Trestle has been making inspirational physical storytelling theatre since 1981. Three students from Middlesex University, Sally Cook, Alan Riley and Toby Wilsher, founded the Company with the support of their course tutor, John Wright. They were joined by Joff Chafer and the Company developed a distinctive style of theatre using masks, puppets and music; Trestle soon became one of Britain’s leading touring theatre companies, able to tour internationally with its non verbal full mask shows. Find out more about Trestle’s past touring productions.
In April 2002, after 20 years of nomadic existence, the Company moved into Trestle Arts Base, a Capital Lottery funded £2 million refurbishment of the 100-year-old Hill End Hospital Chapel in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Trestle was one of the first touring theatre companies to create their own home and, as such, we have had to develop innovative ways of modeling the company identity and resources. Through its first decade, Trestle Arts Base has steadily built its own reputation as a successful performing arts centre.
A new era began in 2004, when Toby Wilsher, the last remaining founding Artistic Director, left the Company, and Emily Gray was appointed as the new Artistic Director. Emily’s vision for the Company began with expanding the tools with which Trestle makes physical storytelling theatre. Whilst masks have always remained a vital educational tool for the Company, it was clear that Trestle would have to adapt and evolve to become a building based company serving audiences of many ages and engaging communities through a range of creative theatre techniques, as well as masks.