The company was founded in 1980 by Paul Stebbings and other actors trained in the Grotowski method in Britain and Poland. While valuing the imaginative and physical techniques of the Polish director they wanted to extend their work into comic and popular forms with greater contemporary relevance. Their first production, HARLEQUIN, was a commedia dell’arte based on the life of the Russian artist Meyerhold and his struggles with Stalin. (The play was revived in 1989 and became the first play about Stalinism to be performed throughout Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall). Other productions took popular forms and explored serious themes; such as finance and fairy tales in FUNNY MONEY, vaudeville and war in ENGLISH TEA PARTY and the detective thriller and violence in THE MURDER OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Since its foundation all TNT productions have been written or edited by Paul Stebbings and Phil Smith. The company’s approach to the classics is to critically examine the themes of the original rather than slavishly present a hallowed text. Since 2000 the company has extended this approach to interpretations of Shakespeare with considerable international success.

Music plays an important role in the company’s work, and most productions include a newly commissioned score. Notable music theatre productions include CABARET FAUST (inspired by Klaus Mann’s MEPHISTO) and the WIZARD OF JAZZ (prize winner at the Munich Biennale) both scored by the well known composer, John Kenny. TNT’s most ambitious production to date was the integrated drama, dance and music version of Melville’s MOBY DICK, with a score by John Kenny and Paul Flush. Other long term members of TNT are the choreographer Eric Tessier Lavigne and composer Thomas Johnson.

TNT began its collaboration with The American Drama Group Europe and producer Grantly Marshall in 1993. Notable productions include BRAVE NEW WORLD, LORD OF THE FLIES, FAHRENHEIT 451, DEATH OF A SALESMAN, OLIVER TWIST and many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays including our recent award winning HAMLET, OTHELLO and TAMING OF THE SHREW. TNT has received regular funding from the British Council and the UK Arts Council and collaborated or co-produced with organisations such as the Athens Concert Hall (Megaron), The St Petersburg State Comedy Theatre (Akimov), Tams Theatre Munich and St Donats Arts Centre (Wales) and the current long term collaborations with Costa Rica’s Teatro Terruno (Café Britt) Milky Way Productions in Beijing and the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. TNT has toured from London to Hong Kong, from Guatemala to Tokyo, from Atlanta to St Petersburg and Tehran to Berlin in venues that range from village halls to opera houses and from castle ruins to National theatres. We borrow our motto from the great Russian theatre director, Meyerhold:

International Tour

TNT, in collaboration with ADGE has dominated English language theatre in Germany since 1993. TNT gives over 500 performances a year in all the major towns and most of the major theatres. The summer 'Castle tour' spends over four weeks each summer performing outdoors in German castle and palace courtyards.

TNT gives some fifty performances a year in major theatres of Switzerland and Austria. In summer the company visits many Swiss and Austrian castles for open air theatre performances.

TNT has been touring Japan since 1992 and has given more foreign language performances in more venues than any other non-Japanese company.

TNT is the only English Language theatre to perform regularly in major theatres nationwide in France.

TNT has toured Scandinavia since 1986. The summer castle tour is particularly successful and extends up to northern Norway. While Norway and Sweden are the heart of the company's work in the region, there have also been regular and comprehensive tours of Finland. Denmark’s Rosenberg Castle in Copenhagen is a centerpiece of the annual Castle Tour. TNT's first foreign performance was in Amsterdam, Holland at the Melkweg Theatre and Club in 1981. This has evolved into a regular circuit in Belgium and Luxembourg, where they are the leading foreign theatre ensemble.

TNT works in high profile venues and festivals with the cooperation of the Athens Concert Hall, and the Volos Centre for Music Theatre of Greece. TNT began collaboration with the National theatre of Malta in 2003 and began to tour Italy in 2004. TNT has toured Spain for fifteen years, concentrating on Madrid and

TNT presents on average 12 weeks of performances a year in the Czech Republic with most of the performances in Prague. The company performed in Slovakia in 2004 and 2005 and toured 20 cities in Poland in 1989 and 1992.

TNT toured Russia from 1990 – 1997, and toured Ukraine twice, being the first foreign theatre company to perform in several Ukrainian theatres since the Revolution.

TNT performs annually the Gulf states of Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai. At the Fajr Festival in Tehran (the Muslim World's largest Arts Festival) TNT won first prize for HAMLET in 2004. 3000 people saw HAMLET in Iran and 2000 visited MACBETH in Kuwait.

TNT has performed in either Singapore or Hong Kong every year since 1994, and received Singapore National Youth Arts Achievement award in 2004.

TNT has presented theatre on two occasions in the USA. “1945!” ran for two weeks at the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre in the Off Broadway Festival in New York. In Atlanta, MACBETH was performed in the ruins of the old plantation house.