chiaroscurotreeClair/Obscur is a new theatre collective based in the Weald of Kent. Our focus is to adapt and develop classic stories from authors and famous figures in our region. Our name derives from the term chiaroscuro, a strong, self-conscious juxtaposition of light and shade which results in a stunning visual effect in a work of art.

A chiaroscuro image is unique: every model or subject has its own proportions and dimensions. There is not a standard height or location to place the lighting, only a place to begin – a single light source or a way to block light to create shadow. Similarly, every Clair/Obscur performance will be a unique event that will utilise the features of its immediate surroundings.

Chiaroscuro gives a space particular qualities, it accentuates the illusion of depth, making objects appear to jump out of immediate space that “contains” them. In the same way, we believe theatre should be an immediate, alive and vivid experience that leaps out to meet its audience.

Bringing one area into sharp focus can force us to imagine what could be lurking in the shadows. As a result, Chiaroscuro imbues a profound emotional energy in its subject and in the spectator, often adding a psychological depth that is seemingly bottomless. Clair/Obscur believe that everything on stage should have a purpose. We seek to pare a story down to its bare emotional essentials. We are interested in presenting stories that do not have tidy endings and where the audience always leaves with questions.