Inspector Sands create theatre that is irreverent, emotionally charged, often tragic, usually comic, sometimes silly and always serious. They have a particular interest in the way that global events and trends are reflected in the minutiae of everyday life. They seek the epic in the everyday and the everyday in the epic. They aim to bring challenging, entertaining and highly original work to the broadest audience possible. The core company directors work with a pool of regular creative collaborators and elements of visual and sound design play a key role in the storytelling of each piece.
Inspector Sands was founded in 2005 by Ben Lewis, Giulia Innocenti and Lucinka Eisler. Their award-winning shows Hysteria (London International Mime Festival) and If That's All There Is were part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase in 2007 and 2009 and have toured extensively in the UK and internationally, most recently to China (Best of Edinburgh Festival) and New York (off-Broadway run at 59E59). An outdoor, site-specific, piece, Portrait of the Ordinary Festival-Goer was commissioned by the Southbank Centre in 2011. Current works include: Mass Observation (commissioned by the Almeida and currently in development ); Rock Pool (a show for 3+ and winner of the Sprout! Commission) and A High Street Odyssey (an outdoor audio guided tour of the high street, commissioned by Without Walls).
Ben Lewis is Joint Artistic Director of Inspector Sands and has co-created all of their work to date, also writing the scripts for Mass Observation, Rock Pool and A High Street Odyssey. Other work includes, as a writer, two radio plays, Tiny and Blue Sky Thinking, for BBC Radio 4. As writer/director, he has co-created two pieces of music theatre with composer Dafydd James, The Village Social (National Theatre Wales) and the Total Theatre Award-winning My Name Is Sue (Soho Theatre/UK tour). They are now working on a Christmas show, Sue: The Second Coming (Bristol Old Vic/Chapter Arts Centre). Ben is currently part of the Soho Theatre's writer's residency scheme, the Soho Six, and has several TV projects in development. Performing credits include: Pinocchio (Theatre Royal Northampton); A Quiet Afternoon (Stamping Ground, Riverside Studios/UK tour); Beautiful Cosmos (The Tron); Naked Neighbour (Tramway); The Night Before Christmas (Macrobert). Ben trained at LAMDA.
Giulia Innocenti is Joint Artistic Director of Inspector Sands and has co-created and performed in all of the company's work to date. Other acting work includes: The Mouse and His Child/ The Merry Wives of Windsor/The 13 Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo (RSC); Wagner Dream (Barbican); Madam Butterfly (ENO); 1984/ Low Life (Blind Summit); Cymbeline (Kneehigh); …Sisters (The Gate/Headlong); One Thousand Paper Cranes (Catherine Wheels); Pinocchio (Theatre Royal Northampton); Macbeth (New Wolsey); Lady Macbeth (Quebracho Theatre, Lille); Drip (Attic People). For radio: The Continuity Man (BBC)
Giulia trained at the Jacques Lecoq School in Paris.
Lucinka Eisler is Joint Artistic Director of Inspector Sands and has co-created all of their shows to date. For Inspector Sands she has performed in Hysteria, If That's All There Is, Portrait of The Ordinary Festival Goer, Mass Observation and A High Street Odyssey. Other acting work includes The Magic Flute (Complicite at ENO / DNO), The Pirate Project (Lucy Foster/ Improbable), Macbeth - The Abuse of Power (Contender Charlie/ China Plate), Short Stories: Florence Nightingale (BBC/ Lambent) and projects with Shunt, Shams, The Plasticine Men and Wonderful Beast. Directing credits include Rock Pool, Portrait of the Ordinary Festival Goer and A Life in 22 Minutes (all for Inspector Sands), Reykjavik (co-director for Shams - Roundhouse), Generation (Central School) and A Quiet Afternoon, (Stamping Ground Theatre for Riverside Studios/ BAC). As assistant director Lucinka has worked with Rufus Norris (National Theatre; Young Vic), Theatre O (Barbican) and Di Trevis (Bath Theatre Royal). Lucinka is a visiting lecturer at the Central School of Speech and Drama.
Elena Peña (sound designer) was sound designer for A High Street Odyssey, Mass Observation, Rock Pool, A Life In 22 Minutes and A Portrait of the Ordinary Festival-Goer, as well as associate sound designer for If That's All There Is. Other sound design credits include: Flashes (Young Vic), Macbeth (China Plate), Arabian Nights (Tricycle Theatre), Brimstone & Treacle (Arcola Theatre), Twelve Years (BBC Radio 4 Drama), Gambling (Soho Theatre), The 13 Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo (RSC), Quimeras (Sadlers Wells, Edinburgh International Festival), Unbroken (Gate Theatre), Plasticine (Southwark Playhouse), Under Milk Wood (Northampton Theatre Royal), Love & Money (ArtsEd), Building Babble (Attic People), Fish Story (People Can Run), Punch and Judy Redux (Dissentertainment). Sound credits Include: Festival of Firsts, Summer Collection, Helen Chadwick’s Dalston Songs and Voices Across the World, ROH Linbury Theatre. She began her theatre career with Paco Peña’s Flamenco Dance Company touring to major international venues, from the Sydney Opera House to London’s Royal Festival Hall. www.elenapena.co.uk
Lu Kemp (director) directed If That’s All There Is and Mass Observation. Lu works as a director and dramaturge for new writing, physical theatre and dance. Other recent directing credits include: The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (National Theatre of Scotland), One Thousand Paper Cranes (part of the Made In Scotland Showcase 2011); Encourage The Others (Almeida LAB), The 13 Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo by Carl Grose (RSC at Latitude). Lu trained on the LEM at Lecoq, Paris, and with Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, New York.
THE BLACK CAT (from MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH), Photo by Stephen Dobbie