BET mailing list

Submit your email

BET on Twitter

Loading feed...

Charity number: 1077161

Company number: 3724349

Blue Elephant Theatre Privacy policy.

We use cookies for Google Analytics, but these can be disabled via your browser configuration.

Past programme

Showcases an eclectic range of fresh and interesting contemporary work, largely by emerging

A Mind's Journey in Search of Destiny

by Anwesha Dance Company

Wednesday 29 October 2008 - Friday 31 October 2008

Anwesha Dance Company was established to evolve new choreography from the Manipuri tradition and to bring Manipuri dance to wider notice in the UK and internationally.

A Mind's Journey in Search of Destiny explores the creative genius and the conflicting urges that drive an artist. Tradition, self-doubt and wavering courage rein in the artist from full expression of creativity.

Combining expressions of award-winning choreographer Anwesha's imagination - improvised from classical north-east Indian Manipuri dance - this work infuses tradition with freedom and also the heritage is moulded to modernity, the classical reinterpreted through originality. It is about the move towards self expression and thus combines music, speech, film and new physical language or new movement which is born from Manipuri classical dance, to explore all of these resonances.

This production resonates beyond the uncertainties of a person moving from a valued but traditional society into a more liberal but alien one, to talk to the self-belief and insecurities lying beneath the artistic impulse.

A Mind's Journey in Search of Destiny had an Edinburgh run in August 2009.

Carrie Syckelmoore, Yentl De Werdt & Anwesha Ahmed
Music Arranger
Nic Saunders
Asim Ahmed
Lighting designer
Jason Kirk

First Class

Tuesday 7 October 2008 - Saturday 25 October 2008

When Michael Bates makes a routine trip to the post office, he meets Beatrice – an impossibly enthusiastic postal worker, who takes him far beyond the confines of a mail room into the universe of her imagination. Powered by her infectious lust for life, Bea leads Michael on a journey to find something he never knew he had lost.

Fusing physical theatre with comedy and music, this absurd yet oh-so-believable human tale unfolds with delightful results.

First Class had an Edinburgh run in August 2009.

Devised and performed by
Amy Nostbakken & Nir Paldi
Lighting Designer
Jules Richardson


"This curious and charming fable is glorious in its playful physicality" Time Out

Art accompanying 'First Class'

Tuesday 7 October 2008 - Saturday 25 October 2008

Total Image Nation is a photographers' network and online resource, created and maintained by photographers across the UK. The purpose of Total Image Nation is to provide information, advice, networking and opportunities for all photographers.



by GRIT Theatre

A new play about man's relentless struggle to define the world and beyond

Thursday 29 May 2008 - Sunday 15 June 2008

"Our heroes and our Gods, under scrutiny, have become dwarves. As if that was something they could ever be. That we could ever allow. That's why we rail against the day’s passing, struggle to get in another word or action, because tomorrow … tomorrow we may not know where we stand. Not recognise ourselves when we stop to look."

Ad astra per aspera (a rough road leads to the stars):
Inscription at Launch Complex 34 at Kennedy Space Centre where all three crew members of the first Apollo spacecraft died in 1967.

Jon Bonfiglio
Emily Agnew
Lighting Designer
Esteban Nunez
Matt Addis, Samantha Hopkins, Bill Hutchens & Ruth James


"If any further proof were necessary that small-scale productions have big ideas and can make them work, 'Pluto' provides it"

Mervyn Peake and his Art

by Sebastian Peake

Wednesday 4 June 2008

Photos courtesy of the Estate of Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake was a writer, artist, illustrator and a former tutor at Camberwell College of Arts. Best known for his Gormenghast trilogy, he also wrote poetry, short stories and plays for adults and children.

Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor

First published in 1939, Mervyn Peake’s pirate yarn has recently been re-issued, giving a new generation the chance to read about the exploits of Captain Slaughterboard and his crazy crew - Billy Bottle, Jonas Joints, Timothy Twitch, Peter Poop and Charlie Choke.

Mervyn Peake: an illustrated talk

Presented by Sebastian Peake

Inspired by his father’s incredible collection of paintings, photographs and letters, Sebastian Peake provides an exclusive insight into one of the most creative minds of the 20th Century.

Part of Camberwell Arts Festival 2008


Out of Chaos

Winner: Best Production at the International Act Festival, Bilbao 2008 Winner: Audience Prize at 100° International Theatre Festival, Berlin 2008

Tuesday 20 May 2008 - Saturday 24 May 2008

Out of Chaos re-imagines the tragic chorus and incorporates live music, clowning and physical theatre in a devised piece that draws on the international origins of the actors.

In the beginning, there was chaos. Then the Gods took that chaos and gave it an order. They made the world and some animals and everything went pretty well. But one day Prometheus made a new beast, and he raised it up onto two feet so it could look at the heavens. And that's when things started to kick off. Gods and mortals, parents and sons, sisters, lovers and strangers on the Tube come head-to-head in a playful blend of Ancient Greek mythology and modern true stories, exploring the ways in which people fight and rage.

Out of Chaos had an Edinburgh run in August 2008

Best Production at the International Act Festival, Bilbao 2008

Audience Prize at 100° International Theatre Festival, Berlin 2008


Hide & Seek

by Temple Theatre

Tuesday 29 April 2008 - Saturday 17 May 2008

Set in the aftermath of environmental devastation, a woman scavenges amongst the ruins of the world she once knew. She discovers a baby and the things that matter the most become obvious as a result of the discovery.

Is she still looking for hope?
Can she find it?
And more importantly -
will she recognise it?

Using movement, puppets and original music, this is a tragi-comic tale of hope and humanity in the most desperate of circumstances.

Tal Jakubowiczova
Set designers
Lauren Smith & Kiera Blakey
Lighting Designer
Pablo Fernandez Baz
Costume Designer
Tomasin Cuthbert
Hutch Demouilpied
David Ford, Ariana Lebron & Dominic Leeder

Euripides' Hippolytus

by Revolving Doors Theatre

Tuesday 8 April 2008 - Saturday 26 April 2008

A dynamic drama with strong, contemporary issues regarding faith, family and taboo, explored using wonderfully rich characters involved in a complex human story.

Queen Phaedra lies sick with incestuous love for her stepson Hippolytus. Told of her passion by her faithful nurse, Hippolytus rejects her. Pride, shame, lust, revenge, honour and love interweave culminating in a progressively sharp web of lies and unspoken truths that result only in death and tragedy.

Utilising the rhythm, images and language of the text to layer the play with rich movement, music and song, this new version draws out the elements of ritual and ceremony that are inherent in Euripides’s text and structure.

Adapted & directed by
Aaron Paterson
Talulah Mason
Lighting Designer
Jason Kirk
Dimitris Christopoulos, Daniel Curshen, Shakti Edwards, Bodelle de Ronde, James Sutherland, Rachel Webster, Sarit Wilson Chen, Jackson Wright & Roxani Zogana


‘This fast paced, imaginative piece of ensemble theatre leaves little to be desired and should not be missed by anyone.’

Springheeled 2008


Three evenings of dance & multimedia works that engage, entertain & inspire.

Thursday 3 April 2008 - Saturday 5 April 2008
Supported by
Arts Council England

  • Riccardo Meneghini 'Carry on Tripping'
  • Etta Ermini Dance Theatre 'Fixed Wheel'
  • Evolving Motion, Cathy Seago 'Vanishing Point'
  • Hagit Yakira 'Leah'


"For dance audiences it [the Blue Elephant] can be an intense experience - especially if you're used to studying abstract geometry from the heights of the upper circle. These are real, powerful, bodies, right in front of you, complete with flesh, discernible faces and flying beads of sweat."

Writers At Work


Rehearsed readings by the writers and directors of tomorrow

Wednesday 19 March 2008 - Friday 28 March 2008

Closed Circuit

  • Writer: Sara Pascoe
  • Director: Katie Lewis

Closed Circuit deals with the macrocosmic issues of city life through the microcosm of a central London sex-shop. The story is told through theatrical naturalism and stylised montages, creating a sensory and thought provoking reflection of the city and the lives we all inhabit.

Strange Land of Stars

  • Writer: Emily Hunka
  • Director: Emma Hewitt
  • Cast: Simon Carroll-Jones, Brandy Doubleday, Laura Glover, Alex Watson & Ben Wigzell

A family celebrates. A stranger arrives at the door. Claiming to have a message, will he bring peace and goodwill or is he a dangerous threat waiting for the right moment to blow them apart? And in a nation obsessed with security, are they putting themselves at risk by letting the unknown in?

Strange Land of Stars asks: when do a country’s laws stop protecting its citizens and start persecuting them?

A new play about a land not too different from our own.

The Dada Suicides

  • Writer: Afsaneh Gray
  • Director: James Kermack
  • Cast: Sophie Michaels & Robert Orme
    • Jacques Vaché, a friend of André Breton, acquired notoriety after he killed himself and a friend in Paris in 1919. Waking up on stage, he finds himself the unlikely subject for a play.

      The Dada Suicides explores the fragility of the psyche from a place where all physical being is lost and only consciousness remains. With a Dada twist.

      Golden Lads & Lasses Must

      • Writer: Peter Lindley
      • Director: Rebecca Tortora
      • Lighting Designer: Jason Kirk
      • Cast: Irene Bradshaw, Gerald Davidson, Rachel Halliwell, Jen Holt, Terry Jermyn, Lucy Le Messurier & Holly Strickland

      London October 1998: Ted Hughes, the Poet Laureate, is dying of cancer. He slips in and out of consciousness, dreaming of Sylvia Plath, the one true love of his life, and the fateful weekend in 1963 when she committed suicide.

      The Americans

      Grey Light Theatre

      • Writer: Matthew Freeman (one of's People of the Year 2004)
      • Director: Georgina Guy
      • Designer: Hilary Statts
      • Cast: Matthew Bulgo, William Fysh & Jack Farthing

      Presented as part of Grey Light Productions' series of contemporary American writing, in conjunction with the New York Metropolitan Playhouse.

      One young man sitting alone in his room writes a poem that in a moment of unexplainable magic causes his apartment to explode. In another part of town another young man finds his windows blown in by the blast. Downtown a third steps out onto the street to find himself covered with white plaster.

      With the identity of their hometown and of themselves under scrutiny, all three begin a search for the source of the disaster.


Things I've Seen and Made by Ben, Age 30

by Ben Hathaway
Tuesday 11 March 2008 - Thursday 13 March 2008

An exhibition of work including oil paintings, cartoons, photographs and other follies, all made in the artist's small London flat, exploring the fight against the tedium and drudgery of modern life…

Ben Hathaway studied at Camberwell College of Art, London College of Fashion and the London Metropolitan University.

The exhibition includes Ben's collection of The Cat From Mars Pocket Cushions.


The Harbour

by Limbik

Wednesday 5 March 2008 - Friday 7 March 2008

A child born as a fish; a woman trying to escape her past; sailors lost at sea. Set in an unnamed harbour town, this bold new show puts a contemporary spin on old stories of the sea, colliding a cast of characters all searching for shelter in a world past redemption. Combining elements of magic realism and the grotesque, the company uses the tools of physical theatre, puppetry and live music to bring this darkly comic world to life.

Ben Samuels
Lighting Designer
Jason Kirk
Juan Ayala, Sarah Johnson, Sarah Moody, Ben Samuels & Will Pinchin


"The impressive and skilful ensemble who devised The Harbour were as flexible as their props. It can often be difficult to integrate dialogue with a physical performance as one discipline can conflict with the other; however The Harbour united both perfectly"

Seneca's Oedipus

by Leonie Kubigsteltig in association with Cherub Productions
adapted by Ted Hughes

Thursday 28 February 2008
Supported by
Geothe-Institut London

This work is a first collaboration between Leonie Kubigsteltig (London) and Simone Younossi (Berlin). Together they are searching for new forms of experimental chorus work, based on its strong tradition in German theatre.

Leonie Kubigsteltig
Chorus work
Simone Younossi
Lighting Designer
Boris Kahnert
Marcel Bruneau, Justin Davey Mitchell, Nick Richards, Caroline Thompson & Cath Whitefield

After They Left & Rumpelstiltskin

by Silversmith Dance Theatre

Two exciting and fresh pieces of dance theatre combining innovatively expressive movement with live electronic, instrumental, and environmental sounds created by award-winning composer John Chambers.

Thursday 13 December 2007 - Saturday 15 December 2007

SILVERSMITH DANCE COMPANY produces innovative and accessible dance theatre through artistic collaborations. The company’s work focuses upon human themes and narratives of a dark comedic nature, merging different movement styles with the theatrical to create thought-provoking contemporary work.

After They Left

A woman feels that her house and its memories are too painful, so she decides to move on... and live in her garden for a while. Come and peek over the fence as she is left to ponder on her loneliness, and indulge in her imagination and environment.


This classic Grimm Brothers tale is re-told through dark physical imagery and atmospheric music. Two dancers and four musicians conjure a world of power, greed, and sinister magic. A world in which a living thing is more precious than any treasure.


Meet Me In The…


An evening of collective arts selected by three female choreographers

Thursday 13 December 2007 - Saturday 15 December 2007
Art accompanying 'Meet Me In The' by
Alec Moors

Marks That Behold

Sylvia Ferreira Dance Company

  • Director & Choreographer: Sylvia Dos Santos Ferreira
  • Musician: John Chambers
  • Dancers: Lorraine Smith, Jacqui Johnston & Wang Chen Chang

Marks that Behold has enticed and embodied the dark and light images of the Catholic religion. The work explores the dancers' and choreographer’s interpretation of those images. The piece does not attempt to make a statement about the religion: that is what the audience is there for…


Being Small Dance

  • Directors: Bruno Mathez, Lizzie Sells & Maria Svensson
  • Performers: Lizzie Sells & Maria Svensson
  • Composer: Benoit Seyrat
  • Film Designer: Bruno Mathez

Being Small Dance’s latest work is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. First performed at Abundance International Dance Festival in Sweden in 2007, this new adaptation sees two dancers and a video artist experimenting more abstractly with the notions of dreams and surrealism.

Six Litres of Air


  • Choreographer: Katja Nyqvist
  • Composer: Jacob Shirley
  • Performers: Katja Nyqvist & Jacob Shirley

Six Litres of Air explores the idea of breath as a rhythmic stimulus for movement and sound. It is a collaboration between a dancer and a musician playing the electric cello.