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Theatre group takes to streets

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: October 03, 2012

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A GROUP of University of Exeter drama graduates have set up a new theatre company.

Reverb Arts was founded in November 2011 by director Zac Price, creative producer Rachael Burton, and production manager Robert Stenson, after they were inspired by a university third year module in arts management.

It required developing a pilot project for an arts-based business, and developing a business plan which the company has now put into practice and brought to life.

Reverb aims to create site-specific theatre in and around Exeter by getting the audience involved while focusing on local history and geography to create contemporary performances.

Rachael said: "We want to work in Exeter with local artists in interesting spaces where you wouldn't usually expect to see theatre.

"We want our work to have meaning to the city and an organic connection to the space."

It is the only Exeter company which is producing work about the city's history and taking it to their audiences.

Reverb's debut show Agent is taking place at The Bike Shed Theatre this month.

The plot is based on a true news story from 1939 which was featured in the Express & Echo, where a leg wrapped in brown paper was found floating in the canal.

The 'murder mystery with a twist' is set in an underground pub which was situated on Fore Street in the 1930s. The cast of Agent is made up of students and local actors, ranging from ages 20 to 70. The production has been partially devised and partially scripted and will utilise the whole Bike Shed area.

Robert said: "The South West has a nice vibe. There is all this new theatre happening in Exeter and it's nice to have a change.

"We want to encourage other arts students to stick around in Exeter after graduating."

Reverb has several projects in the pipeline, including some potential collaborations.

Rachael said: "We are keen to collaborate with other local companies.

"One of the key factors for theatre companies here is that for one to be successful, they all need to be successful."

Reverb has joint-commissioned funding from The Bike Shed Theatre and the University of Exeter drama department.

"It will keep a box office cut from its show Agent and put this back into the company to offset the cost of putting on any future productions.

Agent is running from Tuesday, October 9 to Saturday, October 13 at The Bike Shed Theatre, Fore Street, Exeter at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £7 (£5 for concessions). To book tickets phone the box office on 01392 434169.

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