Empty Deck is a new theatre collective that collaborates with playwrights and artists from all over the world, bringing the best of international new writing to the UK stage for the first time.
Help us make our first season in Cardiff a success!
We may have spent too many nighttime hours watching The Killing or The Bridge, or immersed in the brooding novels of Karl Ove Knausgaard and Stieg Larsson... and we got thinking: Where’s the theatrical equivalent to all this Nordic Noir?
Beyond Jon Fosse’s work, little is known of contemporary Scandinavian playwrights. Over the last 12 months Empty Deck has been developing Ibsen Award winner Arne Lygre’s Then Silence for its English-language world premiere, and that development has led us to discover other exciting, award-winning Scandinavian playwrights, both up-and-coming and established, whose work deserves a wider and English audience.
Thanks to International Performing Rights Ltd and Theatre Colombine Agency we have now selected plays from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway that we shall be presenting readings of across three venues in Cardiff between October – November.
This play, by Danish Christian Lollike, grabbed our attention in particular and we’d like to do more than just a rehearsed reading of it. We’re asking for your support to enable one week’s Research & Development and performance sharing of this play during our residency at The Other Room, Cardiff's pub theatre.
Cosmic Fear is about three peoples' paralysis in the face of climate change. Not knowing what to do they all imagine themselves to be Brad Pitt, using his status as Hollywood hero to make a blockbuster film campaigning for a new global consciousness of universal love, with the mission of saving Planet Earth.
It’s silly. And it’s scary. But it is an ever-relevant play, which asks pertinent questions of our responsibility as individuals towards the care of the planet, humanity and the future. It reaches into our genuine concerns, fears, confusion, denial and anger about the devastating effects of climate change on the world.
Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, and the team is only as good as the collaborators with whom we work.
As part of our residency at The Other Room Theatre, all venue and marketing costs are covered. However we want to employ the most exciting Cardiff-based creatives to work with us for the week. To excavate the ongoing issues of climate change and look at how we can present this text through both theatrical and digital means, we want to engage:
- 3 actors
- One video designer
- One dramaturge
It’s important to us that artists are respected and paid properly for their hard work and creativity, in line with the Independent Theatre Council recommended rates of pay. Your support will enable us to do just that.
Empty Deck is made up of a core team of creatives, who on each project engage with different artists, performers and venues, with the view to building long-lasting associations and partnerships.
Kay is a freelance theatre director, who trained at Drama Centre London and read English & Theatre Studies at Warwick University. She is a founding member of award-winning Curious Directive with whom she has devised, performed and directed. In 2014 she was Trainee Director at Paines Plough.
Then Silence (Empty Deck; Platform Theatre, Tristan Bates, New Diorama); A Local Boy (Invertigo, Pleasance); Property and Clarion (PlayWROUGHT, Arcola); True or False (Theatre Uncut, Arcola); Free Fall (Invertigo, Guildhall School of Music and Drama); The Lodger and Home (Oval House); Just One (Lost Theatre); The Nth Degree (Old Red Lion and Rosemary Branch); An Ordinary Spectacle (curious directive, Powder Blue Orthogonal Pavilion); Mercury Fur (site specific, Leamington Spa).
As Assistant Director:
Clarion (Arcola); 2071 (Royal Court Theatre); An Intervention (Paines Plough, Watford Palace Theatre); Don Gil of the Green Breeches (Theatre Royal Bath; Arcola; Belgrade Theatre Coventry); Return to the Silence (curious directive, Pleasance); Othello (Veni Vidi); Tender Napalm (Southwark Playhouse).
Fern has worked between Italy, Australia and Wales for the last 7 years. Most recently she worked at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on forming their strategic producing plan and new vision under their new artistic director.
Associate Producer - Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, January 2014 - August 2015; Co-producer - ‘Land of Our Fathers’ UK national tour 2015-16, in partnership with Theatre 503 & Tara Finney Productions ; Producer - ‘Man to Man’, adaptation by Alexandra Wood, directed by Bruce Guthrie and Scott Graham – playing at Underbelly Topside 05-31 August and touring in 2016; Producer - ‘Richard III’, all female site-specific production in association with Omidaze Productions ; Festival Programmer - ‘WOW Caerdydd’ (Women of the World) in partnership with Southbank Centre, London ; Creative Producer - Incubator, Wales Millennium Centre; Project Manager - Cardiff Fun Palaces events, in association in Fun Palace HQ, London ; Programming support of Weston Studio (black box, 207 seat venue) across Spring & Summer seasons; Programme Coordinator – Theatrino, Italy (Italy’s national touring Theatre in Education Company) October – December 2013; Producer – The Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne. ‘Hey! Yeah! It’s Molly’s Travelling Worm Show’; General Manager – The Actor’s Pulse, Sydney. December 2012 – August 2013; Production Assistant – Sydney Festival, Sydney; Production Manager – The New Theatre, Sydney; Production Manager - Theatrino, Italy (Italy’s national touring Theatre in Education Company), September 2009 – November 2012.
Born in Romania, Denisa's training has included 5 years of Architecure and Design, 8 years of Drawing and Painting, 3 years of Sculpture and 6 years of Art History. At Central Saint Martins she developed her practice through both devised and design-led projects.
Production Designer - Dare to Sea (UK tour) and The Tin Soldier (Roundhouse) both with Peut-être Theatre.
Set and costume design: Leonce and Lena (Brockley Jack Studio Theatre); Most People are Other People at Tristan Bates Theatre; Deja Blue in collaboration with BirdGang Dance Company (Panarmonion Stage); Minions Collective - Fashion Performance, Universal Pictures (Central Saint Martins); Romeo and Juliet - Opera, by English Pocket Opera Company (Royal Albert Hall); Orpheus and Eurydice in collaboration with English Pocket Opera Company (Platform Theatre, CSM); Raw Footage (Dance Umbrella Festival); Carnival Messiah (Harewood House).
Design Assistant: I Do (Dante or Die, Almeida Festival and Sitelines Festival, Reading);
Production Design Assistant: Two Days in the Smoke, feature film (Slate4Films)
Sara is a post-graduate of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance and has collaborated with Kay since the early days of curious directive.
As Movement Director / Choreographer:
Ages Old Vic (New Voices); Embodied Mind Project (Derek Jarman Lab); Sometimes There’s Light (Sometimes There’s Dark) [Asst. Choreo] (Moving Dust UK Tour); Animaled (LSFF 2014); Then, Silence (Tristan Bates Theatre); Late in the Day (Reckless Moment Productions), Hen&Chickens Theatre; No Assets (Spring Offensive); IceScream Development (Arcola Theatre) [Assistant]; Body in Light (Curious Directive for the CAPITAL Centre); Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Freshblood for Warwick Arts Centre); Return to the Silence (Curious Directive for Warwick Arts Centre, NSDF & Shunt).
As Dancer / Deviser:
2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony LOCOG; Moonscapes (Hoxton Theatre); Exoplanets (Curious Directive for Latitude Festival); Science Museum Lates Curious Directive for the Science Museum; An Ordinary Spectacle (Curious Directive on the Powder Blue Orthogonal Pavilion).
In our inaugural year we've had these kind words said of us and our work:
James Grieve, Artistic Director Paines Plough (On Then Silence, Platform Theatre):
‘Terrific performances… Directed with flair and intuition’
Andrew Haydon, Postcards From The Gods (On Then Silence, Platform Theatre):
‘Kay Michael has created a non-stop, thrilling physical version of this frightening, intelligent play... Here’s hoping it gets picked up by more theatres and soon.'
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Stay in touch and we’ll keep you up to date on our progress.
Risks and challenges
Our relationship with The Other Room Theatre has been developing for nearly a year now, and lots of planning has gone into this project, with Kate Wasserberg and her team acting as mentors.
This Residency at The Other Room is happening.
The risk is that without raising this extra money we won't be able to pay the members of our company and the Welsh creatives we are engaging fairly.
As a young company who don't receive regular funding this is the risk we run with all the work we create. Everyone in the company loves what they do but this shouldn't be an excuse to not pay them properly.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)