News Story

house theatre announces its support for three brilliant contemporary theatre productions to tour south-east and east England during autumn 2023 alongside a new audience-centred ticket scheme

house theatre will present 3 theatre productions in its Autumn 2023 touring season with 31 performances touring to 24 arts centres across the southeast. The productions highlight some of the very best contemporary & physical theatre shows, made for a range of audiences touring to towns across the region.

Work for adults include physical theatre and circus piece, The Rest of Our Lives by Jo Fong & George Orange; a chaotic, funny, euphoric celebration of growing older and Fatherhood by Altered Skin’s Shane Shambhu which explores the impact of being a mixed-heritage Dad in the 21st century compared with similar stories from other perspectives and generations.

A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings from Irish director Dan Colley and the Riverbank ArtsCentre in Co. Kildare, Ireland brings Gabriel García Márquez’s darkly comic tale to the stage for children and adults alike. Using a combination of music, puppetry and live video projection, the production will enable theatres to present the piece in different spaces and attract an older family audience.

The season will be supported by the Take Your Seats ticket scheme; a 2 for 1 ticket offer and wider promotional activity aimed at encouraging lapsed theatre bookers to enjoy live performance in their local theatres.

Peter Glanville, director of Farnham Maltings which delivers the house theatre initiative, said,

“This autumn season from house celebrates some of the richest theatre currently touring, and we are delighted to be bringing these three productions to audiences throughout the southeast. Performances that broaden our understanding of one another and celebrate who we are. We are also hoping that audiences will take advantage of our Take Your Seats scheme and take a punt on seeing some uplifting, thought-provoking and unforgettable theatre.”

The house Autumn tours start on Thursday 21 September with The Rest of Our Lives at The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and runs until Friday 24 November with A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings at The Point in Eastleigh.

Jo Fong & George Orange and house present The Rest of Our Lives

Hopefully hopeful, The Rest of Our Lives is a joyful dose of dance, theatre, circus and silliness.

Jo is an old dancer, George an old clown. Theirs are two middle-aged lives in an eclectic, delightful decline. With over 100 years of life experience between them and armed with a soundtrack of floor-fillers, a book of raffle tickets and a sprinkling of eco-friendly optimism The Rest of Our Lives is their celebration; an evening of laughter and living life to the full.

Age guidance: Suitable for ages 14+ Contains middle-aged themes and strong language

Running time: 80 minutes

BSL interpretation is available to audiences at each performance of The Rest of Our Lives on the house tour.

About Jo Fong & George Orange

Jo’s creative work reflects the need in these times for people to come together. Her artistic practice is an evolving, collaborative approach which puts ideas around belonging or forming community in the forefront. She has been commissioned and performed work in festivals and venues all over the world.

George is a performance artist, circus performer/director, outdoor theatre maker, former mascot, ex drag performer, creator of Mary Bijou Cabaret. But most of all, and without a doubt, he is a clown.

Touring from 21 September 2023, presented by house

4 Stars

A blueprint for happiness


Altered Skin & house present Fatherhood

Being a father in the 21st century is complicated. Being the father of a young son of mixed South Indian, Turkish & Austrian heritage, even more so.

Three very different stories of being and having a dad are brought together with humour and sensitivity, through physical theatre rooted in the Indian performing artform Bharatanatyam. Fatherhood explores the cultural & gender expectations on fathers across generations and what it means to be responsible for a child navigating an increasingly complex world.

Fatherhood features a deaf character who uses BSL as well as his own home language, a version of sign language that individual families and communities develop, often where deaf and hearing people need to communicate. The show also features several different spoken languages, Turkish, Malayalam, Tamil and German. Every performance of Fatherhood includes creative, integrated captions. These will translate spoken and signed languages as well as describe sounds for deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

Running time: 70 minutes
Age guidance: 12+ Contains occasional references to physical violence, camera flashes

About Altered Skin

Altered Skin is a pioneering, physical theatre company based in Birmingham. Its unique brand of performance rooted in the Indian performing artform Bharatanatyam, integrates movement and multilingual text in an exciting and accessible new theatrical vocabulary.

Touring from 27 September 2023, presented by house

Puts the challenges of modern parenting & complexities of the migrant experience in the spotlight it deserves with intelligence, humanity & compassion


Dan Colley and Riverbank Arts Centre and house present A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings

In a kitchen, in a theatre, two storytellers and their audience find something remarkable — a very old man with enormous wings. After consulting with the neighbour – who’s an expert on all things magic – the couple decide to shelter him in the chicken coop and feed him with food scraps. A wise woman says he’s an angel. The priest says he’s an imposter. Pilgrims flock to see him.

Inspired by Gabriel García Márquez's darkly comic tale, the show taps into both the best and worst of mankind, wryly examining the human response to those who are weak, dependent, and different.

Using a combination of music, puppetry and live video projection this magic-realist gem is brought to the stage with beautiful, strange, emotional richness.

Age guidance: For children 8+ and adults of all ages

Running time: 45 minutes

About Dan Colley and Riverbank Arts Centre

Dan Colley is a Creative Director and Producer specialising in ensemble-devised theatre, theatre for young audiences, comedy, community participation, puppetry, and outdoor spectacle.

Riverbank Arts Centre is based in Newbridge, Co. Kildare and works in partnership with international, national and local artists to deliver an accessible and consistently high quality arts programme. They are a producer and co-producer of new work and support visual artists and theatre artists to develop and present work, with a particular focus on arts experiences for young people.

Touring from 2 November 2023, presented by house

5 Stars

The whole thing is an absolute delight

The Mail on Sunday

Autumn season supported by the Take Your Seats ticket scheme

Listening to venues across our network we discovered many are struggling to attract audiences for contemporary theatre and have less staffing and time capacity to sell the shows. Some of this is a hangover from Covid and once regular visitors not returning, and some undoubtedly the result of the current cost of living crisis but we know that when people do come out, they have a good time and they feel better.

We wanted to help so we've created the Take Your Seats campaign for our shows this autumn which is at its heart 'a two for one' ticket offer for each of the 3 house touring shows which can be passed on to audiences.

Aimed at lapsed attenders as well as culturally-engaged audiences, the offer will be supported by a regional marketing campaign run by mobius industries, to raise awareness of local venues and encourage people to give something a go on their doorstep.