By Jove is an ensemble of theatre-makers who want to see a new kind of Britain emerge in the twenty-first century. We are committed to a socialist-feminist ethos – we want to see a Britain that is fair and equal for all, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, differing abilities and social background. Our contribution to this is through theatre that raises questions about our lives – whose authority we trust, how power is constructed, how and why we see certain people and certain groups in a particular way. We do this by taking stories from the past – stories that have spoken to us for generations, stories that are woven into our cultural DNA – and opening them up to theatrical scrutiny, asking questions about how they contribute to the collective myths contemporary culture continues to invest in.
But we don’t want to preach. We aim to create theatre that engages through entertainment, not a soapbox. Founded in 2011, each of our projects can be described as an experiment – a challenge we set ourselves to tell these sometimes ancient stories in new and affecting ways. This has led us to try and re-tell Pride and Prejudice as a pantomime, to try and combine Shakespeare with provocative new writing, to invert a Greek tragedy by focusing on the character who spends most of her time off-stage in Euripides’ original.
In each case, our work always has three things in common: it addresses issues relevant to twenty-first century Britain; it works with a myth, legend, or story from our cultural canon; and it is new writing, or features new writing in dialogue with old. Moreover, we always aim to challenge ourselves as artists and endeavour to do the same for our audiences.
a Timeline of By Jove’s work
By Jove is founded by the collective cast and crew of Electra-Orestes, a piece commissioned by Royal Holloway Classical Society.
Electra-Orestes is reworked as The Women Screaming Beyond, premiering at the Courtyard, Hoxton. The show wins Royal Holloway’s Next Stage award. The company also win WestFocus Entrepreneurship’s BrightIdeas competition.
Later that year, Pride & Prejudice: The Panto is staged for the first time.
LoveArts, a monthly new writing night featuring music, spoken word, poetry, and drama, comes to the Gallery Café, Bethnal Green, for a six-month season.
Pride & Prejudice: The Panto is revived at the Cockpit, Marylebone, in celebration of 200 years since the publication of Austen’s novel.
Othello is staged at the CLF Art Café in Peckham.
The Annual Meeting of Postgraduates in the Reception of the Ancient World (AMPRAW) commission a new version of Euripides’ Bacchae for performance at Senate House library in November.