In Creative Youth Network's gorgeous dance studio there's a buzzing atmosphere. A cohort of 20 young creatives wait to start the day’s session, hungry to learn from the professional theatre makers leading a full day’s workshop.

When you walk into a room with Gecko Theatre, you feel instantly infused with excitement. Their demeanour mixes a calmness with a passion that makes it clear; these theatre makers wholly secure in their practice.  

Kate and Ryan lead us through some initial warm up games. Simple favourites, such as learning three facts about your partner and pass the clap around the circle, are given new meaning and purpose by the softly assertive team of two. They move us onto the more complex work of adding mumbles and muttering to our movement around the room. Their games focus on finding the emotion behind the physical. Whilst remaining aware of the difference between finding the emotion and forcing it.


Underlying everything Gecko teach is a deep understanding that emotion is the cause of the movement, yet movement can often be the spark of emotion for a performer. From allowing our bodies to move like seaweed and feeling out where that leads us emotionally, to finding the passion in rhythmic stamping, movement and clapping the day flows from one exercise to another. The young creatives are exhausted yet invigorated, all of us unable to try out the exercises we’ve learnt in the rehearsal room.


Yet it is not their skill and practice that left me in such deep awe Gecko. The company create work that transcends class, sex, race or language by looking at the very heart of what it is to be human. Their work is uniquely accessible, understandable and global. I have no doubt it’s what makes them so successful, and blindingly passionate in a world that contains an awful lot of beige theatre.