Who are we?
Craft Theatre has been a powerhouse of emotional authenticity; our techniques honestly and expertly convey human emotion with a powerful intensity. Over the past few years Craft Theatre has become the talked about fringe company in London. Ensemble members from projects such as; Batman Begins, Black Mirror, Red 2, Vampire Academy, ENO, RSC, Doctors, Skyfall, Royal Court, Legend. Craft specialises in conveying issues that all humans struggle with in a manner that is just as entertaining as thought provoking.
Craft has created 3 pieces in 3 years, all to critical acclaim; A Question of Consent, The Diver(2 transfers), and Dante’s Inferno(3 transfers). Not to mention a feature documentary called 'Dog Years' about what it is like to be on the frontline helping people in the European Refugee Crisis. With rare footage it is as close you can get to the frontline experience without going, and interviews with Noam Chomsky, Lord Dubs, Labour/Tory MPs, and academics from around the world.(Submitted to over 40 film festivals across 4 continents).
Such pieces, and impressive range has made Craft a large London underground fan base…
We work in a unique way - training year round with techniques involving exhaustion, cognitive neuroscience, identity deconstruction and free impulse to enable us to create tight and slick ensemble work, breath-taking physical spectacle and raw, fearless, authentic and hard-hitting emotional connection between actors and audience.
Craft Theatre aims to strip away the pretence of theatrical norms, to allow the text to speak through actors who are truly 'living' in each moment on stage.
A few quotes from our reviews over the years.
“The Space feels almost spiritual”- Time Out “You will witness deep, open and intense emotional reservoirs. Watching them may make you ‘feel’ in a different way. This was meant to happen. Try to embrace your feelings if you tend to shy away from them.” - Web Cow Girl “outspokenly condemns 21st-century priorities, our self-centred materialism, social inequalities, lack of compassion and abuse of the planet and it does so through a language of movement of amazing daring that is wonderfully watchable.”- British Theatre Guide “Theatre rarely feels this essential and this vital”-Greg Wetheral “This emotionally-challenging piece of theatre will suit those who want to see raw performance and eschew the glitz of the West End”- The Londonist
In The Moment: A short, award winning documentary, about passion and Craft Theatre.
(Credit: Greg Wetheral and group)
Dog Years: A Documentary about solidarity and the European Refugee Crisis.
(Credit: Craft Theatre/ Paul Stafford)
What is the project?
After a year making a documentary and volunteering on the front-line of the European refugee crisis, critically acclaimed theatre company Craft Theatre returns to London this summer producing a full season of 3 shows over the next 10 months across multiple London fringe venues…
Our experiences over the last year have further highlighted the need for theatre that is less focused on consumer nonsense and more focused on things that directly impact our daily life. There is no doubt that we are living in difficult times. War, profiteering, fear-mongering, massive polarisation in our political beliefs, Trump-ism, the rise of the right, Brexit, Austerity - in hopeless situations strength can be found. Activism is on the rise, people are ready and wanting to shout for their freedoms and for the freedoms of others. We will create a space for people to come together, to question political rhetoric, to talk, discuss, make connections, express solidarity. To see and make work that feels relevant, ‘real’, and ‘now’. Theatre needs, especially in a time like this, to go further than mere entertainment and escapism. We need to re-claim our cultural spaces. We need to create the societies we want to live in – or the ‘nay-sayers’, ‘climate deniers’, and ‘war-mongers’ will..
Supporting this project will mean supporting the development of a the ideas expressed above through a genuine working rep theatre company, employing actors and industry professionals across a season of plays, and supporting some of London's finest Fringe venues as we move the season across the city. Thereby creating opportunities for debate, discussion, activism and community connection, for those that are looking for ways to be active, ways to support their core values and to combat hate.
The ‘Season of Tolerance’ includes 3 pieces being produced over 10 months. We have chosen shows that explore the themes of Government, Media and Military manipulation, protest and activism.
‘Sam Shepard’s God of Hell.’
The setting is a Wisconsin dairy farm, where the heifer-breeding Frank and Emma live in rustic isolation. But their peace has been shattered by Graig Haynes, a radioactive refugee from a plutonium-producing establishment. While he hides in the basement, a supposed salesman of patriotic baubles named Welch turns up in hot pursuit. What follows is a process of intimidation in which Welch not only gets his man, but terrorises the innocent mid-Westerners.
Director Rocky Rodriguez, Jr. says: "Shepard says the piece is "a take-off on Republican fascism". It is eerie, it is satire, and it is goofy at times. It premiered in 2005, in response to the human rights abuses/justified experimentation revealed from declassified 'plutonium files' in which the US government injected/fed/and induced plutonium on unsuspecting citizens including the disabled, the pregnant, and the testicles of convicts, all for the creation of fancy nuclear developments. The piece was viewed as a touch too far-fetched, but people didn't really know about these experiments at the time. With the rise of fake news, profit-seeking immigration detention centres, ICE, the far right in the USA/Europe and Trump-ism, climate denialism, undeclared war, prioritising the corporation over the citizen, society is heading towards the same place that they used to justify the plutonium experiments. All of a sudden Shepard's satire demands real reflection." Craft Theatre actors have previous experience including the RSC, ENO, Royal Court, and many major motion pictures.
‘The Nazi Comparison’
A Craft Theatre Original. Devised From Hanns Johst’s Schaleter and Contemporary Political Rhetoric.
How engrained are aspects of Nazism in our current political climate? The reality might scare you. We have taken one of Hitler’s favourite playwrights from the Third Reich, translated it into English with all of its very real Nazi perspective, and juxtaposed the piece with contemporary political rhetoric from political leaders from around the globe. How far do the similarities go? Are 'we' the baddies of the world? Craft interrogates this question, and the results might surprise you.
‘His Name Was Samir Nasrallah’
A Craft Theatre Original. Devised from the story of Rachel Corrie and Craft Theatre’s own experience on the front line, volunteering in aid of the European refugee crisis.
(Winter/Early Spring 2018)
‘My Name is Rachel Corrie’ is a one woman show, that celebrates and informs the life and tragedy of Rachel Corrie. But it does not go far enough in showing the incidents or the people that influenced her changes when Rachel made her decision to to protect a Palestinian family, and stand in front of the bulldozer which took her life. ‘His Name was Samir Nasrallah’ will not be a one person show, because Rachel Corrie’s story must not exclude the people she gave her life to protect, or the solidarity that exists on the front line. Culture shock, solidarity, and the dense emotions that occur between volunteer and refugee tell a story that dictates the best of human values.
How will your money be spent?
With this particular CrowdFunder, the Arts Council Corwdfunder match-funding scheme will match what is raised! So if we can get to our £6,000 goal the Arts Council will turn it into £12,000 thereby giving us enough money to fund everything we want to do!
God of Hell is already fully funded and en route towards opening night! Your CrowdFunder contribution will go to support production costs for ‘A Nazi Comparison’ and ‘His Name Was Samir Nasrallah’.
Any extra money we make will mean we can spend more on the season, and on setting up/supporting local community discussions and activism. Any profits made from the season will be put towards community projects, payment for performers, and will be put into future craft theatre shows. Craft Theatre LTD is not a 'profit seeking initiative'.
We will begin rehearsals for the Nazi Comparrison less than a month after recieving our funds, and all crowdfunding contributions will be fully utilised by the close of the season in March 2018.
The money we are requesting will allow us to work in larger venues than those we have previously been associated with. It will allow us to really support the shows with proper and effective marketing, to build sets, use costume and create opportunities for people to connect and talk after shows.
We want to reach out to more people, We want to advance the theatre, to reignite the place it can hold in society. A true reflection of our world, a reactionary voice, a meeting place, a place of action, noise and debate. A place to take risks and to connect. With your help, and across this season we will do everything we can to ask the right questions, and to perform the only way we know how. with truth and authenticity, rigour and sweat, to live for you, and breathe life into the theatre.
THANK YOU for your time and your support. xx