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An update from Laurence and Beth

From Laurence

It is with a heavy heart but a great deal of pride and optimism that I have decided to leave archipelago arts collective and the theatre industry more widely.

When I started the company it was with big and unwieldy ideals that didn’t take shape until I met the wonderful collaborators that would go on to become the foundation of our collective. I feel incredibly proud of the work we’ve made; work that is made in conversation with people across the country, and that is always first and foremost about social change, and how we might make the world a slightly better place. Starting out in the theatre industry is never easy, and whilst our task was made that much harder by the ongoing pandemic, I feel incredibly grateful for all the people I’ve met, the opportunities I’ve had, and the friends for life I’ve found. I know now is the right time for me to step into a different sector, to try my hand at something new, and hopefully find the things that I feel are lacking in my career currently.

The past few years have been exhausting, and even though work has started to return and being a freelancer/running a company with no core funding has started to get better, I have found that my view and relationship with making theatre has been entirely changed by the pandemic. More than anything I’ve found myself lacking the passion and desire that was so present early in my career, and that has developed into a lack of confidence in not only my future stability but also my artistic skill. At this juncture it feels like pressing on would be at a detriment to myself and the company, because I am just not able to bring myself in the way that is required for this work. That’s hard to swallow, but ultimately for the best, and I feel positive about my decision to leave even though I am deeply sad that it is coming to an end.

Thank you to everyone that we’ve ever worked with, especially Rosie, Sean, and Grace, and most of all to Beth, who is the best person to run a company with and the most steadfast pal, and whose leadership is going to take archipelago to new heights. 

From Beth

archipelago was firstly the creation of Laurence’s imagination. And it’s a testament to his creativity, empathy and energy that it’s achieved all it has in the short time we’ve been making together. 

Laurence has always been first and foremost my pal. It’s been the greatest luck and pleasure that he’s also been my partner in this company. I still remember him asking me to lead this with him as one of the most exciting moments and it’ll be bizarre to say the least to no longer be doing this alongside him. But this is absolutely the best thing for him and I couldn’t be prouder of the brave decision he is making to move away from what can be an unforgiving industry in what has been the most relentless time. 

archipelago and all of its own creativity, empathy and energy will continue too! Taking this torch feels like my own brave choice, and I’m so grateful that, because we’ve collected an amazing group of collaborators and artists, I won’t be alone. Excitingly, carrying on from what has been an integral creative collaboration across all archipelago projects, Sean will be stepping in to lead the company with me from now on. 

Thank you Laurence again for starting this wonderful thing that we now will take forward with lots of plans and excitement and the same ambition to make things that speak truthfully and passionately to here and now. We’ll miss you pal (though you’re laughing if you think you’re ever getting away from us in a real sense!). 

P.S you’re now actually fired – Rosie was right all along.

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