Cruel Theatre began in the exciting and creative urban environment of Honolulu, performing completely interactive one-actor-one audience member site-specific plays. Years of critical acclaim were followed by a stint in New York city, where they also garnered positive recognition and reviews. Cruel Theatre is now based in London, England and continues to be the only company in the world with their own unique truly interactive performances. They have experimented with many different types of structures and developed their own training system; they are the only group performing one-actor-one audience member theatre to guarantee the audience is able to not merely participate but change the action of the performance entirely. Cruel Theatre interactive performances are unrepeatable; each performance is different. (Audience members often came to a single production multiple times--since each actor had a different base story line--there were six, rather than one, different shows.) In addition to interactive theatre, Cruel Theatre has staged a number of scripted plays, including: 4.48 Psychosis, Haditha Walmartt Killing Machine, Crave, Racine's Phaedra, The Cenci: A Tragedy of Rape and Murder, Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme, Woyzeck, Sweet Eros, Age Sex Location and Mamet's Edmond.
Cruel Theatre is a collective of international actors and theatre artists. Cruel Theatre productions are either Interactive Environmental performances dealing with contemporary social issues, or scripted dramas using experimental staging techniques inspired by Artaud. Cruel Theatre draws on the strengths of theatre, those elements distinct from that of television and film: smell, taste, touch, intimacy. Cruel Theatre is based on the ideas of Augusto Boal (the empowered Spectactor, theatre as a way to help positively change society by ‘rehearsing for reality’), Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, and is a direct response to Richard Schechner’s Environmental Theatre. Cruel Theatre’s revolutionary one-of-a-kind experience brings truly experimental theatre to audiences of all backgrounds. Above all, Cruel Theatre is dedicated to intimate and real connections between audience and performers.