1623 Theatre Company - Derby

A theatre company based in Derby, 1623 is named for the year in which William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies was published. Comprising of some 25 actors, musicians, patrons, directors and writers, the theatre company has earned accolades for its interpretation of Shakespeare's works. Previous productions performed by 1623 have included Macbeth and Hamlet, which were performed at Poole's Cavern in the Peak District. The theatre company is also known for combining scenes and aspects of Shakespeare's plays into creative original productions.


Formed in 2005, the 1623 performs Shakespeare productions in Derby and across the United Kingdom. The company's first performance was in a show garden during the BBC Gardeners' World Live event in Birmingham. A touring theatre company, 1623 has performed in a range of unconventional theatre locations, including city spaces, village halls and arts festivals. The company's actors have also performed in a courtroom, a quarry and a shopping centre. In 2010, 1623 was named Creative Business of the Year at the Creative Industries Network CIN 2010 Awards.

About 1623

In addition to conventional performances of Shakespeare's works in traditional theatre settings, 1623 creates a number of unique and innovative productions inspired by Shakespeare. Performances are often catered to individual clients, venues and audiences. Combining Shakespearean verse with physical fitness, the company's Great Shakespearean Workout was awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark. Performed in 2009 and 2010 with St. John Ambulance, Emergency Response! won the Best Live Event at the CIN 2010 Awards. Sinful ShaXXpeare combined scenes from Titus Andronicus, Macbeth, The Winter's Tale and Richard III and was recently performed at Pauper's Pitt (Buxton Opera House), Nottingham's Galleries of Justice and Poole's Cavern.

1623 also develops and provides a variety of learning projects. Workshops and discussion panels are held at schools, universities, community centres and other locations throughout the country. Among its learning projects, the theatre company launched a new trainee actors' course in 2012 based at Derby QUAD.

Performance Venues

In Derby, 1623 is based at QUAD. QUAD is Derby's international arts centre and includes workshop and performance space. The facility is also home to two cinemas, an art gallery, and the licensed Café Bar. Completed in 2008, QUAD features a modern steel and glass design. Cinema One features 234 theatre styled seating, while Cinema Two provides capacity for 118 spectators. In addition to first-run and older films, both cinemas are used for theatrical performances and other special events. Performance spaces include in-built stage areas, tiered seating, theatre lighting and advanced sound systems.


QUAD is situated in the centre of Derby within the Cathedral Quarter, close to the Guildhall and Assembly Rooms of the Derby City Council. The Cathedral Quarter is also the home of the gothic and neoclassical Cathedral of All Saints, the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, and other important arts and tourist attractions. The arts centre is located in the Market Place, which is within walking distance of the central bus station and various car parks throughout the city centre.

Contact Information

The artistic director and producer for 1623 may be reached on 01332 285 434 or 07757 688 839, or by email at ben.spiller@1623theatre.co.uk. Tickets for 1623's performances at QUAD can be purchased by visiting the Box Office, by calling 01332 290606, or by visiting www.derbyquad.co.uk.

The 1623 theatre company's mailing address is:
1623 at QUAD
Market Place
Cathedral Quarter
Derby DE1 3AS