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Theatre Absolute project at half-way point

A two-year project to commission and produce nine new pieces of theatre at Coventry's pioneering shop front theatre has reached the half-way stage.

Since May this year the former chip shop premises, transformed by Theatre Absolute, has been the setting for four pieces of work, written and performed by Jules Orcullo, Laila Alj, Rabiah Hussein and Sarah Woods, giving an insight into the world they see and experience, under the broad umbrella title of Are We Where We Are?

The fifth piece Yellowstone, written and performed by Chris Thorpe, comes to the theatre on January 25 and will be followed by Theatre Absolute Artistic Director Chris O'Connell's new play Choke, which runs from February 6 to 14.

Commenting on the project so far, O'Connell said, "It's been immensely exciting to have produced four of the nine commissions. Each has conjured considerations and provocations across race, equality, gender, belonging, justice and our undeniable commonality, giving us a sense that here and now, in the second decade of the 21st century, the themes of Are We Where We Are? are very much alive and pertinent.

"What is important is not only to offer the commissions, but to get new work on its feet before audiences. Our aim from day one has been to create a critical mass, a boiling point of voices that creates an arena in which to learn and gain experience.

"It has also been to forge a conversation, and if you've been to any or all of the four so far, I think you'll agree that Are We Where We Are? is intensely provocative and fast moving, and that audiences and artists involved have been really up for it. We're determined to ensure that the second half of the project is as stimulating at the first half."

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