QuirkHouse Theatre Company is an alternative professional theatre company, founded in 2014 with writer and musician Jackie Carreira, that focuses on new writing from East Anglia-based playwrights.

See the website for more details: http://www.quirkhousetheatreco.com

Coming up:

Past:

October 2020

'Lockdown: the Musical' by Jackie Carreira

Neither a musical nor about lockdown, this is a play about a workshop audition for a terrible show - 'Love, Loss and Hope Behind a Perspex Screen' - but hey, we've all got to work, right? Funny and poignant, it takes a light-hearted look at what we go through when we really need that job, and what the arts mean to us.

"Absolutely loved Lockdown The Musical... it was brilliant... it always has been every time I've been to see [QuirkHouse]."

"Brilliant writing and performances - well done everyone - how lovely to see some live theatre again!"

"Great fun and some poignant observations about theatre and actors during lockdown."

April 2019

'QuirkHouse Five' Theatre Crawl

5 Plays, 5 Actors, 5 Writers, 5 Venues, 5 Short Walks

Five very different monologues, performed as part of the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival on the 6th and 7th April, preceded by an evening performance of all five on the 1st April.

'Sheila Hignall' by Sarah Payne
'Thack' by Richard Fisher
'Emily's Day' by Art Tanner
'The Life & Death of Roger St John Chatterley' by Richard Crawley
'The Crone' by Joanna Hagan-Young

'As always, superb performances' 'Get out and see this show!' 'I'm having such a lovely day!' 'What a great production - well done to everybody.'

October 2018

'Talking in the Library',
Library Fund-Raising Tour

The play looks at literature, literacy and life, as four characters from different worlds meet over a love of words.

Performed in libraries for the benefit of libraries and their visitors.

'We all really enjoyed this charming play.'
'
A lovely piece of uplifting theatre.'
'T
he script is a delight brought to life by a strong cast of four; truly funny and then deeply touching.'
'B
rilliant… A fantastic play!'
'
Thoughtful and very enjoyable.'
'
Talking in the Library is a grown up tale that explores themes that include feminism, male-stereotypes, abuse, self-development, ambitions and longing.'


Spring 2018

'QuirkHouse Five' Theatre Crawl

5 Plays, 5 Actors, 5 Writers, 5 Venues, 5 Short Walks

Five very different monologues, performed as part of the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival on the 21st and 22nd April, followed by an evening performance of all five on the 26th April.

'An Every Day Tale' by Richard Stainer
'Broken Angel' by John Goldman
'The Accidental Satanist' by Joanna Hagan-Young
'Unspoken Word' by Jackie Carreira
'Appointment' by Graham Allum


Winter 2017

'Winter Tails III' by Jackie Carreira

QuirkHouse Theatre's annual seasonal treat; a selection of magical, profound and somewhat silly animal tales and fables, suitable for all ages!

'With all the awful things going on in the world, tonight was a perfect antidote - it really put a smile on my face and the stories were beautiful.'
'We really enjoyed the performance... A refreshing evening of entertainment.'

Bury Free Press Review:
https://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/whats-on/review-winter-tails-iii-revenge-of-the-storyteller-1-8276323

Autumn 2017

As part of the new Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival, 25th-29th October, 2017:

War Poetry Readings
In assocation with students from Conservatoire East and the charity Walking With the Wounded.

'The Pickwick Papers' Reading
An extract from Dickens' classic performed in the Angel Hotel, where Dickens stayed in 1859 and 1861 when he gave lectures at the neighbouring Athenaeum.

July 2017

'QuirkHouse Five' Theatre Crawl

5 Plays, 5 Actors, 5 Writers
Five very different monologues, performed each day around Bury St Edmunds:

'Nothing Like a Dame' by Haydn McCabe
'Ragnarok' by Joanna Hagan-Young
'Bespoke' by Geoff Barford
'Me-Me the Mime 2' by Alex Griffin
'A New Chapter' by Clare Shaw

'Thoroughly brilliant..!'
'Well worth going - great fun.'
'Absolutely superb. A real mix of writing and acting styles, all entertaining and thought-provoking. Astounding amount of talent ... Wouldn't be at all surprised to see some of these names in lights one day.'
'Fabulous entertainment... Awesome.'

November 2016

'Winter Tails 2: Bigger. Funnier. Furrier.'
by Jackie Carreira

'Winter Tails' was previously such a success in Bury St Edmunds that this season, it was toured! A magical selection of animal tales and fables, suitable for all big kids from 5-105!

'Great fun!'
'A really charming and enjoyable evening - a packed house and appreciative audience. Congrats all round.'
'It was so funny - we laughed from start to finish and can't wait until the next one! Thank you.'

October 2016
'QuirkHouse Five' Theatre Crawl
5 Plays, 5 Actors, 5 Writers, 5 Venues
Five very different monologues, performed each day around Bury St Edmunds:
'Getting a Man In' by Sian Notley
'Fool' by Art Tanner
'Me-Me the Mime' by Alex Griffin
'Febronia' by Richard Stainer
'Dustman' by Jackie Carreira

'I would like to congratulate you on a brilliant idea, very well put on. The writing and acting was superb.'
'I loved the way they were all so different but complimented each other.'
'Such a good idea - a really enjoyable, interesting day!'
'I hope you make this a regular fixture on your calendar!'

April 2016

'Talking in the Library'
by Jackie Carreira

A moving exploration of literature, literacy and life, seen through the eyes of four people whose paths converge in their local library.                 

Full of touching observations and warm humour, with an abundance of clever parallels to famous literary pieces, making it a real treat for theatre and literary fans to unpick.' - Broadway Baby

Some audience reviews:
"A superb play... Lots of humour, pathos and questions to keep you engaged; well worth seeing."
"A really good play, so well acted... A brilliant performance."
"Truly stunning."
"A pleasure to see - I enjoyed it immensely.''
"Full of surprises... It made me laugh and it made me cry."
"I highly recommend going to see this fantastic play."

October / November 2015

'Head to Head' - three one-act duologues:

'The Dumb Waiter' by Harold Pinter
'Body and Soulmates' by John Gleeson
'An Extraordinary Rendition' by Richard Stainer

"Thanks to all. The three plays were really well written and performed; I will most definitely be coming to the next show. A big 'yes' from me!"
"All three were excellently performed and directed. I've never seen a Pinter play before but I will go to more in future."
"Innovative use of sound made the performance very intimate."

 April 2015

'The Seventh Train'
by Jackie Carreira

A poignant tale of journeys, beginnings and endings.

"I was totally blown away. I wasn't expecting such depth and beauty to the writing."
"We loved the play; it was very well written with great acting and we're looking forward to the next QuirkHouse production."
"Now I want get on the Seventh Train. I could, you know."

November 2014

'Winter Tails'
by Jackie Carreira

A magical carpet ride of animal fables from around the world and through the centuries.

"I loved the mix of traditional storytelling and creative physical theatre in an intimate space."
"Very good fun with a bit of silliness on top!"

August 2014

'Talking in the Library'
by Jackie Carreira

A moving exploration of literature, literacy and life, seen through the eyes of four people whose paths converge in their local library.

"Wow, just wow. If you missed this play, hope that it is performed again and soon. Great and very moving performances and brilliantly written."
"Well-written and performed, we enjoyed it immensely."

Submissions:

As a company that focuses on new writing and promoting East Anglian talent, we openly accept submissions from all writers who are based in East Anglia (Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex), within the following guidelines:


Any theme
Cast no bigger than four people (not necessarily four characters!)
Very basic set / costume

No previous professional production

There is no set submission window for plays of this type.

We also welcome submissions from East Anglian writers specifically for our 'QuirkHouse 5' Theatre Crawl, which is produced in April each year as part of the Bury St Edmunds Fringe Festival;

Newly-written half-hour monologue
One play per entrant

One actor (not necessarily one character!)
Props, costume and set must be basic and able to fit in a single 'bag for life'
No previous professional production

Selected pieces will earn their writers £50 or (if the writer is also assigned to play the role or direct the piece) an equal share of the profits, whichever is greater.

The submission window is from the 1st November to the 31st December; the winners from the QuirkHouse 5 entries will be announced by 31st January.



Bury & West Suffolk Magazine Interview:

Suffolk has a brand new theatre company, and its name is QuirkHouse! Co-founded by actor / director Andrew James Deane and writer / musician / designer, Jackie Carriera, they’re already onto their fourth production. Head to Head, featuring three short plays – two by local writers plus The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter - will also see the company undertaking a tour of West Suffolk villages in September. No mean feat considering they started less than twelve months ago with a budget of zero! Andrew explains more…

What inspired you to start a theatre company in the first place?

It’s always been a dream of mine, specifically for a modern type of repertory company. Rep is sadly missing today, which is a shame because it provided a great platform to learn, grow and gain experience. When we discovered we shared the same dream, Jackie and I began discussing the possibility and QuirkHouse was born. We knew we wanted something different and modern; at the same time embracing the origins of theatre, focusing on new writing, performed in all kinds of spaces, reaching audiences that might not ordinarily go to the theatre and – above all – on a shoestring! A professionally-run, ethical company working as a co-operative… I said it was a dream but it’s come true!

Why now, in a recession, with arts funding being slashed all over the country, particularly in the regions?

Why not? Whenever people feel inspired to take a chance, quite often it’s when there’s nothing to lose! It may sound clichéd but the most powerful part of theatre is the audience’s imagination, so we decided early on, for idealistic and practical reasons, not to worry too much about lavish costumes or sumptuous sets but instead to focus on great, new writing. This pushes us to be more creative and means we can be interesting while keeping costs down. So far we’ve even managed to pay everyone involved in our productions, including the writers and technicians.

How are audiences responding?

We’ve been very well received so far. Ticket sales have been good and we’ve had fantastic feedback. People are buying into our ethos and grassroots style. We don’t compete with other companies, be they professional or amateur, because we offer something different.

If QuirkHouse could put on any play, what would it be?

Given the organic way that we’ve been developing, and the fact that we’ve only produced new plays, I would guess neither of us has imagined what that ‘any play’ might be. It hasn’t been written yet!

And QuirkHouse’s plans for the future?

We’d love to have a home of our own and to have it be a hub where creative people can gather, share ideas and produce interesting, thought-provoking projects. Whether that happens or not, we’ll still take new theatre to places and people it doesn’t usually reach and collaborate with as many groups and companies as we can.

How do you find talent?

There’s an abundance of talent in East Anglia, it generally punches well above its weight in this respect. Being Bury-born myself, I’ve worked with several local groups, meaning we’ve been able to meet and then work with people that we know can do the job to the high standard that we, and our audiences, expect.

What would you say to anyone wanting a career in theatre?

Have faith in yourself to do it and the tenacity to take the knocks. It doesn’t simply come down to talent. Persevere. Work hard – really hard – and don’t expect to get rich overnight! 

 Bury Free Press Article: 

http://www.buryfreepress.co.uk/news/local/latest-news/suffolk-theatre-company-touring-villages-with-autumn-production-1-6927958?temp-new-window-replacement=true 

Errata: the picture is Richard Stainer & Andrew James Deane in 'An Extraordinary Rendition' and 'Talking in the Library' was taken to the Brighton Fringe by Swallows Theatre.