WHAT WE DO
Cyphers is a Hampshire-based theatre company, making and touring work across the UK.
We make ensemble adaptations of classic stories for the stage. We believe classic stories provide crucial perspective on our own times and issues, they have the ability to connect us across generations, societies and cultures, creating empathy, acceptance and understanding.
Our ensemble adaptations utilise movement, music and design, to make pieces that are bold, vibrant and alive.
We are committed to providing students and recent university graduates with resources, support and training to help them pursue a career in theatre.
As a company founded and run by university graduates, we are well aware of the practical, financial and artistic challenges that graduates face when attempting to find their feet in this profession.
We provide free resources as well as affordable workshops, training and mentorship, to encourage new voices and approaches, to ensure that the theatre industry continues to innovate, expand and diversify.
Alongside our productions, we provide educational resources so classic literature can be taught in a way that is accessible and enjoyable.
Teaching aids and resources are available for free through our website, and we run workshops for both pupils and teachers to share active and interpretive techniques for making classic literature engaging and accessible.
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 student actors, 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 Marcus Bazley as co-Artistic Directors, 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, 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.