Cheek by Jowl is an international touring theatre company dedicated to producing fresh and vivid productions that focus on the actor's art, avoiding directorial and design concepts.
Led by Co-Artistic Directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, who established the company in 1981, Cheek by Jowl produces work in English, French and Russian. The company has performed in more than 400 cities in more than 50 countries spanning six continents.
One of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Companies, Cheek by Jowl has been an Artistic Associate at the Barbican in London since 2005.
Cheek by Jowl reunites with the Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre for the first time since Measure for Measure on Francis Beaumont’s subversive and darkly funny play within a play. The Knight of the Burning Pestle is a breath-taking comedy, hilarious and terrifying in its relevance to a post-expert world where everyone can be famous and anyone can write the story.
“A blaze of life and theatre.” Télérama (France)
“Witty, joyous” MK (Russia)
“Donnellan gives free rein to the Russian actors, all magnificent” El País (Spain)
The production is currently available for touring.
Cheek by Jowl’s Russian-language production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure with Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre has been performing across the world since 2013.
“Unsettling poignancy” The New York Times
“Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod build a whole world out of the human form.” The Washington Post
“Declan Donnellan’s Russian cast are so electrifyingly intense and disturbing that they make your hair stand on end.” The Times
Playing in repertoire in Moscow and regularly performing internationally (most recently in the USA, Germany, Poland, Romania and Australia), the production is currently available for touring.
Cheek by Jowl has a number of different strands of participation activity in place, enabling school pupils, students and emerging professionals to engage with the company and its work in diverse ways. These activities are organised throughout the year, both in the context of a production and as stand-alone events.
They include: practical workshops led by the Artistic and Associate Directors using techniques employed in the rehearsal room to bring texts to life, talks and master classes.
Cheek by Jowl’s website features a dedicated Learning section, for students, teachers, academics and audience members alike. This collection of educational resources includes full length-film recordings of 3 productions, interactive education packs and archival materials: cheekbyjowl.com/learning/
"The collusion of actor and audience spark an event rooted in a celebration of shared humanity"
"Declan Donnellan is one of the most original directors working in theatre today"
"This British troupe has been responsible for some of the most imaginative and revelatory classical performances I’ve seen during the past couple of decades"
New York Times
"Cheek By Jowl would represent Britain on any list of the world's most influential theatre companies: it is not merely an institution; it is a kiss of life."
Declan Donnellan & Nick Ormerod