Red Shift: 30 years of innovation and intense touring throughout the UK and internationally
Red Shift's first Time Out review 1983: "99.9% pure theatrical magic"
The Red Shift Back Catalogue
Shift's substantial back catalogue
is regularly revisited by other artists and companies. Enquiries
regarding this resource and Jonathan Holloway's work can be submitted
also ...In 2010
THE FALL OF MAN
Celebrated by press and public at the Edinburgh Festival 2009, June/July 2010 saw Red Shift touring this unusually intimate, hard-hitting 'micro' theatre piece to Bristol's Tobacco Factory, Taunton's Brewhouse Theatre and Lincoln's Drill Hall Arts Centre where it was again lauded by audiences and industry observers. In 2012 Chicago's Right Brain Project made their own production in a converted industrial unit near Lake Michigan. Chicago Theater Beat **** "Holloway has managed to find a wry sweet spot between pathetically predictable characters and a timeless masterpiece" New City Stage Recommended "That's why Jonathan Holloway's update/homage is so compelling; we see how relevant Milton's themes remain today. Holloway intersperses segments of Milton's epic "Paradise Lost," detailing Adam and Eve's fall, within the narrative of married businessman Peter (Corey Noble) and nanny Veronica (Anna Robinson) who contemplate and then conduct an affair."
The Fall of Man played to full houses following Red Shift's decision to move away from conventional touring and, at least for a while, create new work sensitive to locations and contexts. It was generally agreed the show confirmed the company's position at the forefront of UK practice previously established over 27 years of innovation.
"It is not the way that the tale pans out to its eventual and inevitable sordid end that matters, so much as the way the story is told. Working with only a bed, three simple lights and Sarah Llewellyn's insistent soundscape, the production creates an intense intimacy that implicates its audience; you feel slightly soiled watching it. It also boasts two assured and brave performances". - Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
The Scotsman: * * * * (featured Hot Show) "they have created another provocative piece - on the surface a small story of a briefly lived-out relationship, but more fundamentally, a tribute to the kind of fleeting passions that make life worth living." Three Weeks: * * * * "A bold, impressively performed production that endows a difficult literary work with graphic contemporary resonance." One4review.com: * * * * "In the intimate space, barely lit by small domestic light bulbs, good performances are drawn from both performers in this strong hard hitting performance" Metro: * * * * "Casting the audience as voyeurs by having us cluster round their bed, this is a branding iron of sex and guilt." EdinburghGuide.com: * * * * "This is a superbly inventive and beautifully adapted piece that grips the audience in a vice and refuses to let them escape." The List: "powerful body language, unnerving music, and the clash of native and non-native idioms and priorities create loaded moments", Fringe Review.co.uk: "sexy and gratuitous, combining a fun romp with the sometimes fraught politics of sexual relationships, and make this piece delightfully watchable despite the sometimes heavy emotional content", Broadway Baby: "with strong language, nudity and sexual situations. The audience surrounds the stage on three sides and is very close, giving a strong sense of immediacy and reality to the performances. It feels like were eavesdropping on something very private and intense.", Fest/The Skinny: "Since the early 1980s, Red Shift has gained a reputation for innovative theatre and this latest piece comes as no exception... unfalteringly bold in simulating sex and violence... Performed in the round against an intimate set comprising just a single bed, this is never gratuitous, simply visceral."
The show required an intimate claustrophobic situation, needed only minimal technical support and because of its length (40 mins) could be played twice in an evening.
The Story: Sited in the bed-sitting room of Slovenian child minder Veronica. Visited in the early hours by Peter - father of the children she nannies - we watch their adulterous relationship fall apart in near darkness. An intense theatrical experience played with the audience huddled around their single bed. Unforgiving in its explicit physicality and emotional depth. Skirmishing across issues of the actor-audience relationship. High tragedy in a tiny domestic environment. Huge words. Throwaway remarks. Candid love-making eclipsed by mistrust. Red Shift welcomed Graeme Rose back to the company for this ambitious risk-taking event: Graeme is a theatre-maker committed to developing innovative, collaborative work. A co-founder of companies Glory what Glory, Stan's Cafe and The Resurrectionists, he is also associate artist with Bodies in Flight, and has worked repeatedly with the likes of Insomniac Prods, Talking Birds and Red Shift.
Red Shift was founded in 1982 by Director Jonathan Holloway (click for biog) and Designer Charlotte Humpston. The company toured extensively throughout the UK and visited Ireland, the Middle and Far East, North Africa and South America. Its past work has been revisited by companies and producers in the UK, North America, Australia and the Far East. "Red Shift does the shows people want to see" - Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Click here to enter website, last updated Dec 2014.
2014 saw Red Shift working with Royal Holloway University of London creating a home for the company's physical and digital archives, which are now in the university's possession. We anticipate the collection, which covers the company's thirty years of trading, will be a useful resource for students and practitioners, particularly those interested in exploring the organisational and artistic practicalities of touring. The company name remains protected by law.
2013 was our final year appearing in public. Artistic Director Jonathan Holloway won a First Prize at the Prix Italia for his BBC version of Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and we have been very proud to work contributing to and supporting Jessica Edwards' company Flipping the Bird, and in so doing return to the Edinburgh Festival in 2013 with yet another hugely popular show - Jekyll and Hyde - which then successfully transferred to London's Southwark Playhouse.
"... a mysterious
Austrian female doctor and the lawyer Utterson her enslaved lover,
then frame the whole thing as a lunatic's memoirs being sold
by a seedy dealer to a porn-merchant in a dim London alley, who
play sinister music ... while the protagonists enact a dreadful
tale. Jonathan Holloway's new play for Flipping the Bird is clever,
creepily melodramatic and beautifully realised" - Libby Purves, The Times ****
Red Shift Theatre Company in association with Pleasance Theatre presented
Invisible Show II
In the open air at The Pleasance Courtyard for the Edinburgh Festival 2011 where it was immediately embraced by audiences and the media. "Five stars are not enough for this polished, multifaceted, flawless, 24-carat rose diamond of a show."
spoke for itself:
The Guardian "It's an ingenious idea
this piece is woven
into the fabric of everyday life: is that woman talking on her
mobile an actor or a real person? Surely that girl sitting at
the table having a row with her boyfriend must be part of the
show? Or maybe not. Gradually, the show comes into focus, and
it's like eavesdropping on a series of tiny explosive conversations,
fragments of everyday life
this little show sings with