- Horse and Bamboo Theatre
Horse and Bamboo Theatre or Horse + Bamboo Theatre is a British theatre company founded in 1978 by the Artistic Director,
Bob Frith. The company has a strong visual and music-based identity rather than being text-based, and uses distinctive full-head masks. It works internationally as well as from its Centre in Waterfoot, Rossendale, Lancashire, UK.
are often integrated within the company's productions.
The company tours its productions throughout the UK, and has also toured in
Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia, Belgiumand Hungary. A co-production (with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre) of Company of Angels toured the United Statesbetween 2003 and 2006.
Significant Horse + Bamboo Theatre touring productions include The Woodcarver Story (1982); Dance of White Darkness (1994), about
Maya Derenin Haiti; Harvest of Ghosts (1999) created with Sam Ukala, the Nigerian playwright; as well as Company of Angels (2002) about the life of Charlotte Salomon. The company is currently touring an epic production Veil that contrasts the lives of two young women, one an Iraqi, the other brought up in Europe, and is set across two generations. [ Veil by Bob Frith. pub. Blurb 2008. ISDN 978-0-9558841-0-8]
In The Shadow of Trees was written and designed by Bob Frith for the
Royal Exchange TheatreStudio in Manchester. Directed by Associate Director, Alison Duddle, it won the Best New Play at the M.E.N. Awards in 2006 and subsequently toured, despite being created especially for the Royal Exchange. The company are currently developing a new production in collaboration with Barefoot Booksand Guo Yue.
Horse + Bamboo is based at The Horse + Bamboo Centre known as "The Boo", in Waterfoot, Rossendale which is used as centre and venue for arts events and the development of visual theatre, as well as being a rehearsal and workshop space for the company.
Horse + Bamboo Theatre has a long history of producing community projects both in its home community of Rossendale, and beyond - for example the "Good Friday Parade and Service" at
Westminster Abbeyin 1994 and 1996. It runs a varied programme from the Horse + Bamboo Centre, and hosts the annual Rossendale Puppet Festival.
The building is also used by other artists and theatre companies as a place to research and develop new visual theatre work.
Horse + Bamboo has also been influential in its work with people who have
special needsthrough its "Guided Imagery" programme. This programme, started in 1982, uses a large-scale built environment and performance space through which small and intimate groups journey, and interact with, a highly sensory environment. These 'performances' last several hours, and are notable in blurring the gap between performer and audience.
The name derives from the use of
horsesto pull a caravan of vehicles when touring, although the company abandoned this practice in the late 1990's. It continues to tour theatres in a more conventional manner, but its roots in rural touring are maintained through the "pPod", a specially designed portable structure that tours to festivalsand community venues each summer.
Bread & Puppet Theater
In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre
* [http://www.horseandbamboo.org Horse + Bamboo Theatre website]
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