From June this year, two creative associate companies of the Watford Palace Theatre have a new permanent home in the Palace itself. They are Rifco Arts, the British Asian stage-based entertainment organisation, and nabokov, a new- writing company dedicated to creating its work in response to immediately relevant social and political themes.

Rifco Arts will become a resident company with all its team based full-time in Watford when not on tour, while nabokov will make the theatre its administrative office and the base for its theatre producing and events based in the east of England. Rifco Arts thus becomes the first British Asian theatre company to be based in a regional producing playhouse.

Its work reflects and celebrates contemporary Asian experience with a particular focus on artistic excellence, new writing and ambitious programming for both new and established audiences.. Artistic director Pravesh Kumar explains that: “Rifco and the Watford Palace already have ambitious plans, including partnering with us in our autumn 2011 national tour of Britain’s Got Bhangra, which will be rehearsed and opened in Watford.

“We are already delivering participatory projects in partnership and are in discussions about developing another major new show for 2012. To celebrate our move to the East of England, we’re co-producing a celebratory sshow – Rifco Arts: A Celebration at the Palace on 26 and 27 May”.

nabokov was formed in 2001 and is a forum for artistic collaboration and innovation, dedicated to cultivating a young audience and distributing work as widely as possible. nabokov will be collaborating with the Palace Theatre on its new show which will debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer before being performed in Watford on 2 and 3 September. nabokov’s last collaboration with the Palace – Bunny by Jack Thorne, won an Edinburgh Fringe First in 2010.

The Palace Theatre’s artistic director and chief executive Brigid Larmour comments that: “Developing relationships with creative associate companies has been an important part of my vision for the Palace for a number of years. Rifco and nabokov moving into our building creates exciting new opportunities for our organisations and staff to work even more closely together. The collaborative, creative and learning opportunities presented by being situated in the same building are immense.”