Vanishing Point (theatre company)

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Vanishing Point theatre company was founded in Glasgow in 1999 by Matthew Lenton. [1]

Vanishing Point's work has been performed throughout the UK and internationally, at international festivals and venues including Edinburgh International Festival, Buenos Aires International Festival, Santiago A Mil, BOZAR Arts (Brussels), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Stanislavsky Foundation Festival (Moscow), National Theatre of Portugal (Porto) & Brighton Festival.

The company receives funding from Creative Scotland, the National Lottery and Glasgow City Council.

In 2004, it launched Space 11, an initiative aiming to encourage collaboration between young arts organisations in Scotland, by providing them with office space and workshops in order to enhance business skills and create more time for making work.[2][3][4]


Formed in 1999 in Glasgow, Scotland by graduates of the University of Glasgow, its first production was an adaptation of Les Aveugles (The Blind) by Maurice Maeterlinck, performed in total darkness. The piece was performed at BAC in London in a season entitled "Playing in the Dark". The company's first major show was in 2004, entitled Lost Ones, a surreal show concerning a man, a murder on a mountain, the little creatures who are smuggling things out of him years later and a void on the other side of the skirting board. Lost Ones went on to tour internationally.

Recent work includes The Destroyed Room (2016), The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler (2014), a co-production with the National Theatre of Scotland in association with Eden Court, Wonderland (2012), a co-production with Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, Tramway (Glasgow) and Eden Court (Inverness); Saturday Night (2011), a co-production with Teatro Naçional São João, São Luiz Teatro Municipal, Centro Cultural Vila Flor and Tramway; The Beggar’s Opera (2009), a co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre and Belgrade Theatre in association with Tramway; Interiors (2009), a co‐production with Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, Teatro Stabile di Napoli, Traverse Theatre in association with Lyric Hammersmith and Tron Theatre, developed with the support of the National Theatre Studio (London); Little Otik (2008), a co‐production with the National Theatre of Scotland, in association with the Citizens Theatre; Subway (2007), a co-production with Tron Theatre in association with Lyric Hammersmith, and Lost Ones (2005 & 2006).


Matthew Lenton founded Vanishing Point Theatre Company in 1999, and since then has directed or co-directed all of the company’s productions.

Artistic Director - Matthew Lenton
Executive Producer - Severine Wyper
Administrative Producer - Eleanor Scott
Associate Producer - Gillian Garrity Artistic Associates - Elicia Daly, Kai Fischer, Sandy Grierson, Pauline Goldsmith & Damir Todorovic
International Distributor - Aldo Grompone

Board of Directors - Gillian McCormack (Chair), Faith Liddell, Francis McKee, Judith Patrickson, Caroline Thompson & Mark Thomson.


  • The Destroyed Room
  • Striptease / Out At Sea
  • Tomorrow
  • The Beautiful Cosmos of Ivor Cutler
  • Wonderland
  • Saturday Night
  • The Beggar's Opera
  • Interiors
  • Little Otik
  • Subway, 'a dystopian science fiction thriller'[5]
  • Home Hindrance
  • Lost Ones
  • Mancub, adapted from the novel The Flight of the Cassowary by John LeVert[6]
  • Invisible Man
  • A Brief History of Time, based upon Stephen Hawking's book[7]
  • Stars Beneath The Sea, based upon Trevor Norton's book[8]
  • Last Stand
  • Glimpse
  • Blackout
  • The Sightless

Recent Productions[edit]

Wonderland (2012)[edit]

A co-production with Napoli Teatro Festival Italia and Tramway, in association with Eden Court. Presented by Edinburgh International Festival.

Wonderland begins with the mystery of a young woman, leaving home and embarking on a dangerous journey. ‘In another moment down went Alice, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.’

Wonderland examines the attraction of fame and stardom, the desire for something more, the allure of the erotic and the invasion of pornography into modern popular culture. It is a mystery about a door that - once opened - is almost impossible to close, a story about curiosity, temptation and power.

That door leads to a dark place, A dark and exciting place But once you open it Once you enter that place You can’t come back Things will not be the same anymore.

Saturday Night (2011)[edit]

A co-production with Teatro Nacional Sao Joao (Porto), Centro Cultural Vila Flor - Teatro Oficina (Guimaraes), Sao Luiz Teatro Municipal (Lisbon) and Tramway (Glasgow).

Saturday Night is the darker, dreamier and more surreal companion piece to Vanishing Point’s show, Interiors.

Saturday Night: Going out night, fun night ... or are you staying at home?

We are watching through the windows of a house, with a garden: different rooms, different people. What unfolds within is a mystery to be pieced together. Who is the young couple recently moved in? What is he doing in the bathroom? Who is that strange presence up above? And what is it that’s moving in the garden?

Saturday Night is about the environments we create for ourselves and call home, the dreams we build together, the secrets we keep from each other. It is about the creeping force of nature and the respite we find in the smallest of pleasures.

You see everything. You hear nothing. The clues are there. What is your version of the story?

The Beggar's Opera (2009)[edit]

A co-production with Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, in association with Tramway.

A man who loves money, might as well be contented with one guinea, as I with one woman. The future’s here. It’s a brave new world, but wherever there’s a world there’s an underworld: muggers, smugglers, prostitutes, thieves. Nobody plays by the rules, least of all MacHeath – bandit, hedonist, superhero to some, villain to others. In a world of imitators and wannabes, he’s the genuine article. But where he goes, trouble is sure to follow. MacHeath has married Polly Peachum. But he fancies Lucy Lockit. Lucy Lockit fancies MacHeath, but Polly doesn’t want to share. Mr Peachum wants MacHeath’s head, so does Mr Lockit. And the law. With so many enemies, it’s hard to tell who your friends are. John Gay’s 18th century play, The Beggar’s Opera has been reconfigured into our not too distant future.

The production featured live music from Alasdair Macrae and A Band Called Quinn.

Interiors (2009)[edit]

A co-production with Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, Mercadante Teatro Stabile di Napoli and Traverse Theatre in association with Lyric Hammersmith and Tron Theatre. Interiors was developed with the support of the National Theatre Studio.

Behind a window, in a cosy room, a group of friends gather for a meal. The lamps are on, everyone is happy. Talk begins and stories unfold around the table, stories about the living and the dead, about missing necklaces and what happens when people get hungry. Secrets emerge. Lies are exposed. Outside someone is watching. This production is inspired by Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck’s astonishing play, Interior. Utterly hypnotic, deeply mysterious and powerfully intense, Interiors is about sounds, silence, the path of fate and the darkness outside the window.

Interiors is a multi-award winning production. Since 2009, Interiors has been performed at Buenos Aires International Festival (Argentina), Santiago A Mil (Chile), Stanislavsky Foundation Festival (Moscow), Brighton Festival (UK), BOZAR (Brussels, Belgium), Teatro Storchi (Modena, Italy), Teatro Eliseo (Rome, Italy), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris, France), Tramway (Glasgow, UK), Unity Theatre (Liverpool, UK), Aberystwyth Arts Centre (Wales, UK), Eden Court (Inverness, UK), Platform (Glasgow, UK), Tron (Glasgow, UK), The Lemon Tree (Aberdeen, UK), macrobert (Stirling, UK), Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh, UK), Lyric Hammersmith (London, UK) and Teatro Sannazaro (Naples, Italy).

Little Otik (2008)[edit]

A Vanishing Point and National Theatre of Scotland co-production, in association with the Citizens Theatre.

A couple, desperate but unable to start a family, develop an intense relationship with a tree stump carved to look like a baby. Believing it to be real, gradually their obsession brings the stump of wood to life. As the fixation grows, so does the ‘baby’ along with its monstrous appetite. Not content with baby food, it eats the family cat and then the postman. Things get stranger when the social worker arrives to see what’s going on. Taken from the wonderfully twisted imagination of cult Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer, Little Otik combines dark humour, surreal horror and an unnerving but tender family story.

Subway (2007)[edit]

A co-production with the Tron Theatre Glasgow, commissioned by The Lyric Hammersmith and supported by NTS Workshop. A major international collaboration between Vanishing Point and a seven-piece band from Kosovo.

‘Some people represent authority without ever possessing any of their own.’


The future. Patrick Dugan, or Scruggs to his friends, returns to his home city. He is here to have a proper adult conversation with his father, but finds himself in a world he no longer recognises. Things have changed: the neighbourhood, the people, even Porters Bar. The rich are taking over, the locals retreating into the shadows. But worst of all, Scrugg’s dad has gone missing and shacked up in the notorious ghetto Platinum Point. As tensions rise in the city and the wheels of underground revolution begin to turn, Scruggs begins a dark, comical, musical adventure to reconcile himself with his father.

Subway is a journey through a landscape a few years from now, a show about small acts of rebellion and where they lead.


Lost Ones, 2004, Best Technical Presentation, Best Design[9]
Mancub, 2005, Best Children's Show[10]
Subway, 2007, Best Music
Interiors, 2009, Best Ensemble
Interiors, 2009, Matthew Lenton, Best Director
Interiors, 2009, Best Production
Subway, 2007[11]
Subway, 2007, Best Original Work by a Collective/Ensemble[12]

Space 11[edit]

Since September 2004 Vanishing Point has been running a Shared Resources Project with support from Scottish Arts Council Lottery and Glasgow City Council.

The first four companies to benefit from this initiative were ek Performance (Pamela Carter), Fire Exit Limited (David Leddy), Random Accomplice (led by Julie Brown and Johnny McKnight) and Vox Motus (led by Jamie Harrison and Candice Edmunds). The company has since worked with Stammer Productions (led by Colette Sadler), Never Did Nothing (led by Nick Underwood), Company Chordelia (led by Kally Lloyd-Jones), Glas(s) Performance (led by Tashi Gore and Jess Thorpe) and SeenUnSeen (led by Neil Doherty).

This project provides these companies with comprehensive office resources, and a creative environment in which experience, advice and information can be shared by all companies involved. Since December 2006, a consultancy program has been initiated and incorporated into the scheme with Di Robson from DREAM. This allows companies to focus on specific areas of need and benefit from the expertise of an individual advisor.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lenton, Matthew (2016-03-25). "Scottish independence? In theatre, it's long-established". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-03-25. 
  2. ^ Space 11, Vanishing Point
  3. ^ Vanishing Point bids to ease admin pressure for companies, The Stage News, Ruth Gillespie, 12/31/2004
  4. ^ Lottery Stories, Lottery Good Causes, 2005
  5. ^ Fringe 2007 Reviews, British Theatre Guide, Matthew Lenton
  6. ^ Mancub, National Theatre of Scotland (NTS), 2006
  7. ^ To Infinity and Beyond, The Scotsman, 11/20/2002
  8. ^ Critics Choice, The Scotsman, 05/04/2003
  9. ^ Critics Awards for Theatre 2004 Scottish Theatre Awards
  10. ^ Critics Awards for Theatre 2005 Scottish Theatre Awards
  11. ^ Scotsman Fringe First awards, Rogues and Vagabonds, August 2007
  12. ^ Shortlist 2007, Total Theatre

External links[edit]