East London Theatre Archive

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Cartoon Archetypical Slogan Theatre (CAST) collection

History of CAST

CAST (Cartoon Archetypical Slogan Theatre) were a political theatre company led by Roland and Claire Muldoon. The Muldoons co-founded CAST in the 1960s as a Socialist alternative performance group, with Roland Muldoon writing, producing and appearing in the majority of CAST productions. In 1981 CAST established its New Variety project, which attracted funding from the Greater London Council (GLC). This enabled CAST to run eight venues throughout London and establish an alternative comedy circuit which helped launch the careers of comedians, such as Jo Brand, Steve Coogan and Paul Merton.

In 1986 CAST took over Hackney Empire as a permanent base for their operations. Roland Muldoon became Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Empire, while Claire Muldoon became head of programming. The Muldoons left the Empire in 2005. At the time of the ELTA website launch in 2009, the Muldoons were staging productions at The Cock, a Victorian pub on Kilburn High Road in London. At the time of the ELTA website launch in 2009, they are presenting New Variety shows at the Hackney Empire especially 'New Act of the Year (NATY) and are presenting New Acts in rural and out of London venues. New Act of the Year 2009 recently filled the theatre and received good reviews and they are hoping to expand its outreach nationally.

This Archive currently reflect CAST as a funded Theatre group 76/85 and its New Variety project and its involvement in the re.opend Hackney Empire 79/04 .Its hoped that some early material 65/76 will be added at a later date.

The history is based on the following sources:

http://www.redpepper.org.uk/Keep-throwing-stones [accessed 14 October 2008]
http://www.hackneyempire.co.uk/4/about/history-of-the-hackney-empire.html [accessed 14 October 2008]
http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/10260/muldoon-ends-hackney-empire-reign [accessed 14 October 2008]

Scope and Content of the collection

Original archive items are held at University of East London Archive Department

Copyright holders

Cartoon Archetypical Slogan Theatre (CAST); Roland Muldoon.

East London Theatre Archive

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East London Theatre Archive

East London Theatre Archive