physical theatre

DUTCHMAN - Tickets Now On sale!

It’s been awhile, but Théâtre Libre are excited to announce our co-production with Outer Gaea Company to present: DUTCHMAN by Amiri Baraka

Drawing tense parallels between Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement, Amiri Baraka’s DUTCHMAN challenges the progress of racial equality by asking how much has changed these last 50 years?

Following Lula, a white woman, and Clay, a black man - DUTCHMAN explores the intersectionality of race, class, and gender. The explosive narrative tackles white privilege, masculinity, power, and sexuality as the audience follows the course of the relationship formed between Lula, played by Cheska Hill-Wood and Clay, played by James Barnes.

This Black History Month we celebrate Baraka’s (then known as LeRoi Jones) civil rights activism and pioneering African American poetry by reviving one of his most confrontational works. DUTCHMAN was first performed in New York in 1964 and this play is as vital now as it was then, especially as government leaders in the UK and abroad use increasingly polarising language on public platforms, deepening racial divides. The award-winning play speaks to both black and white audiences, dissecting thoughts and feelings that neither group wants to articulate.

We are thrilled to be back at the Tristan Bates Theatre and working with TL alumni James Barnes and Cheska Hill-Wood. We are also delighted to welcome on board Sheila Nortley who is our Associate Director. Sheila and James worked together previously on internationally renowned indie film Sable Fable, which Sheila produced. With movement by TL’s own Justyna Ziarek and an exciting ensemble cast including Mitch Howell, Georgia Morna-Arkle, Joel Gottfried, Richard Bobb-Semple, Atticus Orsborn, and Orla Sanders - this promises to be an exceptional piece of modern theatre.

Tickets have started selling out, so we recommend that you book now to avoid disappointment.
Running from 8-26 October for Black History Month UK
Tuesday - Saturday at 6.15pm
Saturday matinees at 1pm
Press night: 10 Oct
For any press enquiries, please contact Chloe Nelkin PR:
0203 627 2960

For more info and to book tickets - just click the link here:

Can you be our HERO?


Hello! It's been awhile since our last post but we have loads to update you about! Firstly, we have managed to cast the most amazingly talented actors in our production of HERO and rehearsals are well under way. We have rehearsed with our movement director Justyna, met with our costume designer Shoni Wilkinson and seen some outstanding sketches, listened to music to get inspired with our musician Roi Erez, and recently hired our wonderful set designer Rachael Ryan. We are so excited about being a part of the Women In Arts Festival, we are hard at work to do the script justice. 

In addition, we are also fundraising...a necessary part of any fringe production. Can you be our HERO? Can you help us out and show your support for Women In the Arts? It's easy! Here are 2 dead simple ways to get involved:

1. Attend our first ever FITNESS FUNDRAISER! This takes place on Friday November 15th and tickets cost only £10. Suitable for all fitness levels, we will have Zumba with our movement director Justyna, some Body Blitz with our guest instructor Donna Kissi of Kisfitness ( Bar Concept (a combination of pilates, yoga, and ballet) with our other guest instructor Wojtek. 3 classes for only a tenner! Bargain! Please see details in our flyer below and book tickets in advance here:


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2. If fitness isn't your thing, or you live too far away to attend, there is always the option to donate on our crowdfunding campaign over at We chose Buzzbnk as opposed to some other more popular crowdfunding sites because of their emphasis on community spirit and encouraging positive change.  To donate -no amount too small!- please visit our campaign page here:

As always, thank you all for your continued love and support! Watch this space for updates on the show....  



"House of Atreus" travels to South Korea...


On July 25th 2013, twelve cast/crew members of "House of Atreus" flew 11 hours to South Korea to perform as part of the 25th annual Keochang International Festival of Theatre. That's a lot of numbers! We were warmly welcomed at the airport by Ji-won and Jay who were to be our guides, honorary crew members, and eventually, friends on this whirlwind journey. We rehearsed 9 hours in the blazing sun on the first day and on opening night, welcomed nearly 200 people into the audience. The second day awarded us a few hours respite from rehearsing and the cast and crew went their separate ways to swim in the river, explore Buddhist temples, and hike among the beautiful scenery of rural Busan. Second night show was another success and among the spectators was Jong-Il -the chairman of the festival. The final scene coincided with a thunderstorm that was on the way, you couldn't ask for a more dramatic finish to the show.  The gods themselves must have been looking down on our performance! After the final bows, Jong-Il invited us out to dinner and presented us with gifts. He also invited us back next year with a few ideas of shows we could produce. We were so honored that he enjoyed the performance. Before we knew it, we were back on London soil. It was over too quickly! We would like to take a moment to thank The Keochang Festival for their hospitality and help, Jay and Ji-Won for going above and beyond, and lastly, the cast and crew who worked so hard without complaint and made this tour so special. Well done to all involved! Here's to next year....!? 
Crew - Jo Bunnell-Thompson, Jay Oh, Ji-won Jeon
Orestis - James Williams
Clytaemnestra - Cheska Moon
Electra - Lucia Young
Nurse - Joan Plunkett
Ageisthus - Christopher Slater
And lastly the chorus - who probably had the most to rehearse with all the additional movement...
Chorus Leader - Sonnie Beckett
Chorus - Miranda Colmans, Josie Beth Davies, Maria Palmu, Deborah Ward

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It's Rude To Stare.....

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As we near the ten day countdown - ten days until our show opens!- we are rehearsing longer and harder than ever in preparation. With the devising process mostly behind us, lines memorized,  and costumes sorted - we turn now to the RUNS.  Full runs, tech runs, dress runs; you name it! So it comes at a perfect time that "It's Rude To Stare" have written a feature about our show; The Dagger and White Lily.  For those of you not in the know "It's Rude To Stare" is an online lifestyle guide; a one stop site for all the best events, restaurants, gigs, bars, arts and culture going down in the city. With a stunning layout and lots of visuals, there is a definite emphasis on the arts and we love it! 
For the full feature, please click HERE.  
Big THANK YOU to Ahmed Elmi for the article.  

Images are the property of "It's Rude To Stare" 

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Interview with The Space!

The Space interviewed Justyna Ziarek - the company's movement director and who conceived the ideas behind The Dagger and White Lily - and Kaitlin Argeaux artistic director and co-director.  Read an excerpt here:


What are some of the challenges that a company faces when producing an original piece? How about the advantages?

I think any time you are producing an original piece, you struggle with marketing. Audiences seem to gravitate towards well known titles or stories they recognize, so it’s been a challenge for us with this show.

An advantage of producing an original piece is the sense of freedom you experience in the rehearsal room. In devising there is no linear path; we can take our time improvising and exploring. There can be more emphasis on the process, as opposed to just focusing on the outcome. This freedom also extends to the text. Thankfully our writer is not at all precious about her work and she is content for the script to be cut and altered in the rehearsal, as our characters grow and change.

What are the major concepts or themes that Theatre Libre is emphasizing in The Dagger and White Lily?

The Dagger and White Lily is an in-depth examination of the mind and body; how they are sometimes in unison, and other times in conflict. It will explore the human conditions of lust, obsession, brutality, and absolution.

How is the audience supposed to react to The Dagger and White Lily? What are they meant to take away from it?

That everything is not as obvious as it seems. We often label things as black and white or good or bad and it is not always the case. Everything changes and so do our perceptions, thoughts, likes and dislikes, etc. If we don’t take control over our mind, we might end up in a very dark place and only by hitting rock bottom we can begin to change for the better.

What was the driving force behind starting a physical theatre company?

I come from a background of dance and when I studied Meyerhold techniques in Moscow, it changed my entire perspective about acting. As Lecoq famously said, “…the body knows things about which the mind is ignorant” -so we let the body guide us. I was interested in taking classics and finding ways to reinterpret them with less text/more movement.

The Dagger and White Lily is told through dance, poetry, and live music. How challenging was it to create a cohesive production with these three elements?

I think it’s the idea of what comes first: the text, the music or the concept? When telling the story through different art forms it’s easy to sometimes rely just on text or music as it will dictate the rhythm, the style and the whole picture in your head (especially when it comes to music). On the other hand, when working with the movement, it can be a great support, especially if you’re struggling for new ideas.

What drew Theatre Libre to the Space?

We have always loved this venue and its sense of community. When we were looking for a place to put on The Dagger and White Lily, we immediately thought of The Space. The show has overtones of religion and spirituality and we think the Space – a converted church with high ceilings and stained glass- perfectly enhances the atmosphere we are striving to create. We also love how versatile the space itself is, with no fixed seating, the options are endless.

For the full interview, please click here: FULL INTERVIEW

Huge thanks to Adam Hemming, artistic director at The Space for taking the time to talk to us! 


The Dagger and White Lily rehearsals are under way!

Check out a couple rehearsal shots from our rehearsal last Saturday! We did some devising work before moving onto blocking with the script. As always, time is of the essence, but we think collaborative devising is so important...
Our show goes up at The Space in late July - click the link for more details and to book tickets!

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KIFT - Keochang International Festival of Theatre in South Korea


Exciting news! Théâtre Libre has been officially invited to attend the 25th Keochang International Festival of Theatre in Busan in South Korea to perform our production of House of Atreus. This is a huge honor and we are all very excited. 

Please find more info about KIFT here: