Tiebreak Theatre

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Tiebreak Theatre was founded in 1981, in Norwich, England. It functioned as a Theatre in Education (TIE) and young people's theatre company until April 2006, when it closed following a funding decision by Arts Council England.

Norwich City and non-metropolitan district in England

Norwich is a city in Norfolk, England. Granted historic city status, and situated on the River Wensum in East Anglia, it lies approximately 100 miles (160 km) north-east of London. It is the county town of Norfolk and is considered the capital of East Anglia, with a population of 141,300. From the Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

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Arts Council England arts organization in London, England

Arts Council England is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It was formed in 1994 when the Arts Council of Great Britain was divided into three separate bodies for England, Scotland and Wales. The arts funding system in England underwent considerable reorganisation in 2002 when all of the regional arts boards were subsumed into Arts Council England and became regional offices of the national organisation.

The company was founded by David Farmer and Jon Oram at Norwich Arts Centre. It moved base several times, finally residing at Norwich Playhouse. The company toured schools and theatres across East Anglia, especially in its home county of Norfolk. Most of its productions were also toured across the UK to theatres, art-centres and festivals.

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Norwich Arts Centre Live music venue, theatre and art gallery in Norwich, England

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Norwich Playhouse Theatre in Norwich, Norfolk, England

The Norwich Playhouse is a theatre in St George's Street, Norwich, Norfolk, England. It opened in 1995 in a nineteenth-century building that was once a maltings, and is a venue for theatre, comedy, music, cabaret and other performing arts. It seats 300. Television personality and theatre actor Stephen Fry is a patron.

Tiebreak was run by an administrative team of three, employing freelance actors, writers, composers, designers and other artists to produce theatre productions and workshops for young people and their families. The company also toured internationally to Ireland, Germany and several children's festivals across western Canada and the USA.

Tiebreak received commissions from such prestigious agencies as the Natural History Museum, Forest Enterprise and The National Trust. The company was known for its innovative approach to a wide range of work including live music theatre, new writing commissions, participatory projects and issue-based plays. Writers included Kay Adshead, Leslie Davidoff and Neil Duffield. Most of the company's last productions were written by Artistic Director David Farmer, who left to pursue a freelance career in writing, teaching and directing. (BBC Norfolk interview ) He was replaced in 2005 by Dianne Hancock until the company's closure in 2006. (The Stage article ) Tiebreak produced 66 productions which were seen by an estimated audience of 500,000.

Selected Productions

Mouse and Mole (2005) by David Farmer, based on books by Joyce Dunbar. (The Stage review )

Frog in Love (2002) by David Farmer, based on books by Max Velthuijs. (Sunday Times Critics' Choice 2003, Time Out Critic's Choice 2003). (Edinburgh Evening News review )

The Snow Egg (2001) by Kay Adshead

Jack and the Beanstalk (2000) by David Farmer, commissioned by the Lyric Hammersmith. (The Stage review )

Singing in the Rainforest (1989) devised by the company. Commissioned by the Natural History Museum and performed at the Unicorn Theatre, London, Vancouver International Children's Festival and the Scottish Children's Theatre Festival.

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