What is ViSiBLE?

Storytelling that responds to living longer

Now that we may be living 30 years more than our great grandparents, we are contemplating a whole new era in our lives, a second and different adulthood that precedes old age, a time of relative health and activity that didn’t exist for previous generations.

Social anthropologist Mary Catherine Bates, herself now in her late 70s, sees this as a period of enormous potential:

“Personally, I find this addition to the human life cycle, which has a lot of freedom in it, may be the major source of hope for the human species. Younger people are overly busy, they have to deal with the short term. But some people need to think ahead, and the people who can do that are the people who have lived many years on this planet. And so, with our years of experience, and our freedom from some of the pressures of youth and with creative imagination, we may be able to provide the leadership and co-operation to save the planet we live on and the society that we value for many generations into the future. We have to be impassioned advocates for a positive future.”
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Annie Firbank in rehearsal
Photo © Paul Robinson

Given this new reality about longer lives in our developed world, and with a quarter of our population now aged 60 and over, Visible seeks to present stories, that match this new reality.

Luckily for us, actors live longer too, as do directors, dancers, choreographers, musicians and composers, all of whom bring a rich store of skills and experience to the core of our work: storytelling.


What we do

We are devoted to storytelling. We create stories from both the real and the imagined life that are interdisciplinary, intensely physical, and with rich and varied performance outcomes. These range from staged readings to large scale theatre work, from stories captured on film to stories relayed on audio, from text-based work to dance – and more.

Our working practices are nurtured in ambitious and meaningful partnerships with research centres, performance companies, NGOs, foundations and individual artists. Ultimately, it is this structural flexibility, and the calibre of our artists, that allows us to collectively dream-up the impossible.

All of our projects interweave stories that respond to what it means (and what it can mean) to live longer. More specifically, we collaborate with research departments and age organisations to generate accessible and visceral representations of research outcomes (read more about our research strand). Through innovative, creative collaborations we create new performance work over long development periods to enable deep collective explorations across disciplines (read more about our performance strand).

Projects which may appear impossible for other producing companies, we make possible by the strength of our collaborative working practice and our distinct and prophetic vision.

ViSiBLE in the press

"Visible Theatre: At last, older actors get grown-up roles" The Stage >> Click to read

The Stage, Visible Theatre Ensemble
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