Zoo Co was established in 2013 and has since created 3 critically acclaimed indoor productions, and 2 site specific shows, that have toured to over 30 venues across the UK and internationally. We are currently booking our 2018 tour for our new, critically acclaimed production GIANT, supported by Arts Council England, and The Girl Who Fell in Love With The Moon (Autumn 2017), which has just returned from international touring in Indonesia. We are currently a Supported Company at Greenwich Theatre, part of the Emerging Companies Programme this year with New Diorama, and resident theatre company at Bridgehouse Theatre (Warwick) and Caterham ArtsHouse.
Since winning the Les Enfants Terribles Award 2014 with our debut production The Hive, we have developed a reputation for bringing ‘explosive visual imagination’ to our work, including in our outdoor production ‘Monotone Man‘ commissioned by Lyric Hammersmith, Imagine Watford, GDIF and Latitude.
The Zoo Co ensemble have come together through non-traditional, alternative training routes, representing a new generation of theatre makers who are finding their voice in the industry via practical training and hands on experience.
The company are very proud to be mentored by Lee Simpson, Co-Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed company ‘Improbable’, Les Enfants Terribles, who supported our show in Edinburgh 2014 and offer continued advice and mentorship, Kath Burlinson, founder of the Authentic Artist Collective and Chris Grady.
For more information about our mentors, partners and venues, please click here.
Why the name? Because we are drawn to the idea that we can study people in the same way that we study animals, and believe that each artist and participant and audience member brings with them something new and diverse – we’re fascinated by both the everyday and the enormous, and hope to explore our fascination with human beings throughout the journey of our work.
There’s a playfulness which is central to our ethos that encourages us to create work that is fully energised, this playfulness tells us to really mud-wrestle with ideas, to hibernate and nest, to work as a pack, to do what feels natural even if it seems silly, outrageous, vulnerable or brave. There’s something very instinctive and immediate about working in this environment. And when we invite our audiences to ‘visit the zoo’, we hope that they will see that instinctual, playful fascination that we have with people, including them, too… The name was originally inspired by a radio podcast which studied humans as though they were on a nature programme, looking at pack mentality, herd-like behaviour, and how we behave on mass.
Engagement and Community
As part of our work, Zoo Co offers an extensive and dedicated attitude to creating valuable, meaningful and important engagement projects and opportunities to support and enhance our touring work. These are partnered with our central touring programme, or created as stand alone projects. Zoo Co practitioners have facilitated workshops and projects at Cornerstone Arts Centre, Fourth Monkey Theatre Company, Lincoln Drill Hall, Caterham School, Warwick Boys School, The Castle, Royal Holloway University, Glenthorne School, Groombridge Place, Prospero Theatre (inclusive arts org), in care homes and in partnership with many other organisations. We believe that the conversations we have with our audiences about our work are of equal importance to the work itself, and we dedicate ourselves to maintaining a sharing, generous attitude towards engagement work as a vital part of our creative output.
Shows currently touring:
‘An innovative young talent for the UK theatre industry’ – Jessica Hepburn, (Previously) Executive Director at Lyric Hammersmith‘Zoo Co are a group of dedicated and talented theatre makers. It will be fascinating to watch as they develop their collective voice, which shows every sign of being one that is passionate, distinctive and fresh.‘
– Lee Simpson, Co-Artistic Director of Improbable + Comedy Store Player‘