News from - ‘Uncategorized’

‘Bliss’ Cast Announced

April 4th, 2022

We are delighted to announce the cast of our upcoming production, ‘Bliss’ by Fraser Grace, playing at the Finborough Theatre from May 17th to June 11th.  ‘Bliss’ follows the story of 2 families rebuilding themselves following the brutal civil war after the Soviet revolution.  A tale of loss, survival and love in a provincial town, seemingly far from anywhere but which feels very close to home.  Here’s the full cast:

‘Bliss’ by Fraser Grace
Directed by Paul Bourne
Nikita Firsov – Jesse Rutherford
Lyuba – Bess Roche
Mikhail / Vlass – Patrick Morris
Zhenya / Paulina – Caroline Rippin
Tramp / Investigator – Jeremy Killick


Launch of new Supporters Scheme

November 23rd, 2021

We are proud to announce the launch of the Menagerie Supporters scheme as of November 15th 2021.  As we look ahead to 2022, with a new production of Fraser Grace’s epic play, ‘Bliss’ in February, the Young Writers’ Workshop in the Spring, Hotbed Festival in July and a new touring show in the Autumn, we need as much support as we can get!  It’s very simple – we have 3 levels of annual giving: £25, £50 and £100.  Each brings particular benefits and you can find out full information by going to our ‘Support Us‘ page.



Screening of ‘Under the Weather’ and launch of Supporters scheme

November 15th, 2021

Under the Weather, a film by Steve Waters, received its premier screening at Hotbed in July 2021.  On November 15th, at Arts Picturehouse in Cambridge, we give a special screening of the film as part of our event, ‘The Gathering’.  At this event, we launch our Menagerie Supporters scheme, to encourage individual donations to Menagerie’s work.  As we emerge out of the year of lockdowns and online projects, we have set a new course for the coming year which deepens our investment in developing playwrights and their work.  This will benefit not only our audiences, but all those who experience their work.  The more that we can truly nurture talent, the the better it is for the future of new writing. Our Menagerie Supporters scheme invites people to get closer to the company’s work and – yes – to invest in the creative journeys that begin with our writers & culminate in Hotbed and our productions.   Please consider subscribing to our regular newsletter and find out more about about the Menagerie Supporters scheme by clicking here.


Uncategorized , , , ,

Escapism – Plays to Perform at Home – Up and Running

May 31st, 2020

Tired of Lockdown?  Want something fun and creative to do?  Welcome to EscapismOriginal radio plays for you to perform and record at home.  Your chance to star in a radio performance of plays written by professional playwrights.  Open to children, young people and adults of all ages.  You can do it alone or with your household – the important thing is to have fun making something original.  


Record on your phone, computer, tablet or your multi-track recording studio, it’s all the same to us.  Once you’ve finished, send it to Menagerie and we will release it to the world via social media.  Performers and sound effects wizards, over to you…  



There are 4 plays to choose from, each 10-15 minutes long, each for a different number of performers. 


Before you do any recording, click HERE for guidelines on how to get the best results and how to send the recording to Menagerie.   And click on the play titles to take you to the scripts.  


Island Ecology by Craig Baxter.  For 4 performers.  Stranded on a desert island, 4 friends have to learn how to survive without descending into brutality and power games.


Headhunters by Fraser Grace.  For 3 performers.  A crazy journey into a secret world.  Chubber, Lalli and Bodge get inside heads to fix minds, mend pains and flush out bad memories.  But this job is the toughest yet.


The Fall by Vanessa AckermanFor 2 performers.  Hansel and Gretel set the record straight about who they are and what really happened the night they finally got home from the forest.


A Drop of Human Kindness (Female Version) and A Drop of Human Kindness (Male Version) by Danusia Iswaszko.  For 1 performer.  A story about the joys of gardening and the terror of being indoors with the one you love more than anything in the world.  


A Drop of Human Kindness’ is the only one which specifically requires an adult for the role.  All the other 3 plays can be performed by children, young people and/or adults.  


Whether you’re an old hand or this is your first time, just give it your best shot and we will do the rest. 


Events, Uncategorized

Menagerie Gets Arts Council Emergency Funding

May 23rd, 2020

Menagerie applied for, and received, emergency funding from Arts Council England, to help us through this time.  It means that we can continue to be a magnet for new writing, developing work, mentoring writers and engaging audiences.

We’re getting straight to work with a participatory project – radio plays for people to perform at home.  Under the title ‘ESCAPISM’,  we commissioned 4 writers to come up with short plays for you to perform, either alone or with other members of your household.  The plays are written for audio only, so if you record them and send the performance to us, we will release the performances on a rolling basis via our website and social media channels.

Who can perform these plays?  Adults, children, teenagers….  We will publish them online and you will find a script for 1 performer, 2 performers, 3 performers or 4 performers.  We’re looking forward to hearing how many different ways people will create the sound of characters changing size, climbing inside the head of an unsuspecting bystander, and falling headlong into their memory bank….

Full details on how to participate will be on the homepage at the beginning of June.  Any questions, please contact


Events, menagerie, Uncategorized , ,

‘Bliss’ website up and running

November 14th, 2019

‘Bliss’, our new project for 2019-20 now has its own dedicated website.  You can read up on its journey so far, view images from the performances in Voronezh, Russia, watch some video reel, and find out more about how this remarkable play came into being.  Below is a picture of Andrey Platonov statue on Revolution Prospect in Voronezh.  Unlike many of the stern Soviet statues, you can see the hint of a smile in this writer whose voice was largely silenced and censored during his lifetime.