ACTORS TOURING COMPANY (ATC) will stage an ambitious season of work in 2023 that responds to a single artistic provocation:
‘Can we transform the painful legacies of history into a future of hope and possibility?’
ATC’s Transformation Season embraces three very different approaches to that question.
Mojisola Adebayo’s poetic ritual-drama FAMILY TREE uncovers the hidden legacy of Henrietta Lacks, and tours to 12 places across the UK.
TAMBO & BONES is the UK Premiere of a new play from USA that interrogates the intersection of race, performance and capitalism, exploding the proscenium arch of music hall style theatres with a satire on minstrelsy, a hip-hop concert … and robots.
THE ARCHITECT is an immersive journey aboard a London bus, created by a collective of leading Black artists, in response to a seismic event in British history, and is made in proud support with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation.
The season, curated and directed by ATC Artistic Director & Joint CEO, Olivier Award winner Matthew Xia comments: “Too often as a touring company, we appear to be a sum of parts: a show made in one place, another show pops up elsewhere. The truth is, that we are creating a body of work arising from a single artistic idea: transforming painful histories into a more hopeful future.”
ATC Executive Director & Joint CEO Andrew Smaje adds: “Sometimes the work of touring companies can feel like it’s hidden under the place-based blanket of the brilliant venues we visit and make our productions with. This year, ATC is speaking loud and proud about our body of work in 2023, which will be produced and seen in towns and cities across the nation, from Plymouth to Glasgow, via Keswick and Ipswich, all created from ATC’s two bases in Bradford and Brixton.”
ATC’s newest commission is The Architect, a radical new piece, conceived by Matthew Xia, and leading playwrights Roy Williams (DEATH OF ENGLAND) and Mojisola Adebayo (FAMILY TREE), and created with a collective of leading Black artists including Bola Agbaje (GONE TOO FAR!, originally an ATC commission) Dexter Flanders (FOXES), writer/performer Vanessa Macauley and sound artist XANA (846LIVE, FAIRVIEW).
This immersive theatrical journey through time and a city will transport audiences via an iconic red bus, through South London, in celebration of Black lives and their full potential. Co-produced with the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, performances will take place as part of the festival in early September 2023 before touring nationally to festivals and events in the coming years.
In June, the co–production of Tambo & Bones by multi award-winning playwright, poet and performer Dave Harris, will open at Theatre Royal, Stratford East from 16 June to 15 July 2023 before touring in 2024.
Meanwhile, Family Tree, the Alfred Fagon Award-winning play by Mojisola Adebayo, which premiered in Coventry in March continues its major national tour from Keswick to Plymouth, via London, Liverpool and Bristol until 17 June. The play, co-produced with Belgrade Theatre in association with Brixton House, is one of ATC’s most substantial tours to date.
All three ATC productions champion a host of Black writers and creatives, adding a new wave of epic plays to the Black theatrical cannon.
ATC is a ‘portable portal to the world’, a National Portfolio Organisation funded by Arts Council England with an unrivalled track record in the commissioning, producing and touring of contemporary international plays for audiences, everywhere.
Our work explores ideas of intersectionality, identity and belonging – opening up conversations across borders both geographic and cultural.
Since 1980, we have been pioneered the touring of new global plays, often in world premiere translations of plays from Australia, Norway, Iran, Israel, and the US – bringing global stories to audiences across the UK.