the story so far –
Notional Theatre has existed as an informal occasional company since 1986; as a small umbrella to shelter a variety of projects initiated by Terry Victor.
Over the years Notional Theatre has presented contemporary political theatre, including: NO OFFENCE (2008) and the Welsh premiere of Caryl Churchill's SEVEN JEWISH CHILDREN (2010); children’s theatre, including: JACKO’S JIGGUMBOB (1989-2005) and Grimms' HANS, MY HEDGEHOG (1993); stage adaptations drawn from literature: WELL THUMBED, a portmanteau of the bawdy, as an ensemble and revisited as a one-man performance (2000, 2016-2018), Tolstoy’s MEMOIRS OF A LUNATIC (1986) and ANISSIA (1990); interactive museum interpretation: THE BUTLER AND THE HOUSEKEEPER at Tredegar House (1998-2006); at Newport Museum, various interactive pieces and themed characters (2003-6).
In September 2011, following advice from ACW, Notional Theatre was reconstituted as a formal enterprise in order to develop and tour FRAGMENTS OF ASH which had just enjoyed a critically acclaimed run on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
In November 2011 the beginnings of AWKWARD TURTLE FLIPS THE BIRD were shown as part of the WMC's Incubator and in March 2012 an 'instant performance' of Liu Xiaobo's YOU WAIT FOR ME WITH DUST was staged in the foyer of the Sherman Theatre. In May and June 2012, FRAGMENTS OF ASH toured to great reviews. AWKWARD TURTLE FLIPS THE BIRD took up much of 2013 and, among other outcomes, became a chapter in “Global English Slang’ (Routledge, 2014).
2014 was very experimental in tone and much concerned with responding to visual art. TWO OLD CORINTHIANS was created and performed for, and in front of, an untitled canvas by Helen Bur as a part of the Solve et Coagula exhibition which opened the Abacus gallery in Cardiff. THE GOSPEL OF NULLIFIDIAN was created with comic book artist Mike Collins and performed at Chapter as a script-in-development; the work explored the possibilities of graphic novels as a theatrical form, and contained in its heart a hidden word gifted by Neil Gaiman. The third piece in an untypical triptych was WHAAM! a short radio play by Terry Victor which responded to Roy Lichtenstein's painting of the same title; the play was commissioned for Arts Council Wales and Radio Cardiff. Notional Theatre was back at the Abacus for the Worldwide Reading for Edward Snowden.
In 2016 Notional Theatre was 30 years of age and celebrating our 5th birthday by revisiting WELL THUMBED, a show that was 16-years’ old. Then there was some talk of developing a site-specific piece from ideas touched upon in AWAY WITH THE FAIRIES. Then we talked about having a birthday party. Neither of those things happened. We got distracted. In 2017 WELL THUMBED, in collaboration with the fine artist Carl Chapple, enjoyed the full run of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In 2018 Notional Theatre was reformed and reborn again. As of April 24th we became Notional Theatre C.I.C. (that’s a Community Interest Company), with a board of directors and a new bank account. Notional was the same old notion-driven company but with the new structures now in place we were in a position to bring an extraordinary piece of work to the stage. CLARISSA! was originally explored as a commissioned script for a cabaret. However, it grew into a rumination on love and the aging process, inspired in great part by Picasso’s ‘Guernica’. It was be a mighty collaboration.
Then before we could turn around Covid took a grip. And lockdown. It was a time of jabs and boosters. But for a couple of online experiments the Notional focus blinked and shifted.
Until 2023. Now we are 37. And still in the playground. GROTTO is a new piece in constant development, reacting to the headlines. Ostensibly a mythical character stand-up in form, it is a dark satire couched in light jokes. GROTTO is Terry Victor running scared, straight into the spotlight.