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who we are
Who We Are
Born and raised in North London (with a two-year hiatus in Gibraltar), Joel has been a lover of theatre since he sat in the stalls of Les Miserables at the age of 7.
It wasn’t until a school visit to the Royal Opera House, however, that showed him there was a world beyond the West End that might challenge and inspire him. At a performance of Il Trovatore, along with a load of other sixteen year olds, Joel realized that shows could be big, powerful, and exciting. And operatic.
Since then, Joel has developed his interest in theatre, especially musical theatre, and honed his skills as a producer of new British musical theatre work. As the co-director of FTG Productions, which he founded with choreographer Alfie Taylor-Gaunt, Joel has overseen the development of a number of musicals that are starting to find homes in London and beyond.
The Bunker is Joel’s next step in his theatrical adventure. As a producer, Joel is keen to work with artists who are excited to create new and intelligent pieces of theatre and musical theatre. Those artists are charcterised by an eagerness to develop, learn, and collaborate.
“I admire artists who have the highest of ambitions, while understanding those ambitions can only be achieved through effective collaboration.”
Although serving as The Bunker’s Executive Producer, balancing the books and developing the business’ commercial strategy, Joel has a strong creative interest and will be working with the venue’s emerging artists to develop and dramaturg their work, especially when it comes to new musicals.
“The Bunker is a place where people can experiment with theatre. In this space, artists and audiences alike have that opportunity, and I am excited to see what we discover together”
Joshua was brought up in the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, fondly known for its burnt-down Victorian pier, the infamous Lord Archer, and the Banksy exhibition Dismaland that took place in an abandoned and derelict outdoor lido. Perhaps influenced by this environment, Joshua is fascinated by theatre about decay, destruction, and anarchy.
A four-year stint at university in America took Joshua across the pond where he studied and trained with Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theatre, Diane Paulus. During this period he fell in love with the work of Anne Bogart, JoAnne Akalaitis, The Wooster Group, and Jay Scheib.
Since returning to the UK and relocating to London, Joshua has been working with writers to develop theatre that speaks to the here and now. Inspired by his American heroes, Joshua has been searching for a space that could become a playground for ambitious theatre artists who want to create work that is challenging, risky, and adventurous. The Bunker, with its concrete pillars and underground setting, is a dream home for contemporary theatre with an edge.
“The Bunker’s doors have been flung wide open, revealing a space for any and all theatre-makers and audiences who have something to say that speaks to the here and now”
As Artistic Director, Joshua oversees the programming of The Bunker as well as the venue management. You are just as likely to see him tearing tickets at the door as you are to see him directing a show or working with a writer.
“For me, it is important that I meet our audiences, potential collaborators, and people in the local community. I love theatre because I love stories, and I can’t wait to see and hear the stories our artists and our audiences have to share.”
Sara is from Co Wicklow in Ireland. She loves good stories and outrageous ideas. She believes theatre should always be made with a spirit of fun, integrity and bravery.
Inspired by the literary culture she grew up with but also frustrated by the boring reprises of classic text on Irish main stages, Sara started looking at artists making new work and playing with form and after four years of academia, trained at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Now, Sara wants to bring text alive with a fresh approach to physicality. She’s interested in writer led processes and loves developing work from the very beginning. Sara has also long believed in a need for a shift in industry models of casting that can deprive actors of creative autonomy.
“The Bunker is a space that demands artists not to play it safe. London has been aching for somewhere that champions new artists with big ideas. I want to encourage people to be their best selves and say what they want; not what they think they should.”
Sara will be working closely with writers at The Bunker to explore and develop their ideas. This can be in the form of full plays, r & d’s, readings or just chatting through initial concepts.
“The Bunker has a genuine commitment to support new ideas and make theatre that appeals to audiences who mightn’t feel other theatres are for them. It’s special, there’s something very exciting about this space.”