Cyphers was founded in 2014 by Marcus Bazley and Victoria Hamblen, graduates from King's College London and SOAS respectively.
The aim was to create a company that inspired the imagination of its audience and made the theatre industry more accessible to university students and graduates.
We started with a semi-professional production of Shakespeare's Henry V, adapted for a cast of 5 with an 80 minute running time. The cast was made up of 3 professional actors and 2 students, as well as a student assistant director and student assistant producer.
We retained the same company for our adaptation of Great Expectations 5 months later. Both this and Henry V were performed at The Proud Archivist in Haggerston, where we were the resident company until its closure in 2016.
Our early work was staged largely in non-theatre spaces. Embracing the lack of technical resources, we focussed on making actor-centred, ensemble work, utilising flexible design to create character and space in an imaginative and playful manner.
After the success of Great Expectations, we quickly realised that working with novels and non-theatre texts suited our ensemble, story-telling style.
Victoria left the company in 2016 to pursue a career in law. This prompted a shift towards a more regional focus, as we started to make and tour our work around our Hampshire home.
In 2018, Will Holyhead and Katherine Rigg joined, and the company was officially incorporated as a not-for-profit organisation, limited by guarantee.
Since then, we have expanded our touring network and developed stronger relationships with more established venues, developing work at the Barbican Centre, MAST Studios (formerly Nuffield Southampton Theatres), Anvil Arts, Proteus Creation Space and Wiltshire Creative.
Our aim is to create theatre of the highest artistic quality, to provide affordable training to the next generation of theatre makers and to actively engage young people with the humanity of classic stories.
We receive no public funding for our work so rely completely on the generosity of donors and venues to support our work. All our income goes towards making our productions and our outreach work possible.
If you would like to make a one-off donation, you can do so via the PayPal link in this section.
If you would like to discuss other means of supporting our work, or more regular contributions, then please do get in touch.
Similarly, if you would like to understand more about our finances and how we make our work, please do get in touch and we will be very happy to discuss this with you.
Thank you in advance for your support.