Support Matt to run the London Marathon!

Our Treasurer Matthew Craig is running the London Marathon for the Blue Elephant on April 23rd!

He's battling a dodgy achilles' tendon all in the name of supporting Blue Elephant as we face into a tough year financially. We still have 30% of our core costs to raise for the next year so all support is hugely appreciated!

To follow Matt's training and support him and the Blue Elephant, please click here.

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Charity number: 1077161

Company number: 3724349

Past programme

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

Finding the Elephant's Tale: Writers' Event

 

Date
Thursday 9 March

The Blue Elephant invites emerging playwrights from South London to join us for an evening’s discussion about what we can do – with lots of goodwill but no budget – to support you as writers. We hope to establish a monthly writers’ group after this event so look out for further developments!

Tickets are free, but should be booked in advance here.


Theatre

Oyster Boy

Dates
Thursday 2 March - Friday 3 March

Follow the tale of Alice and Italian ice cream seller Jim, who fall in love strolling along the beach in a 1950's whirlwind romance. However, all is not as sweet as it seems when their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of their son Sam…a very unusual boy!

Based on the title story of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy by Tim Burton, this bittersweet tale reminds us of the fragility of life and introduces us to a host of larger-than-life characters who are sure to entertain and delight. Oyster Boy is a multi-award-winning, international production mixing physical storytelling, clown, live singing, dance and puppetry.

Haste is an international, multi-disciplinary theatre ensemble based in London. The company seek to create visually impressive theatre, which provokes question, thought, laughter and enjoyment in a diverse audience through simple means. The company has produced and toured work in the U.K, U.S.A and Italy.


Reviews

"Oyster Boy is a dynamic and enjoyable piece of fringe theatre."

Culturised

"...Haste Theatre’s earnest production brims with boundless creative energy and a clear vision..."

bakchormeeboy

"...the play and its source material thrive on not fitting into conventional categories."

Euston Street Diaries

Theatre

Female Intuition

Original Impact Theatre Company

Dates
Thursday 23 February - Friday 24 February

A scratch night presenting a selection of new plays, written and directed by women.

Knock Knock

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that leads him to evil ways.”
Something wants in.
What happens when we open the door?

You are going to see the first 20 minutes of Knock Knock, a full-length play currently in development. It looks at how we define our identity, gender politics and ghost stories. All feedback and criticism is very much welcome and encouraged.

Written by by Megan Jenkins
Directed by Katie Turner

Project Britain

“To be born British was to win first prize in the lottery of life” Cecil Rhodes

A week is a long time in politics. For teenagers a week is a long time in school. Voting numbers have been falling so the new Government has lowered the voting age to 16 and made it compulsory for students to learn politics. Mr Millstock has the democratic task of uniting his sixth formers in political debates ahead of their first vote at the polling station.

Written by Alexandria Anfield
Directed by Jessica Kearney

Big Girls Don't Cry

There are certain things that you shouldn't say when it comes to the awkward subject of death... Meet the women who say them all.
Kate and Claire just lost their mum. Well, they didn't lose her... She's dead.
And while they try and organise the send off that she may (or may not) deserve, they reflect on the impact that she had on their lives.
Join Kate, Claire and cousin Lou, as they break every social convention they come across, on dealing with the loss of a loved one.

Written by Laura Burrell
Directed by Megan Jenkins

Hold Still, This Won't Hurt

"They didn't brave showers of bullets, suffocating under the bulk of rabid men, the ulcerating heat of the desert, the jaws of the Mediterranean, hiding in the bellies of trucks - for you... What did they do to deserve you!?"

Kira is sixteen. She likes steak, loud music and slaying monsters in her sleep.
Kira is a hacktivist; a 21st Century Robin Hood.
She's taken down political parties, corporate giants and international criminals.
But what happens when the monster is far closer to home?

A new short play about retribution, loyalty and turning tables.

Hold Still, This Won't Hurt is written by Hannah Roe, whose previous work has been performed at the Park Theatre, London and HighTide Festival 2016. It is directed by Alexandria Anfield.


Reviews

"...Performed by the talented ‘Original Impact’ company."

Euston Street Diaries

Dance

Blue Cloud Scratch

Date
Friday 17 February

Blue Cloud Scratch is an exciting new dance scratch night, showcasing works in progress from a diverse range of choreographers, and is curated by Blue Elephant Theatre and Cloud Dance Festival. Blue Cloud Scratch aims to encourage and provide emerging dance artists with opportunities to present their works in progress and receive feedback from audiences and peers.

For more about the Blue Cloud Scratch and Cloud Dance Festival, click here.

Maria Yacoob - Statue

Statue re-imagines the Greek myth of Heracles and the garden of the Hesperides, focusing on the emotional drama of the story. In the original myth, Heracles steals golden apples from the tree of the Hesperides by tricking their father, Atlas. In our dance Heracles steals the innocence of Atlas’ youngest daughter, Arethusa. Both Heracles and Arethusa are
punished for their transgression.

Maria Yacoob is a London-based choreographer and dance teacher. On stage, she works in opera, musical theatre and cabaret with credits including the Royal Festival Hall, Opera Holland Park and Blackheath Halls. On screen her credits include BBC drama and Sky One. M Dance is Maria’s new contemporary dance company. Its diverse performers come from acting, dancing, gymnastic and circus backgrounds. Its aim is to create highly physical and passionate work with a strong narrative drive.

Choreographed by Maria Yacoob
Performed by Celia Francis, Adrianna Pawlowska, Renato Dias, Tobias Peppersack, Maria Yacoob
Photography by Kar Wai Low

Sheida Mas - The Pattern

A man that we have all come across at some point of our lives.
A behaviour more common in our society that we would like to believe.
A woman who turns her back on another but afterwards feels regret.
A story that keeps repeating itself...

Are you sure you haven´t recognised The Pattern?

Sheida Mas is a Spanish Choreographer based in London, who began her training as a Hip Hop dancer at the age of 16. When she started to dance, she also started to choreograph. Her curiosity for investigating new movements and ways to communicate through them prompted her to study contemporary , jazz, acting and even some ballet, and to ultimately get a degree in Choreography from the Alicia Alonso University Institute in Spain. She moved to London in 2016, where she is a freelance choreographer and dancer.

Choreographed by Sheida Mas
Performed by Dave Guerrero, Paula Puga, Julia Ruiz and Sheida Mas
Photography by Thierry Viard

Piedad Albarracin Seiquer - Ellas

A journey of insecurities, struggle, exhaustion and surrender. Where we can hear, touch and feel the voices, rhythms and music of the dancer’s soul and heart.

Piedad is a London based Contemporary Dance Artist, with her roots originating from Spain. She completed a degree in Law, while professionally training in Murcia. Since being based in London, Piedad has performed and collaborated internationally. As a Contemporary Dance Artist and after her many years of training and performance, she is now focusing on her own practice. Influenced by her time working with such artists as Jose Agudo, Estela Merlos and Saorin, Piedad has an articulate and highly energetic vocabulary. Her Spanish playful rhythms are entwined with grounded floor work. Piedad’s non-narrative stories, from the work of poets Mario Benedetti and Cristina Albarracin, show an insight into human connections, with strong imagery colouring the process.

Performed and choreographed by Piedad Albarracin Seiquer

Photography by Thomas Hands

Ray Prendergast - her slow retreat.

her slow retreat. looks into the world we live in. At how living free and with nature has become distorted. We paint a picture of freedom, of living and caring for the land and each other but capitalism has monetised nature and made it into a collectable item for the rich to display their wealth. When the facade of it all fades away we realise that we are in a self made cage, stuck in this cycle unable to escape.

Ray Prendergast was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado. Dancing from age three she was always performing in some sense. After training she took five months to travel around Europe and Israel visiting different dance companies and exploring some new parts of the world. Ray relocated to London and started making her own work, inspired by the various performance styles that London sees. The dance based language which she uses is influenced by live art, theatre and music.

Performed and choreographed by Ray Prendergast
Costumes by Naomi Prendergast
Photography by Ed Spence

This piece is inspired by Salvador Dali’s “Woman with a flower head”

Yanaëlle Thiran - Stirring the Air

A singer’s voice makes the air vibrate.
Could a dancer’s movements resonate the same way?
Let a song fill the air. Let the dance breathe that song. With downstrokes and upstrokes; weaving sounds across the space.

Yanaëlle Thiran is a London-based dance artist with a quiet strength and grounding. Born in Belgium, she trained at London Contemporary Dance School and Art Factory International (Bologna, Italy). A calm whirlwind, she loves to turn and explore spaces with her long arms always further reaching. Music often inspires her pieces of choreography. She enjoys working in collaboration with other artists and she is also passionate about dance teaching.

Performed and choreographed by Yanaëlle Thiran

Photography by Francine Colling

Petra Haller - Charlie: “My message to Humanity”

This work in progress performance of Petra’s first solo contemporary dance piece is based on Charlie Chaplin’s final speech of the movie The Great Dictator. The words: “I am sorry but I don’t want to be an emperor" led into a great speech about humanity that everyone should listen to and carry in their hearts.

Petra was born and raised in Germany and started training at Tanzproject Munich before moving to London to pursue a career in dance. She made her professional debut as a featured dancer in “Louie Spence’s Showbusiness” for Sky1. Further credits include: The One Show, Madame Jojo’s, Gawz Dance Crew, Aida/ Ellen Kent Productions and Cirque du Soir and many more. Petra is currently focusing on her own solo work.

Performed and choreographed by Petra Haller


Theatre

A Thousand Pieces

with Unscripted Theatre Company

Date
Wednesday 8 February

Unscripted Theatre Company and Blue Elephant present a night showcasing London’s emerging actors and musicians.

From monologues to melodies, watch up-and-coming acts share bitesize performances…with the option to take to the stage yourself in the Open Mic section.

Unscripted Theatre Company are a new company who aim to support performers to take the next step in their careers, whether it be auditioning for drama school or jumping into professional work for the first time.

Join us on February 8th to discover the talent of tomorrow taking that next step.

Tickets are FREE but should be booked in advance to guarantee your place. You can book tickets here.


Gallery

Nostalgia's Dance

Dates
Friday 4 November 2016 - Saturday 31 December 2016

For this latest exhibition at Blue Elephant Theatre, Duncan McAfee presents as set of 12 photo-montages. The images are collaged from old personal and family photographs spliced together with magazine and catalogue cuttings. This growing series constructs characters that reoccur and interrelate, weaving together truth and fiction, mythologising personal history as as darkly comic other-world. For Nostalgia's Dance these analogue cut-and-paste works are presented as limited edition digital prints on photographic-paper, somehow re-presented in the language of the holiday snap. With photography comes the veneer of truth; the creative invention has replaced the original memory.

The exhibition can be viewed pre- and post-show and by appointment (by calling 020 7701 0100) Mondays to Fridays.

Theatre

CANDID

by Project Candid

Date
Wednesday 14 December 2016

CANDID is an enigmatic ‘performance-ritual’ about the complexities of female friendships. Two women play a raw and dangerous game of Truth or Dare, setting each other a series of provocative tasks using words, intense physicality and video. Fragmented, episodic, highly sensory and symbolic moments weave a powerful and absurd ‘web’ made of shared intimacy. In this world anything can be revealed from innocent teasing, to vulnerable confessions, to deeply hurtful insults.

CANDID opens the space for the audience to experience, contemplate and celebrate long-lasting bonds, as a radical alternative to a modern day culture of ‘Temp’, ‘Insta-friends’ and ‘frenemies’ and tendencies of bullying and isolation. It exposes but also tries to subvert the stereotypical female competitiveness. Asking the questions; what does friendship look like in the 21st century? In the current climate of overwhelming online connection, how can true bonds be sustained? And to what extent can mutual candour create connection?

Please be aware that performances contain some nudity.


Reviews

"Candid is an interesting and valid concept which is equal parts sociological workshop on friendship and experimental performance art."

Everything Theatre

"...offers some interesting ideas on the nature of female friendship, beautiful images as well as slapstick entertainment."

UK Theatre Network

Devised and performed by
Tania Batzoglou and Vanio Papadelli
Family

Jack Frost

Dates
Wednesday 7 December 2016 - Saturday 10 December 2016

Tickets are now only available for the Saturday show at 5:00 pm. All other shows are sold out.

A magical, wintry production brings Jack Frost to life through puppetry, live music and enchanting storytelling.

Jack is unaware that his frosty touch causes havoc everywhere he visits. One day a small girl spots him out the corner of her eye and Jack is no longer alone. She reaches out to him despite his icy hands and realises what it must be like for him to never have felt the warmth of another’s touch. A story of friendship and bravery to warm our hearts this winter.

Meet our mischievous sprite as he takes us on a snowy adventure and spreads winter wherever he goes. But wrap up warm or you’ll catch him nipping at your fingers and toes!

Moon On A Stick transform the stage once more using their unique combination of light play, song and visual theatre to re-imagine this well-known Nordic legend. A playful production perfect for children 3+. Shows on Saturday 10th December are relaxed performances.


Supported by

Community arts

Silent Voices

by Bridge The Gap Studios x Break The Chain Foundation

Date
Friday 2 December 2016

This production (based on the “Silent Voices” book by Jonathon Toy) tells the story of a young man, Anton, whose affiliation and friendships with those caught up in gangs ultimately led to his tragic murder in Peckham. This true story is told through the eyes of those who knew him, those involved in his murder and those involved in bringing about justice. These perspectives provide the opportunity to recognize and resolve the real reasons driving gang violence in our cities.

Silent Voices tells us what life is like in the forgotten places the rest of us walk past every day, but though we walk down the same streets we walk though different worlds. We are forced to confront the ways that early experiences of war, gang-related brutality, acute domestic violence, parental sexual abuse, profound neglect and unrelenting poverty have set them up for a life ‘on road’. It investigates why people become involved in gang violence and the impact it has on our communities, told through the - often silent - voices of those involved.

Tickets are free and can be booked through eventbrite here.


Theatre

Trunkated Scratch Night including A Taste of Heaven

 

Date
Tuesday 29 November 2016

A showcase of excerpts and short works-in-progress of new material from London's most exciting artists across the arts.

Tickets are FREE and can be booked here.

A Taste of Heaven

One minute you’re chopping vegetables, and the next minute your pension has been cut off and you’re being told you need to prove your existence. If only the man behind the desk would co-operate…

Written by Chris Holbrook, A Taste of Heaven was one of the winning entries in our 2015 play writing competition and it will be followed by a short Q & A with the writer.

Director - Louise Bakker
Woman - Joan Plunkett
Man at guichet - Matthew Vickers
Functionary - Ian Hoare

Alex Watts

Comedian Alex Watts returns to the Blue Elephant after a successful run of his show 25 Stories earlier this year. This time around he’ll take his audience on a surprise tour through his newest material, best summed up as ‘disorganised man says things he reckons might be funny’. What exactly that entails… well, you’ll just have to be there to find out!

assured, funny and intelligent **** Threeweeks

Alex Watts is an actor, comedian and disgruntled ex-bookshop employee. He would prefer not to be erroneously described as ‘renowned kitten murderer and Brexiteer, Alex Watts’.

Iain Gibbons

Gaulier-trained Iain Gibbons tries out new material at the Blue Elephant Theatre. Performing in a non-verbal, physical comedy style with clowning influences, Iain invites his audience to follow his silent antics as he pedantically finds difficulties in the simplest of tasks.

Gibbons expressions [are] warm and full. ***** New Current

Hilarious. Wales Online

The strength in Gibbons, performance is not so much in the words, but in the acting. **** LondonTheatre1

Influenced by the silent comedians of Monty Python and by Rowan Atkinson, Iain works primarily as a character actor, having performed in theatre and independent films. Iain spent six years in Cardiff practicing the techniques of Strasberg, Meisner, Lecoq and Meyerhold, before training in Paris at École Phillipe Gaulier last year, supported by the Arts Council of Wales. While in Cardiff, Iain trained with Denni Dennis Company Clowns, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Glamorgan University’s Cardiff School and Cultural Industries. He also worked with and participated in workshops with theatre companies including Spymonkey, Complicite, John Wright, Frantic Assembly, Cardboard Citizen and No Fit State Circus.

Ballast

Ballast is a site specific performance devised, produced and performed by Jillian Bradley for the St Ives Festival in September in association with The BSJW Trust at Porthmeor Studios. It’s a movement-based piece with a narrative constructed through visual metaphor. Blending theatre with live art, it is set to an original score composed by a classical pianist. The piece aims to expose the mental health issues surrounding women's relationship to food, focusing on eating disorders and the resulting obsessive compulsive control mechanisms.

Jillian will perform a section from Ballast which looks at the objectification and sexualisation of women through food, exploring clichés around concepts of womanhood. Is food a tool of perversion or liberation for women? A sense of restriction resonates throughout in an umbilical way. From apron strings to washing lines, all offer the potential for release and yet form an imprisonment of their own making.

Jillian Bradley retrained as an actor, having been a professional portrait painter. In her previous career, she notably produced a collection of portraits within Formula One Motor Racing which was exhibited internationally. Her passion for performance-based arts led Jillian to change creative focus. Her work is rooted in feminist politics and the need for change. Based in London, Jillian is originally from a tiny rural community in the Welsh Marches, raised on a self sufficient small holding to artist parents. Her acting work has included roles in television, film and theatre.


Theatre

Parvati's Dark Children: Rehearsed Reading

by Ramneek Singh

Date
Tuesday 22 November 2016

Join us for a rehearsed reading of Parvati's Dark Children by Ramneek Singh, one of the winning plays in our recent play-writing competition.

Set against the backdrop of the Maoist insurrection in the jungles of Bastar, and drawing on mythology attributed to the Gond tribals, Parvati's Dark Children is a play about betrayal, resistance, and expropriation - of land, mythology and worldview. Calibrating themselves on the spectrum of political resistance, a human rights lawyer, his daughter in love with a Maoist rebel, a tribal woman in solitary confinement and a tribal jail guard, renegotiate their positions, creating a vital argument between liberalism and anarchism, pragmatism and idealism, violence and non-violence, cynical and reactionary positions, and above all, between settler cultures and the indigenous way of life.

Tickets are FREE. To reserve your place via Eventbrite, click here.


Writer
Ramneek Singh
Director
Jacqui Marchant-Adams
Cast
Gopal Gautam (Mishra), Leesa Gazi (Sukdi), Ratna Malay (Nimrat), Ian Recordon (Sandhu) and Suren Seneviratne (Mangtu)
Dance

Mad Meg

by MAZPOD

Dates
Friday 18 November 2016 - Saturday 19 November 2016

Mad Meg is a collision of traditional folk and contemporary dance theatre. Threading moving bodies, spoken word, live folk music and driven by the wild rhythms of Appalachia, MAZPOD tell the demise of Mad Meg, an unruly woman whose spirit is at odds with the traditional society she lives in.

You are invited to see the relevance of their fairy tale, set somewhere between a smoky bar in North Carolina and a mossy forest at dawn. As the tragedy unfolds, pass between narrators and characters in the tale and bounce from poignancy to bawdiness, uncovering Mad Meg´s story.

MAZPOD was founded in 2014 and Mad Meg is the company´s first work. It has been performed in the UK and Argentina.

Mad Meg by MAZPOD from MAZPOD on Youtube.


Reviews

"An engaging first offering from a company I hope to see more of."

Thinking on my Feet

"An intense and intriguing production."

UK Theatre Network

"Mad Meg is a show which is light and comedic, but also sincere and touching."

A Younger Theatre

Supported by

Dance

The Very Important Child

Date
Wednesday 16 November 2016

This is about grown up infants.

The Very Important Child is a piece of physical theatre about the development of the ego, psychological warfare, throwing one’s toys out of the pram. Bold and comic, it blends movement, text and music.

The audience sees the complicated politics of two adult egos, two grown-ups who are convinced it is the other person’s fault. The show takes you into the developing mind of a human – the fragile baby living from minute to minute, the god-like toddler, the adult who believes herself ‘fully grown’.

The Very Important Child is a series of connected dances, it is also just a story about people. There are frenzied folk dances, wordless lyrical duets, comic observations of adult conversation and uplifting music.

The Mostly Everything People was founded in 2012 with the aim of creating high quality movement-based theatre for a wide audience, and has since performed nationally and internationally, and were named Canada Water Culture Space (London) Emerging Artists 2015.

The Very Important Child by The Mostly Everything People from The Mostly Everything People on Youtube.


Supported by

  • Arts Council England
  • AMATA (Falmouth University)
Dance

This Really Is Too Much

Dates
Friday 11 November 2016 - Saturday 12 November 2016

Look. (point) You’ve never had it so good. We. Are moving. Forward.

Outlandish, bold and highly entertaining, This Really Is Too Much delves into a world of farcical stereotypes and preposterous power struggles. With irreverent physicality, four characters wrestle with restriction, gender and performance of identity, trying desperately to work out which box they fit into.

Raucous and thought provoking in equal measure, Gracefool's genre-busting performance reveals the downright absurd realities of what it means to be a 3-dimensional, high definition, water-drinking, salad-eating, moisturizing WO-man in modern society. Dripping with virtuosic charm and anarchic wit, this is feminist comedy dance at its very best.

There will be a post-show discussion following the performance on Saturday 12th November.


Reviews

"This really is too much is a gleeful, compelling piece and the Gracefools are a group of artists to watch."

Exeunt Magazine

"Highly entertaining as well as thought provoking as Gracefool Collective show the absurdity of trying to be a person as well as a woman in our society..."

UK Theatre Network

"Gracefool Collective have set a standard in visual storytelling, whilst being unapologetic in what they say."

A Young Theatre

Supported by

Dance

(we)SINK & Fish Tank: Double Bill

Date
Thursday 10 November 2016

Hawk Dance Theatre is an exciting, emerging company based in the North West and presenting their first double-bill of new work.

(we)SINK (mentored by Gary Clarke)
(we)SINK is a dance performance exploring climate change and human psychology. Inspired by psychological mechanisms that make humans disengage from climate change challenges, this new work, choreographed by Josh Hawkins, explores feelings of distance, doom, dissonance, denial and identity in response to our changing climate. Performed by Emmie Coxey and Freya Thomas, this captivating duet questions whether these defence barriers can be broken and if we will ever truly connect to this topical issue.

Fish Tank
Fish Tank draws similarities and compares the life of a goldfish in its tank to the denials we face when dealing with change. Fish Tank explores different feelings linked to change, and imagines every human has their own ‘fish tank’ full of questions, responsibilities and problems. Fish Tank is a conversation between live spoken word, text, music and dance.

Please note this production will use flour during the performance.

FISH TANK by Hawk Dance Theatre from Hawk Dance Theatre on Vimeo.


Supported by