A SHIPLEY based theatre company is on a mission to “take theatre to places where it has never been before”.

Contortium Theatre is approaching the end of a seven-date tour of the Bradford district, performing in social clubs, and the team says the success of the tour shows an interest in theatre away from traditional venues.

The venture started as an experiment last year, with a ‘test’ production in Saltaire, which attracted an audience of more than 90 people.

Called Tales of the Bizarre, the production featured seven stories of “horror and the strange” based on legendary French horror vaudeville theatre style the Grand Guignol.

Consortium director Ged Quayle says audiences have warmed to seeing theatre performed in the relaxed surroundings of a social club, providing an intimate experience, only feet away from the action on stage, then getting to chat and mix with the actors after the show.

Ged, who wants to introduce the experience of theatre to a new and wider audience, says he is encouraged with what he’s seen so far.

“People who go to see theatre for the first time enjoy the experience, but many are put off by what they perceive as elitist or snobby attitudes - rejecting the idea because ‘theatre isn’t for people like me’,” says Ged.

“I have never agreed with this, and I do think many people don’t go because of the cost and the formality of the occasion.

“Our experiment of travelling around West Yorkshire social clubs has shattered some perceptions and brought theatre into places where people feel at home and comfortable.”

Adds Ged: “With Bradford’s appearance as the City of Culture 2025 not far away, it’s a great time to begin to open theatre to a new and wider audience across West Yorkshire and beyond.”

The tour continues tonight (Thursday November 16) at Saltaire’s Caroline Street Social Club, with a repeat of a performance of Tales of the Bizarre along with three newly written plays. 

After that, the programme - Tales of the Bizarre - An Evening of Modern Grand Guignol - is at The Underground, Duke Street, Bradford on Friday, December 1.

Tickets are available at tinyurl.com/tob123 for £8 or at the door.

The show contains themes and language unsuitable for younger audiences. Suitable for ages 18-plus.