Raiser is a theatre company that aims to unearth and mobilise the next generation of theatremakers. Starting from partnerships with various schools, we seek to provide a stepping stone to a career in the arts for those leaving school, university or drama school by staging bold, dynamic work on the Fringe circuits. We feel that the issue of the lack of diversity results in homogenised cultural output that doesn't accurately reflect or speak to our wonderfully cosmopolitan capital. Through a combination of exciting devised works, new writing and re-interpreted classics, Raiser Theatre is dedicated to addressing this issue.
Raiser Theatre originated in 2016 from seeing a devised piece of work by A-Level students at Highgate School called "Barbed Wire Barbies". The production was so inventive, exploring issues of gender in the most hysterically original way, and the cast were 6 fiercely talented young women all soon to pursue a career in the arts. It made us reflect on the imbalance that is so deep-rooted in this industry: the same faces are getting the same roles and there is a wealth of talent that will struggle to get on to the ladder. It is now rarely the case that one can start their career performing in repertory in the provinces, cutting their teeth on a decent wage and garnering enough experience to be taken seriously by the big agencies and casting companies. The state of our under-funded system now means one has to work on the fringe scene, usually unpaid, and create one's own opportunities to overcome the shortsightedness of our more commercial avenues. We decided, then, to start Raiser which would begin by taking Barbed Wire Barbies to the Tristan Bates Theatre for a week's run in a double bill with our first partner theatre company, Antic Face. We have since had a hugely successful, sold-out double bill at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as a devised piece with young people from North London which we performed on the Main Stage at the Roundhouse.