Tiebreak Theatre was founded in 1981, in Norwich, England. It functioned as a Theatre in Education (TIE) and young people's theatre company until April 2006, when it closed following a funding decision by Arts Council England.
The company was founded by David Farmer and Jon Oram at Norwich Arts Centre. It moved base several times, finally residing at Norwich Playhouse. The company toured schools and theatres across East Anglia, especially in its home county of Norfolk. Most of its productions were also toured across the UK to theatres, art-centres and festivals.
Tiebreak was run by an administrative team of three, employing freelance actors, writers, composers, designers and other artists to produce theatre productions and workshops for young people and their families. The company also toured internationally to Ireland, Germany and several children's festivals across western Canada and the USA.
Tiebreak received commissions from such prestigious agencies as The Natural History Museum, Forest Enterprise and The National Trust. The company was known for its innovative approach to a wide range of work including live music theatre, new writing commissions, participatory projects and issue-based plays. Writers included Kay Adshead, Leslie Davidoff and Neil Duffield. Most of the company's last productions were written by Artistic Director David Farmer, who left to pursue a freelance career in writing, teaching and directing. (BBC Norfolk interview ) He was replaced in 2005 by Dianne Hancock until the company's closure in 2006. (The Stage article ) Tiebreak produced 66 productions which were seen by an estimated audience of 500,000.
The Snow Egg (2001) by Kay Adshead
Jack and the Beanstalk (2000) by David Farmer, commissioned by the Lyric Hammersmith. (The Stage review )
Singing in the Rainforest (1989) devised by the company. Commissioned by The Natural History Museum and performed at the Unicorn Theatre, London, Vancouver International Children's Festival and the Scottish Children's Theatre Festival.
- David Farmer's drama resource website includes descriptions of individual productions by Tiebreak.