A Bit About Us
A.M.A. Theatre Co. (Arts Made for All) was formed in 2017 by Ian Britten-Hull and Annie Albici as a touring theatre company, to produce shows and plays to appeal to a wide range of audiences, with the aim of promoting theatre and to make it accessible to all.
“We tour to all kinds of venues including theatres, community venues, schools and outdoor spaces across the UK. As we are totally self-contained, it means we can create theatre in any reasonable space. We tour with full staging, lighting rig and sound system and turn any empty space into a theatre. We believe theatre is not just about the show, but the whole atmosphere that is created, not just by the company, but by the audience as well.”
Being multi-skilled, we take on most of the production work ourselves including set design and building, costume design and making, together with props, sound recording and performing. By undertaking much of the production work ourselves, we save on costs, meaning the shows and plays are more cost effective and in turn allow for lower ticket prices much of the time.
As with all theatre companies, we too at AMA Theatre Co. were forced to abandon all live performances during the pandemic, but rather than risk complete collapse, the company looked at ways to continue producing and staging productions with all the restrictions in place. Following the general trend, we turned to the internet. Many companies streamed recorded plays and some used platforms such as Zoom for innovative productions. Undertaking a lot of research and self-training of the digital world, we built a fully interactive live theatre online.
The instruction to everyone was “work from home.” So, we did. We built a broadcasting studio theatre in the front room. This consisted of a fully functional stage area at one end complete with blacks, ceiling bars and lights, with provision to erect various types of sets and scenery. The other end of the room where one might expect the auditorium to be, housed the broadcasting suite. This consisted of broadcast quality video cameras, mics and a computer with broadcasting software, and enabled any show performed to be broadcast through the internet. Using Zoom as a platform, we were able to create the audience interaction aspect of the project. But, by erecting a 55” monitor screen in front of the stage, and with the use of speakers, we were also able to see and hear the audience from the stage. Not only that but the audience could hear each other as well. This worked especially well for our pantomime, and it was so rewarding to see families at home arranging themselves as if they had their own theatre box in their front rooms as they engaged with the show on their TV screens. All the interaction such as “oh no it isn’t” worked and everyone agreed it was just like being in a real theatre. This also worked with live dramas and comedies where the actors could actually feel the presence of the audience and this in turn added to the performance.
Since January 2021 we have worked hard on planning a new programme of shows and plays for the coming year and beyond. The first project was The Buccaneers. We felt it would be a good idea to produce a show with fun and a feel-good factor celebrating the ending of lockdown. The Buccaneers are a band of hapless pirates who come back to life after spending 200 years locked down in Davy Jones' Locker.
Getting a second chance at life, all they want to do is have fun and enjoy themselves. Although the show is devised as a full live theatre show, it was decided to create a video version first, and due to lockdown restrictions, it was impossible to use other actors and technical crew, so we did everything ourselves.
We created a full hour’s comedy musical show by using computer technology to bring all the characters to life on screen and to interact with each other. Techniques such as split screen and chromakey were used as well as recording and mixing all the songs in all the different characters voices. Several scenes were shot at the Market theatre in Hitchin, Hertfordshire but the rest was filmed in the “front room studio.” It is hard to imagine when you watch the video and you are transported onto pirate ships, a desert island, stately homes, and the battle of Culloden, that it was all made in a living room!
Now restrictions are lifting, the live version of The Buccaneers is ready to tour. A cast is in place and rehearsals are underway. It is true to say that we have not only worked extremely hard, but have produced some amazing results during Covid.
We are not currently receiving funding, and everything has been funded by ourselves. With all these amazing achievements purely on our own, one must ask, what can further be achieved with the cooperation and assistance of others in the theatre world?
“We hope our efforts in recent times are acknowledged and that we have demonstrated the skills and passions that we put into our productions and on that basis, it will be possible to build and grow a professional rapport with theatre venues, actors, technical crew, theatre staff and everyone who works in the sector, as we all now move forward and start creating once again.
We look forward to meeting and working with you all in the future.”
Ian & Annie (AMA Theatre Co.)
Set from The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Narrator from The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Annie as Anne Bonny from The Buccaneers
Set from The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Them that run A.M.A. Theatre Co.
Ian trained at Middlesex Polytechnic not only in acting but all aspects of stage and theatre management. He graduated in 1984 and the skills learned have proved invaluable for all the production work he has been involved with over the years. In addition to producing and directing many of his own independent projects, he has also directed and worked on production for companies such as Shakespeare 4 Kids, Spin Off Theatre, Rainbow Theatre and Blackpool Grand Youth Theatre. Ian is an accomplished stage fight director and swordsman and has been fight co-ordinator for companies such as Thorpe Park and S4K.
Acting credits include Macbeth for the English Shakespeare Company, Dr Who for ITV’s Kingdom, Sir Henry in The Picture of Dorian Grey for TNT touring European theatres and Postman Pat in the national touring musical.
Annie was born in Bucharest, Romania but came to the UK in 1989 as a dancer with the Doina Bucharest Ensemble and the Romanian Radio Television Orchestra under the Davis Stones organisation. Annie continued her career in dance in the UK and has appeared on TV in such shows as The Generation Game, Blue Peter and has performed on many of the big theatres across the UK including The London Palladium.
Coming from a theatrical family in Bucharest, (her father was conductor of the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra, and her mother was a renowned opera singer. Her brother was a theatre artistic director and designer) Annie was fully immersed in the theatrical world from a young age and learned much of her production skills from her experiences in theatres in Bucharest.
Annie’s stage career has been primarily in revue and pantomime playing diverse characters such as Aladdin to Nancy in Oliver and Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. Other acting rolls include Tilly in the adventures of Dromeo and Tilly, Miss Jane Marbles in The Comedy of Terrors and Mistress Quickly in A Covid Night’s Dream. On TV Annie has appeared in Bad Girls and Footballers Wives.
Contact & Booking:
Our shows and plays are available for both; private and public performances and have various booking procedures applicable to the given event.
Where a performance is open to the public, for example in a theatre, art centre or village hall, we undertake various options. These include straight hire arrangements, box office split with minimum guarantee, (where the hirer guarantees a small fee plus a percentage of box office takings) a set fee, (negotiated on forecast audience numbers at a given ticket price) or in some cases, a straight box office split (a fee is paid to us as a percentage of ticket sales only). We also occasionally enter into joint production ventures with venues.
For a private event for social clubs, holiday parks etc we have competitive fee charging contracts where a set fee is negotiated and applied for the performance. Fees are usually negotiated based on the approximate number of audience likely to attend. However, as this option is for groups who have a set budget for entertainment we are open to discuss terms, in order to accommodate any given budget. In all cases we strive to ensure any fees charged are realistic and practical for all parties involved. We are a non-profit making organisation and as such we are not driven by the pursuit of profits other than to cover production costs, artistes’ fees and logistic expenses.
For all initial enquiries please get in touch via email at email@example.com with your details and we will provide an initial proposal.