Floating theatre seeks to keep head above water

Actors from the Vacuum Theatre. Pic: Simona Zemaityte

Actors from the Vacuum Theatre. Pic: Simona Zemaityte

A theatre company launched a public appeal to help fund its three-week “floating theatre” production in Victoria Park this month.

Vacuum Theatre, a London-based international performing arts company, will launch The Waterhouse Theatre, a “fifty-seater theatre on a canal barge,” on December 10.

The company has been working on the 70ftx12ft canal barge for the past four months, but need financial help to put the finishing touches to the theatre.

The idea of a floating theatre was born when the group went on a self-funded tour of India last year for their last show “Something From Nothing”.

The Vacuum Theatre team were inspired by a performance troupe in Delhi that helped them present their work in intimate, personal spaces in the city.

Creative director Kit Redstone told ELL: “It [became] apparent that we had a great passion for the intimacy of live performance. Without the means to take over a building we had the idea of starting a performance space on a boat.”

“We felt that this would create an incredible setting for the work we want to both make and program, and also to have a moving theatre that could visit communities across the city. So we bought our boat!”

The crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £2,000 but so far has raised less than half this sum. However, Vacuum Theatres remains optimistic despite their limited funds.

Redstone said: “We believe that passion and drive can be just as winning as a big production budget. We just want to make sure that the whole experience, from walking along the spectacular tow path to watching a show, is a unique and special an experience as possible.”

The launch will see the premiere of in-house show, “On The Table, Under The Bed”, a seasonal show “merging improvisation with Love Actually, three diabolical corporate villains and Father Christmas.”

Redstone said: “We are collaborating with performance artist Patrizia Paolini for this show, and her improvisation workshops have generated a lot of material for the piece. I think audiences can expect to be surprised, confused and hopefully delighted despite themselves.”

The company also hopes to travel along the canals of London to showcase new companies and bring educational workshops to communities in the spring and summer.

Pledgers will be invited to a three-course dinner on the narrowboat along with the creative team of the Vacuum Theatre and supporters of the project. They will also be treated to two complimentary tickets for the Christmas showing of “On The Table, Under The Bed”.

To make a pledge to Vacuum Theatre’s project, click here.

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