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Focus on: The Arches Theatre

15th Anniversary - fifteen years, two fingers

Beowolf Silhouette; Photo; Niall Walker 'Fifteen Years,  Two Fingers' is a celebration of all areas of the Arches - from the multiple possibilities of the space, the different strands of the Arches unique, multi-arts programme to the continued emphasis on supporting emergent talent, and it's decidedly non-conformist, anti-establishment ethos.

Part retrospective, part look to the future, part extended knees up - the main thrust of The Arches 15th anniversary celebrations is a five week-long festival snaking through late September and October 2006.

The programme will be packed with exhibitions, theatre, club nights, music and performances.  Theatre Highlights include:

  • 'The Arches LIVE'!
  • 'Spend a Penny'
  • 'Belly of the Beast'
  • 'Inferno'

About the Arches

Since officially opening its doors in 1991, the Arches has tried its hardest to be all things to all Glaswegians, and anyone else who came along too. September 2006 is a birthday of sorts for them - its fifteen years since Artistic Director Andy Arnold received keys to the vast, disused space under Central Station and began putting on club nights to fund his experimental theatre programme.

Andy opened up what would grow into one of Europe's leading, most diverse arts venues. Over the years the Arches have broken down the divides between theatre and club audiences. They have offered new companies and emergent acts a leg up, continued to push boundaries and create new, experimental work and continue to make a large amount of people very happy indeed.

The hugely acclaimed Arches Theatre Company specialises in little-known plays by well-known figures like Samuel Beckett and Tennessee Williams and large scale multi-artform promenade pieces, whilst also offering a platform for risk-taking and experiment in theatre.

Samuel Beckett; Photo;Niall Walker

The Arches run two annual festivals of new work each year.  The Arches Theatre Festival in April features plays by the two winners of their Arches Award for Stage Directors run in conjunction with NTS, the Tron and Traverse Theatre, which offers commissions to the most exceptional young directors and playwrights working in Scotland.

Arches LIVE! their September festival, offers a supportive environment allowing young companies a platform for creative experimentation and risk-taking. Nurturing emergent talent is at the core of the Arches philosophy, and they've recently developed a programme of Scratch Nights inspired by London’s BAC, which will further encourage artistic collaborations and generate new work.

The Arches has earned a one-star rating in the new Best Companies accreditation scheme for its first-class performance in looking after the interests of its' 100 workers. Earlier this year the organisation missed out on a place in The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For, but is pleased that its good work is still being recognised. Visit the Sunday times website for more.

Andy Arnold - Artistic Director

The Arches began life as a theatrical venue. Andy Arnold, artistic director, likes to put on environment-driven performances, using the half-lit corners and bare brick walls of the venue to push the audience’s theatre-going experience in new directions. 'A decade and a half on and a range of events has grown in various directions.  We put on live music events, visual art exhibitions, run our own in-house theatre company as well as two annual festivals of new theatre work'

Arches Founder Andy Arnold; Photo: Niall Walker

The Arches continues to provide a platform for upcoming and emergent talent across all of these genres.  'It enables us to define our initial challenge to the status quo - to continue defining what performance, theatre and art are all about, and keep on supporting the new work of tomorrow. This year and in the same month, we are lauded in the arts media for our development of new and experimental theatre.'

For more information on the programme, visit the Arches website, email the Arches or phone the box office at 0870 240 7528.

* The Arches
* The Tron Theatre
* The National Theatre of Scotland
* The Sunday Times
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