Beggarsbelief is…

Live low-tech storytelling theatre that acknowledges a lit audience and celebrates the fact that actors and audience are in the same room, breathing the same air. It revels in reconnecting us with the best playful, den-making, dressing-up, make-believe, childish part of ourselves: to the imagination, nothing is impossible! Carl Heap

Beggarsbelief was the name first used to give a separate identity to productions that had their origin as Christmas shows at BAC [Battersea Arts Centre], when, under the auspices of the production company Schtanhaus (The creation of Producers Tom Morris and Emma Stenning), they were subsequently taken on National Tour.

The name has since been commandeered by Carl Heap as his own branding for all the work he has produced since his return to theatre, after a ten year period of voluntary exile, in 2000.

Of necessity, the work has been, in many cases, initially produced with and for other companies and under other banners which are here identified with due gratitude and acknowledgement. The common thread is the set of ‘poor theatre’ artistic values espoused by Heap which evolved out of his decade as artistic director of the Medieval Players Theatre Company, which he founded with producer Dick McCaw in 1981. Actor Mark Heap, Carl’s brother, toured with the company for its first six years.

The BAC Christmas shows and touring offshoots
In the spring of 2002, Tom Morris, a self-confessed fan of the work of the Medieval Players, invited Carl to submit ideas for a Christmas show to be staged in the BAC Main Studio (audience capacity c.130). As a joke, at the bottom of the list, he added Ben-Hur. The mischievous glint that came into Morris’s eye as he arrived at the bottom of the list was to spawn a near-legendary series of 3 collaborations which were co-written by Heap and Morris and then directed by Heap. The spirit of “Now top that!” produced Jason and the Argonauts in the following year, and then (under the new artistic directorship of David Jubb) World Cup Final 1966.

Subsequently, the latter two of these productions were toured nationally. Jason and the Argonauts was put on as a Christmas show at Warwick Arts Centre and this was followed by a fourth Heap/Morris collaboration, St George and the Dragon, which started life as a Warwick Arts Centre Christmas show and then also toured nationally, with a successful week at The Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith.

World Cup Final 1966
World Cup Final 1966
  1. Ben-Hur
  2. Jason and the Argonauts
  3. World Cup Final 1966
  4. St George and the Dragon

World Cup Final 1966 was restaged at Bristol Old Vic in June 2014

Current Beggars Belief productions >

Tombstone Tales
Tombstone Tales