stock book

Joint Stock Theatre Company

The Joint Stock Theatre Company was founded in London 1974 by David Hare, Max Stafford-Clark and David Aukin. The director William Gaskill was also an important part of the company. It was primarily a new work company.

As its title suggests, it was run as a Joint stock company; the capital of the company being formed by the contribution of each member, its profit was to be measured in the success of its productions. Thus, it became cooperatively owned by its members. What their contribution was and whether it included the actors in lieu of their salaries was not revealed, nor was what the union Equity had to say about it.

Joint Stock created a distinctive style of working with writers using company research to inspire workshops. From these workshops writers such as David Hare, Howard Brenton and Caryl Churchill would garner material to inspire a writing phase before rehearsals began. This methodology is sometimes referred to as The Joint Stock Method. Key productions include Hare's Fanshen, Brenton's Epsom Downs and Churchill's Cloud Nine.

The company closed in 1989. In 1993 Max Stafford-Clark founded the touring company Out of Joint. Out of Joint share several working practices with Joint Stock.


  • Ritchie, R. (ed) (1987), The Joint Stock Book: Making of a Theatre Collective, London: Methuen, ISBN 0-413-41030-7
  • Stafford-Clark, M. and Roberts, P. (2007) Taking Stock: The Theatre of Max Stafford-Clark, London: Nick Hern Books, ISBN 1-854-59840-6

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