Rise Up: Ellandar Productions

Formed by Elliott Cook and Iskandar Sharazuddin in 2010, Ellandar Productions is a theatre company that wants to contribute to diversifying theatre as an artform, which can too often feel white, middle-class, able-bodied and male.

The name Ellandar is a hybrid of Elliot and Iskandar’s two names and the company was formed because the pair were constantly writing comedy songs, sketches and short plays, and they wanted to make it more than that.

Ellandar say that:

Work that champions an alternative or underrepresented voice, or challenges dominant narratives is work that excited us and that we want to pursue.

They aim to:

make character led and text-based work which encourages and contributes to important dialogues. Our most recent work has been focused on an ever-changing face of contemporary identity politics and the relationship between Islam and modernity.

In their nine years of producing work, Ellandar have produced and/or commissioned 11 new full-length plays, a theatre-in-education tour and a number of one-off events.

Their London debut was made in 2019, two years after relocating there from Australia. Silently Hoping, written by Iskandar Sharazuddin and directed by Mingyu Lin, played at the VAULT Festival, and was a play about identity, faith and class. With an almost-entirely BAME cast and creative team, the play “a hugely positive and beautiful experience”.

Silently Hoping is a play about a woman who is struggling with reconciling her mixed-race heritage and sense of religious identity with being a modern Londoner. It is a play that is attempting to redress what certain labels mean in a world where traditional identity politics have been completely shattered.

This play, which about relationships and interpersonal dynamics, interspersed with commentary on race, religion and sexual identity, will be playing at Applecart Arts on 14 and 15 June 2019.

Silently Hoping

Ellandar are also proud to be co-producing the play Post-Mortem alongside Jessica Rose McVay Productions Ltd. The play is a twist on a two-hander social issue relationship drama where scenes of naturalism are blended with dance and physical vocabulary.

it is a play that challenges form and theatrical convention.

Post-Mortem will play at Assembly Festival in Edinburgh from 5 – 26 August 2019.

Ali Wright, Stratford Circus

Ellandar Productions also produced a short film The Life of Cardboard in 2011, where it was selected for a number of festivals, the most recent being screened at The Barbican as part of the 2013 Framed Film Festival.

Ellandar Productions are proud to be a company that questions their own identity as a brand as they go along. From the start of their creative work, they have had a 50/50 split in the gender of their artistic directors, with each AD taking the company in a new direction. They believe it is important to talk about representation, “where we have succeeded but also where we can be better.”

Quick-Fire Questions

  • In the theatre world, who inspires you? “Bryony Kimmings…Cheek By Jowl…Arinzé Kene…Vicky Featherstone…Emma Rice…Sh!t Theatre…our peers and contemporaries who make work that challenges theatre norms…we love playwrights…Tim Crouch”
  • What is your favourite show that you’ve seen? “so much we love for different reasons…FolliesEmiliaDark Vanilla JungleHamiltonQuarter Life CrisisAdler & GibbForgotten”. “Theatre is everywhere”
  • What is your favourite genre of theatre? “Theatre”
  • What do you think we need more of in theatre? “Diversity”

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