about us

 

To The Elephant is an ensemble of actors dedicated to telling the stories of the world to the people of the world. We love Peter Brook’s epic story-telling with its inclusive vision of humanity and aim to reach out in the same spirit beyond national and cultural boundaries, creating theatrical experiences that share our common condition and celebrate our differences.

 

Our actors have diverse histories, cultures and orientations. We work closely together, celebrating our diversity without necessarily needing to draw attention to it. We are committed to fluid and inclusive casting, our most recent production at The Rose Theatre on Bankside embracing both ethnically diverse and gender neutral casting which is central to our vision.

 

Plans for 2017 include Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, Racine’s Andromache and Lope de Vega’s Fuente Ovejuna, and we are currently working towards a tour that will visit the remote corners of the UK and Ireland. Further plans include a tour to the Andalucia region of Spain.

 

These plays from the classical repertoire look at the themes of democracy and war, celebrity and ambition. Where does justice lie when a people rise up in ‘democratic’ protest but that protest becomes violent? How do we define terrorism?

 

 

 

 

reviews

 

Troilus and Cressida

by Simon Fearn on 22nd August 2016 - Broadway Baby

"An incredibly enjoyable adaptation that trips along at a tremendous speed"

 

Troilus and Cressida explores star-crossed love and political machinations in the midst of the Trojan War. This stripped back and streamlined performance from Shakespeare on the Level is a great argument for the play’s rediscovery, delivering a fast-paced wartime drama…

 

Christopher Royle’s Ulysses is undoubtedly star of the show, bringing great gravitas to the scheming Greek, whilst James Meteyard’s Aeneas is equally slippery, with an icy, reptilian quality…this is an incredibly enjoyable adaptation that trips along at a tremendous speed; a must-see for anyone looking to get acquainted with a forgotten Shakespeare classic.

 

 

 

 

The Play's the Thing by Laura Kressly

 

Shakespeare on the Level’s Troilus and Cressida… remarkably refreshing in its lack of fringe-ness.

Some cross-gendered casting is a welcome choice to improve balance between men and women… Susie Kimnell’s Helen and Louis Bowen’s Troilus standing out as particularly strong…Littlewood … sets Troy in the round, and skilfully uses the diagonals so the audience can always see, and fight director Tom Jordan’s choreography also suits the space.

The story is cut down to a manageable length, maintains clarity and has a clear design concept. Though not a particularly fringe approach to Shakespeare, this is a well-staged production with a cast of emerging talent.

 

Troilus and Cressida runs through 27th August.

 

The Play's the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play's the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon.

 

 

 

 

Edinburgh Fringe 2016 - Troilus and Cressida

Shakespeare on the Level 400

 

Genre: Classical and Shakespeare

Venue: theSpaceUK at Niddry Street

Festival: Edinburgh Fringe

 

Low Down

A masterclass in how to stage a Shakespeare tragedy in a way that captures the audience and makes them an integral part of the show. This production oozes quality from every pore.

 

Review

To theSpaceUK, Niddry Street for Troilus and Cressida in the round and a seventy-five minute staging that could easily exhaust a critic’s range of superlatives, so much was there to admire from the Devon based company, Shakespeare on the Level.

A bare stage and some atmospheric sound creates an aura of quiet suspense, rudely shattered by the successive arrival of the feuding Trojans and Greeks, laying down the bones of this complex Shakespearian tragedy. It is a labyrinthine tale but the actors’ energy and some very inventive staging from director Kate Littlewood ensure that the storyline always remains clear and the action never falters from the utterly compelling.

So much attention has been paid to those tiny details that make this a production that will last long in the memory. Costumes ranged from the exotic, flamboyant even for the rich and powerful down to the more prosaic for those of humbler stock. Music (from John O’Hara) either set or matched the mood on stage, from the ethereal through to the downright triumphant. And the sound set, designed by Chris Tuffin together with the extremely ambitious lighting states programmed by Ben O’Grady supported and complemented the on-stage action.

But it’s the actors who set this piece alight. Pace, purpose, diction, characters and movement are all of the highest order. Tight cueing and selected use of silence build the tension and the fight choreography was fast, realistic and consummately executed. Whilst it’s perhaps invidious to single anyone out from this universally excellent troupe of eleven, mention must be made of the passionate, emotive Isabel Sutton as Cressida. Safeena Ladha also displayed great versatility in her roles as Cassandra, Andromache and Menelaus whilst Christopher Royle was strident and powerful in his dual roles of Priam and Ulysses. It’s a heavy play but welcome light relief came from Atilla Akinci as Thersites and the mercurial, grape-feasting James Mear provided a very realistic Patroclus, friend to Achilles.

This was a masterclass in how to stage a Shakespeare tragedy that captures the audience and makes it a part of the show. This production oozed quality from every pore, using the four corners of the stage to full effect and every part of the auditorium as a possible entrance and exit.

What you’ve got here is RSC quality at Fringe prices. Absolutely compelling viewing from start to finish and an absolute “must see” for any Shakespeare lover. Two days left, so get your skates on.

Published August 25, 2016 by Tim Wilcock

 

 

 

 

Freshair.org.uk - REVIEW: TROILUS AND CRESSIDA

The performance is compelling and despite many actors taking on more than one part fully convincing. The set allows for rapid, fluid and effortless scene changes. The direction has utilised the space perfectly turning the potential disadvantage of having the audience all around the stage into an asset. Entrances and exits are highly dynamic keeping the energy high and further helps create a multi-dimensional world.

4 Stars - **

Troilus and Cressida at TheSpace on Niddry Street on 26th and 27th at 1.10pm

 

Author: Sara Knight

Posted At: 26 August 2016

 

 

 

 

No Horizon @NoHorizon_

Electric performance from ‪@ShakespeareOtl doing Troilus and Cressida ‪@theSpaceUK - only 3 more shows to go, don't miss your chance!

 

Ciara Cohen-Ennis ‪@ciarace

Really enjoyed watching ‪@ShakespeareOtl Troilus & Cressida ‪@edfringe today! Great performances all round

 

Joe Littlewood ‏‪@jltlwd Aug 22

Brilliant ‪#troilusandcressida by ‪@ShakespeareOtl ‪@edfringe celebrating ‪#shakespeare400 - go if you're in ‪#Edinburgh

 

Neil Wallington

‏‪@Drwallington

‪@ShakespeareOtl@edfringe Thanks too to whoever was flyering on the Royal Mile this morning, otherwise I'd have missed it!

 

Neil Wallington ‏‪@Drwallington Aug 20

Was spontaneous ‪@edfringe today, and was rewarded with a spare, effective, and beautifully acted ‪#troilusandcressida from ‪@ShakespeareOtl.

 

"A masterclass in how to stage a Shakespeare tragedy..."

‪http://fringereview.co.uk/review/edinburgh-fringe/2016/troilus-and-cressida/ …

An overwhelming review from Tim Wilcock ‪@FringeReview

 

Jiří Dostál

‏‪@GeoDostal

‪@ShakespeareOtl‪ Amazing performance! I will be coming back with more friends! Special thanks beautiful Isabela Sutton! #troilusandcressida

 

Nia Alexandra Marie

‏‪@welshgoddess3

‪@ShakespeareOtl‪ fabulous show today guys! Such fantastic and gripping performances from everyone. A brilliant piece of theatre!

 

Alice Ivor

‏‪@aliceivor

Big up ‪@ShakespeareOtl for a really gripping rendition of Troilus & Cressida. Fantastic acting across the board!

 

UrbanOrchard Theatre

‏‪@UrbOrchTheatre

Brilliant version of Troilus & Cressida ‪@ShakespeareOtl, thoroughly enjoyed it. Well done!

 

Em Stott ‏‪@emstott1 Aug 23

CONGRATS to the whole of Troilus and Cressida ‪@ShakespeareOtl. Absolutely class acting and beautiful storytelling. ‪#osdmafia

 

Aleks Stojakovic ‏‪@TsarStoj Aug 22

Great performance by ‪@ShakespeareOtl . Joe seeing his cousin perfoming as ‪#achilles Lovely being… ‪https://www.instagram.com/p/BJadXutAklC/ 

 

Aleks Stojakovic ‏‪@TsarStoj Aug 22

‪@ShakespeareOtl‪ just seen the fantastic performance @edfringe . A definately must see. Hugely Engaging Performance! #theatre #edinburgh #uk

 

Malcolm Chisholm ‏‪@MalcolmChishol1 Aug 22

Some superb performances this afternoon in ‪@ShakespeareOTL Troilus and Cressida .I saw fuller version once by RSC but enjoyed this one more!

 

JCjones ‏‪@JCeeJones Aug 20

Fearless & exciting performance from ‪@ShakespeareOtl , Agamemnon played by a woman was refreshing and powerful

 

Emma MacNab ‏‪@EmmaMacNab Aug 20

Congrats to ‪@shakespeareOTL on Troilus & Cressida. Really enjoyed the production.

 

Edward Wolstenholme ‏‪@EWolstenholme Aug 20

Watching your ‪@WildcardTheatre mates smash Troilus and Cressida out the park  ‪#pride

 

ANA

‏‪@anaactors

ANA Retweeted JamieLittlewood

Go see this company of bright young actors and our ‪@J_Littlewood_

 

Annette Donnachie

‏‪@Netty061

‪@shakespeareotl‪ Well done to everyone involved #troilusandcressida #edfringe

 

Chloe Darke

‏‪@cjdarke6

If you have a chance ‪@edfringe go and see ‪#troilusandcressida ‪@theSpaceUK Fighting, bare chests and the lovely ‪@Isabel_Sutton_

 

Robbie Curran ‏‪@RobbieCurran Aug 18

By the way, do do do do do do do go to ‪#troilusandcressida by ‪@ShakespeareOtl at ‪#spaceniddryst this truly is exceptional Shakespeare

 

Wendy Laird

‏‪@kitkatsruleme

Emotive production of Troilus and Cressida .‪@ShakespeareOtl ‪#edfringe2016

 

Will Gillham ‏‪@Will_Gillham_ Aug 18

Fantastic, intense production of Troilus & Cressida by ‪@ShakespeareOtl - huge shoutout to ‪@Isabel_Sutton_ and ‪@J_Littlewood_ !

 

Wildcard ‏‪@WildcardTheatre Aug 17

Edinburgh, Scotland

If you're up in Edinburgh don't miss ‪@ShakespeareOtl 's Troilus and Cressida ‪@theSpaceUK on Niddry st at 13:10PM! It's brilliant.

 

SOTLTheatre

‏‪@ShakespeareOtl

Audience review, John Rodie

"...the brutality and scheming of war is wonderfully portrayed by this company...It would be an error to miss.."

 

Kenzie Horn ‏‪@kenziehorn Aug 16

Show number 1 of day 2: A fast paced performance of ‪#TroilusAndCressida! Well done ‪@Isabel_Sutton_

 

Alan Donnachie – 19 Aug 2016, 4:13pm

Brilliant acting and direction in this challenging, entertaining and fast moving piece. Not a huge Shakespeare fan but this is really worth seeing for the shear hard work by actors!

 

Peter Watson – 20 Aug 2016, 5:26pm

Powerful and relevant. This young company brings a vision of war and displacement that makes you reach for the newspapers and cry for humanity.

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