History of the Exchange Theatre compagny
– Creation of Exchange Theatre.
-We translate THE EXCHANGE by Paul Claudel for the first time in English, a huge play in France. Our British premiere of this masterpiece is created including live music and a video creation, setting the basis of our work, at the London Fringe festival, at Jermyn Street Theatre. ‘We laughed a lot without missing the complexity of human nature’ Paul Claudel Review.
-THE EXCHANGE by Paul Claudel is invited to close Hackney Empire’s Spice Festival. Creation of BUSINESS, a new play by David Furlong, comissioned by Medialex Productions.
-The production, using projections and creating ‘dazzling moments of theatricality’, takes place for a month at the Pleasance Theatre, in London. ‘This play is important because it dares to talk about things we all think about’ Fringereview.
-Translation and Production of BAL TRAP by Xavier Durringer for Stoked festival in Stoke Newington. A small play, with only four performers and for the first time a live guitar player to be the active soundtrack of the action. Once again an important play in France, never translated before. Xavier Durringer becomes a patron of the company and the play will give its name to our rehearsal space, three years later.
-In september, we create the first amateur theatre classes for French expats in London. LE WORKSHOP.
-Adaptation and production of THE FLIES by Jean-Paul Sartre. In co-production with Myriad Productions, the piece incorporates a live rock band, A Riot in Heaven. The creation is noticed at the Camden Fringe festival, gets the company ‘on the map’ of London theatre and receives our first important reviews in National press. ‘Amazingly intense, A host of theatrical innovations’ The Scotsman. ‘Exchange Theatre has done the unimaginable’ Londonist.
-In July, in order to present the work of our students, we hire a theatre for what we immediately call Bastille Week. The first off now 10 editions. First students showcase and translation and creation of MADAME’S LATE MOTHER, by Georges Feydeau, one of his one-act plays, never translated before in English. At the Rosemary Branch Theatre.
-Reprise of THE FLIES for a sell-out month run at Camden People’s Theatre adding a multimedia video creation on seven screens to the rock band. Multimedia and multi-cultural, the show integrates all essential components of the company’s identity. ‘Exchange Theatre clearly has balls‘ Extra Extra.
–Second Bastille Week in July. We translate a second one-act play by Feydeau, A HOUSE BATH. We also present two students showcases this time. It happens at the Tabard Theatre. ‘Exchange Theatre has done a service translating these plays into English’ Reviewsgate.
-Translation and creation of SQUARE(D ) by David Furlong, selected at the New Wimbledon Theatre as part of their Fresh Ideas season, a ‘tarantinesque’ and bloody play with a live rabbit, gunshots and video creation. A sell out.
-Third Bastille Week, with the combination of our two Feydeau farces as a double bill and two students showcases again in July at the Brockley Jack Theatre.
-We also create small street theatre-scenes for Bastille Day in the Park.
–The French Institute gets in touch and commissions a bilingual christmas show for a young audience. It will be NUT ! After the nutcracker, in December, a show without a stage, happening in the midst of all the children in the classified library of the Institute where we bring a giant Zebra head and a teddy-bear bombing.
–The French Institute contracts us for a year-long residency, creating a bilingual kid show per month: we write and devise HOW TO MAKE A GOOD RIDING HOOD? after Perrault, an interactive show that the children elaborate with us, THE UNTOLD STORY OF SLEEPING BEAUTY, after Anatole France, a promenade show in the institute, SIMPLICE, after Emile Zola, where we cover the library with fake grass for the kids to lie down on, CLOCKS ! after Jules Verne, where me mix absurdist comedy and puppetry, THE NECKLACE after Maupassant, a goth show, but for kids, and finally PICTURES OF LOVE after Theophile Gauthier where the library takes its former glory as a ball hall. We also do a second run of NUT! for Christmas. Each month, we write, produce, rehearse and perform.
-Fourth Bastille Week. This time, we present three students shows, one of them gets three nights (La Nuit des Rois, Twelfth Night by Shakespeare) at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre.
-Our BAL TRAP translation takes us to New York, off-Broadway for a public reading.
-We also move in our brand new rehearsal space- office, The TRAP in London Bridge where our classes are now given.
-The French Institute signs us up for another year. We alternated some re-runs of the previous year with new creations like THE PEAU D’ANE REHEARSAL, a show in which the children have roles to play, LE CHAT IN BOOTS, a creation with a contemporary break-dancer.
-Creation of CLOCKS, a spin-off of the show at the Institut Francais, where we do all the major Jules Verne stories in 80 minutes with pupettry, videos and silliness.
-Creation of the first proper amateur dramatic company of Exchange Theatre: They present LE DEUIL SIED A ELECTRE (Mourning becomes Electra) by Eugene O’Neill.
-Fifth Bastille Week. Le Cafe Theatre des Chartrons comes from Bordeaux to perform LA VIE ETERNELLE by David Furlong, after a success in France and the amdram company performs LE FIL A LA PATTE (A flea in her ear) by Feydeau, with also three other students showcases at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre.
-On Bankside, in London Bridge, we take part to the 14th of July celebrations with tale readings and street theatre scenes.
-We finish our two year residency at the Institut Francais by an ambitious show in their main auditorium, the Cine-Lumiere: we write and produce SCROUGE, ‘a christmas carol with a French touch’, a bilingual adaptation of Dickens, a true musical with giant projections and our biggest set to date.
-Creation of LADY MAC WATA by Magali Muxart, our first production entirely in French in London, a play about with percussions and congolese hip hop, haunted by Shakespeare and Africa.
-After two years at the Institut, the company needs a new breath and launches an ambitious project to go back to producing major French plays, but this time with two teams: one in French, one in English. It will be a commercial venture: UN AIR DE FAMILLE, in collaboration with Art Fabric and A FAMILY AFFAIR at the Drayton Arms Theatre. The show is an artistic achievment with its realistic French Bistrot and two casts. It sells out and has to close the box office at the end of the run. ‘A work of modest brilliance’ Everythingtheatre.
–The sixth Bastille Week also happens against the backdrop of this main show and showcases three group of students.
-We take part to the 14th of July on Bankside again.
-In November, The Cockpit Theatre launches VOILA! A festival of French theatre in London. Exchange Theatre presents FEMININE, a selection of new texts for women never performed in the UK. A laboratory opportunity to keep in touch with new writing.
-For Christmas, due to popular demand, The institut Francais invites to perform SCROUGE again at the Cine-Lumiere.
-After seven years, the company goes through a little makeover and redesigns all our creative and educational material. Schools workshops multiply.
-Reprise of UN AIR DE FAMILLE and FAMILY AFFAIR. ‘The best evening on the Fringe’ Remotegoat.
–Seventh Bastille Week with four students showcases. Our Amdram company presents a Joel Pommerat play.
-In November 2014, we produce for the first time a date in London of the French street-theatre touring company Gerard Gerard for the second VOILA! Festival. Their PYRAME et THISBE has been touring France for five years.
-We are commissioned two plays in French for the French lycee for the first time: ANTIGONE by Jean Anouilh at the lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle and LE MEDECIN MALGRE LUI by Moliere. The company works with the Young Vic theatre’s workshops to build a removable wooden set, a touring structure for future projects.
-LE MEDECIN MALGRE LUI is also performed as part of Bastille Week, eighth edition, with three students showcases.
-Our Amdram company creates ‘Je ne suis plus a moi’ a devised work based on Moliere.
-For Voila Festival in November, we take the opportunity again to collaborate with another company and co-produce the founder show of Chemistry Theatre, ET TOI, ISMENE?, a deep tragedy around Antigone and her sister, set against the current refugee crisis. ‘Et toi Ismène ? interroge sur notre capacité à réagir face aux malheurs du monde et de nos contemporains, avec brio et talent’. Be a Londoner
– David Furlong performs in Mauritius, Paris and Lyon with Christophe Botti, SOUS LA VARANGUE.
-Following the success of our first MOLIERE, THE DOCTOR .
‘Rock and roll Moliere’
‘Excellent performances by the cast, and masterful comedic style.’
‘ Exchange Theatre’s version of Moliere is clever, very funny and well adapted for contemporary audiences‘ ★★★★ The Upcoming
‘The company’s talent and vision is highly commendable and deserving of larger production values; their commitment to bringing audiences high quality French theatre in intimate venues makes them one to watch.‘ The play’s the thing UK
★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★ Londontheatre 1
-Bastille Festival, Ninth edition, with three students showcases.
-Our Amdram company creates ‘UN PETIT JEU SANS CONSEQUENCES’ a parisian success, sold out.
-We welcome three guest companies as part of the festival: Hervé Goffings, Cyphers and Doubtful Sound.
-For Voila Festival in November, we take collaborate with a guest: Yanouchka Wenger Sabbatini directs MEDEE KALI, another modern take on ancient tragedy by Laurent Gaudé, for the first time in London. (In parallel David plays the part of Macbeth in the festival)
– Veteran International Company BORDER CROSSINGS invites us to co-produce THE GREAT EXPERIMENT. A devised show about the system of indenture invented to replace slavery. – We decide to give a follow-up to the nominated Moliere production and choose THE MISANTHROPE alternately in French and English for another four weeks at the Drayton Theatre.
“Original and entertaining”
“This rather wonderful production”
“Encapsulates Moliere’s brilliance”
★★★ Everything Theatre
“Infectious, Enthusiastic, Clever, Lively”
-Bastille Festival, Tenth edition, with three students showcases. -Our Amdram company creates ‘CUISINE ET DEPENDANCES’ a parisian success, sold out. – Actress Nadia Nadif approaches the company with the story of Noor Inayat Khan.
– In January, we hold a R&D at OUT OF JOINT with Nadia Nadif on the material around the story of NOOR INAYAT KHAN. – The FINBOROUGH THEATRE invites us to celebrate the 150th year of the building with our English Language Premiere of PAUL CLAUDEL’s BREAK OF NOON (Partage de Midi) directed by David Furlong. – Theatre Lab Company produce MOLIERE’S DOM JUAN with David Furlong and Exchange Theatre’s promotion. – MISANTHROPE transfers to CAMDEN PEOPLE’S THEATRE still alternating French and English for another four weeks.
OFF WEST END NOMINATED for BOTH BEST PRODUCTION and BEST VIDEO DESIGN
★★★★ “WONDERFUL” (LPTheatres)
★★★★★ ‘A MUST SEE’ (Londontheatre1)
★★★★ “Original, entertaining” (RemoteGoat)
★★★★ (The Upcoming)
– Bastille Festival, Tenth edition, with four students showcases. – David Furlong directs the first R&D on MAROON QUEEN by fellow Mauritian Ariane Barnes at the TRISTAN BATES THEATRE. – Rosie Hilal hires David Furlong and Exchange Theatre to produce her translation of Racine, BECOMING BERENICE. It premieres at VOILA FESTIVAL 2018 at Applecarts Arts.
– NOOR, A TRUE STORY OF LIBERTE is accepted for a R&D Residency at ARTS DEPOT. It receives ARTS COUNCIL OF ENGLAND’s Grant for the Arts – Subsequently, NOOR – A TRUE STORY OF LIBERTE is invited to premiere at the RAF Museum and at the TRISTAN BATES THEATRE as part of VOILA FESTIVAL. We receive funding from Nekbaht foundation. – For the 10 years of our first major Production, Revival of THE FLIES at the BUNKER THEATRE in London Bridge. -Bastille Festival, 11th edition, with four students showcases.