Natural Theatre is famous for its street theatre acts. Their work is designed to be seen by real people in real situations.
Though deliberately thought provoking and ‘different’, it is often unannounced and can disappear as anonymously as it arrives. Sometimes people don’t even realise they are experiencing theatre until it has gone. They want to be a humorous part of daily life, hence the word ‘natural’ in the title.
No main street or shopping centre these days is without its share of street entertainers and buskers. Although the quality of the acts varies, it seems that on the whole the general public really enjoy being entertained as they go about their business.
I said street theatre, but in actual fact the company can take theatre almost anywhere. Their corporate bookings can put them in the strangest situations and of course the (sometimes) exotic lands they visit are full of surprises when it comes to performance venues.
Someone said ‘You ought to make a list of all the weird and wonderful places you have performed’. Well, there’s nothing I like more than lists, so here it is. In the 79 countries the company has visited, they have performed at least once in the following venues that are not streets:
A camel market, a cruise liner, the Berlin Philharmonic, the roof of a public toilet, on a plane, a ski lift, an airport baggage reclaim, Louisianana County Sherriff’s Office, in a hedge, up a tree, a mountain top in Korea, a theme park in Tokyo, at the Millennium Dome, a yacht in Monte Carlo, a big dipper, Marks and Spencer’s window, and the throne room in the Queen of Holland’s palace.
A rave, the steps of St Paul’s, the back of a moving van, an adventure playground, a Brazilian favela, a hospital ward, a cable car, a circus, an Olympic stadium, on a paraglider, a zoo cage, a Rotterdam prostitute’s window, the Tower of London, a hot air balloon, the Dorchester, the New Zealand Test Match pitch, an aquarium, a drained swimming pool, on stage with Kenny Rogers, a dole office in Ecuador, at Glastonbury festival, in a life drawing class, on the Orient Express, in an opera house, the Brit Awards, a bar mitzvah, the top of Tower Bridge, Ipanema Beach, the Mersey Ferry, a South American bus station, Kensington Roof Garden, a Hells Angels club, an Antipodean sheep-shearing parade, the Hurlingham Clubman air force base, a battleship, the middle of Dartmoor, the Natural History Museum dinosaur room, and an underground car park.
Brighton beach, a cornfield, Canary Wharf, a Barrett show home, LEGOLAND, a phone box, the world’s largest beer hall, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, a bed centre, the Grand Prix, Ascot racecourse, the Vienna Ideal Home Exhibition, in a garden show in China, Raffles Hotel, Sydney Opera House steps, a crocodile enclosure, a paddle steamer, a desert, an Imax cinema, a fashion show catwalk, a girl’s Borstal dormitory, Harrods, Foyle’s, London Bridge station, the London Olympic Park, the Garrick Club, a hat museum, the London Eye and a sewage pumping station.
Buckingham Palace lawn, an old folk’s home, a carpet factory, a koala bear reserve, a masonic temple, a grotto, an abandoned railway tunnel, on the Hamburg U-Bahn, the Royal Crescent Hotel, the Acropolis, a car assembly line, a cathedral, the Trevi Fountain, Sting’s front room, and McDonald’s in Minsk.
Apart from that the Coneheads have been photographed at Horseguards Parade, in Death Valley, at the Great Pyramids, by a Balinese temple and in both the Red Sea and The Ganges.
A list of places yet to be graced by the company includes a prison, the Louvre, and the Houses of Parliament.
Come on Don Foster I’m sure you could swing that last one!
Adapted from a Bath Chronicle column 2000.