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‘People Show’ stages 50-year theatre birthday bash at Whitechapel’s Toynbee Studios

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:37 11 December 2016

On stage ready for 'The Story of Us' [photo: Rob Kennedy]

On stage ready for 'The Story of Us' [photo: Rob Kennedy]

Rob Kennedy

Theatre players who helped “change the landscape of British theatre” celebrate the 50th birthday of their company with a new interpretation of its first ever show.

People Show players in Charing Cross Road in 1966 [photo: Graham Keen] People Show players in Charing Cross Road in 1966 [photo: Graham Keen]

An historic performance by People Show theatre company at Whitechapel’s Toynbee Studios features three days of plays, films and exhibitions from December 1 to 3.

The group first performed together in 1966 in the basement of a Charing Cross Road bookshop and has since put on 131 shows and 180 collaborations around London.

Their The Story of Us show premieres on December 1, followed by founder Mark Long’s A Peephole History of People Show and the launch of Long’s memoir, Nobody Knows But Everybody Remembers.

To artist Gareth Brierley, the original members of People Show set themselves apart by breaking with the conventions of the time.

“Making a show from scratch where everyone in the room is making decisions together was basically unheard of in 1966,” Gareth explains, “It was very counter-cultural compared to where we are now.”

Audiences during the three-day event get old, new and previously unseen material as the group celebrates its past and its future.

People Show has several upcoming projects including a performance at the Oval House in Lambeth and a collaborative project with students at the University of Roehampton.

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