Matchstick Theatre presents...
THE INSTITUTE OF NUTS
By Mark Daniels
Where people come to grow some balls.
“a powerful commentary on toxic masculinity in modern society”
★★★★ The Spy in the Stalls
★★★★ Everything Theatre
28th March – 12th April (Tue, Thu, Fri)
We proudly present our second collaboration with Director-Writer team Edwina Strobl and Mark Daniels. This otherworldly dark comedy is part of our Spring Season showcasing emerging London playwrights in our innovative new performance space in Deptford/New Cross.
Welcome to The Institute of Nuts, a crazy school-cum-retreat-cum-prison where people’s names are letters and their reasons for being there are... well... mysterious. Here, E and M run the show and O, P and B do whatever they’re told. Until a rebellion begins.
B arrives for his first day, ready to learn how to be a success in the wider world. Gradually things go from funny to farcical, and the skills he learns, such as strength and bravery, go from important and desirable to ridiculous and even threatening. The students protest and discover what The Institute is really all about.
“I am strong. I am powerful. I am the best.”
This darkly comic play tackles toxic masculinity and whether even the most woke amongst us are calling it out in the best way. It questions our current narratives and societal setups and the unnecessary pressures placed on both men and women by the patriarchy. The fact that The Institute is really a training ground for masculinity won’t be revealed to the audience until the latter part of the play.
Matchstick Theatre have been producing new writing across London’s fringe scene since 2015. In July 2018, we created a full-time home, Matchstick Piehouse, a bar/restaurant and multi-use arts space in a converted railway arch. Off the back of their sell-out immersive comedy set on a London night bus N89, Strobl and Daniels (a South East Londoner himself) are two of our favourite up-and-coming innovative theatremakers.
by Daniel Keene
presented by Flugelman Productions
“Boxman is an utterly riveting monologue... a profound meditation on the meaning of home...This is my pick of the Fringe by a country mile. If I could give it six stars, I would.” ★★★★★ BroadwayBaby
There are more than 60 million displaced people on our planet... people who have no home.
Ringo is one of them. He is a survivor, a child soldier displaced from his homeland, sheltering in a cardboard box in an inner city park. He lives in plain sight but is invisible to the city around him. But inside his makeshift ‘home’, Ringo lives a life rich with stories and songs of a childhood far away, a family tragically lost and the complicated promise of a new beginning.
‘Boxman’ uses storytelling, comedy and tears to challenge our understanding the idea of home in a way that responds to the crisis of displacement that the world faces, and celebrates the resilience of people who despite trauma must reframe their own sense of belonging.
Reice Weathers - Performer (Ringo)
Edwina Strobl - Director, Producer
Heather Ralph - Producer
Beth Duke - Sound Designer
Jo Wright - Set Designer
N89 is a semi-immersive theatre experience, set on London night bus route.
It deals with the issues that affect modern Londoners: race, gentrification, economic adversity, loneliness and what it means to be a Londoner. But… fear not, this isn’t a four-hour analysis of how awful London is.
It’s a 60-minute comedy full of classic drunken night bus characters we all recognise and may have been ourselves at times.
There’s the smooching couple clutching fried chicken; the aggressive partygoers on their way home from the club looking for a fight; the mother with a crying baby; the lonely girl with a bottle of wine in her bag; the suited professional on the way home from work drinks and the guy who REALLY overshares whilst talking too loudly on his phone.
The development of the script has so far been generously supported by Matchstick theatre. The first production of the play was staged at the Matchstick Piehouse in 2018.
We want to bring N89 to more audiences across London and beyond in 2019/2020. To read the script you can contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Earth Opera was formed in 2013, to perform at the Teignmouth Classical Music Festival in March 2014. The 2018 Autumn production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola featured emerging professional soloists and a community based chorus and orchestra.
“Once upon a time there was a girl named Cinderella. You may know her as Cendrillon, or Aschenputtel, The Cinder-Maid or just plain old Cinders. Hundreds of years old and with versions originating from all over the world, the Cinderella story is a truly timeless and universal tale.
Whatever her name and whichever version of this much loved fairytale is your favourite (Grimm, Disney or Perrault to name but three) the essence of the story remains the same – the telling of the unjust treatment of a young woman who is unexpectedly elevated to a position of power and prestige: the triumph of goodness over oppression. When Rossini wrote his dazzling opera buffa version in 1816 the story was already well known. He based his version on the then century-old Charles Perrault story, which included the pumpkin carriage, Cinderella’s fairy godmother and the glass slipper (Perhaps because of practicalities Rossini replaced the slipper with a pair of bracelets).
The world will always love a tale of “rags to riches”, a dreamer whose wishes come true, which means we don’t need to look far to identify the Cinderella story in our world today. This year 1.9 billion people around the world watched the making of a princess when Meaghan Markle married Prince Harry. A divorced, American, woman of colour, a politically outspoken feminist and humanitarian, Markle is the embodiment of a very modern Cinderella and the inspiration for ours.
We also quickly found the epitome of pride and vanity in our selfie obsessed sisters, their greedy father, and then our posh prince and laddish mate, Dandini, who both fall for the mysterious girl at the ball. Their story takes place before adoring fans desperate for a glimpse of the royalty and reminiscent of crowds outside Buckingham Palace, in rain ponchos clutching Union Jacks. Finally, no Cinderella 2018 would be complete without her very own fairy drag-mother, who provides the magic as well as the majesty.” - Director’s Note for the production
Feedback from the participants - “Just a short note to say a big 'thank you' for the opportunity to take part in the gorgeous opera. What a cast of principal singers! The audience seemed to be genuinely engaged and I couldn't fail to notice that a young lad sitting in the third row's gangway seat seemed to find all the piece's humour particularly to his liking, not least because of the extra zing resulting from Edwina's gifted stage direction. She and all the principals deserve to enjoy successful careers.”
When Elliott discovers her ex-boyfriend Robin has started to transition into a woman her world turns upside down. With the help of her hero and spirit guide, Dolly Parton, she examines her memories of the man she loved – re-imagining what it means to be a woman, and what it means to be in love.
"I guess I was relying on the memories. But they’re not safe anymore."
“excellent concoction of theatrical elements...Furnishing audiences with lots to laugh over and think about, this is a fervently amusing and tenderly poignant play.” ★★★★LONDONTHEATRE1
Arts Council England National Lottery Funded, nominated for the 2017 Reviews Hub Brighton Fringe Beyond the Fringe award, Flugelman Productions presents Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal’s touching new play.
In 2018 we performed the play for a week as part of the fabulous VAULT Festival 2018 in the Cavern at the Vaults. In 2017 The Poetry We Make was premiered at the Marlborough Theatre Brighton, part of Brighton Fringe 2017, for which we were shortlisted for The Reviews Hub 'Beyond The Fringe' Award. In June and July 2017 we performed sell-out shows in London at The Rosemary Branch Theatre, RADA Festival, The Old Red Lion Theatre and Library club, Covent Garden.“The Poetry We Make shows a timely reality, made even more significant by Harris being himself a transgender actor"
"truly inspiring...compelling theatrical piece"
“The performer’s bring such a honest and heartfelt approach to the characters, letting us not only relate but also question ourselves in their situations.”
“A culturally significant piece of theatre.”
“Edwina Strobl’s production has warmth and there’s an endearing performance from Mia Hall as Dolly Parton”
“The chemistry between Elena Voce (Elliott) and Elijah W Harris (Robin) is gorgeous"
Cast: Elena Voce, Elijah Harris, Mia Hall, Sam Thorpe-Spinks
Writer: Jaswinder Blackwell-Pal
Director: Edwina Strobl
Dramaturg: Lucinda Dale
Producers: Heather Ralph, Katherine Rigg
Designer: Alexandra Kapsala Greenwood
Lighting Designer: Jess Bernberg
Sound Designer: Davide Vox
Music Director: Ella Bellsz
Movement Director: Carissa Rickeard
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“…first rate show that had me laughing and was thoroughly entertaining from the start.” ★★★★ LondonTheatre1
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I AM NOT ANTIGONE was first created by four RADA MA T&P graduates, as a co-production with the National Theatre ‘Sterija’ in Vrsac, Serbia. Since, it has toured Serbia and performed at the Fringe Festivals of Amsterdam, Brighton and Prague, where we were funded by the Amsterdam Art Fund, the European Cultural Foundation and the Netherlands Embassy.
In 2016 it was performed at the RADA Festival, London, UK and Catford Broadway Theatre.
I AM NOT ANTIGONE was a multimedia show which brings the 2,500 year-old classic bang up to date, with three performers, an iPhone, a projector, a MacBook and Twitter. It's a playful tragedy about a generation of revolutionaries who prefer to rebel via social media than actually do something. In this era where so many of us are guilty of expressing political opinions with the click of a mouse and little more, it's a relevant and intriguing look at the world today, where politicians twist the truth and stories and images are created for our consumption online.
With original live music, created especially for the show and performed by the actors.
Three performers directly address the audience and slip in and out of different characters. The style of the show moves from open storytelling form to serious drama and engages the audience with it’s fast paced stylised dialogue and resonating political issues.
We use the story of Antigone to innovatively and sincerely face our internet-saturated culture, and asks questions about how it might affect our thoughts and actions on social change.
Vivien Von Abendorff: Concept, Text, Performer
Kalki Aporos: Concept, Text, Director
Claire Naylor: Performer
Iskandar Sharazudin: Performer
Edwina Strobl: Assistant Director
Mariana Geisinger: Producer
Ginny Kim: Producer
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