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Company number: 3724349

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The Blue Elephant Theatre never ever does things by

Please see our past programme section for reviews of past shows.


Blue Elephant Birthday Celebrations - Day 4

Date published
Thursday 4 June 2020

Our Co-Artistic and Participation Director Jo Sadler-Lovett, leads an engaging workshop online where we create a monologue to look back on in the future and remember how we are feeling now - as well as some drama games to play at home to get imaginations firing!

We also took the opportunity to celebrate and shout about the work we do in schools. We are incredibly proud of the community programmes we run which form a large proportion of the work that we do and has involved working with and in schools.

It is innovative, creative and accessible and has had an incredible, positive impact on our community and on the lives of many people.

What would you like to be when you are older?

Creative Minds is our primary school programme.

We deliver weekly bespoke drama workshops in local Southwark schools each term, generally reaching 800 - 1000 young people a year.

The workshops can cover any topic the school requests and they are often delivered to targeted groups of children.

Teachers say:

“Creative Minds provides a really useful outlet for us to refer underprivileged children who need additional support of experts.’

“Our children…need the opportunity to feel proud of themselves, to shine, to listen to applause, to see their parents, teachers and peers admiring their work. Creative Minds has given this opportunity.”

Aim high even if you feel low

Our Speak Out programme works with schools to address issues around mental health and well-being, training young facilitators in the process.

“It’s amazing what Blue Elephant do for disadvantaged communities. I could have got caught up in the wrong activity with the wrong crowd if it wasn't for my experience working with you.” (Actor in training)

There is always light at the end of the tunnel

Speak Out has taken on fifteen trainee actor-facilitators since 2015, the majority of whom who were not in education, employment or training, had mental health problems or were at risk of developing them. The achievements of the trainees since beginning with us have been outstanding, with many progressing to further training and paid work very quickly afterwards.

Students in the schools Speak Out has visited have developed their self-confidence and self-belief, their awareness of mental health issues and explored ways to manage their well- being.

One teacher said she “could not believe the impact the programme has had. I was moved to tears”

You can achieve more than one thing at the same time


Blue Elephant Birthday Celebrations - Day 3

Date published
Wednesday 3 June 2020

Our patron Radzi Chinyanganya wished us a happy birthday!

We also shared an interview with Antonio Ribeiro, the founder and first Artistic Director of Blue Elephant Theatre, talking about his life and how the theatre came about.

Interview with Antonio


Blue Elephant Birthday Celebrations - Day 1

Date published
Monday 1 June 2020

From June 1st, we are celebrating Blue Elephant's 21st anniversary and all the people who have made it possible.

On June 1st, we shared two very special films.
The first - to mark the start of Volunteers Week 2020 - is an interview with our two longest-standing volunteers, Chris Lawrence and Leo Scalione.

And a longer but engrossing watch is this documentary made by founder Antonio Ribeiro from never-before-seen footage of the early days of the Blue Elephant. You can watch it here


21st Birthday Drawing Competition

Date published
Thursday 14 May 2020

We will be celebrating our 21st Birthday on June 3rd and we need your help! We're running a drawing competition for young people to create the poster that we use to celebrate our 21st birthday birthday week from June 1st - 7th.

We're accepting entries now and there are three categories: hand-drawn posters by under 10s, hand-drawn posters by over 10s and digital-created posters.

To enter, email us a picture of the poster to or put it on twitter and tag us @BETCamberwell. Please let us know which category it's for! The closing date is May 28th and there will be five runner ups and one winner who will receive theatre tickets when we reopen! We will also - with permission - use the winner's poster during our celebrations


Elephant Tips #4

Date published
Wednesday 29 April 2020

Elephant Tips #3

Date published
Tuesday 21 April 2020

While most people are at home, we wanted to spread the word about activities and opportunities available to you. Every few days, we're going to publish a selection aiming, like most Blue Elephant seasons, to have something for everyone, whether young or old, working in the arts or not...

We're continuing to try to support the artists we work with so these opportunities will be by artists who have worked with Blue Elephant or who are at the very early stages of their careers.

Make Your Own Play
Ever thought about writing your own play? Our very own Youth Theatre Leader Louise has put together this guide for any budding young (or not so young) playwrights out there to put together their first script.

Virtual Variety Fest
With artists from the UK, Argentina, Spain and Colombia, Virtual Variety Fest kicks off tonight at 7.30pm until 24th April with a host of live performances online. See what's showing and find out more here.

Little Star @ Home
Moon on a Stick's enchanting performance for babies is moving online, for you to watch at home! Perfect for ages 0-2 years, Little Star takes us on a journey with the star herself. Little Star wants to explore space, and to see, hear and touch everything! Find out dates and more here.

No Cactus by Jackdaw
An independent Americana album by one of our volunteers, available on Apple Music, Spotify and the musicians’ own website. You can read some of the back story here.


Elephant Tips #2

Date published
Tuesday 31 March 2020

While most people are at home, we wanted to spread the word about activities and opportunities available to you. Every few days, we're going to publish a selection aiming, like most Blue Elephant seasons, to have something for everyone, whether young or old, working in the arts or not...

We're continuing to try to support the artists we work with so these opportunities will be by artists who have worked with Blue Elephant or who are at the very early stages of their careers.

Dark Unicorn Monologue Challenge

Dark Unicorn are doing a monologue challenge! Actors record a monologue, 100 are chosen and each receives £20. The deadline is tonight (31st March) so get started now! More information and how to enter here.

Pub Quiz at The Quarantine

Do you know your Newton’s from your Neutrons? Wanna share your knowledge about Cher? Oliver Yellop, who has performed with us most recently as Cow in Cow's Rainy Day, is hosting an online pub quiz tonight at 8pm (31st March). Click here and register before it starts.

The Literal Challenge Covid's Metamorphosis

A free writing challenge starting tomorrow and taking place throughout April - more information here.

A Truefitt Collective's Online Dance Class for Children

A Truefitt Collective’s first online dance class for children, with more coming in the future. Free to watch, although donations welcome. Click this link to see more.

National eTheatr

An online theatre space for UK artists and audiences during the Covid19 crisis. New performances several evenings a week, sometimes live streaming, and well worth a watch! Click here to see more.


Elephant Tips #1

Date published
Tuesday 24 March 2020

While most people are at home, we wanted to spread the word about activities and opportunities available to you. Every few days, we're going to publish a selection aiming, like most Blue Elephant seasons, to have something for everyone, whether young or old, working in the arts or not...

We're continuing to try to support the artists we work with so these opportunities will be by artists who have worked with Blue Elephant or who are at the very early stages of their careers.

Young People's Theatre - Activities for Self-Isolation

We inevitably had to cancel our showcases this term but Louise Dickinson, who runs Young People's Theatre, created an activity sheet full of drama ideas for young people to try. This is the link to download these Creative Activities

Paradox Theatre Writing Competition*

Paradox Theatre champions new writing by female and non-binary writers. They are running a writing competition for those who identify as female or non-binary, seeking 2 - 4 minute monologues (submitted in doc/pdf format). Submissions should be sent to and the deadline is April 5th. The winning entry will receive £100.

More details can be found on their Twitter page: @TheatreParadox

Starling Arts Nest Choir

The wonderful Starling Arts are starting a choir you can join from home and the first session is tonight. You can find out more here and the sessions are Pay What You Can.

Yoga with Joanna Puchala

Choreographer and very experienced yoga teacher Joanna Puchala shared an online Vinyasa Flow class which can be found here.

Follow Moulded Theatre on Facebook

Moulded Theatre who create imaginative and accessible shows for children are posting daily activities or videos on their Facebook Page which can be found at

*We think this is a good opportunity and wanted to support by spreading the word but we will also be sure to post opportunities that are open to all in other Tips posts!


Help and resources for our local community

Date published
Thursday 19 March 2020

In these strange and difficult times, we wanted to collate some resources that we hope will be a practical help for local families and visitors to our theatre. Please feel free to share this list widely, and look after yourselves. We hope to be welcoming back our brilliant audiences and participants to our theatre as soon as we possibly can.

Food and Practical Support

Southwark Foodbanks - locations include Camberwell, Peckham, Bermondsey and Walworth.
- Details of locations
- Details of referrals
- Details of opening times

Covid Mutual Aid UK is a group of volunteers supporting local community groups organising mutual aid throughout the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK. They focus on providing resources and connecting people to their nearest local groups, willing volunteers and those in need. They recognise that some people are more vulnerable than others and are working to support that.

Click here for a Central Mutual Aid Group where you can access your local group either to help out or to receive help.

Southwark Mutual Aid
- Information on how to find your local WhatsApp support group
- Local queries and questions
- Requests for support if self-isolating

Southwark Council Coronavirus Information Page - Local-focused information from Southwark Council that advises how you can help or receive help.

General Advice

NHS Guidance on Coronavirus
- Stay at home advice
- How to avoid catching and spreading Covid-19 (social distancing)
- See more here.

111 Online
Check your symptoms online, no need to call unless urgent

Mind - Information on how to look after your mental health and well-being during this time.
- General advice on coronavirus anxiety
- Advice if you are self-isolating


A new free programme set up by charity Body & Soul in response to the current situation, Mindset is a regular livestream for young people aged 16 - 30 who are looking for help managing emotional distress. Email to register.

Official Government guidance
- What to do you if you have symptoms
- Number of cases
- Risk level
- Recent Government action
- Further information

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


Q&A with David West of EQ Dance Company

Date published
Thursday 12 March 2020

David is Artistic Director of EQ Dance Company and has choreographed the two pieces they are showing on Friday 13th March as part of "Love Your Mind".

How did you form EQ Dance Company and what does the name mean?

Having my own company was something I wanted throughout the whole of my dance training, but having had depression, and poor mental health, I realised that rather than just being a company, I wanted to create a community, a collective of artists/people. A company where they feel that their boss does have their best interests in mind. EQ stands for emotional intelligence (people smart). It’s been said by some to be the true intelligence. The company started up in June 2018.

Why is mental health so important to you?

I feel like it's important as it can have such huge impacts on you, including physically. If it's bad enough even just doing the laundry can feel daunting. Suicide is one of the biggest killers, especially of men, which why I've made a work about this as part of this upcoming show.

Tell us about P.S: Ama-te and Ana De Albuquerque?

P.S: Amate cover elements such as loneliness, and solitude so it was a good fit for our evening. For myself this was a great opportunity to give one of the members of the company (Ana) the chance to show something, rather than just me producing work. This has something I've wanted for my members for a while now. I want to create more of these opportunities for my members down the road, as an effort to support those in my company. Creating that environment is another step forward to creating a positive, healthy community within EQDC.

How long have you been dancing/creating dance performances?

I've been dancing since I was 16 but I only took it seriously when I was 18, and started professional training. In terms of creating work, I've been doing that from the beginning. Being a creative is my passion, not just as a choreographer, but as an artistic director too. The trifector for me has been learning to produce over last year and putting that back into the company. I feel complete as a creative now, and more hungry than ever to put all my skills to use.


Call Out for our 2020 programme

Date published
Tuesday 10 March 2020

We're excited to be putting a call out for work to be programmed in 2020 and beyond at Blue Elephant Theatre.

Blue Elephant Theatre is located in South East London, off Camberwell Road. It is an intimate, friendly venue and our programming seeks to support emerging artists creating new work.
We work on a 50/50 box office split basis. We give fundraising, press, marketing and general support to our companies and artists, and rehearsal space where feasible

Edit: We are now unlikely to programme shows in April. There is obviously a lot of uncertainty about planning events in the next few months but we are looking to begin conversations anyway. We may also look to relax our programming guidelines for later in the year if shows start being cancelled now and cannot be rescheduled at their original theatre when the threat around Covid-19 has lessened.

Things to Note:

• We are particularly interested in work that reflects the London we live in – the communities here, issues we face, all the juxtapositions this large multicultural city throws at us.
• We are also particularly interested in working with artists who will really benefit from working with us – we want to help artists get to the next step, whatever that is for them at that time.
• We want everyone to feel welcome at the Blue Elephant – we work with artists from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and want to continue to support emerging artists who may not feel altogether ‘welcomed’ into the arts industry for whatever reasons.
• If you consider yourself to still be an ‘emerging’ artist in some way, you are welcome to apply to us – it’s a tricky term to qualify! We do try to mostly support people at the start of their careers or the start of a new development in their careers but recognise that it is tough being an independent artist/company and you may feel that you are ‘emerging’ for a long time.
• We generally do not programme new productions of established scripts which have had runs in London previously or work which has been presented in London before and has not changed or developed significantly. We do, however, often programme work that we have seen as rehearsed readings, scratch pieces or works-in-progress as they go on to a further stage of their development.
• We usually programme theatre, dance (generally contemporary) and some comedy. Our stage is reasonable largely for a 50 seat venue (5.5m x 7.5m) and we have dance flooring although it has seen better days. There’s more information about our venue on our website under Info for Companies.
• We are looking to programme work at all stages of development, from scratch pieces looking for one night showings to three-week runs. We are happy to look ahead and work with a company as they develop a show and support them to secure funding.
• We cannot produce any scripts submitted to us as an in house show – our monthly Writers Group is the best way to work on a script with us. If you are submitting a script to us, please indicate that you intend to arrange for it to be produced if programmed (we will support with this!); otherwise we will be unable to read it.
• Our theatre space downstairs is wheelchair-accessible and there is an accessible bathroom but our bar/café area upstairs is not wheelchair accessible. We have one small dressing-room and it is unlikely that a wheelchair could fit through its doors easily but there may be workarounds.
• We currently have some space for performances in April, early May and June and from September into 2021.

To apply to put on a show at the Blue Elephant, please email Niamh and Jimmy at with:
• An outline of the proposed show and some background information on those involved
• Proposed dates
• A script if it exists yet
• Footage of past work
• We are based in Southwark and supported by Southwark Council so it is always useful to hear if you live or work in Southwark!

For more information about what we are looking for, please read our Blue Elephant Theatre 2020 Call.

If you have any questions, including about applying in a different or more accessible way, please email or call 020 7701 0100.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications from artists and companies based outside of the UK.


Call Out for Elefeet Dance Festival

Date published
Wednesday 20 November 2019

Blue Elephant Theatre is looking for dance performances for our Elefeet Dance Festival in early 2020 (late February – early March 2019).

We’re looking for dance pieces created by emerging artists and/or companies, ideally which haven’t been performed in London before.

We are a 50 seat black box venue, and our performance space has a 42m2 stage area (5.5m x 7.6m). We offer a 50/50 box office split (no other fees except a small, returnable deposit), and support with press and marketing.

Our performance space is on the ground floor and is wheelchair accessible, however unfortunately our bar upstairs is not. Blue Elephant Theatre welcomes applications from all sections of the community regardless of race, colour, ethnic or national origins, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disability or religious beliefs.

To apply, please email etc with some information about the piece, your past work and dates available. If you have footage of the proposed piece or past work, please include that.

Please aim to email by December 9th although there is no strict cut off date.


Casting Call for The Christmas Quest

Date published
Wednesday 16 October 2019

Blue Elephant Theatre is excited to be mounting an in house family Christmas show The Christmas Quest.

The Christmas Quest is about a quest to fix Santa’s Letter-Machine and ensure a happy Christmas. It is also about celebrating difference and inclusivity, while being full of slapstick humour and playfulness. It is aimed at ages 4+

Rehearsals: November 14th & 15th (exploratory/workshop days from 10am – 6pm – some flexibility may be possible around these days but if you can’t do the morning of the 15th, you will need to come in on a Tuesday instead for a costume fitting)
Sunday December 1st – Tuesday December 3rd, Thursday 5th & Friday 6th (all approx. 10am – 6pm – potentially a late evening on Friday 6th
Get-in day: Friday 6th December

Performance Days: December 7th to 17th (excluding the 11th) with two shows a day. On weekdays, the performances will be at 10.45 and 1.30 (except for Friday 13th when they will be at 1.30pm & 4.30pm) and on weekends they will be at 2pm and 4.30pm. There is a possibility of a third show being added on some days.

Total Payment: £1655 including holiday pay for the above schedule.

Casting Breakdown:

Elf – A perfectionist, comes across as very efficient but gets anxious about doing everything right. Can be a little blunt.

Reindeer – Friendly and a little clumsy. Brings a lot of slapstick comedy to the play but can also be very earnest.

Good comic timing and movement skills are helpful for both parts and actors should be comfortable leading Christmas carols. Puppetry skills/experience may also be helpful for both parts. Ideal applicants will have considerable experience of children’s theatre and the ability to react quickly and ad-lib in response to audience interaction.

We have no gender, age or ethnicity in mind for these characters. However, we would encourage actors of BAME backgrounds to apply as we aim for our casting to reflect our multi-ethnic local community.

***Applications for this opportunity have now closed***

Please apply via our audition notice on Mandy or by emailing by end of day on October 25th with a CV/spotlight link and short cover note outlining your suitability for the project. If emailing, please entitle the email ‘Christmas Quest Application’ and address it to Niamh de Valera and indicate which character you are more interested in. It would be helpful if you could indicate if you have had a DBS check within the last three years and could fill out and send the monitoring form below.

We aim to hold auditions at Blue Elephant Theatre on the evening of November 1st.

For more information about Blue Elephant Theatre, please visit our website Please email Niamh at if you have any further questions.

Blue Elephant Theatre welcomes applications from all sections of the community regardless of race, colour, ethnic or national origins, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disability or religious beliefs.

Click here to download The Christmas Quest Casting Call and Monitoring Form


World Mental Health Day: Q&A with Caldonia Walton

Date published
Thursday 10 October 2019

We caught up with Caldonia Walton for World Mental Health Day about Weight/Wait, the dance show she and Katharine Richardson have created. It centres around a young woman called Karen who is at her first counselling session.

Why did you want to make Weight/Wait?

Weight/Wait came from my own experiences and many of my friends of trying to navigate unnecessary and bombarding thought patterns throughout a chaotic London life. It’s had many iterations from a trio to a solo to this duet, and came out of a time when I personally struggled to leave the house because I just couldn’t make a decision so therefore would just stay indoors battling it out with my thoughts. Weight/Wait is a response to this experience that I started making in my living room, through the link of dance and text it hopes to demonstrate the confusing thoughts and feelings you can go through that are hard to put into words. It asks the audience to think about their own mental well-being too and seeks to show hope even when Karen (the main character) feels underwater.

What do you mean by the title, Weight/Wait?

The literal and figurative ‘weight’ of the mind on the body and how your thoughts can make you feel heavy. How those thoughts can make us ‘wait’ and procrastinate as we can’t make a decision.

What have been the most memorable responses to the show?

A lot of tears at Brighton Fringe! We were surprised and touched that the work had spoken truthfully to a lot of people about their own experiences with mental health and well-being or of those of people they know.

Weight/Wait is choreographed by Caldonia Walton and Katharine Richardson, and will be on at Blue Elephant Theatre on Friday 25th October. More information here.

Photo Credit: Mickael Marso Riviere

Weight/Wait - Production Trailer from caldonia dances on Vimeo.


Residency Opportunities at the Blue Elephant

Date published
Wednesday 9 October 2019

The Blue Elephant is delighted to be able to offer week-long residencies to two emerging artists/companies. These residencies are for the live performing arts, particularly theatre and dance, to provide research and development time. The offer is:

• 5 days space in Blue Elephant’s Theatre (Monday to Friday, 10am – 5.30pm) for research and development of a new piece. The piece can already be a work in progress or be completely new. These weeks will be in January 2020, ideally Monday 20th – Friday 24th and Monday 27th – Friday 31st.
• £300 bursary towards the expenses of those taking part
• Artistic, marketing, press and fundraising mentoring
• Some technical support and the opportunity to present a showcase in our professional theatre

We are always excited to meet new emerging artists and hear about new work. We also love when artists who have worked at Blue Elephant previously look to come back to develop new ideas because they find the space nurturing and supportive. For these residencies, we have decided that one will go to an artist/company who is completely new to us and one to an artist/company who has done work at BET before.

Please see here for more information and for the application form. Please apply by October 25th.