Open Book Theatre Company was founded in 2013 by Nicky Diss, Vicky Gaskin and Eleanor Cope. The company stages theatrical interpretations of classic novels in library spaces, scripted and devised from the source material, whilst reinventing the library space as a performance space. Funded by Arts Council England, our productions urge the local community to explore their library, to encourage wider reading of classic literature and to inspire a new generation of theatre-goers, specifically targeting those who have little or no access to theatre.
We have brought productions of Dracula, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, The Snow Queen and Treasure Island to thousands of people in nine different London boroughs. Here are some things people have said about our work:
“It was great use of a library… highlighting the connection between great works of literature and the vital place libraries have in our society.” – David Norman, Clandestine Critic
“Open Book Theatre Company’s production of Alice In Wonderland was a theatrical treat. Using the space and furniture in a library setting meant children felt at ease and were able to involve themselves and move around the set and feel part of the production and get close to the actors. We are asked by parents who came or by those that heard afterwards, ‘when will you be doing something similar?’ and that shows what a positive impact Open Book had on their visit to Idea Store Watney Market and the local community as a whole.” – Neal Smith, Team Leader, Idea Store Watney Market
“Open Book Theatre has mounted an excellent site-specific production… intimate and engaging… it is these events that bring people together, which demonstrate why we need to save our libraries.” – Hannah Elsy, A Younger Theatre
“The whole place was totally transformed. It acquired a really spooky feel to it, and I felt the immediate environment with the books, the wooden furniture and bannisters, chairs and tables was absolutely perfect, so I couldn’t be happier. It was the perfect marriage of setting and background, and creativity and drama.” – Rosella Black, Librarian and Events Co-ordinator, Westminster Reference Library
Excellent idea to bring live theatre to libraries and that it’s free: enabling access for all. Liked that the production was not dumbed down or overacted like kids’ theatre can sometimes be. Well done guys! – Audience member, Stratford Library
Great initiative. Hope you can keep it going. Theatre is so important for children. – Audience member, Harlesden Library
Open Book Theatre Company is a not-for-profit organisation which relies on funding and individual generosity to continue its important work. If you can help in any way please do not hesitate to contact us.
…and they lived happily ever after.