Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Origins of Belt Up

A number of people have been in contact recently asking about how Belt Up was set up and how we’ve got to where we are today. Here is a potted history of Belt Up…

We were set up in January 2008 after a little meeting in the foyer of York Theatre Royal. As part of the drama society at the University of York we were about to collaborate in a production of Steven Berkoff’s ‘Metamorphosis’ so we thought we should have a go at using this as a launch pad to start a theatre company. This production went on to the National Student Drama Festival where it received a lovely load of attention and awards and spurred us on to attempt an ridiculously ambitious project at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that summer. This manifested itself as ‘The Red Room’, an immersive environment that hosted a huge programme of shows and secret-catch-them-if-you-can events. ‘The Red Room’ went on to win the ThreeWeeks Editor’s choice awards and the Edinburgh International Festival award 2008. Then throughout our final year at Uni we experimented more and used the Drama Society venue, The Drama Barn, as a developing house before returning to the Fringe in 2009 as a professional company with our second immersive environment, ‘The Squat’. This hosted our productions of ‘The Tartuffe’ and ‘The Trial’ as well as a late night bar. These two shows transferred to York Theatre Royal (where we were made a company in residence) before heading to the Southwark Playhouse for our proper London debut.

That then brings us pretty much to the end of 2009, the previous post outlines what we’ve been up to in 2010 so now documented for all to enjoy is a brief history of Belt Up.

Our production timeline so far...

Metamorphosis (Steven Berkoff') - York/NSDF - Jan/Mar 2008
Morbid Curiosity (Dominic J Allen) - York - May 2008
The Grotesque Tea Party - Shunt, London, June 2008
A Clockwork Orange (Anthony Burgess) - York Theatre Royal - June 2008

THE RED ROOM - Edinburgh Fringe - August 2008:
The Tartuffe (James Wilkes after Moliere)
The Park Keeper (Nikolaus Morris)
Volpone (Dominic J Allen after Ben Jonson)
Women of Troy (James Wilkes after Euripides)
Macbeth (William Shakespeare)
Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)

William & Octavia (Alexander Wright and Jethro Compton) - York - October 2008
The Pitchfork Disney (Philip Ridley) - York - November 2008
Instinct (James Wilkes) - York - December 2008
The Oresteia (Dominic J Allen and James Wilkes after Aeschylus)- York Theatre Royal - February 2009

The Tempest (William Shakespeare) - RSC Dell - July 2009

THE SQUAT - Edinburgh Fringe - August 2009
The Tartuffe (James Wilkes after Moliere)
The Trial (Dominic J Allen after Franz Kafka)

The Tartuffe and The Trial then transfered to the York Theatre Royal in September 2009 and then to the Southwark Playhouse, London in November 2009.

The Atlantis Project (in collaboration with Punchdrunk Enrichment) - NSDF - March 2010
Lorca is Dead (Dominic J Allen) - York Theatre Royal - May 2010
The Tartuffe (final performance, James Wilkes after Moliere) - York Theatre Royal - May 2010
A Midsummer Night's Dream (William Shakespeare) - Rowntree Park, York - June 2010

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