Heads Up: The Architects
Crumbs! You’ll never guess where Shunt are performing now
What are we talking about? The latest work from experimental theatre company Shunt, this site-specific piece takes place in a former biscuit factory in south London. Taking inspiration from Greek myths, they map a modern labyrinth around the warehouse.
Elevator pitch Factory of broken myths: Shunt become the architects of a new theatrical space.
Prime movers Working in association with the National Theatre, Shunt is a collective of artists. The 10 founder members, who met at a postgraduate course at the Central School of Speech and Drama, are Serena Bobowski, Gemma Brockis, Lizzie Clachan, Louise Mari, Hannah Ringham, Layla Rosa, David Rosenberg, Andrew Rutland, Mischa Twitchin, and Heather Uprichard. They're best known for their use of unusual locations; the Shunt Lounge in London Bridge was the capital's coolest arty hang-out before being shut in 2009, and their shows have been staged in a tobacco warehouse, the London Bridge Vaults, and under the railway arches in Bethnal Green.
The stars Ah, they don't do "stars" – it's a collective, you see, and the organisation has asked simply to be referred to as such …
The early buzz The arts and culture website Run Riot wrote: "Shunt return. No introduction required. They have a new show … Excited? Understatement!" The Independent's deputy arts editor Alice Jones wrote: "Shunt, pioneers of site-specific happenings, are back on the London theatre scene with a new temporary home – in a [former] biscuit factory. The company is currently developing a new show, The Architects, loosely inspired by the myth of the Minotaur and the current economic crisis in Greece."
Insider knowledge Although it's still being devised, you can expect darkness – there will be some kind of sacrifice involved (oh, despite the location it's probably best not to go expecting biscuits …).
It's great that… Shunt are hoping to take the show on tour next year.
It's a shame that… setting up home in the biscuit factory doesn't mean a return for the Shunt Lounge – they have no imminent plans to run a late-night bar alongside the show.
Hit potential Sure to be popular with fans of immersive and experimental theatre; may baffle those who prefer to watch quietly in the dark.
The details The Architects is at the V22 Workspace, The Biscuit Factory, London SE16 (shunt.co.uk); 27 Nov to 2 Feb.
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