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Unexpected Places

Taking audiences to unexpected places.

Unexpected Places create original, imaginative performances which take our audiences to unexpected places. Creating work since 2015 we have established a reputation for producing thought provoking, endearing, visual productions which bring people together. Based in Southampton, we love to tell a good story, we love to surprise our audiences and we love to leave you pondering our memorable productions for years to come. 


We work alongside our education strand Light UP to produce accompanying workshops, resources packs and opportunities for our students to be involved in the creative process of Unexpected Places. Our venue UP Studios in Hamble is our creative haven and our base for inspiring the next generation of theatre makers.

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Our Story

Unexpected Places was founded in 2015 as a not-for-profit theatre company, creating productions in and around Southampton. Artistic Director Rosanna Sloan wanted to bring unexpected performances to the public, specialising in theatrical emotive storytelling; early work toured to The Edinburgh Fringe and Bristol Festival of Puppetry, where Unexpected Places began to turn heads. 


In May 2021 Unexpected Places became a registered charity dedicated to increasing public education and appreciation of the performing arts and received funding to produce one of their most ambitious projects so far.


Back home, Rosanna noticed a lack of affordable drama classes for children and young people in the Hampshire area. Light UP drama was formed to make the performing arts more accessible to local communities. The classes were quickly popular, which saw Light UP expanding into running workshops during half terms with themed Christmas and Summer projects in the school holidays. Since 2018 it has diversified its offering to include musical theatre and classes for the home education community.


In 2020, Unexpected Places found a venue that would give them a permanent home and a base for children to visit; a space to continue their education and outreach programs and rehearse new productions. UP Studios comprises a drama studio, dance studio and office space and has become Unexpected Places HQ. Not only does it bring the creative space needed for professionals and young people to exercise their talents, the venue is also available for hire to artists and the community.


In September 2021 Little Lights was launched, a 6 week course of creative and sensory sessions for 0-3yr olds. Initially funded by the National Lottery Community fund, the sessions have become much loved in the community and the second course will be launched in November.

Where will we go next?

Explore our charity...

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Light UP Drama

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UP Studios

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Little Lights

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