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Company number: 3724349

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Past programme

Showcases an eclectic range of fresh and interesting contemporary work, largely by emerging

Trumpety Trump: Noah's Ark

by Mervyn Peake, celebrated author of Gormenghast

Children's Theatre - For Adults Too!

Wednesday 30 November 2011 - Tuesday 20 December 2011
Age range
Suitable for ages 7 and above.
Post-show discussion
On Tuesday the 20th of December there was a post show discussion with the author's eldest son, Sebastian Peake.

All aboard! Escape the rain and join Captain Noah and his animals on the ark. Adventure awaits as they set sail. Will they reach land safely or will Vulture and his evil companions cry mutiny?

Join us for an imaginative and musical retelling of the Biblical story, never before seen on stage.

Review in In-Spirels Magazine

Review in The Stage

Review in A Younger Theatre

Review in UK

Directed & composed by
Mhairi Grealis
Musical Director & Co-Composer
James Boston
Set & Costume Designer
Mike Lees
Lighting Designer
Nick Kent
Lisette Foster
Movement Director
David Ralfe
Dougie Firth
Heather Johnson, Adam Langstaff, Barry McStay, Gareth Murphy, Lawrence O'Connor, Ceridwen Smith, Kath Perry, Claire Sharpe and Emily Wallis.

Don Carlos


Tuesday 1 November 2011 - Saturday 26 November 2011

Love, betrayal and revolution...

Often remarked upon as Schiller’s Hamlet, Lazarus Theatre Company visits one of the greatest of the classical European writers in this powerful, dramatic and rousing adaptation.

Betrayed by his own father, King Philip of Spain, Don Carlos is in love with Elizabeth, who through political advantage becomes his father’s wife and Queen. Their desperate love affair is played out against a Spain in the grasp of war, tangled in untruths, corruption and deceit. The revolution of the nation destroys the lovers and the very world they wish to create.

Through the use of text, movement and music, a large ensemble will create a world of passion, conflict and rebellion. Their love will change them, their lives and their kingdom forever.

Review in Extra Extra

Review in A Younger Theatre

Review in Running in Heels

Directed and Designed by
Ricky Dukes
Associate Director
Gavin Harrington-Odedra
Movement by
Ria Whitton and Ricky Dukes
Lighting by
Heather Doole
Costume by
Rebecca Mills
Sound Design
Nick Kent
Grace Wessels
Photography by
Adam Trigg Photography
Gemma Beaton, James Billington, Jonathan Blakeley, Alice Brown, Sherine Chalhie, Lewis Davidson, Robin Holden, Ángela Jiménez, Rosemary Lippard, Natalie Neagle, David Palmstrom, Douglas Rutter, Sarah Sparrow, Georgia Taylforth and Rachael Verkuil.



Tuesday 25 October 2011

A showcase of excerpts and short works-in-progress of new material from London's most exciting artists across the arts. Puppetry, physical theatre, performance art... A Blue Elephant season in one evening!

The Thinker

The story of how the wounded ego must hide everything we believe that is unacceptable about ourselves. To fulfil this task the ego builds a mask to prove to others that we don't have so many defects. The play is depicted very creatively mixing the use of masks, shadow and rod puppets, object animation, physical theatre and art installation to create a magical and unique atmosphere.

Outside Puppets is an exciting new puppet company that produces high quality contemporary theatre based puppetry shows.

What You Risk

London 1936. Tensions are running high. Europe is inching closer to war and the home front is fraught. In East London pressure mounts as Oswald Mosley prepares his Fascist 'Blackshirts' to march on the immigrant population and show them they are not welcome. On October 4th, 250,000 people come together to defend the East End.

Using verbatim and historical accounts, Scrawny Cat Theatre Company brings to life the story behind the Battle of Cable Street. The lives of three women, from very different walks of life, become intertwined as the dramatic events of that day unfold, with unforgettable consequences.


Chips delves into the friendship of two young women who live for booze and sequined pants. Through witty observations and discerning movement, Chips exposes the less attractive side of Saturday's nightlife. Through wit, backchat and some drunken dancing, the Mustdashios draw on their cheeky northern unabashedness to take you on a journey in which they laugh, dance and possibly cry their way through an intoxicated friendship.

Machines for Living

There is functional and efficient performance, he claims, between artist and the hi-tech faith.

But this is Architecture.

Machines For Living is –

he wishes his buildings to try to explain.

'Let Slip' are a Lecoq-trained duo.

Machines for living have been given a full production at the Blue Elephant Theatre from Tuesday 22 of May to Saturday 16th of June 2012.

Tonight, with COD

A lady emerges from the shadow of the street. Inexplicably, COD stumbles upon a night of extravaganza in a desolate nightclub.

A change has been forced upon COD’s body due to unfortunate circumstances. What is he going to do? How is he going to deal with it? Can the lady lead him to where he wants to be?

It’s all confusing time for a cod like him especially with an unfamiliar emotion beginning to sprout within. Should he choose 'I' or should he choose 'Ai'*?

(* Ai - "love" in Japanese)



by Anna Gartsu Nova
Tuesday 27 September 2011 - Tuesday 25 October 2011

Solo exhibition of painting and installation work by this Russian artist exploring the stigma of mental illness.


Writers at Work: The Fantastical Adventures of [Not] Being With You

Writer / Director Justen Bennett

Rehearsed readings by the writers and directors of tomorrow

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Leaping between moments in time, from train cars to undersea exploits to low-tech laser tag, two people pull each other along an impulsive journey through memory, adventure, and a relationship on tenterhooks. These two men bend narrative to their whim, battling with lists, reconciling with biscuits, and running from a reality they can't decide to embrace or defy.

There are moments in life that everything is either before or after; The Fantastical Adventures of [Not] Being With You is about those.

Paula James, Fergal Philips and Colin Waitt.

Writers at Work: Flying Asparagus


Wednesday 12 October 2011

Could you memorize a whole volume of the Britannica in an hour? Do you look people in the eyes? What’s the most unusual pet you would have? You hate green peas, don’t you? How do you react when people touch you?

Max has asparagus in his head. Or so he thinks. Trapped in a research programme, he is trying to resist, to find himself, to exceed his limits. Max is our alter-ego. In his case, it’s called Asperger's. It could also simply be called Different.

Natalie Katsou
Erica Miller
Anne Bird, Ruvimbo Govera and Gareth Murphy.

Mi patria son mis zapatos (My Hometown is in my Shoes) and The Other


An evening of butoh-inspired dance

Wednesday 5 October 2011 - Saturday 8 October 2011

Mi patria son mis zapatos

A piece exploring the conflict of nomadic existence through movement, primitive drums and song. Can one find permanent residence in one’s own footwear?

Choreographer and dancer
Florencia Guerberof
Najib Coutya (voice and oud) & Elizabeth Nott (percussion)
Arata Mori

The Other


Lost in the night garden
A man comes across a strange creature
The Moth
Repelled by her
Yet intrigued
They dance towards the light

Genovel Andrei Alexa & Lucia Tong
Visual Projections by
SOnal, Luc Song & Maaike Anne Stevens


Seemingly Invisible

A romantic, tragic, cheeky tale of human endeavour and heartbreak

Tuesday 27 September 2011 - Saturday 1 October 2011

“Rain was pouring in London Town…”

People pass you by, time ticks away on a typical British morning until, out of the settling gloom, an almost tangible and apparently invisible force emerges… What this force offers is for every individual to discover.

Smoking Apples Theatre invites you to embark on a journey, through trial and tribulation, to the ultimate destination where they give you back your dreams…

Review in UK Theatre Network

Lighting Design by:
Karl Oskar Sørdal
Blake Aleksander, Molly Freeman, Matt Lloyd & Hattie Thomas.

The Book of Disquiet

Directed by Nicholai La Barrie

Tuesday 14 June 2011 - Saturday 2 July 2011
Post-show discussion
On Tuesday the 22nd of June there was a post show discussion with Professor John London who specializes in performance analysis and the history of theatre.

Listed as one of The Guardian's top 100 books of all time, Fernando Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet was discovered in a trunk in his apartment in Lisbon after his death in 1935. Part novel, part memoir, part philosophical meditation on the futility of living, Pessoa’s Livro defies definition and endures as a testament to modernist writing.

Why do I feel strangely drawn to the kind of people I’d usually run a mile from? Religious fundamentalists, for example. At least those guys make an effort. They yearn for what they really don’t know. The rest of us cross the stage as walk-ons, extras, without any lines. Satisfied with the pompous solemnity of the crossing itself.

Review: Running in Heels

Review: Behind The Fringe

The Book of Disquiet Web Page

Translation/adaptation by
Mark O'Thomas
Lighting design by
Pablo Fernandez Baz
Alex Clarke, Sara Lewerth, Gareth Murphy, Emily Wallis

(Wo)men and me


Tuesday 7 June 2011 - Saturday 11 June 2011

"'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl
Is degrading
'Cause you think that being a girl
Is degrading
But secretly you'd love to know
What it's like, wouldn't you?
What it feels like for a girl"

Charlotte Gainsbourg, Secret Garden

Performance maker and choreographer Tonny A returns to the Blue Elephant with an exploration of androgyny and psychological identity with this new dance double bill.

AR-men is a male duet which engages in a physical dialogue, playing with their bodies' own contradictions, contrasts and similarities, to perfect and eventually challenge the ultimate image of the Masculine Man.

Women in Me ponders what a man is meant to make of his sexual and social identities when he re-acquaints himself with his lost femininity. A blend of sensual, erotic and dark undertones, this solo piece playfully takes on what it feels to be feminine inside a man's body.

Sweet or Sour specializes in contemporary performance as well as in experimental dance and physical theatre, often crossing over various artistic disciplines to conceive pieces that deal with sexuality, ethnicity and social identity.

Tonny A, Jean Magnard & Nick Smith


Wednesday 20 April 2011 - Saturday 11 June 2011

An exhibition of mixed media drawings.

Costume transforms; the performer transforms... 'Walk a mile in my shoes' means so much more if they are transparent perspex stilettos and if you are a six foot muscular black man.

How we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us cannot be controlled but it can be manipulated and subverted. How we dress can be manipulative and subversive...


Barbe Bleue

By Theatre Temoin

Wednesday 1 June 2011 - Saturday 4 June 2011

Bluebeard had many wives, in succession, and killed every one. Can Louise turn the tide, or will she too fall victim to Perrault's notorious killer?

The setting: a London artist's studio flat. The time: very early in the morning... Or is it very late at night? Louise is sleeplessly searching for inspiration, until her work is interrupted by the arrival of a surprising visitor. Theatre Témoin uses puppetry, clowning, and original music to take you on a journey through urban isolation and psychosis to unlock the forbidden chamber of the creative mind.

A reworking of Barbe Blue has been given a full production at The Blue Elephant Theatre from Tuesday 28 February - Saturday 17 March under the new title of The Fantasist.

Ailin Conant
Devising cast
Julia Corrêa, Catherine Gerrard & Julia Yevnine
Puppet Maker/Director
Katerina Damvoglou
Set/Costume Design
Suneeda Maruthiyil
Lighting Design
Allan Ramsay
Furniture Design
Daniel Moss


by Temple Theatre

Wednesday 25 May 2011 - Saturday 28 May 2011

Richard Darbourne, Troels Hagen Findsen & Paul O'Mahoney

Casa and Magical Chairs

Thursday 19 May 2011 - Saturday 21 May 2011


A theatrical dance piece with elements of structured improvisation, a collage of still images and stylized sketches inspired from typical everyday life situations.

Big heavy coats come to life... Characters go through individual journeys... Sense of belonging and what makes a place home are questioned...

Magical Chairs

"There are an estimated 143 million abandoned chairs worldwide. Many millions more are abandoned or separated from their immediate and extended owners, living on the street, in institutions, or supporting their siblings on their own..."

A short play about childhood, magic tricks and musical chairs brings you a game of the absurdist kind, with realistic undertones and dystopic nuances. Can you take it seriously? Can you enjoy it?

Casa Choreographer
Annarita Mazzilli
Casa Composer & Cellist
Anna Scott
Magical Chairs Writer
Mary Mazzilli
Magical Chairs Director
Christopher O'Donnell
Magical Chairs Sound Designer
Simon McCabe
Costume Designer
Orietta Araya
Magical chairs cast
Rebecca Kenny, Gareth Murphy & Lotan Sapir
Casa cast
Clare Brzezicki, Ester Escolano, Nacho Garoz, Chloe Hall-Smith, Arwen Hobday, Annarita Mazzilli, Donovan Morris, Katja Nyqvist & Irène Wernli

Mervyn Peake 1911-1968: Centenary Celebrations


Tuesday 26 April 2011 - Thursday 28 April 2011
Tickets are FREE but must be reserved in advance to guarantee entrance. Book tickets

The Blue Elephant marks Mervyn Peake's centenary year with a mini-festival of his plays and poetry celebrating his diversity as a writer. Following our world premiere of The Cave last year, we discover once again that Peake's imagination and inspiration extended far beyond Gormenghast...

Tuesday 26 April: Rehearsed reading of Noah's Ark

Intended for children, Peake’s unmistakable prose makes his behind-the-scenes account of this well-known biblical story just as engaging for adult audiences. Originally aired on BBC radio, this charming play is long overdue a theatrical staging.

Noah's Ark was given a full production at the Blue Elephant Theatre for Christmas 2011.

Wednesday 27 April: Rehearsed reading of Mr Loftus or And a Horse of Air

The dust in his room is ankle deep yet Mr Loftus still insists on being served tea and brandy by his butler. With an eccentric anti-hero whose manners are decidedly ungentlemanly, this previously unseen play is Peake's distinctive take on the comedy of manners.

"Mad? Did you say mad? I have gone sane. That's much more difficult."

Thursday 28 April: The Poems of Peake

An evening of Peake's poetry read, staged and interpreted by a range of artists. With a post-performance Q&A with the writer's son Sebastian Peake.

Festival Director
Aaron Paterson
Associate director
Mhairi Grealis
Lighting designer
Claire Childs
Ewen Moore
Ashley Alymann, Jaclyn Bradley, Christian Devellerez, Laurence Dobiesz, Matthew Haigh, Cassandra Hodges, Nic Lamont, Adam Langstaff, Alexis Leighton, Martina Moss-Clarke, Louise Mai Newberry, Andrew Phipps, Mark Smedley, Ceridwen Smith, Denholm George Spurr, James Stanyer, Gil Sutherland, Emily Wallis