We started Warts and All Theatre back in September 2016. For those of you who haven’t heard of us yet we are the resident theatre company at Delapre Abbey in Northampton. We’ve been trading for 6 months and it’s got off to a very exciting start, writes Chris Elmer-Gorry.
Our work is driven by provoking the artist in everyone. In simple terms that means we are here to make accessible, enjoyable and excellent quality work. Sometimes we create that work with young people and sometimes we work with trained actors. And sometimes both at the same time. We treat them all the same – as artists.
Our weekly programme of workshops consists at the moment of three groups for Young Actors and a group for adults called The Collective: Performers, these groups also have a bursary scheme attached to them for those that are unable to engage with the activity because of cost. In addition to these groups we run a free writing and directing group called The Collective: Makers which meets on the first Thursday of every month. So basically you might be eight or 88 – there is a way you can get involved in our work. We’re here for everyone, Warts and All.
This is one of my great motivations for starting the company. I’ve been working in the industry as a director for 11 years now, for a variety of organisations. It got to May 2016, when I was running around the country directing shows for Plymouth Theatre Royal, Royal & Derngate, Almeida Theatre in London and education work for Northampton College, and although I was loving it and the people I was working with, I started to get an itch to do my own thing. I had a meeting with Delapre quite late on in the summer and it seemed that our objectives were neatly aligned, and so our partnership with Delapre Abbey was born.
Now our weekly groups are up and running we are in the process of applying for funding for various projects for next year… which I am sure I will talk about over our later pieces for The Nene Quirer. For now – this one is more of an introduction to who we are!
We’ve had an exciting week at WAAT HQ, confirming plans for our new and improved Sunday Artist Shindig, where we have confirmed that Brigitte Aphrodite (Www.brigitteaphrodite.co.uk) will perform at the next event and host a Q&A.
Our Sunday Artist Shindig has a different focus each month, and for March it is all about feminist punk poetry and glitter. April is going to be about theatre in the East Midlands. Some months will be free events and some will be paid- depending whether there is a performance element- it’s about covering the costs of the artists mainly- we are big into that at WAAT also! More information about Bri’s work can be found on her website, and we are super excited to be hosting her at Foodies.rocks on 5th March.
Hopefully catch you there,
Artistic and Execuive Director
Warts and All Theatre