Ragroof Theatre is a Brighton-based theatre company that specialises in site-specific work, engaging and collaborating with the community in which its productions are realised.
Ragroof was founded in 2001, its members having met while studying Theatre with Visual Practise at the University of Brighton. We conceived a theatre production in and around a Citroën 2CV, using car and street as site and context. ‘Deux Cheveaux Voyagent’ was our first devised work for outdoors, and it toured French street theatre festivals including Aurillac.
After its members graduated, Ragroof Theatre was funded in 2004 by Arts Council South East to produce ‘Make Do and Mend’ and ‘The Button Museum’, a site-specific show accompanied by an installation based on local older people’s memories about life in the 1940s. The show premiered in Tunbridge Wells and has since toured nationally; the work has been adapted many times for the places in which it has been hosted.
‘Make Do and Mend’ established Ragroof’s research process, using reminiscence as a major tool and starting point for theatre and storytelling. By developing this personal contact with communities, Ragroof has formed a special relationship with a diverse audience. This strong link with the communities in which we make work is appreciated and felt by our audiences, making them feel as closely connected to the piece as those that have made it. Ragroof Theatre aim to deliver high quality performances that reach as many people as possible, whilst retaining this emphasis on community participation and personal involvement.
Ragroof have since developed a passion for social dancing and the bringing
together of multi-generational communities, and we have continued to involve
and share work with people who have previously never experienced contemporary
theatre. Our style of theatre is defined by a theatrical language of dance,
colour, singing, soundscapes and storytelling, brought together in a variety
of places, both indoors and outdoors. Ragroof are a team of diverse performers
and artists, united in their passion and commitment for the work they produce.
They have invited a broad variety of actors, composers and writers to contribute
to their projects.
Ragroof Theatre receive ongoing and invaluable support from Basement Arts Production, South East in all areas of business mentoring – such as producing, fundraising, marketing and selling work – as well as financial advice. Basement Arts also provide Ragroof Theatre with storage space, office space and a fabulous rehearsal space for creation.