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Focus on: Coney

  • Date: 26 August 2011
  • Area: London
The Loveliness Principle

Image from Coney’s The Loveliness Principle. Credit: courtesy of the company

Coney, a new National Portfolio organisation, makes interactive stories and play for a wide range of audiences, using a mixture of live and digital artforms.

Coney is one of the 34 new organisations to join London's National Portfolio that are not currently regularly funded, and its ethos is to create work based on three main principles:

  • Loveliness: taking active care of people through the experience and making play as a gift for them
  • Curiosity: appreciating the brilliance of being curious, paying more attention to your surroundings, and rewarding curiosity in audience members
  • Adventure: ensuring that every Coney experience feels as exciting as an adventure

Coney has developed their work with a range of organisations, including Battersea Arts Centre (BAC), the National Theatre, Tate Britain, Channel 4 and the Science Museum.

The organisation has received a number of one-off awards from our Grants for the arts scheme towards its unique events, notably one of Coney's flagship productions in collaboration with BAC, A Small Town Anywhere. A Small Town Anywhere is performed by a playing audience who take on the roles of townspeople in a community at war with itself. In one evening they play out the most important week of the Town's existence, a history responding to their individual and collective actions.

The Astronautical Challenge is another of Coney's recent successes. The Challenge is an adventure-in-learning co-created by Unlimited Theatre and Coney as part of the solar system of pieces Unlimited made happen to orbit their play, A Mission To Mars.

The adventure asks school pupils to assist trainee astronauts from UNSA (the Unlimited Space Agency) in completing a series of science-based and creative challenges. Drawing upon their expertise in adventures-in-learning, Coney deliver the Astronautical Challenge to classes in collaboration with Radiowaves, a groundbreaking social networking site designed specifically for schools. The Astronautical Challenge won the Arts, Culture and Heritage category at the 2011 UK Charity Awards.

Coney will enter our National Portfolio in April 2012, particularly for its innovation in digital arts and participatory theatre and for its unique and excellent programme that engages and excites audiences of all ages.