Theatre Delicatessen | Inspiring artists. Transforming spaces.

Interviews and Press

Interviews and Press

Observer ARTICLE crop 200wTheatre Delicatessen has received significant critical acclaim for their productions, including Time Out Critics’ Choice Best of the Year 2009 for Pedal Pusher, and nominated for Best Production and Best Entertainment in the Off West End Theatre Awards 2010 for Theatre Souk.
In February 2011, Theatre Delicatessen was profiled in The Observer as one of the “Bright Young Things Changing British Theatre”.
Since then, Theatre Delicatessen has featured in a number of press articles. These mainly focus on our ‘pop-up’ model, and the way the company approaches working with non-theatre spaces.
This page is an archive of links to many of those features and interviews.
To see the full article in its original site please click on the logo, quote or title.

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London Calling (February 2015) | Interview with Theatre Delicatessen

Natasha Sutton-Williams interviews Jessica Brewster and Dan Ball about Theatre Delicatessen’s history, and the latest project at 119 Farringdon Road.

We went from one floor to a whole building; that opened up a huge new range of possibilities. We brought in theatre-makers for a six-week long festival called Theatre Souk where each artist had a room to create their own world, based around the theme of money, in response to austerity kicking in. We suddenly had this whole community of artists to work with and it hasn’t changed since.


A Younger Theatre (January 2014) | Feature: Spotlight on Theatre Delicatessen

Roland Smith and Jessica Brewster talk to Tom Powell on the eve of SPACED2014 – a Theatre Souk staged at 35 Marylebone High Street.

With such a range of shows, some of which are unbearably intimate, you could think that Spaced is almost a mechanism for making sure that kind of immersive magic happens. It is, but it is also, Brewster says, “a space for emerging artists to get it horribly wrong”. Smith grins, “…or horribly right”.


IdeasTap (August 2013) | How to set up a venue

An interview with Stevie Martin of IdeasTap giving a few handy hints on setting up a venue.

Setting up an arts venue can be a minefield when you don’t know what you’re doing. Thankfully, Stevie Martin spoke to two experts who’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to…


Varsity Article (November 2012) | The exasperation of innovation

In a surprisingly revealing interview, Roland Smith talks with Tom Powell of Varsity, the Cambridge University student paper.

“I saw Kenneth Branagh playing Coriolanus at the Chichester festival when I was fifteen and was like – I want to do that. Even if I’m just one the guys at the back holding a spear”

Marylebone Journal (Sept 2012) | Space Hoppers

A lengthy feature on Theatre Delicatessen’s space at 35 Marylebone High Street for the local ‘village’ newspaper, the Marylebone Journal.

“We were just young theatre directors looking for opportunities to stage our own work,” Roland Smith artistic director of Theatre Delicatessen tells me as we relax on the ‘village green’ of Marylebone Gardens, deep inside the old BBC building at 35 Marylebone High Street.


Interview with Front Row (August 2012) | What is it worth?

Artistic Directors of Theatre Delicatessen, Jessica Brewster and Roland Smith talk to Kirsty Lang about Bush Bazaar, and the inspiration behind the Theatre Souk concept. The interview can be found at 11mins 38seconds through the programme.

How much should you pay for theatre? What’s it worth? Kirsty reports from the Bush Theatre, London, which has opened up all its spaces for Bush Bazaar, a theatrical marketplace, where audiences pay performers according to the quality of the work. Artistic Director Madani Younis and the founders of Theatre Delicatessen discuss the project.


Guardian Stage Article (July 2012) | Pick and Mix Performers

An interview with Laura Barnett of The Guardian discussing 35MHS and the opening of Bush Bazaar.

Bush Bazaar, Theatre Deli’s new project, invites the audience to haggle with actors over how much to pay – just one of their pioneering shows that ask questions about the value of art.


Interview with The Metro (July 2012) | A new way to pay for a play

An interview with Claire Alfree of The Metro discussing the concept behind Bush Bazaar.

Do you think West End show tickets are too expensive? Theatre Delicatessen lets you decide the price you want to pay.


Time Out (May 2012) | Theatre Delicatessen’s new space

Artistic Directors, Jessica Brewster and Roland Smith, spoke to Time Out’s Caroline McGinn about setting up Marylebone Gardens as a creative hub. This article contains the rather wonderful description of Jessica and Roland as “…connected, experienced, presentable and persistent…”, which in a strange way sums up the company.

When I ask why more theatre companies don’t do this, Brewster and Smith – who juggle day jobs, young children, commutes, and multiple collaborators- grin wryly and reel off the skills they’ve had to master in pursuit of their dream. It’s impressive: but not nearly as impressive as what they’ve achieved here.


The Observer (February 2011) | Meet the bright new things of British theatre

The Observer profiled four new companies who are transforming theatre, and changing what audiences expect from their night out.

Meeting Theatre Delicatessen would leave even the most proactive sort with a sense of underachievement.


Guardian Theatre Blog (January 2011) | Commercial break

A piece on our collaboration with ‘big business’ written by Roland Smith for The Guardian blog.

Many theatremakers regard corporate philanthropy with suspicion, but working with a property group gave our company space to develop – and helped us get funding


Arts Professional (October 2010) | Pop in, sit up

Jessica Brewster and Roland Smith discuss the realities of funding theatre through the pop-up model.

The success of recession-fuelled pop-up theatre shows that creativity need not be restrained by budgets, argue Roland Smith and Jessica Brewster.


The Economist (November 2010) I Up, up and away

A lengthy interview – most of which hit the sub editor’s floor.

Roland Smith of Theatre Delicatessen, a theatre group (currently based in a building yards from Selfridges), talks of the “thrill” of the transient but tangible pop-up experience in a world increasingly dominated by the impersonal internet.


Channel 4 News (August 2010)| Edinburgh Fringe: verbatim takes centre stage

Roland Smith interviewed about Pedal Pusher as part of a wider piece on verbatim theatre.

As Edinburgh Fringe festival kicks off, over 2,000 shows will be performed daily between now and the end of August. Comedy, music and fictional drama are the mainstays, but Andrew Thomas finds another genre is becoming increasingly common – the ‘verbatim play’.


The List (July 2010)| Pedal Pusher examines truth of Tour de France cyclists

Before our run of Pedal Pusher at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2010, Thom Dibdin interviewed Roland Smith for The List Edinburgh Guide. They talked about the play, its inception and whether sport can work on stage.

Sporting achievement is notoriously tricky to turn into theatre, doubly so if it’s the world of cycling. Roland Smith tells Thom Dibdin that a cinema classic inspired Pedal Pusher

The Bike Show

The Bike Show (July 2009) | Tour de Farce?

Roland Smith talks to Jack Thurston of Resonance FM.

A long, hard look at doping in professional cycling, with journalist Lionel Birnie of Cycling Weekly and theatre director Roland Smith, whose play Pedal Pusher, opened in London on 7th July 2009.


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