Fake Escape was established in 2013 by David Shopland, Matthew Grace and Lewis Oatley. We originally met at the City of Bath College in 2004 whilst studying on the college's BTEC Performing Arts programme. After going their separate ways to various drama schools (Rose Bruford, LIPA, Arts Ed) we would reunite in 2013 to create a one off immersive new writing festival as part of the Bath Fringe called 20:20 Vision. The idea was to take underrepresented voices from the Bath community under 30 and amplify them through the festival. After 3 successful years, we decided to expand the company beyond the new writing festival and Fake Escape was born. Now Fake Escape has toured productions all over the world, including multiple Edinburgh Fringe productions, Paris and an Off Broadway transfer of their WhatsOnStage and multiple Offie nominated sellout 5 star hit Saving Britney.

At the heart of Fake Escape Ltd.'s creative practice lies our commitment to exploring the human condition through inventive storytelling, innovative staging, and a profound engagement with social and political themes centring underrepresented voices.

We explore narrative structures that defy traditional storytelling norms. We believe that theatre should be an exploration, a journey into the unknown. The theatrical experiences we like to create often challenge linear storytelling; inviting the audience to piece together the puzzle of the plot. We ask our audience not to sit back and relax, but to sit forward and engage. This is the genesis of the name 'Fake Escape'; The escapism we strive to create is duplicitous because at each turn we provoke our audiences to confront uncomfortable truths about society, humanity and the world around them.

Fake Escape started life as exclusively an immersive theatre company. Although we have moved on and expanded to producing work in more traditional theatre spaces, the ethos of the immersive performance has remained. We strive for all our shows to evoke a multisensory experience where the action feels like it envelops the audience beyond the Proscenium. Inspired dually by the works of Artaud and Brecht, the immersive nature of what we create blurs the line between reality and fantasy, challenging perceptions of traditional theater.

A defining feature of Fake Escape Ltd.'s creative practice is our dedication to collaboration. We believe that art knows no boundaries, and by collaborating with artists from various disciplines, we can create something truly extraordinary. We have partnered with visual artists, musicians, and technologists to infuse our productions with diverse influences.

Beyond experimenting with form and structure, we use our platform to explore and comment on pressing social and political issues. Theatre has the power to hold a mirror to society, to provoke thought and conversation. Our productions often delve into themes such as identity, power dynamics, and societal positionality.

In our recent production The Boy, at The Soho Theatre in London, we tackled issues of immigration and displacement, weaving together the stories of individuals from diverse backgrounds. The play sparks meaningful dialogues about the complexities of human migration and the importance of empathy in an increasingly interconnected world. In another recent production, Thirst, at the Edinburgh Fringe, we explored the cultural impact of alcohol within the arts.

Fake Escape was born out of the South West England theatrical landscape, and although we have grown into an internationally reputable touring organisation, our roots will always lie in the Westcountry, and we are proud to continue to amplify underrepresented voices in that community.

In a world where societal norms and artistic expression are in constant flux, we want to remind audiences that theater can be a catalyst for introspection and change. As we continue to explore the boundaries of theatrical possibility, audiences can anticipate more groundbreaking and transformative productions on the horizon, cementing our legacy as pioneers of innovative theatrical expression.


Previous Fake Escape Productions:

2023: The Boy - Soho Theatre, London

2023: Thirst & Raising Kane – Edinburgh Fringe Festival

2023: Thirst – UK Tour

2022: Saving Britney – UK Tour | Soho Playhouse, New York

2021: An Evening of Shopland & Hughes – The Phoenix Arts Club

2021: Saving Britney – Old Red Lion Theatre, London

2019: My Father The Tantric Masseur – Edinburgh Fringe Festival | Soho Theatre, London

2019: 20:20 Vision Famous Last Words – Secret Location, Bath

2018: 20:20 Vision Unscripted – Secret Location, Bath

2017: My Fate Is My Own – Theatre de Menilmontant, Paris

2017: 20:20 Vision Apocalypse – Secret Location, Bath

2016: Venus and Adonis - Wardrobe Theatre Bristol (as part of Bristol Shakespeare Festival and Bristol Pride)

2016: A Dream of Dying - Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London | Edinburgh Fringe Festival

2016: 20:20 Vision 7 Deadly Sins – Secret Location, Bath

2015 - 2016: 20:20 Vision Classified – The Space Arts Centre, London | Hounslow Arts Centre, London

2015: 20:20 Vision Abstains – The Nest, Bath

2014: 20:20 Vision 2 – The Old Theatre Royal Bath

2013: 20:20 Vision – The Old Theatre Royal, Bath

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