"I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut - or get angry from the gut." Andy Kaufman
From the Gut Theatre are a young and dynamic theatre company based in South East London formed by three graduates of the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art, having previously worked together on a number of shows, including The English Game (Old Laundry Theatre), Rent (Bridewell), Low Road (Greenwood Theatre) and Henry IV (Pleasance Theatre). In 2017, we debuted number 40 on stage & screen and launched workshops for prospective Drama School students at Theatre Royal Stratford East. In 2018, we performed our hit play ISTANBUL: You’ll Never Walk Alone at the Edinburgh Fringe.
We love to keep things intimate and close to home, working with actors and artists we know and respect, as well as focusing on underdog stories, told from a different perspective and loaded with meaning.
fROM THE GUT’S RETREAT
What’s this all about?
We’re excited to launch From the Gut’s Well-being & Making Work Retreat for actors and artists. The retreat will be held at Slack House Farm in Cumbria, a working organic dairy farm and eco-hostel. We’ll be leaving London on June 16th & arriving back on the 22nd.
Our 7-day residential retreat is designed so attendees can:
restore their creativity energy and well-being through ‘process groups’,
continue their professional development with workshops by industry experts,
have the time, space and support to develop a personal project (short film, play, etc) leading to a showcase at Katzpace, London Bridge later on in the year,
unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Cumbrian countryside.
Our desire to pioneer this retreat comes from our personal frustrations with the lack of awareness and support that artist’s mental health & well-being receives throughout the industry. We want to empower actors to put their well-being at the forefront of their creative process; training, auditions and productions. We believe better mental health means better art.
What will happen on retreat?
On retreat we’ll live, eat, sleep and work together. All food will be provided - we’ll be in the middle of nowhere, so no Tesco’s! Before breakfast there’ll be a morning rave (physical warm-up) to get the blood pumping and energies up. After breakfast, there’ll be a safe and confidential ‘process group’, where you can talk about whatever you want to, such as feelings around your work, previous industry experiences, future expectations or the retreat itself.
We are partnering with Werner Valentin, a psychotherapist trained in Group Analysis to ensure all attendees are fully supported.
The rest of the day will be split between workshops to develop your personal project & on industry topics like directing, scriptwriting, voice & movement. As well as the From the Gut’s core facilitators, there will be two industry experts running workshops on the Tuesday & Wednesday. One of whom is Matt Woodhead of Fringe-First winning LUNG Theatre who will be running workshops on ‘Verbatim Theatre’ & ‘Developing an Idea into a National Tour’. The other (very exciting) expert will be announced shortly!
Who is the retreat for and how can I apply?
The retreat is for ten attendees and we are looking for people who feel their mental health has negatively impacted their career or their career has negatively impacted their mental health. Those who have a desire to create their own work but time, financial constraints or a lack of support is stopping them from taking the next step. We are aiming the retreats at artists in the early stages of their career - whatever their age!
We understand that ‘applications’ & ‘auditions’ can bring up certain anxieties for people and we want to ensure we reduce that as much as possible. We require no written application, just a couple of quick questions about you. The next step will be meeting applicants 1-to-1 in a casual setting - in person or on FaceTime.
We are applying for Arts Council funding and if successful, we will be able to offer the retreat (accommodation, food & travel) to attendees on donation basis, with no required fee.
If you can’t make the retreat or don’t join us this time round, don’t fear, we’ll be running workshops on the same principals at London & regional arts institutions and festivals in Autumn ‘19, including Birmingham Rep’s BEDLAM Festival. Join our mailing list to find out first about future retreats and workshops!
NICK HOWDEN-STEENSTRA - CO-FOUNDER
Nick trained at LAMDA, graduating in 2015. Since graduating Nick has appeared on screen in ‘People Just Do Nothing’ (BBC), number 40 (Short) and plays Reese on ‘On Order and Away’ (Amazon Prime). On stage he has appeared as POM in ‘Our Boys’ (Edinburgh Fringe), Laurence Marks in ‘Early Birds’ (Edinburgh Fringe) and King of France in ‘Queen Lear; (Tristan Bates).
Nick is an experienced Voiceover artist, clients include Spotify, Netflix, Chevrolet and Mercedes-Benz, his audiobook narration can be found on Audible.
Nick grew up in Warwickshire, was part of the RSC's Youth Theatre Program and has a special passion for Shakespeare. While working for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, he gave talks on Shakespeare's life and plays. He now practically uses this experience to apply to classical text analysis and performance.
SAM ANGELL - CO-FOUNDER
Sam debuted in ‘Billy Elliot’ on the West End in 2007, starring as the 12th incarnation of the title role. In addition to this, he has worked in television, commercials, film and theatre, allegedly.
He trained at LAMDA and graduated in 2015. His most recent projects include playing Peter in ‘Peter Pan’ at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Chris in the short film ‘Murder Myster’, Josh in ‘number 40’ (Short) and has recently played Boy in the UK Tour of ‘Cat In The Hat’.
Sam also works as a Movement Director, having recently worked on the Movement and Stage Combat on Lidless Theatre’s ‘Moonfleece’ (Pleasance) & 'They Have Long Arms and They Can Find Me’ (Katzpace) and Exploding Whale Theatre’s ‘Heroes’ (Brighton Fringe/Edinburgh Fringe/Bridge House Theatre).
DANIELLE PHILLIPS - ASSOCIATE ARTIST
Danielle graduated LAMDA in 2016. She has been involved with FTG since 2017, performing in ‘Istanbul: You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at Katzpace and Edinburgh Fringe. Danielle is also a founding member Flock Ensemble (a 10 strong female-led troupe).
With LUNG (a Fringe-First winning team), she toured both ‘E15’ (Winner of NSDF Edinburgh Award 2015) & ‘The 56’ (Shortlist BBC Best Radio Drama Awards 2017), for the latter, she won Spotlight’s ‘Most Promising Award' in 2015.
Her other theatre credits include David Edgar’s show 'Trying It On' (UK Tour/RSC/Royal Court), ‘Ghost Girl/Gwei Mui’ (Camden People's Theatre), ‘Dark Winter’ (Hull Truck) & ‘Reared’ (Theatre 503). Her screen credits include Steven Spielberg's ‘Ready Player One’ (2018) & ‘Father Brown’ (BBC).