TOOT is a collaboration between performer-directors Clare Dunn & Terry O’Donovan, theatre-maker and musician Stuart Barter and me. As individual artists our work has been commissioned by and performed in venues such as Almeida Theatre, National Theatre, Brighton Festival, Theatre Royal Haymarket, End of the Road Festival, The Roundhouse London and London International Mime Festival.
“TOOT are one to watch” – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian on Ten Out of Ten
As a collective, we make uplifting, interactive performances rooted in the everyday. We combine our skills in site-specific work, physical and visual theatre and live music to create a new aesthetic in devised, original performance. Clare, Stuart and Terry are the writers, directors and performers of TOOT’s work. We collaborate with other artists to create our shows including dramaturgs, movement directors and designers.
The company’s performances put audiences at the heart of the work, combining one-on-one moments and collective participation. With a shared love of the absurd, we include audiences without scaring them to bits or putting them on the spot. Not too much anyway…
TOOT’s first show, Ten Out of Ten, was commissioned by Ovalhouse and programmed for three weeks to open the Beside Me season, autumn 2012. It enjoyed a sold-out run as part of Assembly Festival’s programme at the Edinburgh Fringe 2013 and toured nationally, autumn 2013/spring 2014 (Brighton Dome, South Street Reading, the New Wolsey Theatre, South Hill Park).
Our second show, Be Here Now, was seed commissioned by Ovalhouse, supported by Escalator, ACE, Unity Trust and the Royal Victoria Hall Foundation. Following work-in-progress performances at Sampled, Pulse, Latitude and Ovalhouse the full production premiered at Shoreditch Town Hall for a two week run in June 2014, touring to the New Wolsey, Derby Theatre, The Space Sevenoaks, Brighton Dome and South Street Reading in autumn 2014.
TOOT was selected to be part of the caravan international showcase (marketplace), at Brighton Festival 2014.
We are now working on the company’s third show, Focus Group* which is supported by South Street Arts Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and funded by Arts Council England.
Inspired by acclaimed US writer David Foster Wallace’s short story Mister Squishy, Focus Group* is an absurd comedy with a dark heart. We invite you to laugh at the joy, loneliness and surreal nature of contemporary life and consumer culture; all guided ably and professionally by our Focus Group moderator, Terry.
Sit back, eat (individually wrapped, luxury) cake, and see a man gradually relinquish the delusion that he matters in the slightest.
Through TOOT’s distinctive style of interactive-storytelling the company will be asking you to consider; ‘is a real connection possible at all?’
…. And then go back to watching kitten videos on Facebook.
Created and performed by Stuart Barter, Clare Dunn & Terry O’Donovan
Produced by Faith Dodkins
Design by Jackie Shemesh
Dramaturgy by Nina Steiger
‘The work is always beautifully performed, cleverly constructed and tackles it’s themes intelligently but with articulacy and humour’ John Luther, South Street Arts Centre