The Pantaloons are a vibrant and anarchic theatre company who bring what we consider to be a vital sense of “play” back to classical performance. In our theatre, your imagination is just as important as ours.
The Pantaloons draw from a wide variety of popular theatre traditions, from commedia dell’arte and pantomime to stand-up comedy and silent movies, to bring what we consider to be a vital sense of “play” back to classical performance. We aim to recapture an aspect of Shakespeare’s drama which the modern naturalistic theatre has lost: the riotous energy of the clown. Hamlet tells us that the clowns in Shakespeare’s day spoke “more than is set down for them”, and we have found that tapping into this rich vein of anarchic humour can have a strangely moving and uplifting effect.
Crucially, it also reminds us that we are all simply participants in a game of make-believe. In our theatre, your imagination is just as important as ours. We ask you to become co-creators of the play-world with us; or as Shakespeare put it in the prologue to Henry V, to “piece out our imperfections with your thoughts.”
Our aim is always to produce a performance which is experimental, eye-catching, moving and fun.
Who’s at the Helm?
MARK HAYWARD (CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / PRODUCER)
A founding member and company director of The Pantaloons, Mark is a playwright, actor, storyteller, director, producer, singer/ songwriter, attempted carpenter and father of two. Having graduated from the University of Kent in 2005 with a degree in English Literature he has adapted and directed numerous classics for the stage including Sherlock Holmes, A Christmas Carol, Gulliver’s Travels, Pride and Prejudice and Jekyll and Hyde as well as writing completely original material for shows such as The Almost Complete History of Britain.
CAITLIN STOREY (PRODUCER)
Caitlin graduated in 2006 from the University of Kent with an MDram, having specialised in Stand-Up Comedy. She has been working as an actor for The Pantaloons since 2005, having completed tours on The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet (twice), Cymbeline, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Twelfth Night. It was in 2007 that she was made a producer. She is also a full time teacher of drama.
STEPHEN PURCELL (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)
Steve founded The Pantaloons in 2004, and is joint Artistic Director of the company. He has directed many a show for The Pantaloons, including fourteen Shakespeares, plus The Canterbury Tales, Grimm Fairy Tales and Bleak House, all of which he co-adapted. He also co-adapted The Odyssey for the company. He is Associate Professor of Shakespeare and Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, and has published widely on the work of Shakespeare and his contemporaries in performance: his books include Popular Shakespeare, Shakespeare and Audience in Practice, and most recently Shakespeare in the Theatre: Mark Rylance at the Globe.
We confer the title of Associate Artist on those members of our rolling ensemble who have made an outstanding commitment and contribution to The Pantaloons, our house style and our work. In turn, we are committed to frequent collaborations with our Associates, on a project by project basis.
Discover what makes us so great to work with, setting us apart from other theatre companies.
WHY YOU SHOULD BOOK THE PANTALOONS:
- Our fees/box office splits are unbeatable
- We help with PR, which will get your venue more exposure in national and local press along with radio and consumer magazines
- We make no demands and have no tricky-to-fullfil riders
- Our shows are unique and family friendly and the productions are unsurpassable
- You liaise with the same people at every stage of the process
- We provide you with all the marketing materials you will need
- We can sell our own tickets if needed
- We are lovely people and work hard to get big audiences for shows that everyone will enjoy
- We provide a total theatre experience – the cast can do their own crowd management, sell programmes and warm-up the audience with songs and comedy before the main show even starts.