Dante or Die: Take On Me


We're so excited to announce that Take On Me's application to the Arts Council's Strategic Touring programme has been successful! We have been overwhelmed by the energy and investment from our partners to bring the Take On Me project across the UK: South Street Arts, Ideas Test, Creative Arts East and Ealing Council, The Lowry and Lighthouse Poole. We’re looking forward to revisiting the legwarmers and headbands, creating new local casts everywhere we go and training the site-specific producers and makers of the future. Performance dates will be announced very soon!

Joyce Wilson, London Area Director, Arts Council England:
‘We’re delighted to be able to support Dante or Die with its plan to bring contemporary theatre to wider communities across England with funding from the National Lottery. Touring leisure centres with performances of Take on Me, Dante or Die will encourage not only new audiences for theatre but new participants too. Dante or Die is one of many contemporary companies taking work to non-traditional venues, encouraging and enabling young people and families to experience arts and culture close to home and in familiar settings.’



A woman enters the changing room for the first time in decades.

A lifeguard twiddles his thumbs as he dreams of being a real hero.

A crammed aerobics class slides into slow motion; their thoughts tumbling out as they watch their bodies in the unforgiving mirror that surrounds them.

TAKE ON ME is a new show set amongst the 1980s world of headbands and legwarmers that digs below the surface of the luminous colours and fitness fads. Taking place after hours in your local leisure centre you’ll be divided into two groups to be a fly on the wall as you’re led through the pool, the changing rooms, the gym and beyond to hear the inner voices of a variety of characters as they strive for a better version of themselves. Performed by a company of professional actors with a local guest cast, and set to live acoustic versions of classic 80’s pop hits TAKE ON ME will be an intimate and comical experience. You’ll never look at your local leisure centre in quite the same way ever again.


Created by Daphna Attias & Terry O'Donovan

Directed by Daphna Attias

Text by Andrew Muir

Design by Amy Jackson

Rehearsal Director: Anna Woolhouse

Sound Design by Eleanor Isherwood & George Hicks

Lighting Design by Steve, Katy & Faith

Assitant Director: Deirdre Daly

2016 Cast: Terry O'Donovan, Fiona Watson, Eleanor Isherwood & George Hicks

2016 Guest cast: Stephy Barton, Alex Curtis, Tom Dicker, Sophie Gunn, Stella Kailides, Jazzy Jones, Scott Swinton

2016 Choir: members of Bletchingley Community Choir including John Spedding, John Thurston, Andy Catford, Astrid Charters, Owen Thurston, Liz Wise, Sue Reilly

Photography by Justin Jones & Jessica Bevan

Take On Me was commissioned by Farnham Maltings and Arts Partnership, Surrey, and co-commissioned by Harlow Playhouse.




"Enjoyable, ambitious and slightly surreal adventure"The Stage