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 2015 we receive our first grant from Arts Council England.

In December 2015 we started to develop Bardolph’s Box, in association with Unity Theatre, Liverpool.

After two weeks of research and development and a fortnight of rehearsal, we toured the production,

taking in Merseyside before travelling down to Kent, visiting libraries, studio theatres and schools.

This autumn we are going back in to the rehearsal room, before touring for a month.

In 2017 we hope to start work on our second production, currently titled Peril on the Sea,

an exploration of our maritime history and coastal culture.

We are starting to develop 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! Since graduating I’ve worked with a number of companies and directors, including Ipswich-based Eastern Angles, directed a number of readings and a production in a Victorian prison… I spent summer 2014 at Shakespeare’s Globe as Text Assistant to Giles Block, contributing to HamletMuch Ado About NothingTitus AndronicusAntony and Cleopatra, King Lear and A  Midsummer Night’s Dream. I’ve also come to know the Globe Education team and recently directed a Read Not Dead in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a performance with scripts of Thomas Jordan’s 1641 comedy Tricks of Youth.

In other news, I am also Creative Director for Bard Boot Camp, an education initiative launched in June 2015. This experiential day enables post-16 students to engage with Shakespeare through performance and participation. See the Bard Boot Camp website for further details.

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.

Acknowledgments

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

Kathleen Jones

Arts Council England

Private donors

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!