Pigeon Theatre are a Manchester and Leeds-based contemporary performance company. Our work is experimental and interactive – we use untraditional spaces and unconventional means to create intimacy between us and our audience.
We are former greenroom (Manchester) Associate Artists, and former PANDA Incubated Artists; commissioned by PANDA-monium to develop and perform a trilogy, The Rehearsal, for Manchester International Festival 2007.
Our central research concern is in the formal structures of space, environment and architecture; we have been making and touring innovative theatre since 2001…
2012-13 | the SMELL of ENVY (in development), a studio-based theatre show with four performers investigating the neuroscience and psychology of spatial and olfactory memory; an immersive and interactive performance exploring childhood, envy, love and loathing, death; an outcome of the Wellcome Trust-funded project Site and Smell and supported by the University of Leeds and hÅb & Word of Warning.
2012 | the REHEARSAL, edited by Anna Fenemore (a book), a trilogy of site-specific performance texts raising questions about the interplay in contemporary theatre between the processes of rehearsal and the theatrical metaphors that shape our everyday dealings with trauma, including death. The book is published by Intellect as a new installment in their acclaimed Playtext series.
2009-10 & 2012 | the TWICE REMOVED (available to tour), a studio-based solo theatre show with three performers; a collaboration between Anna Fenemore as solo performer/maker/subject and 148 contributors/collaborators/ biographers – it investigates the concept of a ‘biographical’ performance solo, interrogates ideas around identity construction and negotiates tricky conflicting views of who ‘Anna’ might be.
2010-11 | the ART of CONVERSATION, two all-female community projects; commissioned by greenroom & facilitated by Pigeon Theatre. Over a ten week period 20 women asked questions about how conversation can be seen as a creative act rather than a mundane act; each project culminated in a public performance and installation.
2009-10 | a BIG CONCEPT and a VERY LITTLE DETAIL, a promenade sound installation; featuring a commentary of ‘big ideas’ and the ‘little details’ that surround them – Pigeon Theatre wrote to 250 specialist contributors to ask them about big ideas in their field of research; the resulting work included “Why the Nile is blue.” and “Why nightingales keep CERN scientists up at night.”.
2008-09 | the LITTLE SLEEP, a studio-based theatre show in-the-round; commissioned for greenroom’s 25th anniversary season, featuring a fully functioning kitchen & cookery demonstration on-stage with audience participation – it explores the friendship between two women, influenced by film-noir, hard-boiled fiction, Nigella Lawson & Delia Smith.
2007-08 | the REHEARSAL (a trilogy), set in a bar; a three-part performance based on verbatim interviews with over 50 differently aged and gendered individuals, performed by differently aged and gendered couples: two young women, a middle-aged couple and two older men. Each show makes radical reflections on and interventions into the other shows; they can also be experienced individually.
2005-06 | the REHEARSAL (HAPPY HOUR), set in a bar; the first show of what was to become a trilogy premiered at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then toured the UK.
2004-05 | the HEIST ACADEMY, set in & around a large wooden box; it explores the generic paradigms of the Heist movie through a vast multi-media project.
2002-03 | the HOUSEKEEPER, set in a kitchen; it thematically looks at the ways in which women are represented socially and culturally by deconstructing the processes of domestic labour.
Pigeon Theatre have performed at venues & festivals across the UK & Europe, including…
greenroom, Manchester | PANDA-monium, Manchester International Festival 2007 | Library Theatre, Manchester | Stamford Arts Centre | Alsager Arts Centre | Jerzy Grotowski & Thomas Richards Workcentre, Pontadera, Italy | Charter & Guildhall, Preston | Art 06, Preston | Art 05, Liverpool | Wickham Theatre, Bristol | 2003 & 2005 Edinburgh Festival Fringe | International Theatre Festival, Amsterdam | National Review of Live Art, Glasgow | X.trax Festival, Manchester | Frontiers International Theatre Festival, MMU | Street Level Arts Festival, Whitstable | Commonwealth Games 2002 Arts Festival, Manchester | eXpo, Nottingham | Axis Arts Centre, MMU Cheshire, Crewe | stage@leeds, University of Leeds | Aberystwyth Arts Centre / Canolfan y Celfyddydau | Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University | Performing House, York St John University | Media Factory, UCLan, Preston | University of Winchester