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Common: Ground – Supporting Working and Under-Class Producers in UK Theatre

Presented by
COMMON and Fuel
6.30pm – 9pm
22 Jul 2019

Project History

Following 18 months of extensive research into socio-economic inequality across the UK theatre industry, COMMON are using this research as a foundation to move into the next stage of our work as a sector-support organisation.

As part of our growth we are looking to design and deliver the pilot versions of career development programmes for creatives from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. In the first year we are particularly interested in focusing this support toward playwrights and producers.

As a producer-led organisation with learning and representation as two of its core values, Fuel is committed to supporting producers at all ages and stages, currently by offering paid producing internships, full and part time jobs for producers at different levels (which come with training budget and mentoring support), mentoring and advocacy for independent producers, and initiatives like Producer Farm. We are keen to continue removing any barriers producers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds might face, and to discover new ways we can offer accessible development opportunities.

We are therefore delivering a COMMON: GROUND event to provide a platform for theatre producers from working and under-class backgrounds to share the barriers to skill and career development they encounter in the industry. COMMON’s Artistic Director, David Loumgair, will curate a solutions-focused dialogue with attendees around what support is needed in the sector to enable producers to overcome these barriers.

Our learnings from the discussion will enable COMMON and Fuel to learn how to design new, and develop existing, career development programmes to provide meaningful support to producers from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

This event is delivered with generous support from the Donmar Warehouse.

Fly The Flag

24 Jun - 30 Jun 2019

The project is co-produced by Fuel, Amnesty International, Donmar Warehouse, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, the National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and Tate.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Fuel in partnership with arts organisations and human rights charities across the UK have commissioned artist Ai Weiwei to create a flag to celebrate universal human rights.

Why? How many of the 30 articles of the UDHR can you name? Most people struggle to name many. In fact, human rights campaigners report primarily negative associations with the term ‘human rights’ in the UK. We want to change this.

Arts organisations and human rights charities invite you to Fly The Flag for human rights on 24 – 30 June 2019. From the Highlands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall via cities, towns and villages across the UK, in galleries and theatres, shopping centres and offices, schools and libraries, both physically and online, people will come together to celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day.

Fly The Flag launched on Monday 10 December, the first day of the 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Taking place in June 2019, Fly The Flag will raise awareness of human rights across the UK for generations to come, with 7 days of activity marking the 70 years of the Declaration.

Everyone is invited to Fly The Flag in as publicly visible and imaginative way as possible: from schools and care homes, town halls and office blocks, hospitals and libraries across the UK. More information about events will be released in due course. A full website will be available in Spring 2019.


Website – www.flytheflag.org.uk

Hashtag – #FlyTheFlag70

Please Like and Follow Fly The Flag’s social channels:

Facebook page

Twitter @FlyTheFlag70

Instagram @flytheflag70


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The Kids Are Alright

Co-created by Director/Choreographer
Jen Malarkey
Co-created by Writer
Lee Mattinson
Age recommendation
Running time
60 minutes
9 Apr - 13 Apr 2019

Project History

Presented by Fuel and Encounter

The Kids Are Alright is a surreal and confronting new work combining dance and new writing, participation and performance, children and adults. 

When a day trip to the Natural History Museum turns to tragedy, one family is left as hollow as the cold bones of the blue whale. At home, they attempt to make sense of the unimaginable in ways as unpredictable as the incident itself. 

At the same time, with sound protective headphones and in an auditory world of their own, children storm the stage with a mandate for change. 

Smashing two restricted worlds into one radical show, children and adults attempt to come to terms with their lives spinning out of control. 

In their unique, experimental style, Encounter shed light on the state that we are in and ask what happens when generations collide in a battle where hope and despair fight for centre stage? 

Commissioned by The Place, supported by the Albany, Folkestone Quarterhouse and Arts Council England. 



Gallery Images: PUI SHAN CHAN

"It’s a true theatrical unicorn: unimaginable until you’ve seen it, and unforgettable once you have."

Three weeks on 'I Heart Catherine Pistachio'

"Crushing sentimentality through a meat-grinder"

Exeunt Magazine on 'I Heart Catherine Pistachio'

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The Day I Fell Into A Book

Age recommendation
8 - 12 year olds and their grown ups
Running time
50 minutes
27 Oct - 2 Mar 2019

Project History

“Welcome to The Institute.  

We conduct experiments into  the power of imaginations.  

We want to know what happens to your mind when you read.  

We want to get inside your heads.  

It is all perfectly safe. 

Trust us.”


Using sound, intimate lighting and projection The Day I Fell Into A Book takes its audience into a lost world of classic tales.  Bit by bit, the fiction becomes reality as the stories seep into the room and our imaginations take over.

A binaural sound and theatre experience exploring the magic of reading and the creative vitality of young minds.

Written and performed by Lewis Gibson

Sound design by Lewis Gibson

Light and projection design by Luca Biada

Supported by Arts Council Project Lottery Grants and Southbank Centre, London.


"A 3 dimensional sound and theatre experience for everyone who loves myths, legends and reading."

Audience Member

"It was so good! I felt reborn. Like I was a child again"

Audience Member

"It was brilliant! Interactive and immersing with layers of meaning to absorb and consider"

Audience Member

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Touching The Void

Written by
David Greig
Directed by
Tom Morris
Age recommendation
Running time
2 hours and 20 minutes
9 Nov - 29 Feb 2020

Project History

Fiery Angel and ATG Productions present the Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Fuel production of TOUCHING THE VOID.

Based on the book by Joe Simpson Adapted by David Greig

Following critically acclaimed runs at the Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Edinburgh, Northampton Royal & Derngate, Hong Kong Festival and on Tour in the UK Tom Morris’ production of Touching the Void will open in the West End at the Duke of York’s Theatre previewing from November 9th for a strictly limited season with an opening night of November 14th.

Bristol Old Vic’s Tom Morris (War Horse, Swallows & Amazons,) directs the first stage version of Touching the Void, adapted by The Lyceum’s David Greig (The Events, The Suppliant Women, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) from the award-winning memoir by Joe Simpson, which also became a BAFTA-winning film. They are joined by Designer Ti Green, Sound Designer and Composer Jon Nicholls, Lighting Designer Chris Davey, Movement Director Sasha Milavic Davies and with casting by Jill Green CDG. This production marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his extraordinary struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes. Alongside this struggle, is the appalling dilemma of his climbing partner Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, clinging onto the rope tying him to the severely injured Joe. Unable to recover Joe from the void, Simon is faced with the agonising decision to cut the rope that binds them…

Tom Morris said: “This production has been an extraordinary journey into the unknown, inspired by one of the most compelling books I’ve ever opened. Simpson’s story drove my imagination wild with fear, excitement and hope. We hope this show will do the same for yours.”

Production photos by Geraint Lewis

"★★★★★ - thrilling, chilling drama reaches dizzy heights. "

The Guardian

"★★★★★ - a stirring testament to human fortitude and the power of theatre. "

The Telegraph

"★★★★★ - This is much more than a crampon brag: this is about loneliness, loyalty and the overpowering desire to survive. That’s what makes it great theatre."

The Times

"★★★★★ - electrifying production"

Stage Talk Magazine

"★★★★ - Gripping, inventively staged survival story on an epic scale."

The Stage

"★★★★ - A cracking production... masterly."

The Observer

"★★★★ - an epic tale is brought newly and vividly to life."

Broadway World

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Written by
Nick Makoha
Directed by
Roy Alexander Weise
Age recommendation
Running time
90 minutes with no interval
7 Jan - 16 Feb 2019

Project History

Presented by Fuel and Ovalhouse

Night is not the only darkness. Nick takes a breath as he tries to remember.

Written by the award-winning poet Nick Makoha, The Dark tells the vivid and moving story of the migration he made with his mother at the age of four.

Fragments of a forgotten journey flicker in front of his eyes. It is night, November 1978. He is four years old. He is holding his mother’s hand as they wait on the escarpment. They are leaving Kampala. Buying safe passage and silence with all they have, they travel by matatu and the conductor asks no questions.

Their companions are the missing, lost and displaced. Those who have suffered eight long years under the rule of Idi Amin.

The Dark is a story of the journey taken by Nick and his mother to escape a country divided by dictatorship and consumed by conflict.

Co-commissioned by Fuel and Ovalhouse, supported by Arts Council England, The Cockayne Trust, The London Community Foundation, The Garrick Charitable Trust, Unity Theatre Trust, The Sylvia Waddilove Foundation and TORCH. Development supported by PULSE Festival, Coombe Farm Studios and as part of Ovalhouse’s FiRST BiTES series.


"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Nick Makoha, has a sense of the ‘poetry’ of the theatre and an ear for the rhythms and idioms of a particular community they can lead us through a door to a place where we breathe new, unfamiliar, air and find ourselves in a new-discovered country."

Stage Talk Magazine

"⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - This is a play worth seeing and will leave you wanting more."


"Akiya Henry and Michael Balogun jump from character to character performing with an intoxicating exactness that makes you feel that you are in 'the dark' with them on the roads of Uganda."


"The pleasure here is all in the texture of the piece, the looming sense of peril, and the artful way it suggests who and what is lost when you are forced by circumstances to flee to another country."

Lyn Gardner, Stage Door London

"Designed by Rajha Shakiry, the production is visually pleasing and very effective."

Words of Colour

"This tense, compassionate play makes you care what happens to the travellers and should be shown to all immigration officials as part of their training."

British Theatre Guide

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