Opens 2 Dec 2017
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
A selection of rough, raucous, stupid and bawdy short (illegal) plays from the 17th century, unperformed for almost 400 years, from award-winning company The Owle Schreame. Unique, interactive, and genuinely engaging; drunken, unmissable, ridiculous theatre. In 1642 theatre was made illegal. Theatre didn't die. Without a stage, without costumes or props, one man made it his mission to keep performing and to keep British theatre alive - stitching together half-remembered Shakespearean scenes and strange medieval interludes, soaking them in sex and violence and bawdy, unintellectual humour. So it was that a strange and dangerous new type of illegal theatre was born: The Droll. You may think that you know classical theatre. You don't. The Drolls challenge the safe, friendly, elitist and intellectual notions we have of the Shakespearean stage, cutting it all away in favour of rough pantomime, carnival, sex, farts and shouting. No other professional company has staged the Drolls since the 17th century, and all but the most specialist of scholars are completely ignorant of the fact that they ever existed. This was sketch comedy for the working man, performed in pubs and back alleys, hundreds of years before the first working mans club or comedy store. With a constantly refreshed and rotating line up of Drolls, selected randomly on the night, we redress the balance of historical theatre and look to bring back a taste of the rough, visceral, populist street performances that existed alongside the likes of the highbrow, classy alternatives.