New Art Club’s Tom Roden and Pete Shenton are pioneering makers of devised dance, theatre and comedy. They started making shows together in Manchester in 1998 and have been presenting ground-breaking performances together nationally and internationally ever since.
Their work has been translated into French and Mandarin and has been performed in venues as diverse as The Royal Opera House, pubs, comedy clubs, arts centres, state theatres, village halls, Sadlers Wells, Spiegal Tents, and Wembley Stadium. They were Place Prize finalists in 2004 and won The Edinburgh Spotlight Best Comedy Award in 2010. They have been regular performers at Soho Theatre and at comedy and dance festivals around the UK.
Two of their shows, Big Bag of Boom and Quiet Act of Destruction, have had successful runs at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. They have worked as guest presenters on The Culture Show and The Review Show and have been featured on BBC’s Highlights of the Fringe and in Channel 4’s Random Acts series and in Australia on ABC television. In 2012 the duo scripted and presented Come Dance with Me – an internet TV project for Space (an initiative of the BBC and Arts Council England).
In 2013 they were commissioned by the Royal Opera House to create a 20-minute comic version of Rigoletto and by the Rugby League World Cup to create a large-scale dance that was performed at every game of the tournament. They also created and toured the critically acclaimed Feel About Your Body. In 2014/15 they created and toured the hugely successful family show, Hercules. This was their first middle scale show and their first family show. It was their second show that included a large element of participatory dance with over 200 non-professional performers taking part in the show throughout the tour. They are currently developing a new show based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche.
The duo can often be seen as MCs, guest artists and comperes for events such as Mark Watson’s 25 Hour Comedy Marathon, This is Ceilidh and various season and festival launches. Separately they provide a number of services to the theatre, performance and dance world including choreography, movement direction, mentoring, teaching and Dramaturgy. They are 'Home at Cambridge Junction' artists and 'Dream Artists' of Pavilion Dance South West.
Mentoring, Artistic Advice and Dramaturgy
Tom and Pete have extensive experience in mentoring other artists and working as artistic advisors and dramaturgs on dance, theatre, and live art/performance projects.
Some of the companies they have worked for in this area are Figs in Wigs, Brothers for Justice, Turned on its Head, Gaby Reuter.
Movement direction and Choreography for Theatre and Opera
Tom and Pete have worked separately as choreographers, directors and movement directors for a number of theatre, dance and Opera projects including works for The Royal Opera House, Opera North, Glyndebourne, Curve Theatre, Leicester, Probe Dance company, Spark Arts Children’s Festival, Bolton Octagon, Metro Boulot Dodo, Bamboozle, Laurie Lorry, David Parkin…
Tom Roden is a director and performer working in dance, theatre and comedy. He directed Air Dance Company from 1994-2000 before forming New Art Club with Pete Shenton in 2001.
As well as his work with New Art Club, Tom created ‘The Doodle Dance Show’ with Anna Williams. An interactive work for families that takes place around a large piece of paper, it has had over 50 performances and continues to tour. The follow up project ‘The Building Dance Show’ is currently being developed for touring 2017.
His latest solo show, ‘A Pub Quiz’ was created with long term mentor Mark Whitelaw. Commissioned by Cambridge Museums and Cambridge Junction the work combines a theatre piece with a pub quiz. The show has been performed in arts centres and pubs and features challenges such as identifying dead animals from their bones and the question: Is there a god?
Other recent work includes directing the play ‘Prelude To A Coat’ a one woman show with Steffi Muller, directing ‘I Am Joan’ for Mean Feet and choreographing ‘The Tide’ for postgraduate dance company EDge.
His recent interest in mentoring/dramaturgy and guest directing has lead to work with Talking Birds, Corey Baker Dance, The Mostly Everything People, Pestiferous, Claire Cunningham, Hunt and Darton, Lewys Holt and Moxie Brawl.
He has worked as a movement director at the worlds leading Opera Houses including Billy Budd at Glyndebourne, Babette's Feast at The Royal Opera House and Magic Flute at Opera North. His choreography with dance and theatre companies includes work with Scottish Dance Theatre, The Royal Exchange, Ricochet, Bolton Octagon, Reckless Sleepers and Probe.
Pete has been working as a dance artist, deviser, writer, performer, director and teacher for 22 years.
He has worked on various projects as a director, including with Probe Dance Company, Laurie Lorry and Dave Parkin, and as a choreographer/movement director on a number of projects for Curve Theatre and with Metro Boulot Dodo, Bamboozle and Spark Arts.
He has worked as mentor/dramaturg/artistic advisor on a number of projects with a diverse group of artists and artistic projects including recently with Gabi Reuter and Turned On Its Head.
He has been a guest teacher at numerous higher education and dance establishments around the world and is a part-time senior lecturer in dance at De Montfort University.
He is a regular contributor to Dance 4’s Centre for Advanced Training.
Before taking up dance he worked as an X-ray darkroom technician.
He lives with his partner and two children in Leicester.