Uncanny Theatre is a Leeds based company and the creative partnership of Total Theatre Award winner Matt Rogers and comedy practitioner Natalie Bellingham. They make comedy theatre that is playfully absurd, visually arresting and gloriously low-tech. They are interested in the anomalies of everyday life and pushing literal logic to its limit, to the delight of their audiences. Their work always acknowledges its audience, creating a safe, conversational style where they are often a vital part of telling the story through various moments of interaction.
An Associate Company of Live Art Bistro Leeds, Uncanny was founded in 2010 and in that time has completed several national tours of their 3 full length theatre productions to date: Optimism, Instructions for a Better Life and You Had To Be There. They have also created bespoke, commissioned works for Yorkshire Sculpture Park, CAST and West Yorkshire Playhouse.
A regional tour of their new piece Something Terrible Might Happen is taking place April – June 2017 whilst alongside this, the company are developing another new work, Outrage, due to tour in 2018.
Something Terrible Might Happen
Taking a comic look at fear and how it is an ever increasingly important force within contemporary culture. Uncanny set out to playfully explore fear in all of its many guises, what it would be like to live without fear, the ways in which fear can give us pleasure, how it can be damaging, and the mechanisms by which fear is promoted.
At its core however, this is a show about how a culture of fear might have a negative impact on the concept of community and lead to a greater sense of isolation. After all, how is it possible for communities to form when the people around us are all marked as potential threats? The show encourages the audience to consider what it is that makes them wary of people, and whether that wariness is justified. All this, in a one act comedy performance that remembers how much fun it is to be scared whilst playing knock-a-door-run and develop an almost unhealthy obsession with the characters from “Guess Who?”
The form of the show is born out of the company’s philosophy that if something is important, then it’s important enough to be funny. This subject matter and the questions that surround it, are fundamentally important to looking at the way we live our lives but it’s a very difficult subject for many people.
By tackling the subject; not as experts but as idiots who like to play games, Uncanny hopes to offer an experience that is enjoyable and uplifting, whilst tackling difficult topics that provoke deeper consideration from the audience.
29 April – Gateshead International Theatre Festival (preview)
4 May – Mechanics Theatre, Wakefield
10 May – CAST, Doncaster
18 May – The Lowry, Salford
24 May – Theatre Delicatessen, Sheffield
26 May – Derby Theatre
2 June – Live Art Bistro, Leeds
8 June – Harrogate Theatre
Welcome to the age of Outrage. Your favourite internet-eries feed you with the tastiest righteous indignation every day, but what if you’re still not satisfied yet?
Uncanny are here to help; they’ll provide you with the most offensive content that money can buy that will have you taking to the streets – or at least posting a strongly worded response on a forum then signing an online petition. Rage absolutely guaranteed.
Outrage is a highly visual, interactive, performance response to a world where only the most offensive can succeed. It is a funny, thought provoking, and occasionally disturbing response to a world where the ones who piss the most people off seem to be setting the agenda. What’s so great about having people be angry at you? Why do they do it? And why is it that we can’t stop talking about them? Expect to get angry, it’s what we all do best.
Right now is a good time to take a look at outrage and controversy. Uncanny are planning to work out how it is that we’re so easily sucked into these debates, how our ideological opponents use us to further their own agendas, and possibly find what it would take to start a moral panic of their own.
Outrage is currently in development and will be available for touring in 2018.