Kneehigh Theatre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search

Kneehigh Theatre is an international theatre company based in Cornwall, England.


Kneehigh was started in 1980 by Mike Shepherd. Early productions were performed in village halls, marquees, cliff-tops and quarries. Their productions are often based around mythological tales such as the Hans Christian Andersen fairy-tale The Red Shoes, The Bacchae and the Cornish legend Tristan and Yseult. Their artistic director Emma Rice won Best Director 2002, Barclays Theatre Awards.[1]

Their productions are often performed outside in locations such as Restormel Castle, the Minack Theatre and the Eden Project. Kneehigh have a venue called The Asylum, a tent that can be configured in 5 ways and pitched in 1 day on any surface.[2] They use a variety of theatrical elements including puppetry, live music (often played with folk instruments such as ukuleles and dulcimers) and an emphasis on visual imagery.

Between 1989 and 2006, Sue Hill and Bill Mitchell were working as part of Kneehigh on work that was happening outdoors and on site, influenced heavily by such groups as Footsbarn Theatre and Welfare State International. However, feeling that Kneehigh was pulling in 2 different directions, one based in studios and theatres, and the other based in the landscape, Hill and Mitchell formed their own company Wildworks. The first Wildworks productions were initially co-productions with Kneehigh until 2006 when they made Souterrain, their first independent production.[3]

In the autumn of 2007, Kneehigh toured village halls in Cornwall with Blast! A Cornish Expose Performed by 3 Complete Idiots! and presented Noël Coward's Brief Encounter in Birmingham and at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. After finishing a run of Brief Encounter at the Cinema Haymarket in the West End, the show toured the UK before going overseas to Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.


"Steptoe And Son" – 2012, Oxford Playhouse, Oxford

The Company[edit]

Although the company does vary between productions, there are a number of people who are repeatedly involved with Kneehigh. The company includes:


  1. ^ "Contributors – Conference 09 – Events – The Theatres Trust". 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Asylum – Kneehigh". Retrieved 7 March 2009. 
  3. ^ "How we began – Wildworks". Retrieved 11 April 2009. 
  4. ^ The Stage review

External links[edit]