A Short History Of Pascal Theatre Company
Pascal Theatre Company was founded by playwright, director, journalist and scholar, Julia Pascal in 1983 for the production of new writing. The Company became a registered charity in 1985 (291910).
Until 1990 it focused on producing new dramas by a variety of authors staged at several London theatres, such as the Lyric Studio, Riverside Studios, the Lilian Baylis and the Finborough.
Julia Pascal’s plays have been staged by the Company since 1990, many touring Europe and most published by Oberon Books. The Company has further enjoyed European exposure at the Edinburgh Festival, the Dublin Gay Festival and in Liechtenstein.
Over the last 20 years, the Company’s reach has expanded to include a strong community presence. It has presented play texts by Mark Norfolk during Black History Month at Swiss Cottage Library and given talks for Holocaust Memorial Day at Camden Town Hall. After-school drama classes for children from underprivileged backgrounds, film courses for young people on the autism spectrum and major heritage projects have added to the Company’s portfolio.
The Company has been supported for Heritage Lottery initiatives between 2005 and 2021. These have included Jewish Mothers & Daughters: A Film Archive, Mike Tsang’s Between East and West: the British-born Chinese and South Bank Stories. These were shown respectively at the London School of Economics Atrium Gallery and the Unicorn Theatre, London. Most recently, the Company produced live site-specific community performances with The Secret Listeners at Trent Park, Middlesex and the Jewish Museum followed by the online site Discovering & Documenting England’s Lost Jews, a multi-platform project uncovering and exploring the little-known history of Sephardi Jews in Britain.
Covid silenced all public performances between March 2020 and summer 2021. During the crisis the Company worked digitally offering movement classes for isolated women and creative writing platforms for women from a diversity of cultural experiences. An Arts Council England Recovery Grant was used to develop new strategies while we embraced new technology to increase creativity digitally.
Going live again
In October 2021 Dancing, Talking, Taboo! marked a return to face-to-face productions when Pascal Theatre Company collaborated with students from The Place London Contemporary Dance School. These young artists choreographed experimental dance theatre, inspired by online stories collected over the previous year. The site-specific community performance took place at St Pancras Church as part of the Bloomsbury Festival.
In November 2021 the Company was awarded a second Arts Council England Culture Recovery grant to sustain the changes made during the first grant.
Moving from the metropole to the regions we are undertaking outreach showings and workshops into Manchester and also into underprivileged seaside towns- Blackpool and Margate. These community developments add artistic and cultural layers to our London community events.