Inter-Action in Retrospect: 4 January 2014

December 19, 2013 UFHweb 0

A day-long event exploring the history – through personal accounts – and the influence and impact of Inter-Action, the innovative and influential community arts-based organisation, based in Camden from 1968 until the mid-1980s. See for more information. 11.00 -11.30 Tea and coffee. Welcome by Dr Cathy Crawford, Chair of Kentish Town Community Centre 11.30 – 1.00 Panel 1, looking at the history of Inter-Action, sharing recollections of its work and impact at the time locally 1.00 – 2.00 Lunch – cost £5 2.00 – 3.30 Panel 2, exploring the influence of the Inter-Action experience on subsequent work both through […]

Alternative Pantos

December 16, 2013 UFHweb 0

Our Ovalhouse season was nicely rounded off with an evening dedicated to celebrating the legendary lesbian and feisty feminist pantomimes of the 1980s. It was led by two of our volunteers, Ray Malone (Director) and Lucie Regan (Actor), and performed by a group of young actresses. Rehearsed extracts from Sue Frumin’s Fanny Whittington,  Masters and Griffiths‘ Cinderella Hardup, Nona Shepphard’s Robin Hood and Cheryl Moch’s Cindereall the Real True Story were intercut with words from original cast members and writers – Sue Frumin, Peta Masters, Gillian Hann, Mary McCusker and Adele Salem.  A message from Cheryl Moch (Cinderella the Real True Story) sent from New York […]

Black Theatre event

December 16, 2013 UFHweb 0

December 6th, 2013 Black Theatre in London, 1970s and 80s A sharing of memories, histories and archive materials along with performed extracts Chair: Olusola Oyeleye Speakers: Susan Croft, Director, Unfinished Histories on Images and Archive Materials Mustapha Matura (Black Theatre Co-op) Roland Rees and others (Foco Novo) Gordon Case (Brixton Arts Theatre, Black Theatre Co-op, Temba) Bernardine Evaristo (Theatre of Black Women) Readings: Extracts from Party (Black Pieces) by Mustapha Matura, performed by Bevan Celestine-Vincent as C, Darrel Bailey as Z, Lucie Regan as Carol Extract from Pyeyucca by Bernardine Evaristo (Theatre of Black Women), performed by Carol-Ann Walton Co-ordinator: […]

Theatre Centre readings

December 16, 2013 UFHweb 0

December 5th saw a presentation by Theatre Centre of a selection of readings from Theatre Centre plays, 1960s-1980s. Directed by Natalie Wilson, Artistic Director of Theatre Centre, the plays were read by students from Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. The plays: Magical Faces by Brian Way (1969) Susumu’s Story by David Holman (1982) The Zulu Hut Club by Bryony Lavery (1985) Laughter From the Other Side by Noel Greig (1986) A Feeling In My Bones by Lin Coghlan (1988) The Marx Brothers Go East by Sue Frumin (1988)

Kate Crutchley Tribute

December 16, 2013 UFHweb 0

Our second Ovalhouse event was a tribute evening celebrating the life and work of  Kate Crutchley, Oval House programmer 1981-91 (dubbed ‘Kate’s Great’ by those participating). Around 40 people contributed to the creation of this event which gave an overview of her life and career, focusing especially on her Oval House years. Many companies, groups and individuals lined up to pay tribute including: Karen Parker and Debby Klein (formerly Parker and Klein), Eve Polycarpou and Martha Lewis (Eve and Martha formerly known as Donna and Kebab), Stella Duffy, Sandra Freeman, Sarah McNair, Nicolle Freni, Crin Claxton, Susan (Clark) Hayes, ), Caroline […]

Oval House in the 1960s and 1970s

December 16, 2013 UFHweb 0

A salon event held in Ovalhouse Café, November 18th, that looked at the work of alternative theatre companies at Oval House in the 1960s and 1970s. Introduced by Judith Knight and Sue Timothy (Oval House programmers in the 1970s), it had a panel of eleven including, Paddy Fletcher (Incubus), Geraldine Pilgrim (Hesitate and Demonstrate) and Neil Hornick (The Phantom Captain).

Re-Staging Revolutions launch

December 16, 2013 UFHweb 0

Our exhibition Re-Staging Revolutions was launched on Sunday, November 10th, 2013 at Ovalhouse where it will stay until December 21st, 2013. The exhibition, dedicated to Kate Crutchley (Oval House programmer, 1981-91) was opened for us by Bill Patterson (7:84) with speeches from Deborah Bestwick (Ovalhouse Director), Susan Croft and Jessica Higgs. Susan later ran a live interview with members of the Pip Simmons theatre group. The Launch was a joyous celebration of Alternative Theatre and attended by many of those interviewed for the exhibition and our newly created Company webpages: Action Space, Artaud Company, Belt and Braces, Beryl and the Perils, Black Theatre Co-op, Blood Group, BLOOLIPS, Bloomers, Bristol […]

Ovalhouse season

November 7, 2013 UFHweb 0

A new exhibition from Unfinished Histories celebrating the work of alternative theatre companies and venues in Lambeth and Camden Ovalhouse Cafe, 52-54 Kennington, London SE11 5SW Sun 10 November – Sat 21 December, Tuesdays – Saturdays, 3-8pm The exhibition marks Ovalhouse’s 50th anniversary as a venue and the launch of Unfinished Histories’ new company web pages: Company Links supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Re-staging Revolutions covers a period of enormous creativity, experimentation and questioning in theatre, seeing the formation of over 700 companies. This included street theatre, community arts, physical and visual work, political theatre, gay, lesbian, Black, […]

A Dramatic Improvement? Theatre, performance and mental health

September 17, 2013 UFHweb 0

Tuesday 15th October 6.30-8.30 doors open at 6.15pm. Refreshments will be available during the session This event brings together artists involved in the alternative theatre movement between 1968-88 who now practice as therapists, to discuss links between theatre and mental health. Using examples of their theatre work as a starting point, each speaker will explore connections between their artistic projects and the therapeutic work that they do with their clients. The discussion will look for relationships between performance practices such as improvisation and collaboration and the processes that therapists use in their work. It will also explore the theatrical possibilities […]

The Artaud Company revisited

August 13, 2013 UFHweb 0

  Tuesday 17th September 6.30-8.30 doors open at 6.15pm. Refreshments will be available during the session The Artaud Company revisited. With Michael Almaz, Sally Willis and Pam Martell founded the company in the late 60s, with productions including Monsieur Artaud, Dreyfus, Letters from Kafka, Story and Masoch which toured extensively in the US and Europe. Sally Willis’s performance as Kafka’s long suffering fiancé was acclaimed by audiences wherever she went on her solo tours through Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Austria both in English and German. Sally and Pam will lead a session revisiting the Letters from Kafka and Story. […]

Kate Crutchley announcement

July 26, 2013 UFHweb 0

We are deeply sorry to announce that Kate Crutchley died on Sunday, 21st July. Kate was an actress, director and in the 1980s, the very influential Theatre Programmer at Oval House championing women’s work throughout the decade. Always warm and generous she was one of our first project Interviewees in 2007. The following year we paid tribute to her in our Celebrating Oval House event at Oval House. See The Guardian for a longer obituary or our August newsletter which gives details of our planned tribute event on Tuesday 3rd December at Ovalhouse.

Snoo Wilson

July 6, 2013 UFHweb 0

Snoo Wilson, playwright and founder member of Portable Theatre (1968), died suddenly last week at the age of 64. Please link here for Dusty Hughes’  Guardian obituary. 

Agit-Squat: Squatting and the Alternative Theatre Movement

July 2, 2013 UFHweb 0

Tuesday 16th July 6.30-8.30 doors open at 6.15pm. Refreshments will be available during the session This event focuses on the vital role that squatting played in the alternative theatre movement, allowing artists to live in cheaply in communities where they could work together. Including James Saunders’s Squat: a documentary play about Grosvenor Road, Twickenham and Rough Theatre’s Squat Now While Stocks Last. We would like as many people as possible to join in and read a part – there are plenty of parts in the James Saunders play. As Unfinished Histories is not funded to host these events and they […]

Company Pages in Progress

July 1, 2013 UFHweb 0

As part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project, Company Links, we currently have volunteers hard at work preparing web pages for the following companies: Theatre Centre Red Ladder Spare Tyre London Bubble Beryl & the Perils Blood Group Broadside The Phantom Captain Gay Sweatshop InterAction (several pages including TOC/The Other Company; Dogg’s Troupe; Ambiance/Almost Free Theatre) Incubus Mouth and Trousers Spin /Stir Sidewalk Wakefield Tricycle Forkbeard Fantasy The Artaud Company Bloolips Salakta Balloon Band Optik Crystal Theatre of the Saint Umoja Recreation Ground Hormone Imbalance Theatro Technis Hesitate and Demonstrate The Wandsworth Warmers Stirabout Scarlet Harlets Character Ladies Harmony Theatre […]

Heritage Lottery Fund success!

June 18, 2013 UFHweb 0

At the end of last year we received an award from the Heritage Lottery Fund to begin developing the Companies list on our web site and mount a related touring exhibition. The project, now well underway, focuses on the London boroughs of Lambeth and Camden, the site of so much innovative theatre work in the 1960s to 1980s, developed through venues like Oval House in Lambeth and the Arts Lab, Drury Lane, Action Space Drill Hall, Open Space and Roundhouse in Camden. The boroughs were also the home of many pioneering arts projects and companies from the Brixton Faeries, Lumiere and […]

Franca Rame

June 10, 2013 UFHweb 0

Franca Rame, Italian performer, playwright and activist, wife of Dario Fo died of May 29th, 2013. Please see her Guardian obituary for more details.

The Phantom Captain: What To Do On a Date

June 7, 2013 UFHweb 0

The first of our new regular monthly salons was a roaring success last week! We are now looking ahead to the next scheduled event on the 18th June. Check out our blog for details of discussions about future potential topics for the sessions but in the meantime we plan to get the ball rolling with a series of readings of plays and performance texts created by various alternative theatre companies. Many fringe theatre productions during the 1960s-1980s were of significantly more than passing interest but got lost to view with the passage of time. In this series of events, directors […]

Theatre Centre

March 11, 2013 UFHweb 0

Theatre Centre – amazingly this key Theatre-in-Education company are celebrating their 60th anniversary. For more details on the year’s activities see here.

Jenny Harris (1944 – 2012)

November 14, 2012 UFHweb 0

Jenny Harris died on 6th November, 2012. Jenny was a co-founder of The Brighton Combination in the late 1960s with Noel Greig and Ruth Marks. When the company moved to London and the Albany, Jenny eventually became the Director of what was known as the Albany Empire. In the early 1990′s she was appointed Producer and Director of Education and Training at the National Theatre. Please see Jenny Harris’ own website for information on her life and work,