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Charity number: 1077161
Company number: 3724349
Showcases an eclectic range of fresh and interesting contemporary work, largely by emerging artists
A showcase of excerpts and short works-in-progress of new material from London’s most exciting artists across the arts. Physical theatre, puppetry, dance, music…A Blue Elephant season in one evening!
The Butterfly Lovers
The Butterfly Lovers is a vibrant new adaptation for children of the ancient Chinese legend. Under the reign of the evil Emperor Hu, girls are forbidden to attend school, but Zhu disguises herself as a boy to do so. There she meets Liang, and together they change China forever.
Directed by James Chamberlain
Written by James Chamberlain and Jason Yu
Cast: Amy Siripunyo, Jake Cahill & Jeffrey Ho
Watch Out For The Bear
Originally formed in June 2012 to make a ukulele cover of the song 'Gettin' Jiggy With It' by Will Smith. Watch Out For The Bear found that bringing a ukulele on stage, performing simple but musically interesting songs with fresh and direct lyrics, made them develop a very special bond with the audience - a playful, singalong phantasmagoria!
Their crazy passion about Bears turned out to be fun for everyone and very contagious!
They have just launched their first EP 'Miriam Upside Down'. You can join them on Facebook Watch Out For The Bear
Vertebra in collaboration with Outside puppets created the story of the elder "Alfi" who has advanced dementia. Set in a contemporary care home, we use visual and physical storytelling methods including movement and puppetry to descend into the hallucinatory mind of a man in the twilight of his life.
Directed by Mayra Stergiou & Eirini Dermitzaki
Performers/Devising Cast: Fede Bogo,Cecile Dumont, Ludovic Pujil & Paula Siu
Puppet design and making: Eirini Dermitzaki, Fede Bogo & Ludovic Puzol
What's Your Story?
How do you respond to "about me"? What do you write on your CV? This piece looks to explore fragmented identity and our existence within multiple realities and roles virtual, real and imagined.
What’s your story? is created and performed by Amelia Stubberfield, who is a theatre maker, performer, comedian and writer. Since graduating in Acting from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2008, she has developed a great deal of her own work, including theatre performance pieces, stand up, character comedy and co-writing and co-starring in an online comedy sitcom. She has recently worked with Louise Mari and Nigel Barrett (founding members of SHUNT) on their projects.
Photo credit: Al Frank Monk
When you stop being a child…what are you?
How do find your place in life – or even just in your group of friends? When do your feet stop growing? And who decides all these things?
These questions – and many more – are explored by five dancers in Nutshell Dance’s new work Retrospective.
Retrospective deals with topics of adolescence – unknown emotions, budding sexuality, insecurities and unfamiliar identities. Choreographer Mari Frogner explores these topics from a very personal place, combining her Scandinavian point of view with her current perspective as a choreographer working in a world where female voices are scarce.
Treacherously murdered in war, a haunted spirit returns to his homeland to seek revenge on those responsible for his death. His lust for the truth leads to one of the bloodiest plays ever written, The Spanish Tragedy.
This outstanding landmark of Elizabethan drama comes to the stage in a new ensemble production, told through a fusion of text, movement and music.
Kyd’s revenge thriller is said to have inspired other great works of the period including Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi and Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
“Nothing less than a superb lesson in how to adapt an old classic for a contemporary audience.”
Naima Khan, Spoonfed.com
You can keep you up to date with all the goings on direct from the rehearsal room and stage on their blog:
Paper Balloon present their magical new family show!
Grumpy seven-year-old Zachary is fed up with feeling average and journeys into a surreal and entrancing world to discover what makes him special.
A host of hilarious characters combine with award-winning writer Finegan Kruckemeyer’s sharp dialogue in this unique twist on an adventure tale.
Alternately hilarious and deeply moving, audiences both young and old will love joining the furious Zachary in his desperate quest to discover difference.
What happens when we give away our darkness?
Suppose you had nightmares, terrible nightmares, every night, night after night.
Exhausted and distraught, where could you turn for rest, for relief, for release?
Suppose there were someone who could dream your nightmares for you,
so you could have deep sleep and sweet dreams.
That someone is the Nightmare Dreamer.
The Extension of a Tag series represent developments of the artist’s graffiti street tag. The paintings evolve out of a process of layering, removing and reworking paint to find an inevitable form. The initial chaos of applying paint and the expressive flows that dominate the early stages of the work are simplified and the uncomfortable and disjointed shapes are dissolved, at least partly, to create stillness. SIX8ONE represents the total destruction of an individual reality. They are the numbers of the real-life bus that goes directly underground; a one way ticket to the asylum and a symbol of the descent into madness.
Andrew Pullan’s work explores identity issues by using empirical knowledge as an impetus for interdisciplinary practice. A graduate of the Contemporary Arts BA at Nottingham Trent University, Pullan works across the mediums of film, photography, painting and electronic music.
A wry, touching and visually poetic new play about bereavement.
Hannah’s father died of cancer when she was seventeen and in the seven years since, she hasn't talked about it much. Here she opens up, in a new show about memory, absence, bereavement... and how hard it is to talk about death.
So It Goes is a wry and beautiful re-telling of the true story of watching someone die and dealing with the aftermath. We are fascinated by the silence which death provokes, by the way grief creeps into our everyday lives and affects us even years after a death.
So It Goes is presented as a work-in-progress performance and feedback will be welcomed after each show.
Praise for Machines For Living:
“A terrifically directed, stylish piece” The Stage
“Glittering and sharp... brave new theatre” Edinburgh Guide
“Superbly tight... a great piece of physical theatre” The Skinny
Who knows who will wander into the library today & what secrets they may share?
Set in a library, Ssshh! dips in and out of the imaginative world of the characters' minds to create a funny and moving performance, giving the audience an insight into what it feels like to live with mental health problems.
The B-Scene theatre company is a creative partnership between Blue Elephant Theatre participation department and ThreeC's, who work with adults who experience mental health issues.
There will be free refreshments and a chance to catch up with the company after the performance.
Let’s get one thing straight: Cervantes would never have let this happen.
Inspired by the wanderings of the famous Don Quixote, two Spaniards and an Englishman re-enact the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age.
Their mammoth task would be easier if any of the following were true: they’d read the book, had enough actors or heeded the warnings of Terry Gilliam.
Instead, Little Soldier returns to Blue Elephant to present an imaginative and provocative adventure of immense proportions, to be taken with a pinch of salt - and a handlebar moustache.
The Knight of the Sorrowful Figure is presented as a work in progress run, ahead of further development.
A showcase of excerpts and short works-in-progress of new material from London's most exciting artists across the arts. Physical theatre, dance, music, storytelling... A Blue Elephant season in one evening!
Something There That's Missing
What would you risk to make your mark on the world?
A girl moves to London to write her first play, a fantastical coming of age story about adventure-seeking Mei Li who enters the magical Chinese Metaforest. There, she meets an orange hippo and together they must battle a ferocious monster guarding a treasure that could change everything.
Reality and dreamworlds collide wth memory and culture as this girl in-between creates her story – and life.
Peer into the gaping unknown as Mei Li confronts the wonderful darkness and awesome splendour of a big, big world.
A company of artists weave a tapestry of episodes exploring the vulnerability and brutality of life in an attempt to find a balance. They find freedom of expression through multiple disciplines including movement, music, poetry and puppetry.
“Powerlessness and silence go together.” Margaret Atwood
The Flying Roast Goose
Out of Chaos in association with Yellow Earth Theatre
A moving story about food, survival and hope through the eyes of a Cantonese chef and her pet goose. The Flying Roast Goose is set in war-torn Hong Kong during the Japanese invasion in 1941. Using physical theatre, puppetry and object manipulation, this original piece tells the dark history of Hong Kong with playfulness and kitchen utensils!
Conceived by Paula Siu. Devised by the Company
Performed by Federico Bogo, Paula Siu & Mayra Stergiou
That Passed The Time
An alternative version of Beckett's Waiting For Godot, performed by two women who combine the disciplines of puppetry and physical theatre. One tall one short, the new duo invite the audience into a world where things don't always make much sense but time passes nonetheless. This adaptation will turn the text on its head and push the boundaries of Beckett's work by using puppetry to highlight the absurdity of simply watching people wait.
by Short in Comparison
Conceived and performed by Hattie Thomas and Becky Zienko
CELL is about a man’s loss of physical animation through Motor Neurone Disease. We have been exploring this through the external, physically degenerative quality and the internal expansion of the mind and imagination.
Smoking Apples use both puppets and live actors together on stage with an identifiable and unique style of movement. Little Cauliflower produce touching and heartfelt productions, often using large elements of kinetic set-design in their shows.
Smoking Apples and Little Cauliflower are writing a blog to keep track of their process so far on this project, you can read it here
Smoking Apples and Little Cauliflower have been undertaking a collaborative process of thought and puppetry to bring you CELL, it has been generously funded by Arts Council England.
The Ebony Horse
by Hammer & Tongs Theatre
Scheherazade is on the brink of execution and has so far managed to delay her beheading by enthralling the King with stories. This piece is taken from a larger production of the 'Arabian Nights' and follows one of Scheherazade's stories, 'The Ebony Horse'.
Performers: Charlotte Reid, Rory Stallibrass, Josh Stamp-Simon, Emilia Petryszyn and Avita Jay
Musician: George Mackenzie-Lowe
Director: Jennifer R. Lee
Struggling against the oppressive rituals inflicted by his birthright, the Boy escapes the Castle on his fourteenth birthday, only to find himself in the midst of unimagined horror.
Following the world premiere of The Cave and the stage premiere of Noah’s Ark, the Blue Elephant continues to bring the work of Mervyn Peake to the stage. This work-in-progress of Boy in Darkness – one of only two novellas he wrote – recounts an unnerving episode of Gormenghast hero Titus Groan's teenage years.
The Blue Elephant has a "pioneering practice of bringing Peake’s plays to the public" Peake Studies
Is there a way to bring audiences and performers closer together?
Part game, part performance, The Applause Project invites the audience to share the space, and get up close and personal to the action. The rules of the game are simple, and direct the audience when, and how, to clap. Presenting a series of short dances, the company seeks to draw attention to the act of applause, asking is this when we are closest to the audience?
The Applause Project is a full length dance theatre experience, exploring the nature of applause and how to bring the audience closer to the action. Come and play at Blue Elephant Theatre!
You can keep you up to date with all the goings on direct from the rehearsal room and also updates from Joon Dance Company on their blog:
Two elderly Spanish sisters live in a foreign land against the backdrop of a battered rug and a mountain of mysterious boxes. They share an existence of outrageous defamation, tender reminiscing and pure madness, careering between affection and annoyance. But amidst an ever-changing reality, is their behaviour just eccentricity or something more destructive?
‘You and Me’ is a touching story with sparkling dialogue and witty observations, that explores old age with humour, imagination and tenderness.
The exhibition features an eclectic range of work from artists Max Dorey and Marta Rocamora.
Dorey exhibits a collection of stencils as well as pieces from Tales from the Red Bar , an on-going short story and illustration project Dorey works on with Leeds based writer Adam Z. Robinson. Sometimes the illustrations are inspired by the tales - sometimes the tale is inspired by the illustration.
Marta Rocamora’s purpose in Art and Life is to be real, to truly connect with what is inside, around and beyond her, to move and be moved to positive action, to share and to learn. She enjoys painting with watercolours on Arches paper: She finds magic in the satin-smooth surface, the flow and movement of brush and water. The random element this medium allows, combined with the capability to work with delicate, minute detail make it her ideal choice for bringing out the essence of dreams.
The private show of this work will be on Thursday 25th of April from 6pm.