Why a Collective?

We are all motivated
by the arts

Icarus is a mid-scale touring theatre company that functions as a collective. We understand that theatre is vital for our mental and physical health, as well as the health of the country. Expression and community are found in theatre, and without this we cannot survive.

How we work

Max Lewendel, Artistic Director

"The Icarus Theatre Collective choose to relish what others shy away from"

We succeed by following our namesake too close to the sun, always picking plays which seem just out of reach, soaring most elegantly and creating a beautiful organized chaos when stretching beyond our grasp.

"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a society work, and a collective work"

Each artist can pitch their own major project. This can be a play, a tour, a major education project, a devised piece, virtually anything which develops our artistic policy and is approved by the collective.

Transparency is vital to this collaboration and we operate an open-bookaccounting policy.

Mission Statement

The text

We explore the beauty of the text and skill of the actor to consider harsh, brutal themes with a modern examination of Theatre of the Absurd in classic and contemporary storytelling. The Icarus Theatre Collective choose to relish what others shy away from

The difference

Icarus aims to team artists from the international community with British artists, and experienced artists with promising young professionals. We enable both groups to build rapport and grow as artists. We will seek out those who have the potential to become their best under our wing.

"I think the theatre is a core need for a community."

The focus

We are changing our focus to tackle the increasingly dangerous nativist, misogynist, and racist rhetoric unleashed in the wake of the post-US-election, post-Brexit era.
  • Put female, EU, and global majority* artists in staff positions and the central role of new productions
  • Ensure disability and demographic are no barrier to making art
  • Defy the stigmas surrounding mental health, proving it is a prevalent issue in our society and one that all our central characters live with.

The Theatre

Theatre has the power to change the world.

Theatre is vital to mental health and even the physical health of the country: when our souls are light, the body follows. Theatre is the oxygen driving the engine of the country.

In the rehearsal room, while decisions are led by the director, creative choices are created by the group, working on a more equal footing than other companies.

The Collective

A normal hierarchy is anathema to our type of collaborative approach. We created a team of artists and managers to run the collective and collaborate on varying tasks and responsibilities. Multiple departments function mostly autonomously, and with collaboration with all others. These departments are also invited to contribute creatively to the work being developed, and to actively help select which plays we will produce, and how they will be done.

Theatre of destruction

We explore theatre as a destructive force: An actor on stage does not create the world we, as the audience, can see.

At the start there is a blank stage. The stage could be any thing, any world, any time, any place. The designer destroys almost all possibilities, leaving us with his setting, his time, his place.

An actor walks on stage. He could be anyone. She could do anything. Then they take action. No longer can we imagine who these people are in this world because we now know.

We are left wondering what happens next? Who will live? Who will love? Who will die?

As the story progresses, we learn the answers to many of these questions, destroying the possibility of any other outcome existing. Yet this very destruction is more liberating, more freeing, more exploratory than any creative act could ever be.

The Audience

The audience is forced to imagine because the creation on stage is subject to the point of view of every person watching.

The Opinions

Two friends or two lovers can leave the auditorium arguing about who was the hero,  enemy, and what message was told.

What we believe

Icarus creates theatre that is kinetic, intellectual, and visceral: Theatre that moves.

We choose to relish what others shy away from, show what others daren't; destroy boundaries when others would create rules. We explore the beauty of the text and skill of the actor to consider harsh, brutal themes with a modern examination of Theatre of the Absurd in classic and contemporary storytelling.

Theatre has the power to change the world: to enlighten, to delight, and most importantly theatre is vital to mental health and even the physical health of the country: when our souls are light, the body follows. Theatre is the oxygen driving the engine of the country.

We are changing our focus to tackle the increasingly dangerous nativist, misogynist, and racist rhetoric unleashed in the wake of the post-US-election, post-Brexit era. We will:
-Put female, EU, and BAME artists in staff positions and the central role of new productions
-Ensure disability and demographic are no barrier to making art
-Defy the stigmas surrounding mental health, proving it is a prevalent issue in our society and one that all our central characters live with.

Diversity of opinion is encouraged to create our work. Through our placement programmes, we are committed to engaging everyone from experienced artists to placement students in continuous, lifelong learning.
We aim to produce two mid-scale tours and one fringe production every year that are intellectual, visceral and engaging, and always kinetic & dynamic: theatre that moves.

Icarus aims to team artists from the international community with British artists, and experienced artists with promising young professionals. We enable both groups to build rapport and grow as artists. We will seek out those who have the potential to become their best under our wing.

We supplement our professional productions with a rich range of educational work, taking our artists and workshop leaders into schools and bringing schools backstage to theatres. Participants will not sit through lectures, but instead will work hands-on with us through customised workshops and activities.