KILN was formed in 2005 and is led by co-artistic directors Sam Frankie Fox and Olivia Winteringham. With a background in site-specific work and best known for its music theatre, food theatre and unforgettable atmospheres, KILN is an associate of the prestigious Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
KILN is an ensemble-led company that plunders epic stories and filters them through personal experience to create new narratives. Collaborating with artists across a range of disciplines, their productions — which can vary in terms of style, scale and form — have been presented in a range of contexts from theatre and festival settings to the back of a van, a gothic church and an iron mine. To date the work has toured the UK and European festivals Short (Rome), ACT (Bilbao) and Fitt (Tarragona).
The company specialises in a distinctive style of high-octane music theatre, combining experimental vocal work with unusual instrumentation, placing the sound itself at the centre of the theatrical experience. Musical approaches range from folk songs re-invented with electrified ancient instruments, beats and loops to Greek myth texts arranged as heavy metal rages, operatic laments and catchy pop tunes.
Two main music theatre productions are in KILN's current portfolio:
- The Furies: A surround sound gig inspired by Clytemnestra’s Greek revenge myth, casting her ‘furies’ of vengeance as front women of a rock band.
- Lady GoGo Goch: Part-cabaret, part-gig, a duo of actor-musicians create trance-like atmospheres in an exploration of Welsh culture.
In 2015 The Furies was selected to be part of the British Council Showcase, a programme of 'the very best of UK contemporary theatre'. For 2016/17 KILN is exploring other epic stories with a view to creating another large-scale music theatre production. Delightful, currently in development and commissioned by Birmingham Repertory Theatre, will combine new writing and binaural sound.