What is Atomic Rhubarb?
We make theatre that is bizarre, didactic and relevant!
We are Atomic Rhubarb, a theatre company based in Weston-super-Mare. We met during our Performing Arts degree at University Centre Weston. Atomic Rhubarb was born in our final year, where we created our own theatre companies and devised our own work. Back then there were five Rhubarbs, but now there's only three. Within our first year as a company we created our first show The Drowned Witch and the Plum Tree. Another element of our final year was to create individual solo performances, and this is where Clare developed the character QUEER MONSTER and created a drag/cabaret show all about her! Coral created a show about breaking down the stigma surrounding periods - What's in the Bush? And Joe's Making Plans for Hugo is a Dadaist journey across Europe and into fatherhood. After our solos we created our second Rhubarb show Looking for Baby Daddy, which we toured to Bristol, London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018.
We completed our first run at the Edinburgh Fringe and came home to graduate. As we threw our caps in the air we knew we wanted to continue creating and performing as Atomic Rhubarb! Clare and Joe stayed in Weston, whilst Coral went home to her native Hertfordshire...but was always a phone call away. Meanwhile Clare and Joe rewrote and re-staged Clare's QUEER MONSTER which became our third Rhubarb show, which toured to Bristol, Somerset, Devon and Morecombe Fringe. Alongside this we have worked with fellow UCW graduate theatre company 5 in a Hat. We have begun to make a name for ourselves in the Weston art scene, having worked alongside Terrestrial and become guardians of Weston Artspace, which we use for rehearsal and office space. We are also working with Theatre Orchard hosting "Scratch 'n' Sniff" and performing at Whirligig Festival.
As a result of the many lockdowns and restrictions on live performances we have become involved in a collective based in WSM, "From the Mud", a group of creatives who have been making and performing work both digitally and live over the last 8 months!! This year we also received funding from Big Worle to devise THE SEASIDE SHOW, a fun, family show that we hope to tour next summer!
In late 2019 we began planning our fourth show with Coral very much at the helm. Based off Coral's final solo show What's in the bush?, we went to BARNfest at the Brewhouse Theatre and performed extracts of the original show and were delighted at how well it was received. This sparked PERIOD DRAMA, a funny and thought-provoking show that will explore periods and the stigmas surrounding them! We will begin our R&D for PERIOD DRAMA in early 2022, and will embark on a full scale tour to secondary schools in 2023.
It's gonna be good!
I love, love, love the spontaneous nature of devising theatre as you never know what to expect! I enjoy the process of creating work through endless techniques AND I love me a good set transition. I'm really interested in creating work for young audiences, and made two Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) shows whilst training. And I firmly believe it is so important that young people are able to experience theatre whatever their situation may be!
"What the hell did I just watch?" In theatre I love giving people that reaction.Comes from my love of DADA. You can sneak a meaning in it. A moral in an abstract costume. That line between meaning and meaningless. There can be great meaning in that ironically and great comedy. I love making that in theatre and showing how it's done. Like seeing the wizard behind the curtain. It's far more interesting than the trick!
The arts is my first love and our love child from there is theatre. I want to make theatre that is going to change the world. I know that sounds impossible and cliche but in the words of Frank N. Furter "Don't dream it, be it". I take my inspiration from the fabulous people, take their energy and use it for my own. Becoming a ball of weird, funny, sexy energy exploding on stage. Be the things you can be in real life but the explosion has broken those barriers and now that energy has passed on. Energy can not be destroyed; only be transferred. And that's science!
Our first show 2017! When there were five Rhubarbs. It's a mad mouthful of a show. Enjoy The Drowned Witch and the Plum Tree'
Pictures of us in the wild...
“ATOMIC RHUBARB ARE AN EXCITING AND DYNAMIC YOUNG COMPANY. ITS THREE COMPANY MEMBERS ALL DISPLAYED TREMENDOUS POTENTIAL WHEN I WORKED WITH THEM IN THE FINAL YEAR AT UNIVERSITY CENTRE WESTON.
SINCE THEIR GRADUATION, IT HAS BEEN A PLEASURE AND REWARDING EXPERIENCE TO WITNESS THEIR ARTISTIC GROWTH, BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND AS A COMPANY"
MARK HELYAR / CO-DIRECTOR OF THEATRE, TAKE ART / LECTURER AT UNIVERSITY CENTRE WESTON
“I WORKED WITH ATOMIC RHUBARB ON SOME FORMATIVE WORKS DURING THEIR TIME AT UNIVERSITY CENTRE WESTON AND HAVE SINCE FOLLOWED THEIR CAREER WITH INTERST. BUILDING ON THEIR EARLY SUCCESSES, INCLUDING WELL-RECEIVED PERFORMANCES AT THE EDINBURGH FRINGE AND ACROSS THE UK, THEY HAVE DISPLAYED A CONSISTENCY OF AMBITIOUS, ORIGINAL AND HIGH-QUALITY WORK THAT SPEAKS TO CONTEMPORARY CONCERNS WITH HUMOUR AND VERVE."
TOBI POSTER-SU / CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, WATTLE AND DAUB / LECTURER, BATH SPA UNIVERSITY