After 15 years Angharad Jones (Co- founder and Joint Artistic director) is to step down from Fifth Word to take up a new position as Artistic Director of New Perspectives.
Back in 2006, we (Laura and Angharad) sat together in a student house in Derby with a pen and three separate pieces of paper. One said ‘Go Travelling’, one said ‘Apply to drama school’, the last said ‘Set up a theatre company’.
We listed the same five things that were important to us on each bit of paper then gave each one of these a mark out of ten… we added them up – and by a mere one point – setting up a theatre company won out!… And the rest, as they say, is history!
We are so immensely proud of what we have built and what we have achieved with Fifth Word to date including seven world premieres of cutting-edge new plays; four successful National tours; 12 new commissions from the UK’s most exciting playwrights; hundreds of community projects; two associateships; commissioning plays that have gone on to win industry awards & nominations. We’ve done Edinburgh runs, London runs, and have four published playtexts. And we’re not done yet!
We have been growing our Fifth Word family and Laura continues to lead the company with an expanding pool of associate and freelance artists. Laura and Angharad will always remain each others’ staunch allies, comrades and friends and we look forward to collaborating in the future in new and wonderful ways.
Co-founding a company is a truly extraordinary experience and I couldn’t even have imagined what a ride it would be.
From chatting with writers about early ideas to seeing those plays stocked in the National Theatre bookshop; from hiring theatres to being programmed at the likes of Soho Theatre & The Traverse; from running workshops in schools to seeing those same young people take their steps in to their own creative careers; from seeing playwrights we’ve worked with go on to win awards and land main stage shows; from the audiences who saw Fifth Word’s first ever show to those who still come and see what ’the girls’ have done now!
I could not be more proud of what Fifth Word has become and wouldn’t have wished to do this with anyone other than Laura – my partner in crime… It’s the deepest and most very special of bonds. There’s been blood, sweat, tears – and most of all a dogged determination and a fervent belief that we can impact lives for audiences and artists alike.
I am tremendously excited to start my new role with New Perspectives and also can’t wait to see what the next 15 years of Fifth Word will look like.
Founding a company with Angharad has been an incredible and unforgettable experience.
There are so many moments during our 15 years working together that will always remain close to my heart, from flyering in a rain sodden Edinburgh Fringe, to playing warm up games with the next generation of talent, through to receiving industry awards – each one unique in its own merit but has helped make us the people and artists we are today.
These shared experiences have defined what Fifth Word stands for, and for that I am immensely proud. We have pursued our belief that theatre should be for everyone and the stories we tell can make a positive change in people’s lives.
I wish Angharad every success in her new role at New Perspectives. It’s a fantastic company and the start of a new chapter for us both but I’m certain there will be many more collaborations in the future. And I’m excited to see where it takes us next.
We would both like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us across this journey so far including the incredible artists, audiences, communities and partners that we’ve had the privilege of working with. Fifth word will continue to produce and tour the most exciting, eye-opening and unmissable plays from the best emerging playwrights of today.
We look forward to seeing you very soon.