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Residency 2009/10

The CAPITAL Centre is delighted to have Fail Better as its first resident company - for the second year running

Fail Better was founded in 2001 with a Pinter Double Bill (A Kind of Alaska and Silence) which toured to the Welsh College of Music and Drama, the RSC Summerhouse, and the Play in English Festival in Bratislava, Slovakia. Since then they have staged two Sarah Kane revivals: Crave ('gut-wretchingly effective' The Scotsman) and Phaedra's Love ('pure theatrical gold' Metro) at the Edinburgh Festival, as well as devised projects in London: Echo and Narcissus ('challenging, gripping, creative' The Stage) and Diary of a Madman ('Best Fringe Show of 2007' Time Out). At The CAPITAL Centre, they have staged Stasis: Beckett Shorts (Rough for Theatre II and Ohio Impromptu; Beckett and Visual Culture, 2007) and Lorca's Play without a Title (in a new version by David Johnston; now published by Oberon, 2008).

Working with Warwick students and staff through practical workshops, performance projects and work-in-progress showings, Fail Better’s residency delivers CAPITAL’s objective of developing creative thinking through forms of teaching and learning that emphasise active performance on the part of both teachers and learners. This will involve:

Learning Events: embedding the workshop methodology

  • Applied Performance: a range of creative learning experiences (from Chemistry to Commerce) and continue to develop an ensemble of performers to contribute to public events (from Neuroscience to Networking).
  • Performing Philosophy: an induction session for first-years, a third-year workshop as part of Textual Studies and the annual Phil/Lit Weekend. These events continue three years of collaborative work with the Philosophy and Literature course.
  • Rehearsing Beckett: practical workshops for a range of modules within the departments of English and Theatre Studies. A specific area of expertise for the company’s director, these sessions offer cutting-edge performance-based learning.

Theatrical Production: offering production placements

Fail Better have re-staged their critically acclaimed show Diary of a Madman (after Gogol, celebrating his 200th anniversary). Continuing their development of professional learning (crucial to the success of last year’s Lorca project), they offered four production placements to Warwick students:

  • Assistant Director
  • Assistant Producer (Publicity)
  • Assistant Producer (Press)
  • Assistant Stage Manager

This strand will be developed for Fail Better's next production, Stasis: Beckett Shorts.

Performance Research: developing a student ensemble

Fail Better will continue their Research and Development work within the centre and the Artistic Director will offer a student ensemble the opportunity to collaborate on new projects, extending the work on ‘recyclings’ of Myth, Shakespeare and/or Beckett.

To request further information or to express an interest in any of the forthcoming projects, email Jonathan Heron at the CAPITAL Centre Please visit for information about the company’s work.