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Recording the History of Alternative Theatre in Britain (1968-88) through oral history interviews and the collecting of archive material
Unfinished Histories May 2013 Newsletter

This is a short newsletter to inform you about the planned events programme

Event: 21st May

The first of a number of regular events we want to hold, this will be an open discussion:
The Alternative Theatre Movement Then – How Can It Inspire Us Now?
This is in part about setting agendas for regular social meetings which might include identifying specific topics for discussions, possible future speakers, playreadings, preparations for larger public events, even performances,looking at what theatre we might make today, those of us who were around in the 60s-80s, how to pass on the history to younger generations, finding ways to support Unfinished Histories. It is also just a chance to meet socially. Starting time 6 for 6.30 till 8.30. – we can then adjourn to the Gallery Cafe downstairs or the pub.
Refreshments  available.  All welcome. The event is free but you must RSVP as we need to know numbers.
Venue: the Anson Room, St Margaret's House Settlement, 21 Old Ford Rd, London E2 9PL.  Email confirmation or phone: 020 3659 5678 (please leave a contact mobile number)

Future dates for your diary are Tues 18th June and Tues 16th July also in the Anson Room. Look on the News page of the web site for details closer to the time.

Other Items

Unfinished Histories needs....

Now we have become a charity our accountancy firm have quoted us a very high rate to prepare the accounts. We therefore need to look elsewhere and  would be very pleased therefore if anyone can recommend a good accountant/ company at a reasonable rate. Please email us. Thanks

Exhibition Materials and Support
An exhibition on the alternative theatre movement 1968-88, based on the material discovered through the volunteers' work with Originators of companies, will open at Ovalhouse in November and then go to Kentish Town Community Centre and Camden Archives in early 2014.  In order to keep our costs down we would be very grateful for the gift or loan of various items, especially exhibition cases, display screens that either can be fastened to the wall or freestanding, a 'listening post' where we can play audio extracts
, headphones, large flat screen TV/ monitor or smaller flatscreen computer monitors for projections and/or to allow access to our web site.
Events: we will be organising a number of events to link in with the exhibitions including possible  staged readings of play or extracts. If you might be interested in taking part, please email Vanessa our Project Co-ordinator.

Contacts Wanted
One of our volunteers is keen to create a web page for Trickster Theatre Company, who performed at the Bloomsbury Theatre in Camden in the 1980s. Does anyone have a contact for: Nigel Jamieson, Rachel Ashton or Robert Thirtle - or any other core Trickster members? Many thanks.


Web Site Launch for The Reminiscence Theatre Archive of Pam Schweitzer

The Launch will be held in the theatre at the University of Greenwich Drama Building, The Old Baths, Woolwich, SE18 6QX at 6pm on Thursday 23rd May. The website provides access to 30 years of reminiscence work, including the voices, transcribed memories and photographs of many local, elderly people; alongside details of reminiscence theatre methodology, play scripts and videos of theatre productions… and much more! 
The website will be introduced by Pam Schweitzer, founder and former Artistic Director of Age Exchange Theatre, and by University of Greenwich Drama lecturers Heather Lilley and Harry Derbyshire. We will report on the progress of archiving and digitising the material; the use of the archived materials in student and community work; and access arrangements for researchers. Opportunities for becoming friends of the archive, to contribute to the website or volunteer on projects, will also be announced. Please let Pam know directly: or email Elvira Nuri on

As we mentioned last time:

Our new office is in a position to collect archive material

One of the benefits of our new office space is that we are now in a position to collect archive material. We have the facility to store posters, photographs, leaflets, books and publications as well as audio and video material and digital scans. We also are often able to transfer analogue material from VHS and other video into digital formats in exchange for our keeping a copy.We have a small research library on alternative theatre and the social, political, cultural context in which it emerged, including published and unpublished scripts. If you have material that you might wish to donate to the project, please get in touch.

Social Networks
For those of you that use social networks, don’t forget to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter and even check out our blog. These are easy ways to get regular updates from our team on the progress of the project.  

Financial Donations
While Unfinished Histories currently has funding for the specific project Company Links, we still need to raise money for all the other areas of our work - recording and editing full-length interviews, developing the archive and maintaining the website - and especially for next year when the HLF project finishes, to enable us to build on all the positive work of this year. If you are in a position to make a donation, however small, you can do so via Paypal on our website or alternatively write to us at our office in Bethnal Green.
We are very grateful to: Stephen Murphy and to Carole Phillips for their recent donations.
We are also very grateful to Unity Theatre Trust for their recent grant towards travel expenses for interviews.

Best wishes and hope to see many of you on 21st May!

Unfinished Histories

Director: Susan Croft,

Associate Director: Jessica Higgs

Project Co-ordinator: Vanessa Bartlett

Web Site Co-ordinator: Sam Nightingale

Board - Danny Braverman, Vanessa Lee, Sue Timothy


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