Former Southampton Students Set Up Their Own Theatre Company
It is becoming increasingly difficult to break into showbiz. However, some ex-Southampton students have taken it upon themselves to set up their own theatre company – Broken Arrow Productions. The […]
It is becoming increasingly difficult to break into showbiz. However, some ex-Southampton students have taken it upon themselves to set up their own theatre company – Broken Arrow Productions.
The Soton Tab caught up with Alex Curtis, Artistic Director of Broken Arrow Productions, to find out more.
So who are Broken Arrow Productions?
Broken Arrow founding members are Alexander Curtis, Nick Barclay, James Forster, and Lucy Hughes, ex- students of the University of Southampton with ambitions of a career in the theatre profession.
What do you intend to do?
We intend to bring an exciting new theatre company to the South Coast, with desires of putting on a full schedule of theatre, from Shakespeare, to adaptions, to original work. Check out our website and Facebook page.
Why have you set up your own company?
We have set up the company because it is extremely difficult to crack into the industry without drama school, the fees of which are around £9,000+ a year – out of reach for most recent graduates. The key to drama school is that it results in an agent, and therefore work. We decided to set up our own company, so that we could create our own theatre without restraint or bureaucracy, with a core group of creatives who all share the same vision.
How easy has it been to set up a new company?
Creating the company has not been without its difficulties. Being a new company has meant that we have had little in the form of past work to show and gain credit from. We have had to rely upon the support of local businesses for sponsorship, and learn the ropes – certainly the business side – as we have gone along. Publicity has all been created by James, for example, who has no experience in this field, but a very visible skill for the visual arts. A crucial part of the money has come from Lucy’s inheritance following the death of her grandfather from cancer; without this, the project would have been completely impossible. There will be buckets for donations to Cancer Research at the show.
Have you had any support from the University or SUSU?
We haven’t had any particular support from SUSU or the University. We looked into booking out venues there, but it was too expensive. We haven’t specifically sought support from them, though, because our ethos is professional and within the industry, distanced from the SUSU bubble. We have had support from the Nuffield Theatre, however; Dawn Taylor from the Nuff has had meetings with us and helped us to understand how to publicise and get a start in the industry, as part of her remit as Creative Development Producer.
What’s your first show?
The first show is Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
What is it about?
The Crucible is seemingly about the Salem witch trials at the end of the 17th Century; charting the beginning of gossip which spread into hysteria and culminated in death. The themes are resonant today – hysteria, mob mentality, greed, zeal, guilt – and Arthur Miller used this historical event as an analogy for McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee in the fifties when Communism was being called left, right, and centre. However, when this is left aside, there remains a haunting, poignant, and personal drama about people struggling in the face of a cruel and unfeeling authority.
When and where is it on?
The show is on from the 30th April till 3rd May at 7:30, at the Hub Theatre, City College. You can buy your tickets here.
Is Broken Arrow Productions a long term project?
The Crucible is Broken Arrow’s debut venture, moving from performing at the Hub to hopefully larger venues and touring first locally and then nationally – the ultimate goal would be being able to pay ourselves and our actors, branching into a fully professional theatre company. The ultimate goal would be to be working at the same capacity as Headlong, for example. So yes, Broken Arrow is certainly a long term project.
Broken Arrow Productions are being featured on tonight’s BBC South News. Tune in to find a bit more about them!