The Factory Theatre Company
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The Factory's first production of a full-length play, Boiling Frogs, by Associate Member Steven Bloomer, premiered in September 2010. In October 2010 the company returned to Bristol Old Vic with both The Seagull and Round 2 as part of that year's Bristol Jam.
In March 2011 The Factory staged a special performance as part of one of the Victoria and Albert Museum's Friday Lates, before playing The Seagull, Hamlet and Round 2 at the Rose Theatre, Kingston for one week from April 11th.
The Factory's cult-hit production of Hamlet, directed by Tim Carroll, initially played around London in secret locations, where the audience was informed where and when to turn up only a few days before the performances, and were also asked to provide the props by bringing any object of their choosing for the actors to use in the show. Each performance had a cameo appearance from either a well-known actor or an audience member. Cameos included Rufus Sewell, Kathryn Hunter, Josh Hartnett, James McAvoy and Nonso Anozie. In 2008 the show was performed at midnight at Shakespeare's Globe to a sold-out audience. In November that year it played at the Barka Theatre in Budapest, Hungary, for two nights. In 2009 it played in rep with The Seagull at both York Theatre Royal as part of the Takeover Festival and Bristol Old Vic as part of Bristol Jam.
In January 2009 the company presented 'Round One' - an innovative night of new writing at the Electricity Showrooms, Hoxton, the Factory rehearsal rooms at the Pleasance Theatre Islington and in the Studio of the Hampstead Theatre. In the show the titles of ten-minute plays were picked at random by audience members. The cast of each play knew all of the roles, and who was to play which character was decided by the audience only seconds prior to the start of the scene.
The Seagull Project was first performed at the Hampstead Theatre in April 2009,  and later in secret locations around London. Once again directed by Tim Carroll, the cast, again with multiple actors capable of playing each role, learnt the play as 'units of action' working from all the English-language translations of Chekhov's text. In each performance the words spoken are improvised by the cast, but closely following the structure of Chekhov's original. In this way a 'new translation' emerges each night, in the moment. All set and costume are sourced from the audience or the room the show takes place in. The company most recently played The Seagull at The Living Willow theatre in Powys, Wales in July 2010.
In November 2009 the company were part of the Daring Parings festival at Hampstead Theatre and curated 50/50 - running along the same lines as Round 1 but this time written specifically for the festival. Each piece was inspired by one year from the past fifty years. Writers were not allowed to write stage directions or setting and the pieces were written so that anyone within the company could play them, regardless or age, gender or ethnicity. Again, the audience picked the order of the plays at random and again they determined who would play which character in a piece seconds before it began.
50/50 formed the basis for Round 2, which ran from March 2010 until July of that year. Round 2 developed the ideas from both Round 1 and 50/50 but was unusual for the company in that they played in the same venue, The Electricity Showrooms in Hoxton, for the duration of the run. New plays were added to the playlist on a weekly basis. By the time the company finished the run the playlist extended to over 25 new plays especially created for the company. The final performances of Round 2 were at the Latitude Festival and Secret Garden Party.
The company were also one of 5 young companies asked to curate the Victoria and Albert Museum's 1:1 festival in June 2010. Six writers were asked to write a piece for a specially built performance space, designed by Brazilian architect Carlos M Teixeira in The Porter Gallery.
Members and affiliates
Tim Evans stepped down as joint Artistic Director in 2010. Liam Evans Ford has been Producer and Associate Director of the company since 2008.
- Actors associated with the company include Mark Rylance, Ewan McGregor, Richard Wilson and Bill Nighy.
- Factory members include John Hopkins, Alan Morrissey, Catherine Bailey, Doon Mackichan, Nick Harrop, Laura Rees, Stephanie Lane, Steven Bloomer, Leila Crerar, Jethro Skinner, James Garnon, Simon Müller, Jonathan Oliver, Linda Broughton, Jack Whitam, Colin Hurley, Marianne Oldham, Jack Laskey and Federay Holmes.
- "The Seagull" The Guardian