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Re-staging Revolutions: Alternative Theatre in Lambeth + Camden 1968-88

An Unfinished Histories event

Unfinished Histories present an exhibition on the alternative theatre movement of the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s, during which time we were known as Oval House. The exhibition marks Ovalhouse’s 50th anniversary as a venue and the launch of Unfinished Histories’ new company web pages, Company Links.

  • 11 November - 21 December, Tues - Sat 3-8pm

Venue: Café Bar

Re-staging Revolutions covers a period of enormous creativity, experiment and questioning in theatre, seeing the formation of over 700 companies. This included street theatre, community arts, physical and visual work, political theatre, gay, lesbian, Black, Asian, Disabled and women’s companies, with such evocative names as Hesitate and Demonstrate, The Phantom Captain, Sadista Sisters, Recreation Ground, Umoja and Monstrous Regiment.

The exhibition brings together a range of material from the period, including beautiful silk-screened posters for Welfare State International, a rare poster from Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven at the Arts Lab in 1969, and a printed ‘make-it-yourself’ model of Inter-Action’s Fun Art Bus. There are also a wealth of objects from the poignant to the bizarre: the matchstick violin smuggled by Stirabout theatre company out of one of the prisons where they performed, nautical props and the ‘pissing jug’ ceremoniously presented to The Phantom Captain when they performed in Tilburg, Holland.  All these along with original theatre designs for Monstrous Regiment’s Scum, original drawings from Action Space, creators of inflatable cushions and play spaces, now copied all over as bouncy castles, rare playscript editions from small presses, records from Sadista Sisters and Siren and cyclostyled low tech hand-outs that vividly evoke the times, along with a wealth of badges from campaigns from ‘Support the Miners’  to ‘VAT is a Pain in the Arts’ along with those celebrating individual companies from Spare Tyre to Joint Stock.

Free bookable tours of the exhibition are available for groups of up to 15 by prior arrangement. These can be general in focus or looking at a particular topic such as Women’s Theatre, Black Theatre.

Please e-mail: for details and to book. Susan Croft, Curatorial Director will be available afternoons of Tues 10th Dec, Tues 17th Dec and Wed 18th Dec.

  • Sun 10 Nov – Sat 21 Dec, 3:00pm

Additional information

Produced by Unfinished Histories with support from Heritage Lottery Fund.

Click an image to view a larger version.

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