“I’ve got a bad idea…”
Happenchance Theatre is made up of friends who met and made work together at the University of Birmingham; nowadays some of us are based in Birmingham, some in Manchester and some in London. In our different creative capacities, separately and together, us Happenchancers have worked for/at/with LipService Theatre, LoveHard, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Little Earthquake Theatre, Graeae Theatre, Yes And Minister, Cambridge Junction and The Royal Shakespeare Company.
As performers, we come from a background in improvisation. We accept and build on ideas, we react spontaneously and truthfully to what we give each other. We make the most of the liveness of theatre: it isn’t a passive experience; we want to entertain you and wake up something. We work from the view that decisions are made by those who show up. We’ll have a great time with the audience we have, and you’ll have a great time with us, because it’s important that you came tonight. We like to find new things in the moment. Because it’s live it could all go wrong, so let’s make the most of that potential.
We formed around a shared interested in transforming spaces and playing with genres. We made a gig-theatre version of Romeo & Juliet in a nightclub in Birmingham which brought new energy and empathy and excitement, appealing to those who had felt alienated from Shakespeare. We make traditionally serious topics playful and fun, and typically frivolous topics heartfelt and moving. We make stories where the right thing to do isn’t always clear, because in a world where so many things are oversimplified, it’s important to remember that complexity isn’t a bad thing. So we write entertaining messy plays about maths and science. We have fun with all the comedy in tragedies. We made a one-woman-and-a-jazz-band musical out of a film noir murder mystery. And we wrote Wings: a play about the sad side to funny people.
THE PEOPLE IN THE PROJECTS
No Stone Left Unturned
A Dining Experience Comedy Show in Lapworth Museum
Written and performed by Antonia Strafford-Taylor, Vita Fox and Jacob Lovick
A Love Story. A Comedy. Maybe Neither.
Written and performed by Jacob Lovick and Vita Fox
Produced by Jacob Standbridge
Directed by Emma Halstead
Sound Design by Maya Whatton
Featuring an original song written by Vita Fox with Oliver Vibrans and Helena Fox
Much Ado – Work-in-Progress
Adapted from the Shakespeare text by Vita Fox
Directed by Vita Fox and Faye Lawlor
Movement Direction by Jessica Barber
Featuring the acting talents of Satya Baskaran, Touwa Craig-Dunn, Sam Forbes, Hannah Fretwell, Tom Ling, Jacob Lovick, Elliott McDowell, Katie Paterson, and Alice Williams
The Unpopular Choice
A short play staged at Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Written by Vita Fox and Faye Lawlor
Performed by Hannah Fretwell and Tom Ling
The Importance of Stuff
A short play staged at The Old Print Works, Birmingham
Written by Vita Fox
Performed by Grace Hussey-Burd and Kieran Hayes
A short play staged at The RSC The Other Place
Written by Vita Fox
Performed by Catherine Butler, Becky Hansell and Tom Ling
Romeo & Juliet
A Shakespeare rock-gig in The Rainbow night club, Birmingham
Adapted from the Shakespeare by Vita Fox and Sam Forbes
Directed by Vita Fox
Dramaturgical Support from Sam Forbes
Produced by Annie O’Brien and Lauren Young
Stage Managed by Faye Lawlor
Performed by Tom Ling, Phoebe Ruttle, Catherine Butler, Becky Hansell, Beth Gilbert, Elliott McDowell, Touwa Craig-Dunn, Grace Hussey-Burd and Alex Wilcox
With live music from Sam Forbes, Lily George and Ben Lyth.
If you would like to join us and be involved with the creative side of Happenchance,
please do send us a message.