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Who

LaPelle’s Factory is the creative partnership
between theatre makers
Olwen Davies and Ollie Smith

“Ollie Smith and Olwen Davies ooze charm and darkness in equal measure, like some old fashioned double act gone off the rails”
Richard Lowden, Forced Entertainment

Hey! We’re Olwen and Ollie. We’ve got a kinda couple-next-door vibe going on, but you probably shouldn’t trust us with your pets.

We take not being serious very seriously. Our shows lean into the camp schlock of horror movies and faded rockstars on the one hand, and crippling anxiety and paranoia on the other. On stage we play versions of ourselves who we’re lucky we don’t have to be every day. Olwen has the most dangerous eyes in contemporary theatre – and if Ollie was in a film about a drug cartel he’d be the one who gets shot in the face within the first 10 minutes.

“Olwen and Ollie are great artists – full of ideas, great performers, and curious and exploratory in their making – fearless in trying out new things and prepared to thoroughly interrogate their material”
Alex Kelly, Third Angel

The first piece we made together was a purgatorial cabaret-gone-wrong called Cat in Hell (2013). We thought it was about entrapment but lots of people who saw it thought it was about BDSM. Since then we’ve tackled killer couples, dance marathons, school sports days and rodeos, and we’ve taken serious liberties with literary adaptation.

Our performance style balances fun with fear, and pokes around behind the curtain, under the patio and in the margins. We’ve made various pieces for studios, one-to-one and experiential works, and compered events at some of the Midlands’ most respected arts venues.

“LaPelle’s Factory are an exciting company. They are intelligent theatre makers who imbue their work with humour. Audiences enjoy their ability to play dark moments alongside laugh out loud moments and to move them into thinking about the subject matter in unexpected but accessible ways. Ollie and Olwen are engaging performers and I think the work is great”
Sarah Brigham, Artistic Director, Derby Theatre

As individuals we’ve worked with various other artists and companies including Forced Entertainment, Proto-type Theater, Maison Foo, Zoo Indigo, El Conde de Torrefiel, Spiltmilk Dance, Michael Pinchbeck and Reckless Sleepers.

A refreshing duo making playful work that delves deep into the human condition. Ollie and Olwen’s impressive individual experience as performers and theatre makers can be clearly seen not only in their performance but the way they approach making their work”
Ruby Glaskin, Milk Presents

We’re both lecture in theatre and performance within higher education institutions including the University of Lincoln, the University of Derby, De Montfort University (Leicester) and the University of Worcester. And we deliver bespoke workshops, masterclasses and creative residencies in performance, theatre making and devising.

“One of the most exciting and innovative companies in the region”
Michaela Butter, Artistic Director, Attenborough Arts Centre

Olwen holds an MA in Drama (2012) from De Montfort University. Ollie trained as an actor – no really – at Bretton Hall (2007).

xx

 

LaPelle's Factory

 

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