Blackout in London

Oct 30 2014 | By More

New Room’s hit travels south

Blackout, the small-scale hit by Edinburgh-based company New Room, is to play a limited season on the London fringe at the 50 seat Hope Theatre, above the Hope and Anchor pub in Islington.

The verbatim theatre specialist company is now looking to generate extra funding for some of the production so that it can pay the actors and creatives the minimum wage during rehearsals and the three-week run.

Miriam Sarah Doren, Mark Jeary, Beth Kovarik, Camille Marmie and Ben Clifford in Blackout from New Room Theatre Photo © Belle Jones

The original cast of Blackout. Photo: Belle Jones

A benefit night: Blackout Revisited: The Final Fundraiser is being organised for Sunday 9 November at the Tron on Hunter Square, while the company has set up an Indiegogo page to help generate donations.

Blackout is written by the company’s artistic director Mark Jeary, based on interviews with recovering alcoholics. According to Susan Lowes’ review in Æ: “Jeary skilfully weaves these stories together into a compelling piece that delves firstly into common conceptions of alcoholism and then rapidly shows how outdated these notions are in modern society.”

Speaking of the London run, Jeary told Æ: “We have an in-house agreement with The Hope Theatre and Equity that we will pay all creatives involved in the project at minimum wage for rehearsal and performance. In return they don’t charge us any hire fees – just a box office split. So this could well work for a small cast, assuming we get good box office.”

Equity agreement

However, with a cast of five and two creatives receiving £609 each in line with the Equity agreement, even a full house of 50 will not generate enough income in ticket sales for the company to make a profit.

According to Jeary, he is looking to find funding for two actors fees through the Indiegogo page because he believes that would guarantee the company breaking even on about 50% capacity.

He said: “Everyone will be paid regardless – I have saved money and put that aside from my own money. I just want to minimise loss if I can help it. You always have to take risk in theatre making but I think that’s a manageable risk that gives us a chance as a theatre company moving forward.”

The Indiegogo page is here: Backout comes to London with paid actors. Donors can get a range of benefits. A £10 donation gets a personal wave from one of the cast after the show, £20 a signed programme, £100 a pair of VIP tickets and £500 an advert in the programme.


Blackout revisited. The final fundraiser.
Sunday 9 November, 7pm.
The Tron, 9 Hunter Square, EH1 1QW
Details on facebook:

The Hope Theatre, above the Hope & Anchor pub, 207 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 1RL.
Tuesday 18 November – Saturday 5 December 2014
Daily (not Sun): 7.45pm.
Details and tickets from:

Susan Lowes’ ✭✭✭✭✩  review of the May performances at Assembly Roxy:


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