The Lab 

in The Third Mind by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin, and the first cut-ups were of found text and first memories of issues like gender, class and religion. Now, this technique has evolved to include far more than pre-existing words on a page. Once having isolated these many different theatrical languages as languages, we can then cut them up into each other to see how by comparing and contrasting different words, different presence, different gestures, etc., the mechanisms of the creation of the language can come through. These cut-up experiments are improvised and therefore happen in four dimensions and between players so there are many more variables than static words on a page. This gives the players and audience a way to see what is considered usually stable as mutable, and also through the surprising conjunctions of words, physical gestures and presence, hear and see different possible resonances of these common place words, gestures and modes of presence. As these explorations evolve, we disseminate the discoveries by showing the lab experiments to an audience, creating experimental performances, and teaching workshops. As the relationship to the audience is key to these explorations, bringing in audience periodically is critical to our understanding of this process and to ensure we are not speaking only to ourselves but are in reality embodying the principles we are espousing.

Lab Showing History

It's not a cul-de-sac, it's a conduit

10th Dec 2010 a lab showing w. after show discussion

Our theatre takes place in the ‘psychic backstage,’ where our perceptions are created, that millisecond before perception – getting into the ‘reality studio’ (as William Burroughs called it) – pre-cognition and language but also what creates it. This psychic backstage implies the aesthetic of Apocryphal as well – always shifting – never still – a sense of too much and not enough-ness – in progress – a necessity.  We are focused less on meaning making than the mechanism that makes meaning.  Capitalism is sustained by a belief in its inevitability and universality.  To get underneath this global ‘inevitability’, we create an artifice in pursuit of the real – revealing (in moments we succeed) that there truly is “no man behind the curtain.” It’s just us and it’s our job to change the rules we do not like.

Tonight we are sharing with you our experiments working with the subjects of the sacred and celebrity, drawing from William James’ ‘Varieties of Religious Experience’, the Metro, La Dolce Vita, Liberace, ourselves and the whole endless Happy Meal.  We will begin with a group discussion, which we hope you will join and create an improvisation from that discussion.  You will then see improvisations working with structures created amongst smaller groups, which will be shown both separately and intertwined.  Afterwards, we will have an after-show discussion to answer questions and ask for your feedback.  Listening to what you experience as an audience member is invaluable to us as we work together for many hours alone but only sharing with you do we know what we have created. 

Apocryphal lab members performing tonight: Bill Aitchison, Danielle Antha, Alison Blunt, Zoe Bouras, Kati Francis, Birthe Jorgensen, Maria Kapsali, Steve Potter and Karla Ptacek.

*  Click here to see images  *

In residence at The People Show

nov 2010 The People Show, London

*  Click here to see images  *

...because then I would be safe

6 - 12 April 2010, R&D and a durational Installation from 1:30 - 4:30pm, Rose Bruford College

A research and development period funded by Rose Bruford College for exploration of the celebrity worship and how in our secular society perhaps this is a form of religion.


*  Click here to see images  *

Cut-Up, Close-Up, by Martin Williams, broadcast as part of Unknown Countries, Resonance FM

Cut-Up, Close-Up

18th Nov 2007, Lorem Ipsum Gallery, 12b Vyner Street, London E2 9HE

As part of Lorem Ipsum Gallery’s launch exhibition A Certain Kind of Conditioning' featuring work Matthew Coombes, John Higgins, Birthe Jørgensen, Agnieszka Stone and Malin Ståhl, Apocryphal Theatre and sound artist Martin Williams were invited as special guests for the performance event Cut-Up, Close Up.

By looking at these artists' individual approaches the exhibition revealed a collective interest in the layering encountered within reality, and a concern with the uprooting of a personal sense of belonging.

Midway through A Certain Kind of Conditioning the mode of the visual art exhibition met Apocryphal Theatre's improvisational theatre practice in the live event Cut Up-Close Up. Through a communication across these disciplines the audience was invited to witness the exhibition transform in front of their eyes. The artists and the performers entered a dialogue with the work, the space and the location. The elements usually hidden, such as discussions and decisions about location of the artwork, the hanging of the work and lighting were made visible. The result, a re-invented show, was retained for the remainder of the exhibition. Sound artist Martin Williams created an audio account of the event for Resonance FM's weekly program Unknown Countries.

*  Click above to listen  *

*  Click here to see images  *

Has it started yet? Lab Showing

Camden People’s Theatre Showing

A lab showing exploring expectations about beginnings and endings and each artist’s discipline training and how it was complementary and contradictory with other members of the group.

Has it started yet?

July 2007, 2:13 Club, Stoke Newington

A lab showing exploring expectations about beginnings and endings and each artist’s discipline training and how it was complementary and contradictory with other members of the group.  We focused on ‘inspirational moment gestures’ to share the way we saw and experienced our work as artists, musicians, actors, live artists, writers and dancers.

Hearing in Tongues, Speaking In Ears

28 May 2007, UBS: A Long Weekend Tate Modern

Sarah Washington presents Apocryphal Theatre

A demonstration of a lab exercise working through levels of address and cutting up of text, which included audience participation at The Tate Modern, recorded for Resonance FM.

*  Click above to listen   *

Metro, Lab Showing

23-24 Jan 2006, Camden People’s Theatre

Working with ideas of sacred and secular space, we worked with lab structures and that day’s Metro newspaper to see where, if at all, these two worlds intersected.

Verbindingen / Jonctions 9 Festival

November 2005, Brussels

We were commissioned to attend this festival in Brussels where we taught an Apocryphal workshop and two lab members, Angelini and Ellis improvised a response to the unique space created by this festival.

Apocryphal Theatre Ltd         m + 0044 (0) 79056 71341    e        w

site created by Birthe Jorgensen           © all rights reserved  Apocryphal Theatre  Ltd.



The People Show, 2010 ©  Birthe Jorgensen

While Apocryphal Theatre creates performances, the heart and soul of the company is its on-going laboratory, where the ensemble has the time and space to explore specific theatrical ideas, which can further the mission of the company.  Our experiments involve isolating aspects of theatrical language, and creating exercises to explore the limits of these languages. Julia’s primary technique throughout all of the labs is cutting-up. The first ideas for this way of working was inspired by the cut-up techniques

©  Birthe Jorgensen

©  Birthe Jorgensen

©  Birthe Jorgensen

©  Birthe Jorgensen