Institute is a visually captivating, emotionally driven performance, which openly invites its audience to consider what it means to care.

Gecko has a reputation for generating unique worlds, exquisite stage craft and breath-taking choreography. Institute uses movement, imagery and a range of choreographic styles to further explore the complexity of human behaviour. As well as being visually captivating, Institute is extremely intimate and often very funny. An incisive dissection of the way we nurture and care for ourselves and each other.

Amit Lahav asked the company, what does it mean to care for one another in a busy world of high-pressure targets and expectations? What does it mean to lose everything and everyone? Where do you turn?

Four male performers portray four very familiar human beings, each driven by a desire to care and be cared for…

★★★★ The Financial Times
★★★★ The Independent
★★★★★ Sydney Morning Herald
★★★★★ Broadway Baby
★★★★★ British Theatre Guide


23 – 25 January 2020
Nottingham Playhouse
Nottingham, UK


Created by Amit Lahav
Producer: Rosalind Wynn (contact)

Devising Performers:
Chris Evans
Amit Lahav

Ryen Perkins‐Gangnes
François Testory

Design: Rhys Jarman and Amit Lahav
Lighting Design: Chris Swain and Amit Lahav
Original Music: Dave Price
Associate Director: Rich Rusk
Sound Design: Nathan Johnson
Costume Supervisor: Amy Cook

Production Manager: Chris Swain / Hannah Blamire
Technical Stage Manager: Andres Velasquez / Sean Ford
Company Stage Manager: Alyssa Watts / Hannah Blamire
Sound Operator: André Birck
Re-Lighter: Joe Hornsby
Production Electrician: Hector Murray

Musicians: Dave Price and James Alsopp
Solo Vocalist: François Testory
Ritual Dance Vocals: Chris Evans and Amit Lahav

During creation
Devising Performers: Anna Finkel and Lise Manivit


Please click here to view the Institute programme from 2016 which accompanied the Wellcome Project with Suffolk Mind.

Sound World

For each of our current touring shows we have created a Sound World Information Sheet to enable D/deaf, deafened and hard of hearing audience members to understand the soundscape of each show and how it feeds into the other elements of our performances. Please read the information in advance of attending the show. Where possible we offer a BSL interpreted post show discussion in collaboration with our venue partners.

Click here to download the Sound World of Institute (PDF)



★★★★  The Financial Times
“The choreography is wonderfully eclectic and expressive, constantly shifting styles to meet the moment, and performed by all four men with exquisite precision and feeling.” Sarah Hemming

★★★★ The Independent
“The attention to detail extends to all aspects of this beautifully realised production, from the theatrically inventive use of sets springing out of the cabinets to the now-ominous, now-jaunty soundtrack. All in all, it makes for a unique vision.” Holly Williams

★★★★★ Sydney Morning Herald
“It is many years since I have seen anything like this quality of movement, imagination and theatricality.” Jill Sykes

★★★★★ Broadway Baby
“The individual attention to detail and accomplished ensemble playing make this piece required viewing.” Joshua Clarke

★★★★★  Exeunt
Institute is a piece of physical and visual theatre capable of swallowing you whole. It asks you to trust it, to give yourself to it. And it’s all the more potent, all the more hypnotic, if you’re able to do it, if you let it take you.” Andrew Latimer

★★★★★ British Theatre Guide
“It brought a spontaneous standing ovation that was fully and richly deserved. A wonderful piece of thought provoking physical theatre that’s an absolute joy. Just go!” Robin Strapp

★★★★★ All Edinburgh Theatre
“It is compelling, captivating and ultimately forces the brain out of its comfort zone to try and understand the multiple layers of complexity that is a human life and a human mind. In an absorbing and magnetising production that confuses as much as it challenges, INSTITUTE is not a show that you’re ever likely to forget.” Susan Lowes

Wellcome Project

Wellcome Project with Suffolk Mind

In Autumn 2016 Gecko developed a series of events and resources to allow audiences to further explore issues of mental well-being raised in Institute. We teamed up with Suffolk Mind as the lead partner on the project, and also worked with local mental health networks in each city that Institute toured to; Manchester, Southampton and Liverpool. The project was supported by a Wellcome Trust Award.

There were four stands to the project:

Something to talk about: at each venue we held a post-show discussion with a twist. Artistic Director Amit Lahav and one of our performers were joined by local experts working in the field of mental health to discuss the show’s themes, and answer questions from the audience.

Something to read: all audience members received a programme giving more information on the show and this project, as well as information on mental well-being and pathways to support locally.

Someone to talk to: after every performance there was someone from a local mental health support network ready to talk to audience members in the foyer, answering any questions they may have had.

Something to do: Gecko and Suffolk Mind created a unique workshop experience, combining their understanding and experiences of human emotional needs.  Introducing the idea that we all have the same core emotional needs which must to be met to sustain healthy minds. At each venue we led a free 3.5 hour theatre based workshop creating a playful and safe environment in which we introduced, explored and discussed these ideas in relation to Institute, the characters and ourselves.

Following Gecko’s Wellcome project, Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education at Suffolk Mind, has written an article entitled ‘Physical Theatre Meets Mental Health’.

Past Touring

Past Touring

Hong Kong City Hall Theatre, Hong Kong
Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, UK
Materia Prima Festival, Krakow, Poland

Jiangsu Center for the Performing Arts, Nanjing, China
Jing-an Modern Drama Valley Festival, Shanghai, China
Sydney Festival, Australia
Liverpool Playhouse, UK
Nuffield Southampton, UK
HOME, Manchester, UK
Batumi Music and Arts Centre, Georgia
Sibiu Festival, Romania
Riverfront Theatre Newport, Wales (as part of British Dance Edition)
The Place, London, UK
Lermontov Russian Drama Theatre, Almaty, Kazakhstan
The Grand, Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh, UK
Hall for Cornwall, Truro, UK
Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House, London, UK (as part of London International Mime Festival)
Lighthouse Poole, UK
Bristol Old Vic, UK
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, UK
Northern Stage, Newcastle, UK
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, UK
Derby Theatre, UK
Pulse Festival, High Street Exhibition Gallery, Ipswich, UK (work in progress)