Artichoke (company)

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La Princesse in the streets of Liverpool, September 2008
Paul St. George's Telectroscope installation at London City Hall (May 24, 2008), linking New York City and London, produced by Artichoke
Light sculptures transform Leicester Square as part of Lumiere festival 2016

Artichoke, also known as the Artichoke Trust, is a London-based British company and registered charitable trust that stages arts spectacles and live events. It was founded in 2002 by Helen Marriage, former director of the Salisbury International Arts Festival, and Nicky Webb.[1][2][3]


Artichoke specialises in working in unusual places, such as streets, public spaces and the countryside, and are frequently on a large scale. The company's website states:

The company produced The Sultan's Elephant, the biggest piece of free theatre ever staged in London,[4] which attracted a million people over a four-day period in 2006, and the recent event in Liverpool featuring La Princesse, a giant mechanical spider.[5] Artichoke has received praise from the press for their productions: a review in The Observer wrote: "a two-woman company called Artichoke ... are one of the most vital of theatrical forces",[6] and Marriage and Webb transformed the Salisbury Festival from a local event into what The Times called "a miracle of modern British culture".[7][8] Marriage and Webb won the 2006 Women of the Year Shine Award for an outstanding achievement in the arts,[9][10] and were listed in Time Out's list of 100 Movers and Shakers in London in November of the same year.[10][11] Their production of The Sultan's Elephant won the Visit London Award for Cultural Event of the Year in 2006.[10][12] In October 2007 Artichoke mounted a one-day conference, Larger Than Life, on all aspects of staging large-scale productions.

The Artichoke Trust is a registered charity (Reg Charity No 1112716), funded by the Arts Council and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and raising significant funds from other trusts, foundations and businesses, as well as by public donation.[13] Artichoke also works as a consultant through its non-charitable company, Artichoke Productions Ltd.

Selected productions[edit]

Nicky Webb and Helen Marriage worked together intermittently on productions prior to founding Artichoke in 2002. In all, their productions have included:

As Artichoke:

Related reading[edit]

Nicky Webb (editor), 2006, Four Magical Days in May: How an Elephant Captured the Heart of a City London: Artichoke Trust


  1. ^ a b "About Artichoke". Artichoke. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  2. ^ "Helen Marriage". Artichoke. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  3. ^ "How cogs in La Machine spun a few wheels". Liverpool Daily Post. Archived from the original on 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  4. ^ "The Sultan's Elephant". The Arts Council. Archived from the original on 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  5. ^ Gardner, Lyn (2008-08-27). "And for our next trick...The duo who brought London to a standstill with a giant elephant are going one step further in Liverpool". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  6. ^ Clapp, Susannah (2008-05-25). "You could really get sucked in...A 'tunnel' from London to New York brings drama to the street, and Lee Hall tops his own Billy Elliot with another heroic miners' tal". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  7. ^ "Salisbury Festival". Artichoke. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  8. ^ "Magical show that will change the way we look at the world". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  9. ^ Davies, Catriona (2006-10-17). "The women who made a difference". London: Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 
  10. ^ a b c "Chamberlain ampr Press Release" (PDF). Chamberlain PR. Retrieved 2008-09-11. [dead link]
  11. ^ "London's 100 top movers and shakers 2006". Time Out. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  12. ^ "Visit London Award Winners Announced" (PDF). Visit London. Retrieved 2008-09-12. 
  13. ^ "Artichoke". La Machine. Archived from the original on 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11. 

External links[edit]