John Mackay, Roland Oliver and Mark Buffery in King Lear. Photo: Alan Moore
January: first rehearsals. The Factory is still in course of redevelopment and our small production team liaises with its Building Site Manager, Steve Smith. The booking line is a single mobile phone, with no credit card facilities – the audience will pay on arrival. February 9th: King Lear opens with almost no pre-bookings. Six days later the cast of fifteen plays to an audience of only twelve. But on February 17th, The Independent gives half a page to an enthusiastic review by Toby O’Connor Morse. Bookings rocket. By the end of a 5-week run, the mobile phone is turning people away. A Midsummer Night’s Dream attracts Guardian critic, Lyn Gardner, and The Independent’s Paul Taylor. Almost overnight the company is recognised in the theatre world and has earned an audience of almost 8,000.
Briar Monro is appointed Project Administrator for the 2001 Season.