Theatre company opens new Nottingham venue

Published: 25 August 2022
Reporter: Steve Orme

New Nottingham venue: The Void
Chronic Insanity artistic director Joe Strickland

Nottingham-based theatre company Chronic Insanity is to open a new multi-discipline arts venue in one of the caves below the city.

The Void will become the city’s first dedicated performance space to be housed in one of Nottingham’s caves. So far, 544 have been discovered. The venue will house “atmospheric and intimate work that takes advantage of the space’s unique surroundings”. It will be the company’s main producing space for its multi-discipline work.

The venue’s initial season will include What Really Happened To Vine?, a new digital-theatre piece that investigates the demise of social media platform Vine. The production will be shown in the venue with accompanying live elements. It will also be accessible to those who cannot make it to the venue.

The season will also feature Medusa Reloaded, written by Nicki Morley, a new piece of gig theatre based on the classic Greek story Medusa and the Gorgons, and a “bespoke horror escape-room experience developed with The Void’s unique ambience in mind”, Penumbra.

Chronic Insanity’s artistic director Joe Strickland said, “we see so much creativity in Nottingham and we love the challenge of creating theatre for a particular space, of which Nottingham has many.

“However, it can be hard to find these spaces and convince the people who own or run them to let performances take place there. So, now that we’ve found one, we want to be able to offer that option to other creatives in the East Midlands and further afield.

“With the sprawling network of caves and underground tunnels under Nottingham, it’s the perfect place for a subterranean performance space that can suit all styles of theatre, immersive experience and exhibition.

“Normally, a lot of theatre-makers only write or envisage work for those spaces that they have access to so that their work has the best chance of getting put on. We’re here to tell you that we have a cave system and we want your performances to happen here. Let’s get creative!”

Chronic Insanity will give opportunities to its stable of associate artists to develop new work as well as working with its digital literary department—reportedly the first of its kind in the UK. The department welcomes applications from writers with little or no experience and offers workshops as well as the opportunity to have work produced.

What Really Happened To Vine? will be performed on Monday 26 September at The Void, 107 Upper Parliament Street, Nottingham. Medusa Reloaded can be seen on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October and Penumbra from Monday 31 October until Sunday 6 November. The capacity of the venue is 20 who are sitting, although this can be increased for shows that require the audience to stand.