Written by Van Badham, we scratched the first version of Empire of the Rats in October 2014. The extract was directed by Carl Kennedy and featured Jade Byrne, Alexandra Tahnee, Francesca Tomlinson and Karen Traynor.
Since then we’ve received support from Arts Council England and Creative Darlington to support the creation of the full length play.
The first ideas for the play came in response to a May 2014 feature in The Guardian, entitled ‘The north-east of England: Britain’s Detroit?‘
We think that hair salons are natural theatres, stories are shared and performed by the stylists and the other customers and the mirrors mean you literally see things in unusual ways.
Our office is based above Be Premiere Hair in Darlington, so we’re in and out of there all day and it’s a fascinating place. Come back here to find out more about story events running in the salon.
We kicked off our work in October 2015 with a panel discussion as part of Jabberwocky Market, we invited speakers from around the country, who work internationally and whose work is considered world-class, to discuss what that means and why it is, or might not be, important. Chaired by theatre writer and journalist, Maddy Costa, the speakers were David Jubb from Battersea Arts Centre, Bill Vince from Arts Council England and Haani Hasnain from Harmonised World.
Then in spring 2017 we presented the brilliant show In Good Hands by Catherine Ireton and Farnham Maltings.
We’ve done loads of events in and around the salon now and have some more ideas so keep an eye out if you’re curious.
(Presented in association with Be Premiere Hair)