Bare Essentals Youth Theatre was founded by Carran Waterfield and the core members of Cardinal Wiseman School drama club in 1988. During its twelve year history the company gained an international reputation for its work.

Unlike most youth theatres the company was not attached to a repertory theatre or established arts centre group. Neither did it function with a large membership. The young people preferred to work as a tight-knit ensemble, recruiting new members gradually. The group was independent, working in an arm's length relationship with Carran Waterfield, the company's artistic director for ten years. During that time the company created seven theatre works, three of which toured to Russia and Denmark.

In 1995 the company became theatre in residence within the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick contributing to the research in Drama in Education there. Their work was of particular interest to Dr Jonathan Neelands, Dr Jo Winston and Jo Trowsdale. In 1998 the company became a key focus for an international research project within the Institute performing for teachers and researchers from Italy and France.

Between 1998 and 2000, the company was overseen by the Coventry Theatre Network project creating two new works under the guidance of Tracie Rowlands of Pathways Theatre.

In 2000, the company disbanded, most of its membership having gone onto further work within the performing arts or having outgrown the group.

Bare Essentials has seeded various groups including Cosmino Theatre.

Original members have worked in such diverse places as Poland and Brazil. Some of the members work within the arts in some capacity.

This innovative and unusual band of young people have left a legacy of unique theatre work created and performed for and by young people. Their archive including video footage and interviews are held within Coventry City Arts and Heritage Archives.

Journey with the Bare Essentials 2001 - a film by Carran Waterfield

Echoes and Omens 1998

Monsters 1997

Vagrants 1996

Residency with Odin Teatret 1995

Dreamweavers 1995

Olim 1994

Sticks and Stones 1991

Croall, J., (1991) Finding their Voice Getting into Shape Bare Essentials Youth Theatre - NAYT

Karafistan, R., (2003) ̉The spirits wouldn't let me be anything else..." Shamanic dimensions within theatre practice today. New Theatre Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, May.

Naish, J., (2002) Dancing on the Wing of a Plane Researching Drama Conference Exeter University April - Jessica Naish

Trowsdale, J., (1996) Artist in Education - Total Theatre Vol 8 No 4 Winter

Waterfield C., (1996) Bare Essentials - In the Steps of the Masters - the Odin ExperienceTotal Theatre Vol 8 No 1 Spring

Waterfield C., (1992) The Twins and I Mailout Autumn

Waterfield C., (1993) Finding a Square Box for a
Triangle Arts Education October

Wilkerson, J., (1994) Case study Guide to Mime in Education Mime Action Group


Writing by Company Members:

Paul Murphy

Patrick Campbell

Rachel Karafistan