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21 for 21     
The Wrestling School's 21st Birthday

On 21st October 2009 we are celebrating our 21st birthday with a truly international festival. On this day actors in four continents and eighteen countries are joining together to perform work by Howard Barker. As the earth turns, performances will cascade across the globe to celebrate the 21st birthday of his theatre company, the Wrestling School. They begin in the summer of Perth, Western Australia and end in the winter of Burnaby, Western Canada.  On this one day journey, Barker’s plays and poetry will be spoken in seven languages by more than two hundred performers.

21 for 21 is a remarkable international event of staged readings, full performances and devised works that celebrate Howard Barker’s playwriting, directing, poetry and painting. It includes the long-established Royal Shakespeare Company who will be presenting a reading in Newcastle, England while the International Avatar Repertory Theatre will be performing Howard Barker in the online world of Second Life.

Full details of the productions and readings can be found at

The project is the brainchild of Executive Producer, Sarah Goldingay. She explains:  “Howard has been writing plays since the 1970s. I first came across his work when I was a student: I was mesmerised by his dark and erotic stories and poetic language. The 21st anniversary of the Wrestling School Theatre Company gives us a great reason to revisit his rich body of work, old and new. His plays seem even more relevant now in a world that is trying to understand the wars it is fighting and economic turmoil it is in. Everyone involved in the project is giving their time for free, and because of their generosity something that’s been run from my computer in the wilds of Devon is going to be shared by audiences across the globe. We’re delighted to be having a birthday party with so many wonderful people.” 

Howard Barker has commented "I am both assured by and inspired by the risks and ecstasies lived by my fellow artists and to them on this great number day I extend a passionate gratitude."

We are greaty honoured by our friends' and supporters' affirmation of the example and value of our continuing and developing work.   

For more information or to take part in the international festival please contact Sarah Goldingay, Executive Producer.

At the centre of this will be the Company's new production, Found In The Ground, at Riverside Studios in London, one of the most ambitious projects we have undertaken.

On 21st October the Company will be presenting a reading of Hurts Given And Received, one of Howard's latest plays:
The death of his servants, the suicide of his friends, the insanity of his lovers, nothing is allowed to distract the poet from his obsessive mission.  Perhaps he also is a necessary sacrifice?
Directed by TWS Associate, Gerrard McArthur. 
8.45pm Gielgud Studio at RADA  Malet Street  London WC1 6ED
Admission Free but tickets must be booked in advance via RADA on 020 7908 4800

                                                    " the most important buildingless company in Britain " 
                                                                                                                     The Independent 

Until recently The Wrestling School was an Arts Council England project funded company. It is now independently funded.