Artifice performances are individually tailored for the host venue and event requirements, providing for  audiences or guests a truly unique experience.


Usually, theatrical productions imitate places. Artifice steps into places and inhabits them. The room that we are in becomes the room that the action happens in, just as the actors become the characters. The play finds its natural place, the room comes alive in a very specific way. The audience is fully engaged with both.

Audiences for Artifice’s performances come into a closer, more intimate connection with actors than is possible in most theatre spaces. There is no stage technology to exclude you from the action, just quite simply and engagingly a sharing of the same space. The performances which take place in your rooms will be distinctive to your property.

Our productions are uniquely flexible, responsive to the environment into which you welcome us. We can tailor both layout and style of performance to your property and your event. Here are just some possibilities:


Single SpaceThis is the performance formate we’re most usually asked for. The performance is fully ‘staged’ – costumed, with all necessary props and wherever possible using the furniture belonging to the venue. We tailor the way the performance works to the space available, planning our use of the space in whatever conformation wil accommodate both action and audience most effectively.

The aim is to complement the room, matching the requirements of the play to the placing of given elements such as doors, windows and furniture, so that the space becomes the location in which the action takes place. In this way, the play makes use not just of the room we’re performing in, but by implication of the geography of the house as a whole.

The photo shows a moment in a performance of Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance in the beautiful Marble Hall at Clandon Park

We believe that this way of presenting theatrical performance is currently unique to Artifice. It is an integral part of the art theatre we produce and share with our audiences.

Artifice 47Promenade Performances, like Single Space shows, are also fully ‘staged’, but here we can tailor the staging, not just to a single room, but to match the action of the play to the wider layout of the house, performing scenes from the play in different rooms, as the action moves from location to location. This is a great way to give your audience, guests or visitors a more extensive experience of your property, and a more active level of participation.

The action might be presented in a continuous flow, with the audience and action moving directly from one space to the next, but equally it would be possible to allow for other elements of an event to take place between scenes, so that the performance as a whole would be more episodic in nature.

This photo shows a moment from a performance of Staging Lovers’ Vows at Chawton House Library: Mary Crawford and Edmund Bertram meet to rehearse in Fanny’s East Room – the conference audience having made their way to Chawton’s attic.


Dining ExperienceA Dining Experience can be combined with any of our formats. Stripped of all but the absolute essential props, his involves playing the scenes or acts of the play between the courses of a meal amongst the tables at which the diners are sitting.

Like the Promenade, there is an episodic quality to this format, as guests are partaking of their meal as well as taking in a performance.

Dinner theatre is a tremendous way to give your guests a really multi-sensory experience which they’re unlikely to forget!

As you will see from this photo, we do not expect the venue for a Dining Experience necessarily to reflect the classical or heritage context in which we might perform other formats. Here, in the Way to Keep Him, Mrs Lovemore and Mrs Belmour are enjoying the fruits of their plotting in the company of diners at the Frensham Pond Hotel near Farnham, Surrey.

DSC06294Concert Performances can be given where space is limited. The cast perform either seated or standing, in costume if the play is part of our repertoire, or neutrally in black, if this is a script-in-hand presentation of a new piece. The performance style draws on skills analogous to those needed for radio drama, but with the additional possibility of including the audience. While it lacks the movement of a fully staged performance, it is fully rehearsed and professionally presented.

Some find this format unlikely – until they’ve tried it.

Free-Flow Ideal HusbandAs a prelude to a full performance, or as a stand-alone, free-flow scenes involve actors, in costume,  moving around the venue, playing dialogue from the play, or improvised around it, in an ad hoc way.

This is something different from the usual role-playing interpretation, giving visitors tantalising glimpses of the play’s life within the context of the house/gardens.

It is a great way to enhance the visitor experience, to generate interest for a forthcoming full performance, or to entertain guests while other things are going on – for instance while wedding photos are being taken.

In this photo you can see An Ideal Husband’s Lord Caversham confronting his good-for-nothing son Lord Goring during normal Saturday afternoon opening hours at Hatchlands Park.

IMG_2161In addition to our site-responsive performances, Artifice’s work has a proven track record of success in small, intimate theatre spaces.

Our usual working practices means that technical demands are few and simple. The closeness with which we work with audiences in heritage spaces is transferred to the theatre context as much as possible, giving our theatre performances that particular flavour which is distinctive of Artifice shows.

Here, the chaplain, Anhalt, reassures the destitute Agatha of better times before an audience at the Mission Theatre, Bath.


All of Artifice’s shows begin their life in the ‘readers theatre’ environment of LynchPin’s ScripTease events: it’s an integral part of our working process. Why not talk to us about becoming a regular part of our development? We would be delighted to bring this Concert Performance experience to your venue.