hurtling towards a future where algorithms determine the direction of all of our lives. What we wear. What we eat. Who we vote for. Who we love.

In fact, they already do all of these things.

Because, we moved fast.

But somewhere down the line, we will wonder:
What did we break?
And can it be fixed?

Alone in an office, one Facebook moderator thinks about these things.
And decides to take action.
What happens next will change everything.

Freight Theatre present a work-in-progress show about the internet and ourselves. A piece of movement theatre that delves deep into the world of Big Data in search of something to celebrate: in search of what it really means to be human.

Praise for previous work:
“Works beautifully” - The Scotsman (4*).
“Actually practises what it preaches” - The Sunday Times.
“Brilliant from start to finish” - The Cherwell (4.5*).
“A treat to behold” - DailyInfo.

Freight Theatre are a London-based emerging theatre company who cover big issues through intimate human stories. We believe in making theatre that can be shown anywhere for anyone - location and situation should be no barrier to the opportunity to experience experimental theatre. Founded three years ago, previous projects have included plays such as ‘Lovesong’ (Abi Morgan) and ‘The Crocodile’ (Tom Basden), and devised movement theatre including a new play, ‘Brink’(Alastair Curtis).

Move Fast and Break Things is now fully booked. Please call 02077010100 to be added to the waiting list for returns.


Co-director and Deviser:
Luke Wintour
Co-director and Deviser:
Alexander Rugman
Producer:
Kieton Saunders-Browne
Composer:
Sarah Spencer
Set Design:
Nelly Hayes
Lighting Design:
Ben Darwent
Cast
Adam Goodbody, Anuska Chakravarti, Jamie Randall, Julia Pilkington
Family

The Christmas Quest

 

Dates
Saturday 7 December 2019 - Tuesday 17 December 2019

Not many people have heard of The Letter-Machine but it has a very important job. Possibly the most important job of all. It processes all the letters to Santa and makes sure every child is remembered.

When it breaks in a terrible storm, an Elf, a Reindeer and a Teddy set out on a quest to find the parts to fix it. A happy Christmas depends on it.

The Christmas Quest is a new show for families by Blue Elephant Theatre. Full of slapstick humour and joyfulness, it celebrates differences and shares a strong message of inclusivity.

Performance times:
Saturday 7th: 2pm& 4.30pm
Sunday 8th: 2pm & 4.30pm (fully booked)
Monday 9th: 10.45am & 1.30pm (both performances fully booked)
Tuesday 10th: 10.45am & 1.30pm (both performances fully booked)
Thursday 12th: 10.45am & 1.30pm
Friday 13th: 1.30pm & 4.30pm (both performances fully booked)
Saturday 14th: 2pm & 4.30pm (fully booked)
Sunday 15th: 2pm & 4.30pm (both performances fully booked)
Monday 16th: 10.45am & 1.30pm (both performances fully booked)
Tuesday 17th: 10.45am & 1.30pm (both performances fully booked)


Dance

I Love Myself, Do You?

Date
Friday 29 November 2019

I Love Myself, Do You? explores the old Cherokee fable of two wolves fighting within you. One is good, the other is evil.

Which one wins? The one you feed.

Fusing contemporary dance, physical and hip-hop theatre, Michaela Cisarikova directs three female dancers to create personal stories of beauty, identity and self-worth which feel fundamentally universal, all with a vibrant original score composed by Ross Allchurch.

Suitable for 10+

As part of ACE #ThankstoYou week, an under 18 will go free with a paying adult with a lottery ticket, and lone adults with lottery tickets can get £9 tickets. Please call 020 7701 0100 for more information and to book.


Choreography:
Michaela Cisarikova
Music Composer:
Ross Allchurch
Costume Designer:
Rane Jiang
Skirt Design:
Louise Jane Designs
Cast
Jenn Vogtle, Maria Sole Montacci & Jodie Bray
Theatre

Easy

Dates
Tuesday 5 November 2019 - Saturday 23 November 2019
Relaxed Performance
November 21st
1.30pm Matinees and workshops
November 8th, 12th & 20th
5pm Matinees
November 13th & 19th

My best friend Meg actually lost it last week, to her boyfriend Amir.
Apparently he lit candles.
Magical, was the word she used.

Alice would give anything for something magical to happen to her. But she’s shy, has no idea how to contour and the last thing she loved was a roast potato.

She feels ordinary. Unremarkable. Unpopular.

Until Jamie from Maths messages her.

Finally, something is about to happen to Alice.

Something big. Something she won’t ever forget. Something she never expected.

And the whole school knows.

Easy is a powerful new play by Amy Blakelock, exploring what happens when we combine social media, love island ideals, Snapchat and teenage insecurity. An intimate portrait of adolescence today, Easy asks us – why is it so hard to believe we’re good enough as we are?

Easy has been developed in consultation with teachers and teenagers and free PSHE workshops are available for school and youth group bookings. Workshops are supported by the leading UK sexual health charity Brook.

The performances on Tuesday 5th & Wednesday 6th November are previews and prices are £10.00 (full), £9.00 (conc.) & £8.00 (Southwark Residents)

Easy is a new play by Amy Blakelock about issues encountered by teenagers today and is recommended for ages 14+. Easy was a finalist in the Best Production for Young People aged 13+ category at the offwestend.com awards.


Writer
Amy Blakelock
Director
Hannah de Ville
Performer
Robyn Wilson
Producer
Laura Furner
Set and Costume Designer
Verity Johnson
Lighting Designer
Dan Saggars
Composer/Sound Designer
Anna Clock

Supported by

Dance

Turtle Dove

Date
Tuesday 29 October 2019

Everyone loves a love story. Turtle Dove explores true tales of the sometimes bumpy, funny and sad journeys we take with our relationships. Made from interviews with people of all ages and sexualities, their voices are weaved into the musical soundtrack and their honesty and secrets are brought to life through dance and theatre. This duet is a heart-warming, candid and witty show that celebrates all forms of love and touches on life’s heartaches.

Devised in collaboration with leading composer Dougie Evans and script writer for the BBC Nick Walker, Turtle Dove is characterised by creative use of text, effortless physicality and its authenticity. Come and experience the stories of strangers who will soon feel like friends.

Produced in association with Lîla Dance.

“Love...appears in a memory recalled, in a shiver of anticipation, in energy and in space...Turtle Dove is genuinely heart-warming.”
Sanjoy Roy - Resolution! Review

“Performed so well, with great sincerity”
Wen Amanda Koh- Resolution! Review

Suitable for ages 14+

Turtle Dove Trailer from Amy Morvell on Vimeo.


Choreography:
Amy Morvell
Dramaturgy:
Nick Walker
Soundscore:
Dougie Evans
Lighting Design:
Vanessa Brooker
Costume Design:
Amy Morvell
Producer:
Abi Mortimer
Consultancy & Mentorship:
Lou Rogers, Carrie Whitaker (R&D)
Research Dancers:
Amy Lyster, Abi Mortimer, Conor Fortune, KJ Mortimer
Prop Design:
Dawn Childs
Cast
Amy Morvell & Joe Darby

Supported by