Waste Paper Opera

Formed in Birmingham, in 2012, Waste Paper Opera Company is an interdisciplinary theatre collective. WPOC work collaboratively across borders of discipline and artistic background. Their work explores theatrical/musical forms and performance contexts, as well as ways of integrating technology and research into the process and presentation of interdisciplinary music theatre. WPOC have presented work at Glasgow International, Cambridge Junction, Tête à Tête Festival, CCA Glasgow, and at the Natural History Museum, Oxford. In 2018, WPOC were in residence at the Rosemary Branch Theatre in London, where they ran the experimental variety show ‘Whole Punch’. Since then, they have launched London Experimental Variety Show as a platform for bringing together experimental performance from the widest range of practices.

Meet the Company

Klara Kofen

Klara writes, makes films, directs, designs and builds costumes and sets out of discarded materials. She is the co-Artistic Director of Waste Paper Opera, a London based experimental music theatre and performance collective. Occasionally, she investigates international trade shows. Her work is influenced by her research into eighteenth century pornography, the French Revolution, futurism, the units that live inside and outside of the human body, and the impact new technologies have on notions of agency and responsibility. Klara studied at Glasgow University, Oxford University and Guildhall. She was born into a Greek/Polish family in Germany.

James Oldham

James Oldham is a composer, performer and researcher. He studied composition with Joe Cutler and Andrew Hamilton at Birmingham Conservatoire and is currently pursuing an AHRC funded PhD with Matthew Shlomowitz at Southampton University and James Saunders at Bath Spa. James is co-Artistic Director of Waste Paper Opera Company, with whom he has written, developed and collaborated on six large-scale operas. As a performer, James has worked with Object Collection, Stumble Trip Theatre and appeared in Whole Punch and London Experimental Variety Show as his host alter ego, Clint. In 2018, James received clown training from Toby Park from SpyMonkey, with whom he is collaborating on his PhD research on comic timing in music.

Ellie Westbrook

Ellie Westbrook is a theatre-maker, clown and vocalist. She creates her own devised work and collaborates on other projects. She took her surrealist solo show "Big Berg" to the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes, 2018 and is now developing the show further. She trained in Performance and Devising at LISPA in Berlin and studied Music and Drama at Manchester University. She has worked as Actor Musician and Deviser with The Belarus Free Theatre, The Living Theatre (NYC), Waste Paper Opera, PaperMash Theatre, Moxie Brawl and Hanbury&Groves. Ellie's passion is to unite her physical and vocal work and continues to forge her own unique route through the performance world.

Christine Cornwell

Christine is a violinist, improviser, collectively minded creator and producer. She regularly performs new works for violin; recently Angela Elizabeth Slater, Eda Er, Bobby Barry, Max Gibson + has worked on existing works with Michael Wolters, Howard Skempton, Elliott Sharp, Jo Kondo. Her freelance work is primarily based in Europe (NL/UK) with venues/festivals including: Snape Maltings, Barbican, Town Hall Birmingham, Centrala, Eastside Projects, EYE film instituut (NL), Fenix Factory (NL), WORM (NL), Varia (NL), IICS(TR) Frontiers Festival, Grachtenfestival (NL), Gaudeamus (NL), Illuminate Women's Music Season II (2019 UK tour), Fusion (DE), and BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 6, NPO 2. She has recorded for albums by: Josh Herring, Robert Nettleship and Lisa. Christine has an MA in Classical Composition from Codarts University of the Arts in Rotterdam and a Bachelor in Music Performance (violin) from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Luke Deane

From his early work My Dream (2014), through R/C Car Opera 3 Cars (2015), VR opera work We Cannot Sleep (2017), and experimental TV Show Deep Freeze TV (2019), Luke Deane has gained a reputation for some of the most technically ambitious and most interdisciplinary productions in the Netherlands. Luke is known for his idiosyncratic approach to form: he has scored movements for live photographers, for the moving of unplayed musical instruments, and has composed quick-changes into his staged works. Luke has produced works for 66,365 speakers, compositions that can only be performed in perfect reversed-time, and for many hypothetical duets between human beings and other organisms. Despite never having appeared in Vienna, Luke's work belongs to the semi-fictional "4th Viennese" school of composition, the result of a long-term collaboration between himself and composer Richard Stenton. Luke appears on stage as his alter-ego Lisa.