Catherine Lamb has performed in some of television’s most popular shows to date including Netflix's The Crown and C4's Cucumber. And she's no stranger to theatre, gracing stages across the country, making her debut at the highly acclaimed Sam Wanamaker Festival, performing at London's West End and fringe theatres and performing at the rigorous Edinburgh Fringe festival multiple times.

Catherine Lamb in Bunny

Catherine Lamb in Bunny

In 2016, Catherine founded 'Fabricate Theatre' whose collective mission is to create work in the arts which young people can see themselves reflected in. Their aim is to encourage young people to join the discussion and explore challenging subject matter within the safe space of the theatre. 

Their debut production of Bunny by Olivier award-winning writer Jack Thorne was a critical success and has led to a transfer to the Tristan Bates Theatre in London's West End in January 2018.

We thought now was a good time to ask Catherine why she's so passionate about making theatre that speaks to young people. 

Inspiration and Empowerment!

Young people need to be inspired and empowered.  Seeing a fantastic show can really energise you.  I saw Bunny when I was 19.  For the first time in a theatre I felt that I was being represented and it inspired me to go to drama school and become part of this industry.  Now years later here I am using it to launch my own theatre company, Fabricate Theatre.  That is the power of theatre and that’s why I want to make theatre do that for other young people.

More than the "girl next door"

I am a young actress having worked in this industry for five years and over time it has become very clear that the roles for my age bracket tend to be generalised and two dimensional.  Roles such as “Girl next door”, school children or gangs tend to be the main brackets used to represent the ‘youth of today’.  There are very few plays with a well written human character with a young person at its heart.  There are exceptions such as ‘Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time’, the classic ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and of course our very own ‘Bunny’!  Generally though, they are few and far between and we at Fabricate Theatre intend to change that.

Escape!

Theatre is an escape.  For an hour or two you can forget that you didn’t get that job, or that your rent has just been raised or whatever it may be and you can sit and be entertained.  Theatre is a fabulous tool politically and educationally but more importantly it must be fun and entertaining! Sometimes you just need a bit of escapism and to laugh!

Where's the Accessibility?

It’s really important for theatre to be accessible to a young audience.  At the moment my generation are mostly priced out of the West End.  It is very important to us that Fabricate Theatre will always be kept at an affordable rate for young people. 

Hear our Voices!

We are the first generation that will be worse off than our parents.  The cost of living has never been higher and even with fantastic degrees people really struggle to get a good job.  After working so hard and being left with a huge student debt, young people are fed up, resentful and feel lost. These challenges and struggles need to be staged so that people feel that there is an awareness and an appetite to change.

Pioneering platforms

My friends and contemporaries are a huge reason why I have decided to create this production company.  They are so talented and they deserve great roles.  I want to give fresh grads and young people a platform from which to kickstart their careers.  So, I intend to channel my inner Ken Branagh and build Fabricate Theatre into a successful theatre company so I can employ all the wonderful talented people I know and of course myself!

Exploring Our Subject matters

Theatre can be a good opportunity to explore challenging subject matter that people find difficult to talk about.  Be it drugs, sex, eating disorders, bullying…etc. It is by recognising their own struggle in a story we have told that helps them to realise they are not alone and perhaps can inform and inspire them to seek help.

Mirroring Society; seeing ourselves.

We are growing up in a time of huge political instability.  Having said that, it is not all doom and gloom because the younger generation is becoming more and more politically engaged as a result.  This can only be a good thing!  Part of theatre’s job is to hold a mirror up to society and hold it accountable.

Stimulating our Incredible Imaginations

With the arrival of the web, social media and smart phones no one has the time to be bored anymore and so our imagination is getting lazy.  Where are our inventors and artists of the future going to come from if our imaginations are not developed?  Theatre and the arts in general are more important to our society now than ever.  The imaginations of our young people must be stimulated and nurtured.

Personal passion

I’m a young person and I want to get my voice out there into an industry that I love.  I want to be part of the discussion. I want people to know Fabricate Theatre for telling great stories that represent our incredibly resilient young people. 

Catherine Lamb plays Katie in Bunny at the Tristan Bates Theatre from the 15th - 27th January 2018. For tickets visithttps://www.tristanbatestheatre.co.uk/whats-on/bunny

For more information on Fabricate Theatre, and to join the discussion (!) visit: http://www.fabricatetheatre.com/