At a time of political turmoil, unprecedented world events and an increasingly divided society, what does inspiring leadership sound like? 

Figures of Speech, a major new digital film project for 2017, will interrogate the vitality of speech to remember.

The Almeida Theatre brings together the most exciting artists to take risks; to provoke, inspire and surprise our audiences; to interrogate the present, dig up the past and imagine the future.

And so, we are on a quest to rediscover leadership, to put history’s greatest speeches back on the map, to come together and experience the moments when men and women stood in front of people to find that words are electric, hope is immortal and ideas can carve a path through history and into the future.

A concert of voices who demand to be heard, either again or for the first time, will take centre stage, as Figures of Speech uses the power of performance to explore big political and social ideas. This website creates a platform for a wider interrogation of what leadership and the power of the spoken word mean in 2017.


Take part in Figures of Speech and join our Young Leaders Programme

As part of Figures of Speech we're looking for young people aged 16 – 25 with big ideas, something vital to say about the world we live in and the desire to influence positive change.

If that’s you come and take part in our exciting 8 week leadership and speech writing programme starting on Wednesday 31 May.

Over the course of 8 weekly sessions you will work with a professional writer and a director who will support you in generating ideas, structuring a speech and developing your skills in public speaking. At the end of the 8 weeks you will have the opportunity to record your speech with a professional film crew for online broadcast.

You don’t need any previous experience in speech writing or public speaking, you just need to have an innovative idea you want to share or have a desire to challenge and inspire people to think differently about an issue that is important to you.

Interested? Please follow the link to complete a short application form which you can find here.

Dates: Wednesday 31 May – Wednesday 19 July
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: Almeida Theatre Offices, 108 Upper Street, London, N1 1QN

Questions? Get in touch with Sarah Tarry via email starry@almeida.co.uk or phone 020 7288 4917

Can’t do these dates? Don’t worry we will run the programme again in August (Wednesday 23 August - Wednesday 11 October). 


Direction: Anthony Almeida

Film: Todd MacDonald for Illuminations Media

Sound (Graphics): Dan Balfour

Graphics: Joseph Pierce for Illuminations Media

Casting: Sophie Holland

Producer: Lucy Pattison

Production Assistant: Sam South

Website: Phil Brooks


Heartfelt thanks to:

Rupert Goold, Dani Parr and everyone at the Almeida Theatre

Donate to the project


To find out more about supporting this project, please contact

Gemma Cook (Deputy Director of Development)
020 7288 4934

Love the Almeida? Consider supporting our work. Each year we must raise £2m in addition to our Box Office income and Arts Council England subsidy. Every donation we receive however large or small, is crucial in helping us to achieve our artistic ambitions. Find out more about supporting the Almeida at almeida.co.uk/support-us


With thanks to the following individuals who have generously supported Figures of Speech:  

Mr and Mrs Karl Dannenbaum
Marcia and Richard Grand  
David and Jean Grier
Susan Hahn and Duncan Moore
Stephanie P. McClelland and Green Curtain Productions
Gregory Nasmyth and Samantha Rowe-Beddoe