Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre teams up with two young companies to bring new work to the stage

Chris York is from Scarborough
Chris York is from Scarborough
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Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre is collaborating with two young and innovative theatre companies in what will become an ongoing programme of creative partnerships.

The theatre will be sharing its skills, experience and expertise with, and learning new skills from, two new associate companies Manchester-based Box of Tricks and London’s The Faction.

Box of Tricks is a theatre company that champions the next generation of playwrights, producing new plays on local and national stages. Its most recent show, SparkPlug, was seen at the Stephen Joseph in last month, while Chip Shop Chips was staged in Scarborough’s Market Hall last year.

The Faction is an award-winning ensemble reinventing the classics for the 21st century. Its regular acting company includes Scarborough-born actor and writer Christopher York, whose play Build A Rocket was produced by the Stephen Joseph last year, winning the Holden Street Theatres Award at the Edinburgh Fringe, which took it Australia’s Adelaide Fringe.

Plans include:

Box of Tricks’ new show How Soon is Now?, a joyful and uplifting play set in a 90s nightclub and featuring the decade’s pop music, to tour to the Stephen Joseph next autumn

Raqqa, a new play from Box of Tricks and award-winning playwright Lizzie Nunnery exploring women's experiences of conflict – a nationwide tour in 2021 will start in Scarborough

The Faction’s highly acclaimed production of Mark Leipacher’s new adaptation of the cult Patricia Highsmith thriller The Talented Mr Ripley to play at the SJT next spring

Shakespeare and his co-author George Wilkins set Pericles, Prince of Tyre in Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Turkey, with an English narrator bridging each 'episode’. The Faction is collaborating with directors and actors in each of those countries to create a groundbreaking transnational and multilingual production of this unique play.

Each episode will be rehearsed in its specific location, with actors playing characters from their country of origin. Stephen Joseph audiences will see this first when The Faction, in association with Stephen Joseph, live streams rehearsals of the Lebanese episode this July, connecting Beirut and Scarborough.

The Stephen Joseph artistic director, Paul Robinson, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Box Of Tricks and The Faction as our new associate companies – they’re two of the most exciting national touring companies today. We look forward to working closely with them to develop new pieces and can’t wait to bring their next shows to our audiences.”

Box of Tricks joint artistic directors Adam Quayle and Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder said: "We're thrilled to become an associate company at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. An historic theatre with a long-standing commitment to new writing in the north, it is a powerhouse of new plays.

"This partnership is a game changer and offers us a level of support to take the next step up as a company. We look forward to working together to realise our shared creative ambitions and staging bold new plays in Scarborough and beyond."

Mark Leipacher and Rachel Valentine Smith, artistic directors at The Faction, said: “We're delighted The Faction is now an associate company of the Stephen Joseph.

"As an ensemble, innovative collaborations are at the heart of everything The Faction do, and the Stephen Joseph has always been a pioneer of exciting partnerships. We're thrilled we'll be performing in the Round and digitally sharing our international work with Stephen Joseph audiences.”