Skip to content
January 7, 2011 / Sophie_Paterson

Bare Knuckle Theatre

Having moved back to Cardiff after a four year absence I have been gratified to discover a thriving arts and cultural scene which seemed to be in its infancy when I left. Bare Knuckle Theatre is a prime example of one of the new and exciting arts groups which are emerging in the City.

Stephen Jones (on the left) and Simon Riordan rehearsing at The Gate

Bare Knuckle Theatre was formed in January 2009. I spoke to director Simon Riordan about the reasons behind starting his own Theatre Company, he told me that having done bar work he didn’t want to be one of ‘those’ men who sits in the pub lamenting what could have been ‘if only they’d had the opportunity’. He resolved to make his own opportunities and to provide opportunities for others to get involved in theatre and thus the idea for Bare Knuckle was born. The name Bare Knuckle comes from an important ethos behind the company,their motto being ‘Taking the Performance out of Performing’. They want to make theatre accessible to more people, to strip away perceived pretensions of style and technique associated with acting. By dealing ‘honestly and straightforwardly’ with theatre Bare Knuckle hope to broaden their appeal to both performers and audiences by focusing on characters and storytelling.

After bursting into life with a fundraiser and a successful musical extravaganza of A Midsummer Nights’ Dream in 2009 Bare Knuckle continue with Shakespeare in their current production of Twelfth Night. Which promises to be a timely and exuberant production of what is often called Shakespeare’s best comedy complete with live band! Simon is also planning a huge production of Romeo and Juliet next year. The intention is to branch out from Shakespeare and to take the company towards fulfilling its professional potential with a profit share production of Jason Robert Brown’s Songs from a New World and The Last Five Years in 2012. The company is run by a team of talented and committed volunteers who help with everything from accounting, to choreography. Though currently running on an amateur basis Bare Knuckle is a registered company and continues to professionalise, “I just wanted to put on a play!” Laughs Simon, who relishes being Director in both the creative and professional sense of the word. Bare Knuckle are still in the early stages of their life as a theatre company, but if their early days are anything to go by Cardiff can expect great things.

Their current production of Twelfth Night is on 7.30pm at The Gate Arts Centre in Roath, from the 6th to the 8th of January and you can buy tickets here.

post by Sophie Paterson


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: