Common Wealth make site-specific theatre events that encompass electronic sound, new writing, visual design and verbatim. Our work is political and contemporary – based in the present day – the here and now. We make work that is relevant and addresses concerns of our times.
We seek out places to stage our work that are right in a community; a residential house, a boxing gym, places where people who might not go to the theatre might come to instead – we aim to make theatre for people who don’t usually think it’s for them, we’re bored of theatre being for the middle classes and those that can afford it – we genuinely believe in theatre as an art form and the power it has. We think this should belong to everyone – as audience, participants and as protagonists.
Common Wealth started working together in 2008 in a very DIY way with no funding just access to massive buildings and networks of great people to collaborate with. On every project we seek to make something that will engage audiences in an encounter that pushes what theatre can be. We’re not necessarily interested in traditional story-telling but in creating memorable, unexpected experiences.
Our ideas are rooted in socialist politics, working class backgrounds, a keen interest in contemporary music/theatre/art/design, the people that we meet and an idealistic ambition to shift things. We see our plays as campaigns, as a way of bringing people together and making change feel possible.
Common Wealth are based in Bradford and Cardiff and make award-winning work across the UK and internationally. We are part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio and current recipients of the Breakthrough Fund with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.