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Project information

Capitalism - new artistic economics experiment

A new trilogy of plays, created collaboratively by collective of writers, actors, theatre-makers, visual artists and social scientists. Over a three-year period, the collective explore the nature of capitalism, its history, literature and philosophy, and investigates artistically the alternatives.

2-3 years

Charity information: ice&fire

ice&fire logo
  • Need


    Artists hold a privileged position in society - as participant, interpretor, critic, commentator, translator. An artist may respond to abstract ideas or harsh realities. However free an artist may try to be, one can never truly break away from the realities and conventions of the society at large - that is, the capitalist model. This project allows artists to explore the nature of capitalism, look for alternatives, and experiment with the alternatives within a creative context.


    Large-scale, cross-genre collaborative artwork in 3 parts. Artists from diverse disciplines form a Collective, responding to "capitalism". Meetings are structured to foster interdisciplinary sharing, collaboration, cross-pollination, and break down the notion of authorship/ownership. A body of material is produced which is synthesised into an epic spectacle. P.2 is a state-of-the-nation play. P.3 takes the Collective on to a "site" where they can live and work outside of capitalist structures

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Creative experimentation, leading to the production of three new pieces of theatre


    » Assemble a Collective of practitioners from across all artforms with the express intention of creating multi/interdisciplinary collaborative work.
    » In monthly creative sessions, each member presents 3 ideas: 1 new, 1 developed from last time and 1 stolen from another member of the Collective.
    » Final phase of projects places Collective in creative "site" where they are free to live and work by non-capitalist models.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... Collective of artists working together fruitfully; delivering the new work within the time frame and budget specified; debate, contention and new challenges

    Aim 2

    Excellent artistic output


    » Creative collaboration process produces body of material which is then synthesised by the Collective into one epic theatrical spectacular
    » Part 2 of the projects sees the artists commissioned to create a "state-of-the-nation" piece by conventional contract/payment (capitalist) structures
    » Artists live and work on a mediated site, devising a piece of living artwork.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... artwork in which the participants take pride, which stands up to criticism and peer review and which fascinates and challenges audiences

    Aim 3

    Record, monitor and evaluate our work to create a new model of practice for artists and arts orgs.


    » All processes, outputs and performances will be recorded and documented by the Collective, who interpret and peer-review,as well as collaborate
    » Work is submitted to critics and practitioners outside of the Collective for scrutiny
    » All participants agree to a process of monitoring and evaluation
    » All evidence is collated as a book and/or film and disseminated widely in the arts community, social enterprise, and creative industries.

    What success will look like

    Success will be... producing an exciting and engaging account of our work which acts as a manual for others wishing to work in new ways. New large-scale collaborations.

  • Impact


    This project will experiment with new ways of creative, collaborative working, pioneered by artists but transferable to the creative industries and other sectors. Through dissemination of materials, social media, conferences - and some less conventional means too - we will spread the word and facilitate a more experimental working style for individuals and organisations. Success is demonstrated by take-up of our methods by 2 companies or individuals in yr 1, 4 in year 2 and 8 in yr3


    There is a risk that one or some of the artists could pull out. We have dealt with this risk by fostering close links with a wide range of arts organisations and practitioners across the UK to ensure we are best placed to replace any late drop outs


    All work is recorded and documented in real time, so donors will have access to the work as it happens via our website. In addition there will be regular "sharing" sessions which donors will be invited to, and a formal annual report.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £90,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Admin Office equipment and staff time
      £36,000 Commissioning and fees Artists fees and expenses, some paid directly,some as food/drink/accommodation for site
      £12,000 Equipment/materials Arts materials, mixed media, film cameras, etc
      £10,000 Site facilities Rent, utilities, equipment for self-sufficiency
      £9,000 Communications Press, marketing, online
      £5,000 Contingency Contingency
      £5,000 Monitoring and evaluation Collecting and collating data, processing and disseminating
      £8,000 Production and exhibition cost Formal staging/showing
  • Background


    iceandfire are based at Toynbee Hall. Toynbee Hall produces practical innovative programmes to meet the needs of local people, improve conditions and enable communities to fulfil their potential.

    Tower Hamlets continues to be one of the most deprived boroughs in the country and Toynbee Hall works with over 6,000 members of the community each year to support them to meet the challenges that they face and to encourage them to take control of their lives.


    We work with artists from across the UK and increasingly, around the world.

    The project seeks to have a positive impact on its immediate surrounds in the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Islington and Hackney, as an inspiration to the community at large, with focused work with young people, artists, and ethnic minority groups.

    This is an area of London where extreme poverty brushes up with the extreme wealth of the City.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Since 2003 we have grown from a company of one, to a company of six core staff, all of whom are trained theatre professionals., led by two Artistic Directors, both trained actors with postgraduate qualifications in social justice issues.

    We are a theatre company with an international artistic reputation for developing and presenting new work in response to to current affairs and human rights stories with urgency, dynamism, artistry and impact.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Christine Bacon

    Artistic Director and project founder. Overall artistic vision, dramaturgy and live performance.

    Sara Doctors

    Creative Producer - responsible for project delivery