The Gale Theatre of Barbados and London creates a two way cultural exchange enabling theatre lovers, residents and visitors from around the world to share in the riches of the Caribbean.
Gale Theatre brings in expertise from the UK only when needed, all work is produced in Barbados. Gale intends to export/tour quality theatre throughout the region, whilst maintaining it's educational policies.
It is a non profit charitable organisation founded in 2007 by Melissa Simmonds. Barbadian Peter Lewis from Field Tech Staging Solutions Inc. is a company director alongside British actor Paul McGann. The company/charity is registered in both countries. All work is developed, rehearsed and produced in Barbados.
Cyril Nri is a Patron to the company. Cyril is a British actor based in London with Barbadian origins. His mother is from the Belleplaine, Barbados and met his father in London whilst studying in the late 1950's. Consequently Cyril was born and bred in the UK but visits his mother and his family frequently, who still live in Barbados. Cyril works internationally as an actor and is a household name in the UK for numerous TV roles, but his most recent performance was in theatre with the RSC's acclaimed Julius Caesar in which he played Cassius to rave reviews. Cyril is a great support behind the scenes in London and is lending his name to us for PR purposes as he endorses the unification of British and Barbadian talent.
Company policies are:
to unite talent from both countries and to create a two way cultural exchange
to train young Barbadian actors and to create employment in all related areas of theatre
to provide an educational tool by presenting a play from the school syllabus when possible
to take classical and modern plays and to set them in the Caribbean where possible
to encourage indigenous writing through playwriting workshops
to provide quality entertainment for those living in Barbados and for those visiting the island
aims to tour productions to the UK and to other Caribbean islands
"Gale Theatre is the brain-child of Melissa Simmonds, who saw that there was there a unique opportunity to unite British and Barbadian talent, and engage audiences in an exciting cultural exchange. ."
"Working with Gale Theatre on 'The Mountaintop' was a truly memorable experience. I suppose the location may have something to do with it, but I immediately felt welcomed by the company and all its affiliates. It felt like we had been gathered by some mysterious force, all driven by a shared desire to create something quite extraordinary. That mysterious force then turned out to be the show's producer, Melissa Simmonds, who managed to assemble the perfect people to create the theatrical triumph that 'The Mountaintop' transpired to be. It was also was an equal joy to work with the British director Hanna Berrigan, Barbadian actress and newcomer Keshia Pope and of course Peter Lewis, who was head of technicals and is the other half of Gale Theatre.
The collaboration by international artists isn't a particularly new phenomenon, but cultural exchanges and the sharing of ideas facilitated by Gale Theatre between the Bajan and English practitioners seemed to work exceptionally well."
"Working with The Gale Theatre of Barbados and London was brilliant, exciting and a wonderful experience!
From a professional perspective, The Mountaintop was my first major stage play, both Hanna and Richard were very supportive and patient. Richard never once made it a point that he was the professional, but always stood by my side. He was always ready to share his knowledge with me and that definitely made me very comfortable and I was therefore able to concentrate on other important things. Hanna was amazing. She knew what she wanted and she did what she had to do to achieve that. She was always prepared and well organized. She too recognized that I was green but never once alluded to it. She was always there with open arms ready to give advice. Melissa was not only supportive but she held the reigns and kept everything afloat from behind the scenes. She worked day and night to make it all happen.
I had a great time. I learned a lot about myself and about the industry and I will cherish the memories forever."
"Coming home to work with Gale Theatre on their production of Macbeth was a hugely enjoyable experience. The production values were of the highest standard and every effort was made to create and maintain a world-class, professional environment. In addition, Gale's commitment to the ongoing training and development of Barbadian theatre artists is highly commendable and represents an exciting example of positive, productive international cultural cooperation."