If you haven’t made your way to the Camden People’s Theatre, you’re missing a trick… CPT is as a beacon of fringe goodness, a theatre that champions diversity, inclusivity and the best kind of weird uniqueness. It is truly a pleasure to be in” – LondonTheatre1.com
CPT has been making theatre in Camden for 25 years, working with a range of extraordinary artists. Many have gone on to establish highly successful and influential theatre careers in the UK and beyond. Examples include: Fevered Sleep, the Pacitti Company, Ridiculusmus, Shunt, Analogue, Made In China, Scottee, Nouveau Riche – and many more. CPT was founded in 1994 by a collective of artists that included Sheridan Bramwell, Shaun Glanville, Lynne Kendrick and others. It occupied what was once the Palmerston pub on Hampstead Road, and focused on making non-text-based theatre productions at affordable prices and with an international flavour, alongside workshops and classes in the local community. In the intervening years, directors of CPT have included Olivia Jacobs, Chris Goode and Matt Ball.
CPT’s current artistic director is Brian Logan, and the executive director is Kaya Stanley-Money. CPT’s mission statement is “to support early-career artists making unconventional theatre – particularly those whose work explores issues that matter to people now”. We’re interested in anyone – particularly early-career artists – making theatre in genuinely new ways, even more so if their work has social, cultural or political pertinence to the world in 2019. Since 1997, CPT has programmed the annual Sprint festival, London’s biggest and best festival of new and unusual theatre. Since 2011, it has run the unique artist development/peer network programme Starting Blocks. We have an excellent reputation for supporting young and emerging artists in the field of unconventional theatre, and for attracting a consistently young audience (67% of CPT’s attenders are under 34).
Recent programming successes include:
– Calm Down, Dear: a festival of feminism (annually, 2013-19), the UK’s only festival of innovative feminist performance. The inaugural event featured Bridget Christie’s award-winning A Bic for Her and Louise Orwin’s Pretty Ugly. Subsequent festivals have been headlined by artists including Sh!t Theatre, Charlotte Josephine, Racheal Ofori, Fuel Theatre and more.
– Our Glass House, Common Wealth Theatre’s Amnesty Award-winning site-specific event about domestic violence, given its London premiere in a co-production with CPT and Camden council
– Licensed to Ill – our co-production, with Adam El Hagar and Simon Maeder, of the smash-hit Beastie Boys-themed hiphop theatre event
– ‘Hotbed: a Festival of Sex’ – our April/May 2017 festival showcasing three weeks of extraordinary and imaginative theatrical approaches to sex and sexuality, headlined by Louise Orwin’s Oh Yes Oh No
– Fog Everywhere, our 2017 in-house show addressing London air pollution, made with students at Westminster Kingsway College in collaboration with the Lung Biology Group at Kings College London
– Our 2017 ‘Come As You Are’ festival of work exploring trans, non-binary and gender-queer identity. Headlined by Milk Presents’ CPT commission BULLISH, ‘CAYA’ layer became the first CPT festival to tour the UK
– ‘Common People’, a campaigning 2018 festival exploring working-class experience, identity and representation.
– Haley McGee’s hugely acclaimed solo show The Ex-Boyfriend Yard Sale, developed at CPT and staged across a sell-out three-week run. Later named among The Guardian‘s top shows of 2018.
– Human Jam, our 2019 in-house show in which CPT artists and community members united with the ghosts of Euston past to address the effects of the HS2 railway development on our neighbourhood.
In 2016, CPT launched an all-new Camden Youth Theatre programme in collaboration with the Fitzrovia Community Centre and New Diorama Theatre. For more info on CYT, click here. That same year, CPT was nominated as Best UK Fringe Venue in The Stage Awards; and in the Best Artistic Director category at the Off West End Awards. In 2017, the STAMP (Supporting Theatre Artists and Makers of Performance) network was launched following research commissioned by CPT into artist support in London. It now has over 40 member organisations and works year-round to improve provision for independent theatre artists in the capital.
In 2019, CPT celebrates its 25th birthday. Expect a host of exhilarating festivals, exciting announcements and unexpected discoveries. Click here to check out what’s on.