Pulling emerging work from the shadows: The Hidden Theatre Company
Hello, It’s Abby here, at The Hidden Theatre Company. Huge thanks to Olivia for giving us some space to share our story with you all. We are delighted to be part of the PotM blog.
For those of you that haven’t heard of us, we are a London based theatre company whose ethos is to showcase hidden talent and work to be passionate about. We formed in 2016 and since our inception have produced 4 scratch nights, Making Waves: A Song Cycle for Camden Fringe and The Christmas Belles, a touring Christmas cabaret. We are currently in rehearsal for our next production of Carner & Gregor’s, Island Song.
The company was set-up by myself and Drou Constantinou after meeting of the MA Music Theatre course at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. We were friends first of all but then a year or so after graduating, Drou unfortunately broke her ankle and was relatively house-bound. To stop her going crazy and keep her busy, we started considering creative projects we could do. It was then that the idea of setting up the company came about!
At the end of 2016, I was lucky enough to be one the recipients of the Equity Young Members Bursary, which gave us the funds to set the wheels in motion. We spent a few months creating the company and establishing a following, before curating our first event in February 2017.
We decided to focus on new writing and working with new creatives because we feel it is paramount to create your own work in today’s industry. As we are both proactive performers, and certainly for me the idea of leaving my career in somebody else’s hands is not something I feel very comfortable with. You have to get out there, graft and make things happen!
In 2017 alone we worked with over 50 performers, 14 writers and 13 directors across 3 Scratched events and our Camden Fringe musical, Making Waves: A Song Cycle. We are hoping to beat that this year! We have already produced Scratched: Time To Talk, our first charity event and where we met Olivia, and are currently in rehearsal for Carner & Gregor’s @IslandSongLDN, a show we’ve been discussing since we first decided to set up the company, over 18 months ago! We are so excited to be bringing the show to a London stage as part of the John Thaw Initiative (29th & 30th March) and at The Nursery Theatre (12th-16th April).
As the company is run by just the two of us, it can be long and hard graft. We are performers, producers, casting directors, marketing managers, web designers, even directors some times - but our hard work is certainly worth it! I feel incredibly fortunate that I get to work with one of my best friends, and it does often mean that working for the company rarely feels like work. Don’t get me wrong, we have our disagreements but our shared work ethic, understanding of one another and united passion for the company means that we are on the same wave-length and often balance each other out. I think this is the most important factor in setting up a company with somebody you know. You have to pick the right person, particularly if you’re looking for longevity.
The Hidden Theatre Company continues to go from strength to strength, meeting wonderful people as we go. What started as an idea for a creative project while Drou was out of performing has grown over the last 18 months into a company I am incredibly proud of. The network we have built up are incredibly supportive and, in the world of fringe theatre, I think that’s what we need to keep the creative arts alive. Support one another and help each other up the ladder.
Thanks so much for having me!
Follow us on Twitter @HiddenTheatreCo @IslandSongLDN @abbyrestall @Drou_C
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Want to get involved? Head over to www.thehiddentheatrecompany.com & get in touch to find out about our upcoming opportunities. We love meeting new people!