“Host is going to work again. Front of house, mixologist, cloakroom guardian, finsta meme exec, human signpost, agent provocateur, toilet’s-just-there-pointer, TikTok darling — it’s giving range. Hospitality agency work is never as stunning as we want it to be but this shift is particularly deranged. High profile, secret cult, Brexit revenge, dark web, Birkin handbag prices, trial of David Cameron level deranged. And to make matters worse, we’re not allowed to talk about it. Ever. So come watch a play about it instead.”
Chatham House Rules is a one man show written and performed by Louis Rembges (Royal Court’s Intro Playwriting Group, BOLD 2023 Playwriting Prize). Written from his own experience working a nightmare front of house shift at a high-profile tech networking event, the play takes aim at the 1%, the current NHS crisis, and places the life of former PM David Cameron in the hands of the merciless TikTok vacuum. The play will be directed by Mitchell Polonsky (George J. Mitchell Fellowship, Associate Dir. Sam Gold’s MACBETH - Broadway), and presented by The Goat Exchange theatre company, an international ensemble making crazy potatoes theatre and live art since 2016. You can read more about our banging creative team at the bottom of this page.
The play will be running from the 2nd-29th August 2023 in Bunker One, Pleasance Courtyard at 13:00 every day of the festival (apart from Monday 14th because Louis needs to rest).
Going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is now more expensive than it ever has been before. The accommodation crisis is worse than ever (The Stage) and the festival was described by The Guardian as “too long, too expensive and too gruelling”. Despite this, we really feel that CHR has a place at this year's festival. We believe the show is perfectly suited to an Edinburgh Fringe audience, and that this is the ideal place to kickstart the show's life before ambitions of a London transfer and tour of the UK.
We are at a brilliant stage of production. Our venue deal is confirmed and the show is on sale. We have secured a place on Chloé Nelkin PRs Emerging Edinburgh Roster to support the marketing and promotion of the production. We want to tour the show nationwide so it can be seen by many people regionally, and go beyond the arts microcosms that are Edinburgh and London.
We're crowdfunding as many typical arts funders will not support Edinburgh Fringe runs, meaning money to support shows is scarce. This £5,000 is not our whole budget but it will provide us with cashflow and the ability to further fundraise through sponsorship, match funding and private investment (fancy). Some costs we already have are -
- £4,000 for accommodation (a huge expense but a ‘reasonable’ cost by 2023 Edinburgh Fringe standards, which is gross)
- £1000 for PR
- £2,000 for marketing
- £1,375 in registration fees, guarantee and marketing contra with the venue.
- £2,700 for set and costume
- £320 for transport to and from Edinburgh (it is a long way from North London)
- We have secured lots of in-kind support with rehearsal space, technical advice, marketing assets and mentorship in addition to support from Pleasance Theatre Trust.
Our venue is on a 60/40 split in our favour, but with additional costs subtracted from the box office we predict that if we sell at over half capacity across our whole run, our box office income will come in at around £6,000. It is also worth noting that we won’t get our box office settlement until well after the festival ends, which poses the problem of cash flow.
To pay our creative team (which we obviously want to do), this will cost a total of £9,500. By crowdfunding for our other core production costs, this will allow us more time and options to fundraise for salaries to cover the time we have put it to making the show happen.
By supporting the show, you are supporting new writing and emerging queer creatives.
We know money is tight for everyone at the moment so we want to say thank you in advance for any love and support you can give us.
Team CHR - Louis, Ellen, Mitchell, Abbie + Co
Who We Are -
Louis Rembges - Writer, Performer
Louis is a Sheffield born writer and actor living in London. His work has been performed at The Pleasance, Brixton Jamm, Brixton Base, Mountview & The Bunker Theatre. He is a member of The Goat Exchange theatre company, performing with them recently in the US and at VAULT festival. He is an alumni of the Royal Court’s Intro to Playwriting Group. He is the recipient of the BOLD 2023 Playwriting Prize for his new play, It's Raining On Prom Night.
Mitchell Polonsky - Director
Mitchell Polonsky is the co-Artistic Director of The Goat Exchange, with whom he has directed more than 18 productions. Favorites include JASON (VAULT Festival), MEMONICA (HERE Arts Center) 7 BLOWJOBS (La Mama), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and SEX (Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival), TWO CHARACTER PLAY and TITANIC PLAYS (The Bunker), THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES (A.R.T.), ANTIGONE (Harvard Stadium), [OTHELLO] DESDEMONA (Sanders Theatre), STREETCAR [I DON’T WANT REALISM] (Farkas Hall), and SALOME, OR THE CULT OF THE CLITORIS: A HISTORICAL PHALLUSY (The Lir). He has also worked as an Associate Director with Cuban performance artist Tania Bruguera on her staging of Beckett’s Endgame (Festival d’Automne, Kunstfestivaldesarts), with Daniel Kramer on productions at Vlaamse Opera in Belgium and at the Burgtheater in Vienna, and with Sam Gold on Macbeth on Broadway. Mitchell studied Theatre, Dance, and Media at Harvard College and was awarded a George J. Mitchell fellowship to pursue an MFA in Theatre Directing from Trinity College in Dublin.
Abbie Sage - Company Stage Manager
ABIGAIL SAGE has worked with The Goat Exchange since 2018 on projects including THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES (American Repertory Theater), MEMONICA (HERE Arts Center), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival), and JASON (Vault Festival). She is a second year student on RADA’s Technical Theatre Arts course specialising in lighting and stage management. She is thrilled to be a part of this incredible team.
Ellen Larson - Producer
Ellen is a freelance theatre producer. Producing credits include - As Trainee Producer for Paines Plough: Hungry, Really Big and Really Loud, May Queen, Black Love (Roundabout 2021 tour); Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me (Kiln, 2021). As Assistant Producer for Paines Plough - Sorry, You’re Not A Winner (Regional Tour 2022); Sessions (Regional Tour 2021); A Sudden Violent Burst of Rain, Half-Empty Glasses, The Ultimate Pickle! (Roundabout 2022 tour and Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Reasons You Should(n’t) Love Me (Regional tour 2022). As Creative Producer for Moon House Theatre - The Neat Freak (Buxton Fringe 2019 and Regional tour 2021); The Twelve Days of Goblin-Mas (online short film, 2020); The Homeless Guide to a Hand Up (Chapel Playhouse, London, 2019) and Get Your Greek On! (online video series, 2021). Ellen is the producer for Pink Sky who are touring Rapture by Sophie Leydon after a 5* run at VAULT Festival 2023 and transfer to the King's Head Theatre and is Associate Organiser for BAP!. Ellen is currently finishing a masters degree in Theatre for Community and Education at Mountview.
The Goat Exchange
THE GOAT EXCHANGE is an international ensemble making crazy potatoes theater and live art since 2016. We work with a wide variety of source materials from classic plays to bold new writing, to films, poetry, prose, verbatim historical transcripts and found texts, often pulling from obscure, forgotten corners of history. Our work is interdisciplinary and deeply collaborative, incorporating wide-ranging influences from opera, dance, literature, film, vaudeville, slapstick, pop-culture, and public art. We have developed over 18 productions both in traditional theaters and in a range of site-specific venues, from museum galleries to swimming pools to football stadiums.