IOU / Dean Clough Mills

March 17, 2007

Here is alittle background info on where we will be creating Speech Bubble over the next few months.

IOU Theatre is based in Dean Clough Mills in Halifax, West Yorkshire
At its height John Crossley & Sons employed over 5,000 people and the site – stretching to nearly 2/3rds of a mile – was one of the largest carpet companies in the world. By the late 1970’s the economic climate was very different, and by 1982 the factory lay closed and deserted.

In 1983 the musician and entrepreneur Ernest Hall and his son Jeremy bought the site. Major companies made their homes in the complex, together with numerous start-up companies that have either developed on site or moved on as their business expanded.

At the same time the Halls have pursued a policy of combining commerce with the arts and education. Besides eight galleries and a theatre, Dean Clough has attracted a variety of charities, including the Design Dimension Educational Trust, various theatre companies, arts, music and media groups, and the Dean Clough artists – a 20 strong co-operative of visual artists, many of them internationally recognised.

Image Porl Medlock

“IOU occupies a position in the contemporary arts and performance arena where it is considered to be a model of excellence both nationally and internationally, a position it rightly deserves. The often surreal and fantastic narratives are a means of transporting the audience to a world of possibilities which are dreamlike yet present opportunities for contemplating the ordinary and familiar things around us. This is an important part of IOU’s aesthetic approach and cultural identity. On reviewing thirty years of work, you begin to appreciate how everything is beautifully made, from costumes to machines, revealing an in-depth understanding of art, materials and mechanics.”
Russell Roberts


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