What happens at Nonsuch Theatre?
Nonsuch Theatre is an international physical theatre company based in Nottingham. We work across three main strands of work: through Performance we make shows and tour them across the UK and Europe; our Outreach work sees us work with hundreds of people across the UK every year, running workshops and Arts Awards and other exciting community focussed projects; and Space which saw us open Nottingham's first artist-led space for theatre and performance development, it's also our home and our HQ!
What was your initial drive in setting it up?
I studied a course that focussed on the development of the student as an independent practitioner, I've always loved making stuff and so setting up Nonsuch seemed like the natural direction to follow.
You've used the word 'freerange' about your work - what exactly does this mean to you?
Being freerange is about constantly trying to open our possibilities as much as possible. It's about thinking how we live our lives and how we accept not enjoying ourselves as something that is okay. We use it to make our work as diverse as possible, but also as a methodology for inspiring others to grab life by the horns and reach their potential.
You describe yourselves as a very community driven theatre, what do you think theatre can give to its wider community?
Whilst we don't make work that is specifically focussed on particular communities, throughout our outreach programme we aim to work with as broad a spectrum of society as possible. We've all been very fortunate through the opportunities we've received in our training and careers and we feel it is only right to share these skills and experiences with others. Theatre isn't just about becoming better artists, it's about understanding people and relationships, and that is something that is very much needed to live a fulfilled life.
Do you think this is happening enough throughout the UK?
Yes and no really. Arts organisations are desperately trying to connect with audiences and communities more and lots of great projects are being developed all over the country. However it's very clear that the changes to the education system, local government funding and the knock-on affect of this on the public psyche is systematically making the job harder and harder.
What is your offering for young people?
At N_SPACE, our studio facility in Nottingham, we run various classes for young people aged 4-25 who meet weekly, we also run workshops in schools and colleges across the UK and deliver a project called somewhereto_ which gives anyone aged 16-25 access to free space.
You are an Arts Award Good Practice Centre this year, how do you use Arts Award within your theatre?
Arts Awards are a core offer in our Outreach programme. We tend to deliver them in schools within the East Midlands to various levels of intensity - this year we're focussing on Discover, Bronze and Gold levels, running research projects on how to deliver them in the best way and ensure that young people get the most out of them as possible.
And finally, what can we expect from you over the coming months?
We've got a really busy 2016 planned. We're currently planning the tour of two shows we made in 2015, Tales of the Fantastic and The Fun Police as well as the development of our next show, The Party's Over. In May we'll turn N_SPACE into a festival hub for Contemporary Performance as part of NEAT Festival (Nottingham European Arts and Theatre festival) and we're about to start delivering nearly 600 Discover Arts Awards to primary schools in Nottingham!