Actors Touring Company makes international, contemporary theatre that travels. We create shows which activate and entertain the audience whilst asking questions of the world around us. We seek out new ideas, artists and perspectives and question what theatre is and can be through openness, invention and curiosity. Placing the actor at the heart of our work, and employing a lean aesthetic which promotes environmental sustainability, we have toured the UK and Internationally since we were founded in 1980, reaching audiences far and wide, using theatre to encourage them to examine the world around us.
86 UK performances in 2017/18, reaching audiences of over 25,000
Matthew Xia was appointed Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company in November 2018. Matthew is one of the busiest and most exciting directors in the UK. He is a former Associate Artistic Director of Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Director in Residence at Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse; Associate Director of Theatre Royal Stratford East. He is currently an Associate Artist at Nottingham Playhouse.
Some of Matthew’s acclaimed productions include: at the Royal Exchange, Manchester Frankenstein, Wish List (also Royal Court), and Into The Woods; Blue/Orange and Sizwe Banzi is Dead at the Young Vic; and Shebeen at Nottingham Playhouse.
Other work of note includes: Scrapper and Migration Music at the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse; Dublin Carol at the Sherman Theatre Cardiff; and NitroBeat’s Suckerpunch Boomsuite at the Barbican.
Under the pseudonym Excalibah, Matthew was the first DJ to join BBC 1Xtra, where he spent 6 years. As a sound designer and composer, credits include: The People Are Singing (Royal Exchange); Freerun (Udderbelly); That's The Way To Do It (TimeWontWait); Bolero Remixed (New London Orchestra). In 2012 Excalibah performed as a headline DJ at the London Paralympic Opening Ceremony.
Matthew is a founding member of Act for Change, a trustee of Artistic Directors of the Future and of Cardboard Citizens and has served on the boards of Rich Mix, Creative Futures and Theatre Royal Stratford East. He has been a judge for the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting (2017) and the Alfred Fagon Award (2017 and 2018).
Andrew Smaje is a theatre producer, consultant and mentor. He has been Executive Director of ATC since 2016, where he has produced The Suppliant Women, Keep on Walking Federico, Winter Solstice, Living with the Lights On and The Brothers Size, in collaboration with venues such as the Young Vic, Orange Tree, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh and Teatre Lliure, Barcelona. Known for his work as a producer of contemporary theatre, particularly new writing, Andrew’s productions and commissions were nominated at the TMA/ UK Theatre Awards in 2003, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2017.
He is also a consultant for leading theatre companies, organisations and artists, with clients including Theatre Royal Plymouth, Greyscale and The Empty Space. Andrew supports the development of companies such as Curious Monkey in Newcastle, for whom he produced Leaving by Paddy Campbell and Preggers by Amy Golding. He is Chair of the Board of Cap-a-Pie Theatre, a North-East-based company specialising in education and communities, whose recent productions include Woven Bones highlighting the story of the 17th century Scottish soldiers buried at Durham Cathedral and The Town Planner, an acclaimed interactive production that continues to tour nationally.
Andrew was Chief Executive of Hull Truck 2010 - 2012, producing work by contemporary playwrights both in Hull and on tour, and co-producing with partners including Headlong, nabokov, Paines Plough and The Gate, Opera North and the RSC. His productions were nominated for the Renee Stepham Touring Award (TMA UK Theatre Awards) in 2012 and Best Visiting Production (Manchester Theatre Awards) in 2013.
Andrew was Associate Director of Theatre Royal Bath 2000 - 2010, supporting and developing new and innovative theatre across a broad spectrum of performance genres and practice, principally new writing. He supported many artists who are now key figures in British theatre, such as Lorne Campbell and Theatre Ad Infinitum. His final production as Artistic Director of the Ustinov, the world premiere of Herding Cats by Lucinda Coxon, was nominated for Best New Play at the UK Theatre Awards 2011 and subsequently transferred to Hampstead Theatre.
Andrew created the Bath International Puppet Festival (2000-2009), a showcase for adult puppetry; he was co-Director of the Bath Shakespeare Festival (2005-2010), an unplugged festival of contemporary perspectives on Shakespeare’s work; and produced plays on both large and small scale, by writers such as Gregory Burke, David Greig and David Harrower. Andrew was an Artistic Assessor for ACE from 2009-17.
Jess first worked for Actors Touring Company in 2011 as Stage Manager on The Golden Dragon, she has returned to the company on several occasions including the productions of Illusions and The Events.
In 2007 she completed a degree in Stage Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and then followed a varied career as a freelance stage manager working across the board in theatre, dance, opera and musical theatre.
Jess has toured the UK extensively and on occasion dipped her toe in International waters. Her life on the road has taught her a great deal which she now uses in her role as General Manager.
Alice grew up in Shropshire. After university, she started assistant directing at Clwyd Theatr Cymru. She went on to assistant direct at theatres including Royal & Derngate, Theatre Royal Bath, Chichester Festival Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe. Directors she has assisted include Adrian Noble, Dominic Dromgoole, Laurence Boswell and Nancy Meckler.
Alice mainly directs new plays. Her recent productions of new plays include Daddy's Girl by Georgia Brown at the Vault Festival, which was one of 2017's Highly Commended shows, Birthday Suit by David K Barnes at the Old Red Lion, 10,000 Smarties by Josh Azouz at the Old Fire Station, Oxford, and fiji land by Nick Gill at the Southwark Playhouse. Other recent productions include Treasure by David Pinski at the Finborough Theatre and The Fever by Wallace Shawn at the Old Fire Station, Oxford. Alice has also directed numerous short plays and rehearsed readings, at venues including the St James Theatre, the Soho Theatre, the Arcola Theatre, the Criterion, Theatre 503 and Rada.
Alice recently directed Max Frisch's Andorra at Oxford School of Drama and will be directing Tennessee Williams' Spring Storm, also at Oxford School of Drama, in June 2017.