KQ Interview: New Diorama Theatre celebrate their 10th anniversary

The New Diorama Theatre turns 10 this year.

New Diorama is an 80-seat theatre based in Regent’s Place Campus NW1, with a mission to develop and support early and mid-career theatre companies and ensembles.

Since opening 10 years ago, New Diorama has welcomed over 200,000 audience members to productions by the best theatre companies making work in the UK today. New Diorama were named as Mayor of Camden’s Charity 2012/13, in recognition of their community programme which engages with over 10,000 local people every year.

New Diorama were also awarded consecutive prestigious Peter Brook Awards for their first two years of programming. In 2018, they were awarded the main Peter Brook Empty Space Award, and were named Fringe Theatre of The Year 2017/18 at The Stage Awards. Their ground breaking programming model was awarded the Innovation Award at The Stage Awards 18/19.

Their incredible season of anniversary programming has included Deciphering, a new show shining new light on who we are, where we’ve come from, and how we pass on our stories – created by the ground breaking curious directive and Indonesian collective Bombo – with a real-life mother-daughter performance at its heart.

This October, NDT will premier For Black Boys: a profound and playful new work from multi-award-winning company Nouveau Riche, exploring a world of music, movement, storytelling and verse – where six men clash and connect in a desperate bid for survival.

Interview with Jo Langdon, Marketing and Audience Development Manager:

“Since New Diorama opened a decade ago, we have been dedicated to supporting collaborative and ensemble work. Across the years the profile and popularity of the work we present has grownand shows presented at New Diorama now tour to audiences of tens of thousands across the UK, internationally and even Off-Broadway.

Our 10th anniversary season is the culmination of the last ten years –  a programme that showcases the most ambitious and captivating new theatre being made in the UK today.”

Why do you focus on early career theatre companies and ensembles, and how have the projects you work with changed over the last 10 years?

“Our 10th anniversary season has been made all the more poignant by the lockdowns, which have seen theatres across the country close. After such an enforced hiatus, our focus on ensembles, celebrating collaboration, coming together and collective working seems more important than ever. 

Groups, like a band, have a distinct voice and feel. Audiences love re-visiting the work of companies, enjoy witnessing their progression and artistic arc over a number of years. As we’ve become more established, our supported groups have grown enthusiastic fan bases, who support their work and allow them to continue to take real artistic risks.”

What is the vision for the next 10 years?

“New Diorama has grown to the point of being one of the most influential studio theatres in the country. This has been because of our willingness to innovate and find new ways of working. The last year has been about survival – and it is thanks to our partners, supporters and loyal audiences that we have made it through. 

However, as the dust settles, we are likely to find a new world waiting for us here on the other side. Quite how New Diorama, or any theatre, will respond to this new world, is still coming into focus – but I hope that, like the last ten years, the next ten will see us pioneering new ways of working, devising new models to better support artists, and attracting new audiences, all in service of imagining anew what it means to be a theatre in a new decade where nothing is as it was.”