A Philosophy of Theater
A Message from Artistic Director Paul Stebbings
Theatre is a social art, it brings people together in the process of its creation and in the ultimate performance. Theatre crosses barriers and bring people together. In the increasingly isolated and fractured technological world theatre offers an alternative.
Good theatre has always risen above national or class boundaries: Shakespeare performed for the poor “groundlings” who stood at the Globe and for the King and his courtiers. Many of the forms that we as a company admire, such as commedia dell’arte from Italy or Kabuki from Japan appeal to a wide audience and make direct contact with the public. I began my training with the great Polish director Grotowski who championed what he called “Poor theatre”, where the only resources on stage are the actor’s own body and voice.
Grotowski talked about theatre ”unblocking” the audience, breaking down the barriers that separate us from our deepest and finest feelings and moral values. In my work I try to develop and explore the ideas of the great popular theatrical masters such as Grotowski, Peter Brook, Brecht and Meyerhold. And we are lucky to have developed an international circuit where these ideas can be put in to practice.
We probably perform to more young people than any other theatre company in Europe and Asia, as well as a general adult audience. Our style is dynamic, modern and relevant to our audience’s lives. We are happy to experience that audiences all over the world have the same basic appreciation of theatre: we are all part of one human civilization and by playing the same production in a Scottish village, a Russian Opera House, a Japanese University and a German State Theatre we see how alike we truly are.
Our theatre celebrates what we have in common: one global culture that is diverse and rich rather than sterile and uniform. We often approach classical texts in a new way, so demonstrating the relevance and permanence of cultural and moral values. We also seek to entertain, to allow people to enjoy the company of others: to laugh with strangers and to feel moved and thrilled by a live event. We have had many fine reviews in large newspapers but last year a local German paper wrote something that I would consider important: “If young people need persuading that theatre has something to offer, they should see this company”. We hope they are right!
Paul Stebbings, Artistic Director of the International Theatre Company London/ TNT Theatre
The productions include:
Animal Farm, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, The Murder of Sherlock Holmes (Paul Stebbings and Phil Smith),Gulliver’s Travel, Pygmalion, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Canterville Ghost, The Brave New World, Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Ghosts of Poe, Macbeth, 1984, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Oliver Twist , Hamlet, A Christmas Carol ,Romeo and Juliet Pygmalion, King Lear, The Taming of the Shrew and Frankenstein.
Photo: The Tempest (2016)