Theatre Absolute is an award-winning theatre company, based in Coventry. We create performative work with the community that takes risks, is radical and disruptive.

Theatre Absolute is:


Driven by the shared artistic vision of artist-producer Julia Negus and writer-director Chris O’Connell, we collaborate across disciplines to explore how we can make narrative.

By working with writers, dancers, poets, visual artists and more, we strive to make relevant and experimental work for performance.

We have been creating professional work for over 25 years. Formed in 1992, our early work was written and led by Chris, whose plays included the Time Out Live and double Edinburgh Fringe First winning Street Trilogy (Car, Raw, Kid).

In 2009 we founded the UK’s first professional Shop Front Theatre in Coventry’s city centre. It is from this unique base that Theatre Absolute has been on an incredible journey that’s allowed us to reflect and act upon our role as artists and theatre-makers within our community.

Artists, participants and audiences are considered active citizens, not consumers.


Narrative is a key component of everything that we do. To this end, supporting writers and artists at all levels is a fundamental part of our work. Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we run the @38 Development Programme, which includes Writing Gyms and bespoke dramaturgy, nurturing and supporting graduate, amateur, new and mid-career writers and artists. Mentor support also includes Theatre Labs, DIY project planning and fundraising support.



At Theatre Absolute we have a proud track record for encouraging and nurturing other writers, artists and makers, whether just starting out, volunteering, or at any career level. We all learn from one another and fantastic collaborations can occur. Over the years we have worked with some fabulous people.

Our current artists and associates are listed below.