Tag Archives: Secret Theatre

Secret Theatre: Show 5

*Deep breath*

I want to talk about Secret Theatre Show 5, or A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts. Trouble is, I can’t really do so without talking a bit about myself, because my experience of the show has been so bound up with the last three months of my life. So forgive me.

I feel like, for a number of reasons, it’s only through the prism of my own experience that I can discuss this extraordinary piece of work with any honesty. I’ve seen it three times now, but each time I’ve had a totally different reaction which, on reflection, has totally responded to how I was feeling at the time. It’s key strength lies in the fact that it morphs and changes with your own experience, and in doing so proves that all theatre is subjective and can be interpreted in any number of different ways. Show 5 is ‘about’ whatever you want it to be about. Continue reading Secret Theatre: Show 5

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Interview: Mark Ravenhill

*Originally written for A Younger Theatre*

“They can be quite unnerving,” Mark Ravenhill says of the Secret Theatre company, suggesting that their 12 months of working together has given way to a kind of openness he hasn’t come across in many rehearsal rooms. He elaborates further: “On the whole, everyone in British theatre is on these short contracts so everyone makes this big effort. And although you might think it’d be nice to be rid of that, it’s actually a little bit disarming for the first few days because they’re quite neutral. They’re very calm and centred. It takes a while to adjust to that.”

Ravenhill is a late addition to the Secret Theatre ensemble. He joined the company after Lyndsey Turner (who directed his adaptation of Candide at the RSC last year) suggested he write to Sean Holmes asking to be involved – “You don’t know if you don’t ask”. Continue reading Interview: Mark Ravenhill

Secret Theatre: Show Four

at the Lyric Hammersmith, Wednesday 12th February 2014

HERE BEGINS THE SPOILER ALERT

Inevitably, Secret Theatre will be secret no more if you read this post. So yeah, read on if you’ve seen the show, don’t care about the ‘secret’ bit or have no intention whatsoever of seeing it (though you’d be a fool if that were the case).

HERE ENDS THE SPOILER ALERT

Show Four is a strange beast. It shows the Secret Theatre ensemble really interrogating and getting to grips with gender and political thought whilst also retreating a little from the loud, bombastic tone of the first three shows. It is an adaptation whilst also feeling very much like a new play. It’s the first show for which Sean Holmes isn’t credited as director. And we’re no longer in the main theatre.

That last point marks more of a shift than you may imagine. Continue reading Secret Theatre: Show Four

Secret Theatre: Show Three

HERE BEGINS THE SPOILER ALERT

Inevitably, Secret Theatre will be secret no more if you read this post. So yeah, read on if you’ve seen the show, don’t care about the ‘secret’ bit or have no intention whatsoever of seeing it (though you’d be a fool if that were the case).

HERE ENDS THE SPOILER ALERT

In this review, I’ve tried to experiment with not including the play’s title, its author or key plot points, just to see how much it is possible to discuss a show without those things. I should also probably say that I went to a small Q&A with Sean Holmes before the show and subsequently chatted to some of the cast and creative team afterwards. Thought I’d put that out there in the interests of full disclosure. 

First, it’s worth saying that Show Three is very different to Shows One and Two. We enter the theatre through a different entrance, end up in a different space and watch a piece of work tonally and linguistically different to its predecessors, which makes for a very different experience. In the first two shows, the tension was found by placing a deconstructed version of a ‘classic’, ‘canonical’ text in the context of a grand, ‘proper’ theatre space. In Show Three, it’s almost the opposite way round, with a fairly straightforward reading of a text being placed within the confines of a deconstructed theatre space. Continue reading Secret Theatre: Show Three

Interview: Cara Horgan

*Originally written for Exeunt*

In her new book Theatre-Making, Duška Radosavljević suggests that the mode towards which a lot of British theatre is moving in 2013 is that which allows for room for “co-creation” between audience and performers. It’s been a growing form over the past decade or so, takes many guises, and has reached out to both mainstream and fringe audiences. It is a mainstay of artists like Tim Crouch and Ontroerend Goed among others. Now, after the first two shows of Secret Theatre, it has become clear that Sean Holmes and his ensemble at the Lyric Hammersmith have also chosen to join in with the fun, creating a season of work which, according to Cara Horgan, asks “the audience to put their own interpretation or their own understanding of things on the work they’re seeing. We hope they’re walking away with their own autonomy determining how they understand it and what it is.” Continue reading Interview: Cara Horgan

Secret Theatre: Show One

at the Lyric Hammersmith, Wednesday 11th September 2013

HERE BEGINS THE SPOILER ALERT

Inevitably, Secret Theatre will be secret no more if you read this post. So yeah, read on if you’ve seen the show, don’t care about the ‘secret’ bit or have no intention whatsoever of seeing it (though you’d be a fool if that were the case).

HERE ENDS THE SPOILER ALERT Continue reading Secret Theatre: Show One

Secret Theatre: Show Two

at the Lyric Hammersmith, Tuesday 10th September 2013

HERE BEGINS THE SPOILER ALERT

Inevitably, Secret Theatre will be secret no more if you read this post. So yeah, read on if you’ve seen the show, don’t care about the ‘secret’ bit or have no intention whatsoever of seeing it (though you’d be a fool if that were the case).

HERE ENDS THE SPOILER ALERT Continue reading Secret Theatre: Show Two