Cabinets of Curiosity is a performance company, founded by Sarah Blake, which is dedicated to producing work that captivates the heart, fascinates the mind and stimulates the imagination. After 15 years as a features writer, editor and columnist, specialising in the interior design, home & lifestyle sector, Sarah re-trained at Drama Studio London and formed Cabinets of Curiosity in order to combine her skills in both writing and performance. As a writer and director, she has created eight original shows and site-specific performance installations, as well as adapting Virginia Woolf 's A Room Of One's Own for the theatre.
“Sarah Blake’s stories are generated by the characters, which is the hardest kind of storytelling. Watching, I felt quite envious.”
- Louis de Bernières, novelist & author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Much of the work created by Cabinets of Curiosity is site-specific - which means it has been especially created for a particular venue or extraordinary space, outside the conventions of a traditional theatre. From a Victorian Docklands warehouse to an 18th century walled garden, to Trafalgar Square in London, these site-specific works help to reimagine the history and significance of a space, reinterpreting it in an accessible and inspirational way for a 21st century audience - and often combining live performance with audio and art installations, to create a sensory delight. Click on one of the links below to discover more about past shows - as well the exciting audio dramas and stories created by the Cabinets of Curiosity sister company, Sounds Curious.
Portfolio Highlights - click below to discover more details:
In the spring of 2022, 'The Peacock Queen' flew into Darmstadt, in Germany. Through a beguiling audio installation, she told an inspirational story about identity, self-determination and what it takes to become the queen of your own lands - i.e your own emotions, character and destiny. Narrated in English and German, the story was accompanied by a series of enchanting shadow boxes, that inspired by early 19th century paper and toy theatres.
A different kind of show - 'Deepfakes' was created during the Covid-19 lockdown and is site-specific to the medium of that moment... video conferencing! A witty, but emotionally-intelligent political satire, it was filmed entirely on Zoom and is now available to watch on YouTube.
'FOUND' began life as a site-specific performance installation, created for The Electrician's Shop Victorian warehouse space at Trinity Buoy Wharf, in the London Docklands. Combining digital projections with live performance, museum artefacts and a snaking installation of Thames debris, 'FOUND' broughtcenturies of London lives into focus, through the stories of the objects they had once owned. In 2020, the original show was adapted for audio by our sister company, Sounds Curious, with members of the original cast, and broadcast on Resonance FM.
'The Ladies In The Garden' was a magical experience for visitors to the historic Walled Garden in Ripon, North Yorkshire, combining live performance with a suspended mixed media installation and audio story. Walking around the orchard of ancient and rare fruit trees, the audience encountered four very different women - each with their own story to tell...
'Stories In A Secret Garden' created a trilogy of site-specific performances for the Ripon Walled Garden, in North Yorkshire - an historic garden with links to Lewis Carroll, the author of 'Alice in Wonderland'. In the 19th century, the garden was attached to the Bishop's Palace, where Carroll would often visit - and so, for the audience's delight, 'Stories In A Secret Garden' imagined one enchanted evening... when a young Carroll lounges under the trees, eats one too may jam tarts - and meets a white rabbit with a penchant for mathematics and word play!
'Please Do Not Feed The Ladies (They Are A Health Hazard And A Nuisance)' was a site specific performance installation created as part of the sculptor Anthony Gormley's 'One & Other' project, on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. It explored the Square's history as both a place of commemoration of 'Great Men' (such as Horatio Nelson), with its subsequent evolution as a space for public gathering and protest... via the medium of pigeons!