How do you develop your work?
We usually start from something very simple: a fragment of text or a theme. We spend a lot of time on research and development to allow the idea plenty of time to grow. Often the end result will have very little relation to our starting point. For example, with To Hell with Love, we started from a couple of cantos of Dante's Inferno, but very little of Dante was left in the production, which was a modern reworking of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.

We have a core of actors who take part in the R&D. All the sessions are video recorded so we have a visual record of what we've done and we can refer back to this if we need to. At first we may just meet for one day's work, a month or so apart. We will bring in a writer very early on, once we have a clearer focus and can brief the writer on what we want. Then, once we have sufficient funding, we'll work for perhaps a week full-time and do a showing at the end of that. We'll invite some friends along for feedback.

This process might go on for a year or more. Meanwhile, we'll be fundraising, then once everything is in place, we'll go into rehearsal. By that time we have a fair idea that the theme will work because everyone - the actors, director, writer, composer, movement director and designer - has done so much work on it. And it's had time to grow. We'll usually rehearse for four or five weeks, depending on how much money we have. Funding is always a challenge because it's so competitive. Every alternative theatre group is chasing the same small pots of money.

Do you always use the same people?
We tend to have an ongoing core of actors and artists who work in an informal alliance. Say, 10 or 12 people. The actors take part in research and development work, then productions are cast from that core, according to who is available and who is suitable for the requirements of the particular production.

I'd like to join your company. What can I do?
It's best to send us your CV and a small photo. We very seldom hold auditions, but we are also always open to working with new people.

What kind of actor are you looking for?
Someone who has been working in the profession for at least two years and who is interested in our way of working. It shouldn't been seen as just another theatre job. We are interested in people who want to work in a collaborative way, which means helping to create the work, even though we may be working with a writer. Some skills in physical theatre are certainly a help, but you should also be very strong on text. We also want people who are interested in a longer term collaboration with us, as part of an ongoing core of actors.

Can I interview Ken Rea or anyone else?
We don't normally grant interviews with Ken Rea, but if you send us a list of questions, and they are not already covered in this section, then he will do his best to answer them for you.

Can I watch a rehearsal?
Our rehearsals are closed to take the pressure off the actors when they are exploring the work. However, we do often document our rehearsal and R&D processes, and DVDs are available. Please contact us. Occasionally we will invite a school class to attend a rehearsal, but this will be as part of our ongoing educational work with that particular school.

How can I do one of your workshops?
If you belong to a secondary school, sixth form college or university, you can ask the drama teacher to book a workshop. Where we can, we will come to you. However, please bear in mind that when we are not touring, we can only manage workshops in the Greater London area. For more information, please refer to the Education section.

tel 020 8579 1029
email info@korutheatre.com