The goal was to start with northern premieres, plays that had been seen all across the world - London, New York, Dublin etc - which had never been done in the north east or north west. Gradually we would work our way up to classics and new plays of our own.
All our shows would focus on great writing, poetic but gritty, emotional but real, with real focus on fantastic acting and big themes. We would develop creative relationships across the north, with a special focus on the north east, build an ensemble of actors who be at the core of our productions,
We started in 2017 with the Durham and Manchester premiere of Owen MacCafferty's adaptation of J P Miller's 'Days Of Wine And Roses'. Starting at the Assembly Rooms, Durham, it transferred to 53two in Manchester. It got rave reviews in both cities, put us on the map and saw Danny Solomon nominated for Best Fringe Performance at the Manchester Theatre Awards.
We followed that with the northern premiere of American playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis's powerful metaphysical prison drama 'Jesus Hopped The A Train'. The first time this hard-hitting play had been seen outside London, this played at the Assembly Rooms, Durham before transferring to HOME, Manchester. Once again it got rave reviews in both cities.
Since then we have done a double bill of Samuel Beckett plays, 'Footfalls' and 'Krapp's Last Tape' as part of the Durham Festival of Arts at the Assembly Rooms, and the north east premiere of Jez Butterworth's 'The River', this time at the City Theatre, Durham and the studio space at Queen's Hall, Hexham, where we sold out.
The following year we produced a Northumberland-set adaptation of August Strindberg's 'Miss Julie', which reunited Alice Frankham and Danny Solomon in the leads. This started at Queen's Hall, Hexham, who were our co-producers, and went on to play at the Gala, Durham, the Exchange, North Shields and the Majestic in Darlington, before a week's run at Hope Mill in Manchester. We swept the board with fine reviews and won Best New Revival In The North East in the British Theatre Guide.
We finished 2019 with a north eastern premiere of Athol Fugard's brilliant, intense drama of the end of Apartheid. This played all across the North East and in Manchester and got the best reviews and audience reaction we have had for any of our shows.
2020 saw Covid-19 hit. We moved online with a series of playreadings and workshops and, most excitingly of all, the Covid-19 Monologues, ten new one-person plays by new writers... For our first five we won an Olwen Wymark Award from the Writers Guild of Great Britain....
Its been quite a time since our humble beginnings in 2017. Onwards to the future and our post-Covid world!
Come join the adventure....
Jake has 25 years experience in the theatre, ranging from the London and Edinburgh fringes to the Chichester Festival Theatre, the Nottingham Playhouse, the Salisbury Playhouse, the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich and London’s West End. From 2001 to 2008 he was at the Royal Exchange, Manchester, before leaving to go freelance. Notable productions include premieres of ‘Wolfboy’ by Brad Fraser, ‘Sitting Pretty’ by Amy Rosenthal, ‘The Sanctuary Lamp’ by Tom Murphy, ‘A Conversation’ by David Williamson and ‘Shoot The Crow’ and ‘Days Of Wine And Roses’ by Owen McCafferty. His production of ‘Romeo And Juliet’ at the Royal Exchange starred Andrew Garfield and Gugu-Mbatha Raw and his production of ‘A Whistle In The Dark’ by Tom Murphy transferred to the Tricycle in London.
He has directed all of Elysium TC's productions, including 'Days Of Wine And Roses', ‘Jesus Hopped The A Train’, 'Two By Beckett', 'The River', 'Miss Julie' and 'Playland'.
Danny trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts before leaving in 2011. Founder member of Elysium TC. Danny worked extensively in London in productions such as Shakespeare’s 'King Lear', 'The Spanish Tragedy' by William Kyd, The Man Who by Peter Brook, 'The Rivals' by Sheridan and Consolation an original production by Mick Wood for which Danny was nominated for an ‘Offie’.
He moved to Manchester in 2015. Since then he has worked at The Hope Mill, The Lowry and more recently at 53two as Donal Mackin in Elysium’s 'Days of Wine & Roses' (for which Danny was nominated for a Manchester Theatre Award) Angel Cruz at HOME with 'Jesus Hopped the A Train', the Man in 'The River', John in 'Miss Julie' and Gideon Le Roux in 'Playland'.
Hannah Ellis Ryan is a Manchester-based actor and producer, originally from Australia. She co-founded Play With Fire Productions, who have staged two productions a year, focusing on giving voices to the invisible, telling great stories and daring greatly. She is the proud Theatre Manager at Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats and co-founder of community group Manchester ADP.
Hannah is so proud to work with Elysium Theatre Company as both a producer & actor. Acting credits include: 'Sans Merci' (Hope Mill Theatre), 'Women of the World' (Rochdale Literature Festival), Mercutio in Girl Gang Manchester’s all-female production of 'Romeo & Juliet', Roberta in 'Danny And The Deep Blue Sea' (Play With Fire) and portraying villain Hannah Gilmore in ITV’s 'Coronation Street'.
She played the Woman in Elysium's production of 'The River' and returns to Elysium in May to play Alison in 'Look Back In Anger'.