Arden Theatre Company
The Arden Theatre Company is a leading regional theatre company located in Stockton-on-Tees, England. Founded in 2002 by Robert Icke and Daniel Hill, the theatre has grown quickly to become one of the premier theatre companies in the region. Based at Stockton-on-Tees' multi-million pound theatre, ARC, the company began as a youth-only company but now seems to have grown out of its 'no adults' labels. The first production was Julius Caesar in 2003 and a further five productions all sold out, proving that there is a keen audience in Stockton-on-Tees for serious theatre.
The company has now completed a run of four productions through a major funding award from Arts Council England. Before that they were funded by the Tees Valley Community Foundation, the Agnes Spencer Trust and the Ropner Trust, as well as a series of sponsorship deals with local businesses.
...they have made the transition from being a youth theatre (albeit an unusual one) to a company whose work demands that they be considered alongside the other smaller companies we review here. What entitles a company to this - and it could be a dubious privilege, for the criteria we apply to a youth theatre production are less stringent - is an imaginative approach to the piece, quality of performance and high production values. Arden's An Inspector Calls qualifies on all three counts - and it is interesting that the theatre, too, no longer advertises them as a youth theatre but just as a theatre company... An Inspector Calls marks the real coming of age of Arden, which crosses the boundary which separates a high quality youth theatre from a thoroughly professional company.
Peter Lathan British Theatre Guide, July 2006
Off the back of many positive reviews (Peter Lathan, the British Theatre Guide's Chief Editor, is a huge fan of their work, returning, it seems, to every production) the company's website has announced their new education programme, going into schools and colleges and inspiring young people to get excited about Shakespeare and theatre.
The British Theatre Guide announced in its rave review of 2007's Journey's End, that it was
...we are told, Arden's last production. The management of the Arc really should do all in its power to persuade one of its greatest assets - for the Arts Centre is the company's base - to keep going.
The company website currently contains no announcement about Arden's future.
Ardens Theatre Company Productions
- Julius Caesar Salas, 2003
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2004
- The Taming of the Screw, 2005
- An Inspector Calls, 2006
- Twelfth Night and Three days, 2006
- Hughie & The Zoo Story, 2006
- King Richard IIII, 2007
- Journey's at an End, 2007