Up The Road Theatre are a new company based in Kent.
Our principle aim is to create work for audiences in the south-east.
Work that explores literature, culture and history.
We are interested in what makes people tick, and providing our audiences with a good time.
Born out of a desire to contribute to the cultural life of Kent (the home county of our Artistic Director),
our aim is to create and perform new work in the south-east region.
We want to tell stories without technical wizardry, utilising invention and imagination.
As our name suggests we are a touring company, visiting non-theatre spaces – village halls, museums and libraries –
in addition to established theatres and performance venues.
In December 2015 we started to develop Bardolph’s Box, in association with Unity Theatre, Liverpool,
supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts.
After two weeks of research and development and a fortnight of rehearsal, we toured the production in March 2016,
taking in Merseyside before travelling down to Kent, visiting libraries, studio theatres and schools.
A few months later, we were back in the rehearsal room, preparing for Bardolph’s autumn tour.
We visited schools in south London, libraries in Gloucestershire,
audiences in Cumbria and partnered with Harlow Playhouse for a week.
In October 2017 we started work on our second production:
Peril at Sea, an exploration of our maritime history and coastal culture.
We’ll be updating our production page as Peril at Sea progresses.
We are developing our own style:
Stripped-back theatre, using a little to tell a lot and rich in language and text.
Live music, multi-role, invention and imagination.
Company Founder and Artistic Director: Nicola Pollard
I grew up in Kent, in the south-east corner near Dover. After studying at the universities of Cambridge and Exeter I started working in professional theatre, developing something of a polar specialism in Shakespeare’s texts and new plays! Despite a masters degree in Shakespeare, my first foray as an assistant director was a verbatim documentary musical about town planning… I went on to work with Eastern Angles a number of times, and my love of rural touring was born.
I spent summer 2014 at Shakespeare’s Globe as Text Assistant to Giles Block, contributing to Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve also come to know the Globe Education team and directed a Read Not Dead in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a performance with scripts of Thomas Jordan’s 1641 comedy Tricks of Youth.
As a freelancer I’ve directed a number of readings and scratch nights, plus productions for emerging companies, including a run in a Victorian prison…
I’m excited to be moving Up The Road Theatre forward, working with new partners as we create our second production.
As a child, the majority of my theatre-going experiences, except panto and large-scale musicals, had to be in London. But this doesn’t have to be the case, the tide is gradually turning and I want to be a part of that. We are making and taking work to other areas, but Kent is my home and will be a focus for Up The Road. Through working with local partners and venues I hope we will make a contribution to Kent’s theatre culture.
We can’t make theatre on our own.
Up The Road Theatre would like to acknowledge the help and support of the following companies and individuals:
Ivan Cutting and the team at Eastern Angles Theatre Company
Simon Fielder, Simon Fielder Productions
Matthew Linley and Unity Theatre, Liverpool
Michael Wicherek, Box Clever
Philip Bird, actor, writer, director and extraordinary teacher
Giles Block, Head of Text at Shakespeare’s Globe
Simon and Dee Pollard
Arts Council England
And our co-collaborators:
Graham Webb, website design and all the technical stuff!
Robin Kingsland for our Bardolph illustration
Lemondrop Creative – thank you for our company logo!