The Faction Theatre Company

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The Faction Theatre Company is an independent touring theatre company based in London. It specialises in producing revivals of classical texts using a "physical and inventive approach".[1] The company's plays are usually presented with no props or set.[2]

Beginnings[edit]

The company was created by Mark Leipacher in 2008. Leipacher currently works as Artistic Director, with Kate Sawyer as Executive Producer and Rachel Valentine-Smith as Associate Director. Other key company members include Richard Delaney, Gareth Fordred, Derval Mellett, Daniel Millar, Alexander Guiney, Lachlan McCall and Isobel Smith.

The company's first production was Richard III at the Brockley Jack Theatre, London in October 2008. The production – with Leipacher in the title role, Millar as Buckingham, Sawyer as Lady Anne, Delaney as Hastings, Fordred as Clarence, Tom Shaw as Tyrell and Mellett as Elizabeth – was a success and the company's second production, an all-male version of Macbeth, was produced in early 2009 at the Brockley Jack and at The Tabard Theatre, Chiswick. Jamie Maclachlan played the title character, with Leipacher as Lady Macbeth, Fordred, Guiney and Austin Hardiman as the Witches and Delaney as The Porter. Later in 2009 the company presented Twelfth Night at the same venues, to very positive reviews. Again, many of the key ensemble were involved, including Sawyer as Olivia, Mellett as Maria, Shaw and Guiney as Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek, Fordred played the clown, Feste, whilst Leipacher played Orsino, and Millar played Malvolio. As of January 2010 The Faction has been named as a resident company at the Brockley Jack Theatre, and the company's fourth show, The Tempest,[3] after a successful run in Brockley, transferred to an open-air space at Brockwell Park in south London.

Next steps[edit]

After the success of the first four shows The Faction attracted the attention of several venues interested in producing their work. In early 2010 the company took a departure from Shakespeare and began work on a major new project to translate, adapt and stage the collected works of the celebrated German playwright Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller. Leipacher and Millar, a graduate in German studies from the University of Manchester, translated and adapted Kabale und Liebe, which was performed as Intrigue/Love at The Southwark Playhouse - the first central London venue the company have visited - in summer 2010. The show was directed by Leipacher, and the cast included Millar, Sawyer, Mellett, Fordred and Delaney, as well as company newcomers Alice Henley, Cerith Flinn and Steven Blake. In November 2010 the company staged Schiller's debut play Die Raueber (The Robbers), again adapted by Millar and Leipacher, at the New Diorama Theatre in central London, later touring to Theatre Royal Bath to excellent reviews. It was announced in late 2010 that the next Schiller play the company will perform will be Mary Stuart, due to be produced as part of a rep season in late 2011. "The Demetrius Project" will see Schiller's unfinished piece, Demetrius, completed by a team of writers and performed by the company.

Leipacher's own adaptations of The Odyssey, Arabian Nights and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales were produced in late 2010 and throughout 2011 as part of the Bridewell Theatre's Lunchbox Plays.

Expansion and The Ensemble[edit]

As Artistic Director, Leipacher has always expressed a keenness to have a core ensemble at the heart of the company. Over the course of 2008–2013 the company will have produced over twelve plays, including work by Schiller, Strindberg and back to Shakespeare when the company returned to Brockwell Park in summer 2011 for their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, which also toured to Theatre Royal Bath and Burnley Youth Theatre.

In 2011 and 2012 the company staged their first rep season, with a small company of actors presenting Mary Stuart, Miss Julie and a revival of 2009's Twelfth Night. Owing to great success, Mary Stuart returned to the New Diorama for a limited run in September 2012.

The company's second rep season was staged at the New Diorama in 2012 and 2013. The plays were Daniel Millar and Mark Lepiacher's new translation of Schiller's Fiesco, Ranjit Bolt's new version of Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters and Gareth Jandrell's new version of Federico García Lorca's Blood Wedding.

Rep Season 3 was announced in Autumn 2013 and will include productions of William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Gareth Jandrell's Greek drama Thebes, and Schiller's The Robbers, a remount of Daniel Millar and Mark Leipacher's successful 2011 adaptation.

Awards[edit]

On November 1, 2011 the company, along with New Diorama Theatre were presented with a Peter Brook Award for Equity Best Ensemble for their production of The Robbers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Faction Theatre Company Official Website
  2. ^ Paul Vale (2008-10-21). "The Stage / Reviews / Richard III". Thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 
  3. ^ To tweet or not to tweet; that is the question (2009-12-01). "The Stage / Grads' Club / To tweet or not to tweet; that is the question". Blogs.thestage.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-17. 

External links[edit]