Skip to main content

Writing the History of an Alternative-Theatre Company: Mythology and the Last Years of Joint Stock

  • Sara Freeman

The work of Joint Stock Theatre Company is the stuff of alternative theatre mythology. A self-defined socialist company that premiered plays like David Hare's Fanshen and Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine, the group is known as one of Britain's most enduringly innovative alternative-theatre groups, in part because of those playwrights' success, in part because of such famous actors and directors as Max Stafford-Clark and Bill Gaskill, whose visions forged the group. But the history of Joint Stock's final years is not well known, despite the existence of a company history, The Joint Stock Book. Although it might seem that the group lost touch with its artistic imperative after 1985 and that it closed amid the generally harsh climate for alternative theatre created by the arts-funding policies of the conservative government of Margaret Thatcher (in office during 1979–90), that is not entirely true. Reorganized in 1985–6 to maximize racial and gender parity in the company, Joint Stock produced significant work and traversed important cultural and political terrain until 1989, when it closed both because of lost funding and because of the decisions of individual artists.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Theatre Survey
  • ISSN: 0040-5574
  • EISSN: 1475-4533
  • URL: /core/journals/theatre-survey
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed