Ockham's Razor Theatre Company
Ockham’s Razor Theatre Company is a British aerial theatre company. Their critically acclaimed work combines circus and theatre, and they specialise in creating physical theatre on original pieces of aerial equipment and create stories from the vulnerability, trust and reliance that exists between people in the air. Ockham's Razor are produced by Turtle Key Arts.
The company was formed in 2004 by Alex Harvey, Tina Koch and Charlotte Mooney. With their unique physical skills the company have performed a number of shows that "combine circus and visual theatre to make work that is arresting and entertaining". The company’s name derives from a philosophy of William of Ockham known as Ockham's Razor that states that the simplest theory should always be chosen – this reflects the way in which the company work as they aim to always keep their work understandable and easy for the audience to relate to. Rather than portray the circus performer as a superhuman character capable of impressive feats, they create works that draw on the human and the real, where the characters go through recognisable experiences, emotions and conflicts which the audience can identify with and relate to.
The company use a particular devising process which begins with a general idea or theme. The performers work as an ensemble to first brainstorm ideas and then work physically, all based on the original theme. Each show uses a piece of bespoke equipment – they create a structural design using materials such as wood and metal, take it to a fabricator and then improvise with the prototype. In their exploration each part of their work is recorded and reviewed by the performers and this process is continuously repeated; there is no end to the devising process even during performance stages – they will record the production, review it and change it.
The company’s shows include Arc, Every Action..., Memento Mori, The Mill, and the upcoming Not Until We Are Lost as well as various other projects for young children and families such as Hang On and Something in the Air; an “audience participatory show for young people with complex disabilities”. The Mill, a piece about work and physical labour reviewed by Lyn Gardner as "a terrifically imaginative and original show", is their most recent and first feature length play, directed by Toby Sedgwick (director of War Horse) with Rufus Norris as dramaturg.
The Founders of the Company
Alex Harvey, Charlotte Mooney and Tina Koch were all students of Circomedia, Academy of Circus Arts and Physical Performance in Bristol when they met. They had previously all been studying unrelated theatre subjects at separate universities: Harvey studied Fine Art at De Montfort University in Leicester, Mooney studied English Literature with Spanish at the University of Sussex as well as La Universidad de Santiago, Chile, and Koch studied Cultural Science and Aesthetic Communication at Universität Hildesheim, originally training as a dancer. Each found a passion for circus and physical theatre during their studies and went on together to found Ockham’s Razor Theatre Company.
- "Initial Acts showcasing at Circus Futures". Circus Futures. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Zoe Anderson (31 January 2007). "Ockham's Razor, Linbury Studio". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Jasper Rees (3 January 2007). "Mime act to shout about". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Ockham’s Razor » About us". Turtle Key Arts / Arts Council England. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Ockham’s Razor » The Mill". Turtle Key Arts / Arts Council England. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Donald Hutera (24 January 2007). "Ockham's Razor". The Times. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
- Liz Arratoon (25 January 2007). "Arc/Memento Mori/Every Action...". The Stage. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- "Ockham’s Razor » Other Projects". Turtle Key Arts / Arts Council England. Retrieved 2011-06-21.
- Lyn Gardner (22 January 2010). "The Mill". The Guardian. Retrieved 2011-06-21.