Artist Spotlight: Nabokov


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The Independent Culture

Nabokov is a new writing theatre company resident at Watford Palace Theatre dedicated to commissioning, developing and producing backlash theatre – new work that offers a response to contemporary agendas, trends and events.

Don’t miss nabokov at Latitude as they bring together three of the most exciting new writers in Britain today; Ella Hickson, Nick Payne and Tom Wells, with the musical innovation of London Snorkelling Team’s Ed Gaughan, for an exciting fusion of theatrical narrative and live music.

Make sure you also check out all the other exciting acts in the Theatre Arena over the weekend as well as the rest of the arts and music acts appearing across 17 arenas on the line-up section now.

We caught up with nabokov ahead of their performance to get to grips with what inspires them, their favourite Latitude moments and what to expect from their performance…

What latitude are you on right now?

North London

Give us a little bit of background on your company.

We are a new writing company but we also produce events. We work with artists from lots of different mediums and try to get different artists to collaborate as much as possible. We produce work all over the country and internationally.

nabokov’s performances are nearly always a direct response to relevant social and political issues – why is it so important to you to make theatre that deal with these types of issues?

These are the things that shape the world and our perspectives about the world. We think it’s important to look at the way we live now and to explore what’s happening around us, but we also make work that is fun!

How do you turn your original idea for a piece into a final performance? What are the main processes involved?

There are hundreds of ways that the work we make comes about. The idea might originate from us, or we might commission a writer, or somebody else might approach us. The process is always about collaboration, and of course hard work and creativity.

You have said that you are trying to reach a ‘young audience’ – how do you engage young people in your area? 

We've always been very into social media and connecting with our audience through it. We develop young audiences by putting on the kind of events they want to come to, such as the nabokov Arts Club, and engaging them with the brand. Then hopefully they come to see our other work too.

You are festival regulars at Latitude – can you share any of your favourite memories from the festival.

Many of our favourite memories we can’t share for fear of being sued. Belle and Sebastian’s cover of Jumping Jack Flash was pretty special, as were the zombies appearing from the woods in Antony Neilson’s piece for the RSC.

What can we expect from your performance at Latitude?

This year is a slight departure for us, both in terms of the style of the work and the way that we are making it. There’s some really great live music in there and some brilliant set piece moments. It probably won’t be as silly as some of our other Latitude shows, but will still be really fun.

Are there any other artists/performances you are looking forward to seeing over the weekend?

All of the other companies who are coming as part of the Lyric Hammersmith’s project – Curious Directive, tangled feet, Rash Dash and Enfant Terribles – are all really exciting companies. Our friends Bad Physics have an immersive horror show in the Faraway Forest, and we can’t wait for Bon Iver and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.

A Lyric Hammersmith, Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Watford Palace Theatre and Latitude Production