About Upstart Theatre

Our mission

Upstart Theatre exists to provoke honest, playful and inspiring conversations about the biggest challenges which face our society. We use theatre to create connections within and between communities, both in the UK and around the world, and to bring previously unheard voices into the mainstream.

Who we are

At Upstart Theatre, we believe that theatre is a tool to kick-start conversations about the world we live in. Inspired by the shared origins of theatre and democracy, we bring people together to take part in acts of shared storytelling, where the world onstage offers us new ways of thinking about the world off it. The relationship between theatre, politics and dialogue is at the heart of what we do.

In the last few years, these values have led us to push the boundaries of what’s possible in live performance – whether through the pan-European interconnected performance of Phone Home, the interactive decision-making of The Situation Room, or the unique blend of theatre, art, performance and discussion events that makes up the DARE Festival programme.

Our team

Artistic Director
Tom Mansfield

Emma Sampson

Artistic Associates
James Blakey
Duncan Grimley
Jennifer Jackson
Simon Jones
Rebecca Kenyon
Zodwa Nyoni
Hannah Sibai
Rochi Rampal

Board of Trustees
Jack Bennett
Lorraine Cheesmur
Francesca Ellis
Tom Davies (chair)
Andrew Smaje