Tim Cook


When did you first realise you wanted to act?
I was in my early 20’s when I got into the National Youth Theatre. It was something I’d wanted to do for a very long time (being a avid film fan), but I probably lacked the confidence to try it. It’s a strange one, because even though I’d never done any acting previously, I had this belief that I could do it and that I could potentially be good at it. Being part of the NYT gave me a boost and a sense of identity. I just continued from there and tried to learn as much as I could really.
What excites you about theatre?
New writing and new ideas. New writing is my lifeblood. I love writing that reflects how we live now and writing that poses difficult questions to its audience. New ideas are important, especially with classical texts. I don’t believe that every production of Shakespeare in London is fully merited. So I’d say I’m a big fan of originality basically. If theatre doesn’t offer something new, then why should we see it?
You went to a RADA, what do you feel your training equipped you for in the ‘real world’? 
It gave me a methodology and it taught me to take the work I do seriously. That’s important I think. If you want to succeed in the industry then you need to take it seriously. Also as an actor it gave me something to fall back on. I remember before I trained getting frustrated if I couldn’t hit a certain mark as an actor. I feel like I have more control as a performer now. One thing it definitely didn’t prepare me for was the reality of living life as an actor. The world of drama school is a bit of a bubble.
As training becomes unfeasible to a lot of people with raising costs of fees and london living, what advice do you give actors looking for alternate routes?
I certainly don’t view traditional acting training as the be all and end all of everything. There are so many different routes into the industry these days. Try to find people who are doing good work and do whatever it takes to work with them and learn from them. Don’t audition for everything, but look for plays or short films that really give you the chance to showcase your talents. Also it helps to take classes and see lots of theatre. Meet as many people as possible.
What do you think is the most important quality for an actor in todays industry?
You write also, a man of many trades, how did you come about writing?
I started out writing for film at university, but a lot of my ideas were focused on dialogue, rather than the visual side of things. I realised as a writer I tend to think more rhythmically than visually, which lends itself well to playwrighting. After uni I was living in New York for a time and I started writing something, which could’ve been anything really – it could’ve been a novel, or a film, or a short story – but it ended up becoming a play. And so I turned into a playwright almost overnight, and now it feels like the most natural fit for me. I love people watching and eavesdropping on conversations and that’s reflected in my writing.
Can you tell our readers about your new play ‘Tremors’? 
I’ve been working on Tremors for a long time. I actually wrote the first draft shortly after the student protests in London in 2010. It’s about a rising star of the Labour party, who becomes involved in a scandal in a hotel room. In an attempt to salvage his image he then returns to his seaside hometown to make amends, but he gets caught up in a community dispute. Ultimately, he has to decide whether to save his career or the community he grew up in. Even though so much has changed in politics since 2010, I feel it’s very relevant to what’s going on now. We want and need more from our politicians.
What are your plans for Tremors?
There are big plans for Tremors in 2017, but I can’t reveal anything yet. Watch this space!
You are heading the new literary team at Drayton Arms?What is the plan with the team?
It’s been really exciting so far, being able to form a Literary Department from scratch. I want us to offer something different to other theatres in London. We can’t compete with the larger theatres in terms of offering an unsolicited script service, but what we can offer is a more hands on experience to writers. They’ll have the opportunity to workshop material at the theatre, and we can provide them with a support network of actors, directors and a dramaturg to help them. We’ll also be running a regular scratch night on the theme of Existentialism.
What advice do you give budding writers?
Seek out every possible opportunity to get your writing in front of an audience. Be open to feedback. Keep honing your craft. Don’t give up.
How did your company Broken Silence Theatre come about?
I founded Broken Silence Theatre with a friend around 6 months after graduating from RADA in 2013. It took me a few months to figure out what I wanted to do in the industry. I decided the best way forward for me was to create my own company and only do work I really believed in. It’s been the best and most liberating thing I’ve ever done. In just over 3 years we’ve staged over 10 full productions and each one has grown in terms of quality and scale.
What is your ethos?
We care about new writing. We care about promoting unheard voices. We care about the here and now. It’s that simple.
What is different about Broken Silence Theatre to other companies?
With our work we want to create a sort of ‘Royal Court on a budget’. We have very high standards and we seek out the best scripts we can possibly get our hands on. A lot of the scripts we’ve produced have been developed at larger theatres such as the Royal Court or the Soho or the Tobacco Factory. We want to start from a really strong place and then carry those standards through to production.
You also co-produce Scene Gym at Old Vic New Voices, which is a great way for actors, writers and directors to collaborate. Can you tell our readers about that?
Scene Gym is a great new initiative founded by Julia Taylor. It brings together the best writing, directing and acting talent, and puts everyone together in one room. It’s a really wonderful and hugely collaborative experience. It differs from similar new writing events because every single person in attendance is involved in one of the pieces. I think that really helps the writers receive fair and constructive feedback, because everyone is literally in the same boat. Even though we only launched in August it’s been a great success and I’m looking forward to developing Scene Gym further next year. 
Thank you Tim

Sasha Damjanovski


So you are a tv and film director. How did you come about following this career path?
I always loved cinema, and I’ve been writing since age 11, but didn’t really think of it all as a career until I started working in TV as a reporter. This is when I realised that I’m much more interested in being behind the camera and putting it all together than standing in front of it, talking.
What excites you about this medium?
Everything! I love the whole process. Pre-production – the team brainstorming, planning, testing stuff, rehearsing with the actors; then love the production itself – finding the perfect shot, seeking moments of truth in performances, the perfect something or other; and then it all begins all over again in post – editing, making the magic really happen by putting seemingly disparate elements together, finding the right music, the right colour grade, the right sound effect, and on and on. It’s a complex, layered all-consuming experience – body, mind and spirit. It’s like a drug.
What excites you about theatre, do you have different techniques for theatre and film when directing? 
Theatre has its own kind of magic. I love the fact that I can rehearse much more. It’s like being locked in a room with all the cool kids and we can just play, experiment, try many different ‘what ifs’, reimagine the text and – when it’s really good – reimagine ourselves, too.
What do you think is important when collaborating with writers and actors?
Communicating. Communicating in an open, encouraging and empowering way. Listening. Trying to truly understanding where they’re coming from – what are their ideas, what are their concerns. With writers specifically, it actually starts with listening, of course, understanding their original vision, the point they started from.
What do you expect from an actor if they come into audition and also in rehearsal time?
Auditions are like a first dance – both partners are discovering whether they can dance together. This is nothing to do with how good they are at dancing, but everything to do with – do we make a good dancing match. So, in auditions, I just want the old cliché – be yourself. It’s the only thing that will ever work. Whether I have a clear idea of the character already, or I am still searching, when the ‘right’ actor comes in, it feels like they’re the only ones who know the correct answer to the hardest question in the quiz. In a way, there’s nothing you can do about it. The second thing I look for, and this is if I’m intrigued by the actor’s energy/persona and sense that they might be right, I want to see responsiveness. If I ask them to do something different and they essentially give me the same thing again, I won’t choose them.
In rehearsals I want trust. I do my utmost to build this trust with the actors, of course, it’s my responsibility too, but ultimately we need to get to a point of trust. And I’m also looking for openness to ideas, playfulness – let’s try if something will work, if it doesn’t we’ll ditch it. Finally, I expect contributions. Just like the heads of various departments will offer their own ideas for the look, feel, sound of the film, the actors need to contribute ideas, too, and again – we’ll try some of them out, if they work, we’ll use them, if they don’t, we’ll at least inspire each other to cmd up with other ideas.
What projects have you in the pipeline?
There are several projects in the air, at the moment. Perhaps, the most likely to go ahead first is a feature film comedy, then a theatre play commission which I am yet to write. Wish me luck, both are really exciting, and totally different from one another.
In the current climate with funding being cut everywhere, when starting a new project how do you tackle this problem ?
Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. There’s no formula and no unseal solution. Keep pushing, knocking on doors, making new friends, searching for new leads and connections. Perseverance is everything.
Fun- What’s your favourite film
Ha! The impossible question. In no particular order – Life of Brian, Groundhog Day, Donny Darko, Apocalypse Now, Persona, Bicycle Thieves, The Big Lebowsky, All That Jazz, Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo&Juliet, The Red Shoes, Ex Machina, and on and on and on… This year, Arrival was so exciting!

Theatre on The Cheap


Christmas by Simon Stephens

Directed by Jamie Eastlake and Sarah Chapleo

Sunday 11th -22nd December / Sunday Matinee 18th, 4pm

9pm/Tickets £15/£10

The reality is that Christmas is a depressing time for many. With the aftermath of Brexit and Ukip and Farage and the clear manipulation of the white working class for political gain, Theatre N16 are delighted to produce Simon Stephens Yuletide treat. One night in an East end pub, four men confront their past and brace themselves for an uncertain future

The Snow Queen

Directed by Scott Ellis and Tatty Hennessy.

Sun 11th – Thurs 22nd December 19:30 pm/Tickets £15/£10 

Greta’s brother, Kay, has been acting strange. He’s mean and moody and won’t play games. The Snow Queen must have snatched him, and left an imposter in his place. With her new friend, the wise-cracking, fame-hungry talking Crow to guide her, Greta must set out across the snow to search for her brother in the Snow Queen’s palace and bring him home in time for Christmas. Funny, magic and full of surprises, this new modern adaptation of The Snow Queen is a perfect family Christmas adventure. 

Next Year



So have you been following us for a while now and wondering who we are and after 1 year of scratch nights and becoming more than an # are you wondering what’s next. Well Here I shall welcome you to the team and the plans for the next year at HQ

ounder of Actor Awareness

Tom Stocks (@Tom_Stocks)

The main man and inspiration behind the movement. All round good egg and ideas man. An actor and sometimes writer Tom Stocks is passionate about creating equal opportunity. Securing backing by Spotlight has been a highlight of Tom’s year.


Co-Producer and Blogger

Stephanie Silver (@steffieegg12)

An Actor and aspiring playwright Stephanie co-produces monthly scratch nights and other events under the Actor Awareness banner as well as producing the monthly Blog.



Producer ‘Adam Morley’

Adam Morley is an accomplished Theatre director resident at Canal Cafe and AD of Baroque Theatre. He is the founder of ‘The Adam Morley Bursary’ and helps collobrate with Actor Awareness on different projects.

Adam Morley Photo


Next year we aim to continue the scratch nights at Spotlight theatre

Actor Awareness are moving to Manchester so wait this space!!!!

Film Nights for new filmmakers

More affordable workshops for actors and writers

Albane Linyer


How did you come about to writing?

When I was a kid I was obsessed with reading. I read very fast and some days I would read three books in one afternoon. It was just very natural for me to start writing my own stories. Being a writer was always my plan for the future and I never really questioned it. I started writing stories when I was about 7. I wrote my first play at nine and it was porn. It was original even though a bit disturbing. Apparently I knew very early on that my work would revolve around desire. Then when I was sixteen I met a Tv producer. He asked me what I wanted to do for a living and I say I wanted to write. He just answered “Go for screenwriting then, you’ll make loads of money.”. He lived in an enormous house with an outdoor jacuzzi in Paris, so I told myself “You want to follow this guy’s advice.”. That’s how I ended up here.

You are doing the Saint Martins writing course, what have you got out of this course?
The thing is, when you write as a freelancer you need to have A LOT of self-discipline just to write a text to the end, and I’m not even talking about rewriting. I don’t have that discipline yet, and having deadlines for school or work just makes you do thing that you would postpone forever if it was only for yourself. Without even noticing it I ended up with so many outlines and projects that I can now pitch to professionals, and that’s priceless. Also you get to work with other writers which can be painful or amazing. The course has helped me develop my voice as a writer but also taught me a lot about structure and the industry. So yes I would say you learn the craft and you end-up having a very diversified portfolio.

 What type writing style do you think you have ?

Is writing about women a style? More seriously, I don’t know what style to call it. I try to show different lifestyles to a broad audience and I have mostly women characters. My first feature film is about a sexual fetishism called “pet-play”. This screenplay is a good sum-up of my writing: flawed female characters interrogating a different way to act as a sexual being. I like dark humour, the irony of life coming to bite my characters in the ass. As I am still quite young I expect my writing style to change, but at the moment it is perfectly coherent with who I am and what I want the audience to see.

What are you working on right now?

I am still working on The Puppy (the movie about pet-play), the screenplay will be ready around June. Also I started writing a Tv series about Sugar Daddy websites. We are lucky to have John Yorke teaching us this semester and he is helping me with that project. In addition, I wrote a novel in French and I am currently gathering feedback to take it to its…1000th draft? Until I find it good enough to try to get it published. You have to be really passionate about writing if you want to make a living out of it, because at some point it is getting a LOT of writing, and rewriting.

What advise do you give to new writers

I am a new writer! But I would say one thing: always finish what you start writing. Even if it was to be a feature film and you make it a short film or a tv pilot. You can’t go anywhere without a finished project in your pocket. Y need to have something to give them. Also, if you can film what you write, absolutely do it. It is easier to show to producers, but also to friends and family. No one likes reading scripts apparently. And last – that was a lot of advice from a new writer aha – life is hard enough, so write about what you love.

You just had your writing read out out a rehearsed read, how do you find this process useful?

This was infinitely helpful from the beginning. Without realizing it you have to pitch the story to your actors, and explain them who they are in the script. You can learn a lot about your character just by selling them to someone else. When I go (really excited) “Hey yours is a complete bitch but she’s gorgeous and badass” I know the character belongs to the story, you have to feel that it fits. During the rehearsing process you are constantly getting various reactions on your text. When at a rehearsal an actress says a line and everyone including you can hear that it does not work, it is amazing. The little uneasy feeling that you had reading the scene on your own finally makes sense. Also, listening to the director when he explains to the actors what is happening makes you immediately know if your writing gives off the right idea. If the director doesn’t get it by reading your script, no one will. Then comes the day of the actual show and this is the last and the most important test: the audience. If they don’t laugh or react to your dialogues, it is bad. Might not even be your writing’s fault, but it might be time to ask around what went wrong. So in a nutshell the process is incredibly helpful because you get to see and hear your work and take it to another level.

What is your fav screenplay of all time?

There are so many amazing movies and tv shows that it’s horrible to pick just one. I would probably go for American Beauty. It has everything. Fantasy, intolerance, masturbation, sexual disorientation; multiple stories with a fantastic end.


New Year New Me

‘New Year New You’ That’s what everyone says right. Well as an actor we’re always trying to keep abreast, make our agents happy, get our foot in the door and at such a cost it feels like an endless expensive task to keep your Spotlight profile or CCP page fresh!

Check out MAP Platform, they are based in Manchester but they provide a guaranteed professional service at some of the cheapest rates around!


They have showreel services from £85 and also Headshots for £75


Please also check out London based photographers

Jennifer Evans (jennifer-evans-photographer.com/@PhotosJevans) & Greg Veit (gregveit.com/@Veit_Photo ) who both provide professional and reasonable headshot services.

Kevin Russell- Director


Kevin you have been a director for many years. How did you come into the craft?
I had been working as an actor for some time and  was in the National Tour of The Mister Men Show (which was  a show based on the Mr. Men and Little Misses Books by Roger Hargreaves, which were turned into a very popular television series in the 1970s/1980s. It was a number 1  national theatre  tour)  I grabbed a book ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ off a bookshelf to read while on tour. I had always been fascinated by Anne Frank I had played the part of Peter Van Dan in the stage  play at The Croydon Youth Theatre. Having read  her Diary again I went back to  the stage script and found myself re-reading it, again and again and again and found  loads of things  I wanted to do with it!!  The  Anne Frank monologues taken directly from her diaries in the original stage  productions were recorded and used as fillers during scene changes.  I became very excited at the thought  of all the recorded sections were performed live to the audience by the actress playing Anne Frank. I kept coming back to the  line: ‘I want to go on living even after my death’ and I  found a piece of music composed by a young child in a concentration camp during World War two called ‘In The Sky’. Brilliantly performed by Maria Friedman on her album – ‘Maria Friedman’  which was all about looking down from heaven: I was very lucky to get the rights to use it to introduce and end the show.   It was a completely mad moment. I was socializing with the cast of The Mister Men show one evening and turned to my friend  Paul and said: “During our summer break from the show, I am going to produce and direct The Diary of Anne Frank stage  play” Paul said “Sounds great. Let me know if I can give you a hand.” (Paul has been helping me ever since) Which sparked the formation of  Company New Dreams Theatre (NDT) I had never directed in my life at that point let alone produce!!!  It was the  maddest  summer of mayhem and chaos   I have ever, had.   Funding a theatre,  designers stage manager, auditions rehearsal space  rehearsing directing etc. The show was performed at The Pavilion Theatre Brighton and was a great success. I was  blessed with the most talented  group of actors. Some  have gone on to really establish themselves in the profession. Joanna Neary; who played Anne Frank,  is now a very established comedian/actress and Catherine Huntley is a regular television presenter on QVC. I was offered after Anne Frank other directing  projects as a freelance director.  Not producing. Which has enabled me to juggle working for other companies work as a director and producing  and directing for my own company New Dreams Theatre  (NDT)
What attracts you to a particular project?
I find the projects attracts themselves to me. I have  been reading plays/scripts since I was 11 years old and have around 4000 plays approximately in my .. . . . what I jokingly call – my library. My school friends were off watching Crystal Palace play football, l  was at home reading plays. Me?  Eccentric child? Never! My parents foolishly took me to see Peter Pan with Lulu and Ron Moody at The London Palladium when I was 6 years old. I knew after that performance I would work in theatre. When considering something to direct  I will read a scrip once/twice. I then re-read it  making notes.  What I like about it.  What I do not
Then leave it for several days. If I find  I start thinking about the play wondering? Questioning aspects of the play. After another read through – and notes –    I normally want to direct it.
However, generally I  like plays  about real people.  Real life. Believable  characters that take you on a journey. However strange or naturalistic.  I do not think life or theatre is black and white. In the theatre world. No such thing as ‘comedy’ or ‘drama’ I  like plays – sounds a cliche – but genuinely make you laugh and cry.
What excites you about theatre ?
Everything!!! Good theatre takes you on a journey. You gradually begin to  feel you know the characters , their problems,  there issues and there not your problems which is even better!! I love being taken on a journey taken  out of my life and transported somewhere else. Sometimes on a very painful journey  sometimes on a painfully  funny journey.
Which is what I try to do for audiences as a director.
When getting a project off the ground, what are your biggest challenges?
I think the number one challenge is making sure you have the right people/team  around you and time. Theatre is only theatre when everyone’s expertise comes together.  The right designer, lighting designer, sound designer, stage manager,  lighting and sound operator  actors writers etc  When you get all these elements right – that is theatre!!
As a producer/director I like to use a combination of professionals I have worked with before and new colleagues that I have actively found. I find this creates a very creative team. If I am producing as well as directing, time is so important. I learned very early on,  the hard way, if producing and directing,   you need to give yourself time. When I produced and directed ‘A Doll’s House’  last year it took 8 months before the actors walked into the rehearsal room..
It took a while to get the rights to direct  the play which was translated by a very prolific playwright. Briony Lavery  finding  the right theatre also took  time. It is  different  if  taken on as a  freelance directing job (not producing) time  is taken out of your hands your given a schedule  which is great but my main  priority  is the same,  I will give my vision of the production as a director but it is very important to get to know your colleagues and there  creative visions too. My number one priority as a director in the rehearsal room from day one is to try and create an atmosphere of relaxed  fun. So the actors can mess about take risks there is no right or wrong. I like to meet the actors before day one of rehearsals socially. Get to know them. Talk about the play.  Get the designer to show the cast the  set design/ costume design. So when  we all walk into the rehearsal room on day one. A lot of the barriers  are broken down. Actors can have fun.
As a director what do you look for in actors when working?
I like actors that are spontaneous that think on their feet. They do not always do the same thing all the time the same way e.g. when I directed Ibsen ‘A Doll’s House’ last year. I gave the note to Paul, the actor who played Helmer, to in act one scene one,  to give Nora her money in a  slightly different way every single  performance. And he did! I remember one night he put a money note on the table opposite side of the stage to Nora. So she had to cross the stage to get the money and as she did Paul continued sprinkling money around the  room in various  locations making Nora run around like  his a  sky lark  collecting the money.  Little thing like that keep the performances fresh and spontaneous. At auditions I will often ask an actor to read a section of the script again but in a completely different way. It is a good way of seeing if they can think on there feet.I also like to get to know the actor a little at the audition,  have a chat with them about there work etc. Is there a bit of a connection between you?  Is he/she the sort of  person I  feel I can work with. Sometimes however, you just almost as they walk through the door you have found the right actor. When I directed The Doll’s House  last year we auditioned nearly 30 actresses just for the part of Nora over two days We saw some amazing talent. And then Alexa Mathews   walked in. There was just something about   her natural energy and presence that said- Nora to me. And as soon as she opened her mouth and read from the script. . . . .  well the words flew off the page Nora was standing right in front us. An extraordinary actress – Alexa Mathews.
What has been your best play/project to date?
That is actually a very difficult question to answer as I am very proud of everything  I have worked on  for very different reasons.I  am however particularly proud of  Henrik Ibsen A Doll’s House I directed  about this time last year. It took a while but I managed to get the rights to a version of the Ibsen Script which had been adapted by Bryony Lavery and until my production it had never been performed in London before. From negotiating and getting  rights to staging the play,  to the time we walked into the rehearsal room  took 8 months as previously mentioned. And it  was worth taking the time on this project. I had always wanted to direct it,  I think it is one of the greatest plays ever written. I spent a long time studying the script and working on a design with the brilliant stage  designer:  Katie Unsworth Murrey.
Also finding the right image for the publicity posters flyers. I wanted an image that would hopefully grab potential audiences  attention and then maybe  be quite surprised when they read the image was for  Ibsen play ‘A Dolls House’.  This was the  image we chose in the end
The eyes reminded me maybe of Nora looking out of her house through her post box  to the outside world, at  terrible possible  consequences to her life, that she had triggered.
I wanted to keep it set when it was written in the 1800s but for it to have a modern feel. I think its fair to say Ibsen and Checkov have a bit of a dreary dry reputation. Audiences almost expect to sit through a slow paced  evening of  not many laughs.  But Bryony Lavery script had such a modern feel to it. I avoided the slow pace a lot of Ibsen productions have and the dialogue was delivered at a cracking pace.  I wanted the audience in act 1 scene 1 to totally fall in love with Helmer and Nora. To see a  couple in love having fun,  Helmer teasing Nora about spending  to much money etc. We found some great  the fun  in  the script.
Then gradually from scene 2 we  saw the smallest of cracks in the marriage which got bigger and bigger  leading to its inevitable  powerful ending.
The first week we had small audiences. However, word of mouth got out very quickly and we had some great reviews and the  rest of the run completely  sold out. Alexa Mathews: as Nora and Paul Vates as Helmer gave performances of a life time.
What do you plan to do in the future, any upcoming projects?
I am  currently directing a short play for the: ‘In The Pound,’ event. An award-winning regular event that showcases new writing, actors, directors  at the Cockpit Theatre on the 12th Dec. which I am really enjoying working on. Other than that nothing confirmed. I am waiting to hear about possibly directing something in January  for a very exciting theatre in London that produce only new writing,  but cannot say much more than that as unconfirmed.
I am talking to a couple of brilliant up and coming writers –  Matthew Wilkie and Dick Curran –  about maybe collaborating on a project  with them. I would like to direct a new piece of writing on the look out for great new work  Also looking at directing a new musical. I directed a new musical few years ago for Goldsmith University musical theatre course.
Looking it maybe reviving this musical maybe. And I am also reading endless versions of Uncle Vanya by Anton Checkov. This is a long term project like –  A Doll’s House was I would love to produce and stage  Uncle Vanya.
You came back from doing Hang at Edinburgh with 4 and 5 star reviews, what was special about this play for you?
Hang by Debbie Tucker Green was the most amazing experience. Yellow Jacket Productions asked me to direct it, they had seen my work before  and sent me the script to look at. To be honest it did not take a lot of thinking about. Debbie Tucker Green is,  in my opinion, one of the best contemporary  writers working in the theatre industry today. ‘Hang’ was originally staged at The Royal Court Theatre and within minutes of reading some of the script  of’ Hang’, I was fascinated and desperate to know  – what on earth is going on?  The writing totally  holds your attention!!   All you know is you’re in a government room in the United Kingdom –  sometimes in the future – with two incompetent  government  officials and a lady, who, we eventually find out,  has been a victim of a violent crime. In the second section of the play you eventually learn they are there for the victims decision. She has to decide what form of death penalty  her attacker should receive  I.E  hanging, gas chamber lethal injection etc these methods are gone into in some detail, it is a very  haunting thought-provoking play.  It was one of hardest scripts I have ever worked on. Her writing reminds me of one of the greatest  20th century writers: Harold Pinter. I found myself looking at every comma,  full stop,  dash, semi colon, pause,. the script has a very unique style and rhythm and one character had some huge speeches.  It was a battle field breaking through the script,  an extraordinary piece of writing. The more you dig into it  the more you find. Before taking it to Edinburgh we performed it in London at The Lost Theatre. The theatre company, Yellow Jacket Productions, were brilliant at publicity it was a very big audience at quite a big theatre. I was blown away by the audience reaction. We had a few rehearsals before going to Edinburgh after the London performance  where we  tightened  a few things up and I made few changes to bits that I  thought needed more impact. The London show was very helpful for me to see what was working and what was not working in front of an audience. The show played for three weeks at Edinburgh festival this year got some great reviews.  And I am  very proud it won two awards: best individual performance for Tiannah Viechweg. And Best Drama. Once again I was blessed by three brilliant actresses. Tiannah Viechweg,  Jess Flood  and Kim Christie
You collaborate on new writing nights most recently Spiral, what do you find exciting about new writing?
If there was no new writing there would be no theatre, television drama,  films radio plays etc –  at all. New writing is vital for the industry to continue. Every single play from. . .  Shakespeare  to  Checkov to  Arthur Millet to Alan Aykbourn to Lucy Kirkwood  to the next great hit by a new writer all plays begin as new writing l. I loved working for  Free Rayne Artists and there  Spiral evening of new 15 minute pieces of new plays.   I directed a play called: 6am Hospital Chapel by Dick Curran who is  currently developing this into a full length play. I am very excited about the future of this play.
What advise do you give to aspiring theatre directors? 
Make things happen for yourself!!! I am a great believer in making things happen. Create your own luck. If I had not taken the mad decision and staged Anne Frank  I would not be being interviewed  by you now. You can go to University/drama school maybe even get a top agent. But if you sit and wait for the phone to ring. That phone will probably never ring. In todays industry you have to make things happen. Exactly the same for actors and any one in the creative industry. And do not be snotty about it. We would all love the great rehearsal space and theatre but if you want to make things happen  you might have to put up with a garage, park, pavement as rehearsal space  – just get out there and direct. Also see as much theatre as you possibly.. Read as many plays as you can – something I consider part of your job as a director. And try/apply work as an assistant director. Or write to directors asking if you can observe a rehearsal. You can learn so much from just watching. In today’s climate what would you say to anyone looking to do something in the arts? Do it!!
Because if it is in your blood you will always want to do it. And the great thing about the industry is you can go into it at any age if you really want to. But you will another job to bring the money in, because if you do not have a bit of money coming in, however small, you cannot work creatively because you have nothing to invest to make things happen. Not talking about a lot of money. Just to make things happen and be aware of what skills the creative industry can lead to. I have friends who trained in the creative  arts that are now: counsellors, psychologists, teachers, car sales men/women bar managers, and the greatest comic actor I have ever worked with;  now directs politicians helping them with their political speeches.

Actor Awareness ‘Best of Scratch’

micheele payne
THE STAFF ROOM written and directed by Michelle Payne
CAST: Craig Webb, Faye Derham, Hilary Murnane

They’re teaching our children, but are they teaching the right things? Three young teachers navigate their way through adulthood and educating. A peak inside a state school staff room. With fad diets, Instagram abs and the government imposing a sugar tax, do the educators even know what is good for us? A Geography, History and PE teacher form an unlikely friendship within the dynamics and the solace of the staff room, bonding over all that matters; biscuits and banter. The Staff Room, following it’s 5 star review from London Theatre 1 at Theatre N16 in the Summer, has been offered it’s first professional outing at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch in July 2017.


The Monologues of a Tired Nurse written by Stephanie Silver         Directed by Simon Nader

Cast: Sally played by Stephanie Silver/Emily by Emelia Marshall Lovsey

A look at 2 NHS nurses struggle to maintain their head above water. Performed at sell out nights at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2016. Due for a run 20-26th Feb at Barons Court Theatre 2017 and Wandsworth Fringe at Fragility Takeover at The Cats Back 2017. Supported by RCN Rep and #ScrapTheCap Campaign for nursing pay.



Love and all That Crap by Oliver Retter

“And they all lived Happily Ever After”… Bullsh*t!

Love And All That Cr@p is a light-hearted ‘coming of age’ story about finding love in our modern day society. Follow a young man as he makes his discovery in awkward, amusing and arousing ways such as discovering your sexuality through porn; the naivety of your ‘first time’, a blind date gone terribly wrong and the all too true horrors of a one night stand as well as other stories and experience a cabaret of song, poetry and hilarity in this embarrassingly true story about love and all its unsaid difficulties.

OCD Theatre (Original, Contemporary, Dynamic) emerged from East 15 Acting School’s Contemporary Theatre course and has continued to produce intriguing new work which were praised for their daring and eye-opening subjects

Written & performed by Oliver Retter. With special thanks to Adam Weeks and Lottie Finklaire for their dramaturgical support.

Love And All That Cr@p contains strong language and a ridiculous amount of glitter.



Birth of a Nation written by Dave House & produced by IndigoChildArts

Satirical look at the failings of a Tory government riddled with NHS pains, Boris Johnson and Brexit.




We are very proud of all our plays that have gone on to be developed and hope to hear more about their progress in the future.

Now we look forward to 2017- Deadline for the first scratch with the theme ‘Working Class’ is Jan 7th. Send submissions to tanheartssteph@gmail.com or tomstocks0805@gmail.com. We are looking for 4 shows, 15 minutes long with 3 actors max and 1 director.