New theatre company The Coterie launches

Reporter: Dan Austin, first published Thu 16 Feb 2017 17:08
The Coterie, photo by Helen MurrayThe Coterie, photo by Helen Murray/servlet/file/store5/item386840/version2/fileservice770/386840_770_preview.jpg

The Coterie, the new London-based theatre company lead by Caitlin McLeod as Artistic Director and Martha Rose Wilson as Producer, is set to champion the work of the three playwrights who create theatre that explores form, innovates and isn’t afraid to take risks.  For their first year The Coterie will work with EV Crowe, Bea Roberts and Sonali Bhattacharyya.

Using devised theatre methods, The Coterie hopes to foster an environment which provides creative freedom and offer practical support and the resources to road test their ideas.

Caitlin McLeod said, “I believe art and the artist are both unfinished entities. Their strength lies in the fact that they are living organisms, ever-responsive to the world. So instead of asking an artist to define themselves by prematurely creating a product (as so often happens), we are asking artists to define themselves by their process. As soon as you decide what a piece of work is, or indeed what an artist is, you kill it. As The Coterie our strength lies in the fact that the outcome is unknown; it’s alive. The traditional commissioning model for playwrights can have its limitations; The Coterie will offer time, financial support and practical resources to create something that is truly remarkable - that could be a play, a cabaret, a musical or a performance piece. The focus will be on process over product. We believe that the more attention and space you give an idea, the more robust the final piece will be.”

Martha Rose Wilson said, “Our process of making theatre will be built and shaped by the artists themselves, which is something Caitlin and I have separately been working towards for a number of years. We’re thrilled to be launching this company with some of the most talented and unafraid artists we know.

We are operating in an unequal world; working with female playwrights is our way of actively addressing that imbalance. The Coterie follows Stella Duffy's belief that, ‘we have a responsibility to make the world a fairer place, and sometimes you have to do a little social engineering to make that happen’”.

In 2016 Martha was awarded a Stage One Bursary for New Producers. Stage One supports new UK theatre producers and productions and is committed to securing the future of commercial theatre through educational and investment schemes.

The Coterie is supported by Sky Academy Arts Scholarships, The Old Vic and the RSC. Find out more at www.thecoterieplatform.com

The Coterie