Latest production: Aftercare by Steve Lambert White Bear London January 8 – 27 2013
Review: Read more
Guardian article on ScenePool’s research with Brunel Business School - read more
Recent credits include Aftercare by Steve Lambert (White Bear Theatre London 2013) and Little Deaths by Steve Lambert (Alma Theatre Bristol and Upstairs at the Gatehouse London 2010), Toasted and Up Against by Mark Konik (Camden Peoples’ Theatre 2008, 2009), After Care by Steve Lambert (Camden Peoples Theatre 2009), Nerve Scales by Antonin Artaud (Artaud Performance Centre London Inaugural performance 2009), Shiver based on words by poet Andrea Brady (Shunt London 2007). I am Director of Optik, Joint Director of ScenePool and a Co-Director of Theatre Lab, an initiative to bring directors, producers and writers together to collaborate on new theatre production.
Other premiere performances of new writing include Echo by Gabriel Josipovici (as Artistic Director of Paradise Foundry), Savage Amusement by Peter Flannery, Toe Nailed to the Floor by David Drane, Queen by Roger Howard, Club Monkey by Kazuko Hohki and the Frank Chickens.
Recent productions of my own performance work with Optik include 16.shiver (Theatre Technis London ), space (Camden Town Hall London), Xstasis (Black Watch Drill Hall and Place des Arts Montreal), stream (ICA London), TakingBreath (SKC Belgrade), In the Presence of People (Sao Paulo), mymy (Helsinki, Sofia) and Tropik (Tacheles Berlin, Alexandria, Prague, Krakow, Warsaw).
I studied English at Sussex University where I directed Waiting for Lefty Odets, Trojan Women Euripides, Empire Builders Boris Vian and Exception and the Rule Brecht. I started directing professionally at Brighton Combination in 1968 with Howard Brenton’s first play Winter Daddykins with Jim Carter and Lily Sue Todd among the cast. I then directed two of my own shows under the company name Apple Theatre, a documentary piece on the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia and Apart, a piece based on the political struggle against apartheid in South Africa, with Kevin Costello and Di Trevis in the company.
My own performance work has always been created within ensemble companies of musicians and actors, and more recently also with digital technologists. After the documentary shows of Apple (so called because the company received a year’s funding from the Beatles’ Apple Corps), I formed Ritual Theatre touring to venues like the Mickery Amsterdam, ICA and Oval House London as well as the UK. Musicians who worked with me included Clive Bell, Billy Currie, Lindsay Cooper and Sally Minford, while Hilton McRae, John Melville and Caroline Noh were among the acting ensemble. Since 1982 I have presented my own performances through my company Optik, originally working in a very visual style with artist collaborators that included Heather Ackroyd, Paul Bown, Adrian Rawlins and Cornelia Parker. From 1993 to 2003 the work evolved into performance that drew on the earlier Ritual Theatre aesthetic with percussionist Simon Edgoose, sound engineer Ben Jarlett and actors Jeremy Killick and Patrick Driver in the company. In 2002 former Ultravox musician Billy Currie (an original member of Ritual Theatre) returned to play viola on the run of stream at the ICA.
I have taught at London conservatoires Central School of Speech and Drama and Central St Martins Drama Centre as well as on many University theatre programmes. . Directing for student Theatre Department productions includes Medea Project Euripides /Anouilh, A Midsummer Nights Dream Shakespeare, America Hurrah Claude Van Itallie, Annie the musical, Female Transport Steve Gooch, Cinderella, Suppressed Desires Susan Glaspell, Beyond Cardiff Eugene O’Neill. Original devised research productions include Nerve Scales (after Artaud), Tank and Electric Sunrise.
From 2005 – 2008 I led a research team at the Centre for Contemporary and Digital Performance at Brunel University London developing live video and sound processing for theatre production. I regularly lead my own residencies and masterclasses in centres that have included Seoul, Perth Australia, Varna, Krakow, Sofia, Graz, Brno, Sao Paulo, Belgrade and Montreal. From 2005 – 2011 I was director of Performance Initiative Network which, together with the company ScenePool produced 18 Festivals in London promoting the work of new theatre makers and new companies.
Read the New Work Network July 2011 interview with Barry here