Mulberry Theatre Company was launched in 2006 as a progressive initiative seeking to inspire and engage our whole school community through the practice of professional theatre. Founded upon the many arts projects, artists-in-residence and partnerships already embedded in the school, it aims to provide young women with opportunities to participate in the creation of performance work of the highest artistic quality.
Mulberry Theatre Company’s first play, Mehndi Night was developed to be toured as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2007. The play was the result of a long-term collaboration with playwright Fin Kennedy. It is the first of a trilogy of plays produced for the festival, the second being Stolen Secrets and then The Unravelling in 2009. The Unravelling received a Fringe First Award, the first ever to be given to a state secondary school.
For the next five years the company performed new work in the local community. This included a new play written by Fin Kennedy in conjunction with alumni students. The Urban Girl’s Guide to Camping was premiered at Southwark Playhouse in 2010 alongside a retrospective of the three other plays that Mulberry Theatre Company and Fin Kennedy had collaborated on so far. Coinciding with the premier of The Urban Girl’s Guide to Camping, Nick Hearne Publishing launched a book that anthologised the texts of the four plays created so far. The partnership with Fin continued to develop with two further projects including The Dream Collector, a collaboration with St Paul’s Way Trust School in 2013 and The Domino Effect which contained a focus on strong, stylised movement via integrating with Mulberry Dance Company.
Mulberry Theatre Company also piloted the Schoolwrights programme with Tamasha Theatre Company under Fin Kennedy who is its Associate Artistic Director. This project gives new writers the opportunity to be mentored by Fin, whilst working with small groups of students to develop new ten minute plays. The plays are then directed and performed to invited audiences at theatres such as Soho Theatre and RichMix. In 2014 the Schoolwrights programme was rolled out in three other schools after the writers received initial training at Mulberry.
Mulberry Theatre Company also runs an alumni group which brings together former students who have an interest in theatre–making and performing scripted or original work. Acollaboration has been established with the Royal Court Theatre which encourages participants to devise their own work under the facilitation of an associate director.
Other organisations that Mulberry Theatre Company have collaborated with include; Complicite, The Donmar Warehouse, The National Theatre and Southbank Centre as well as artists-in-residence such as Imogen Butle –Cole, Camille Cettina, Barbara Fuchs and Julia Voce .
Mulberry Theatre Company operates on an ethos of collaboration, learning and participation, and welcomes contact from arts organisations and individuals who are interested in working with us.