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Q & A with ‘I and The Village’ Director Robert Shaw Cameron

June 5th, 2015

On Thursday we took to Twitter to ask Robert Shaw Cameron some burning questions about our next show, ‘I and the Village’ by Silva Semerciyan. Read the results below!

@theatre503: What was your first experience of theatre?

@rshawcameron: My early memories are the Edinburgh Fringe and @HullTruck productions of Bouncers and other Godber plays

@theatre503: Describe your style of directing in three words…

@rshawcameron: Invention, truth, visceral

@theatre503: What was the first piece of theatre that you directed and how did it go?

@rshawcameron: The Second Shepherds Play from the York Medieval Mystery Cycle!!! Ambitious start! It was pretty….medieval

@theatre503: What do you look for in a piece of new writing?


@rshawcameron: I’m interested in plays that challenge dramatic form much like @IATVat503 & provoke audiences to rethink their view

@theatre503: What can audiences expect from I and the Village?

@rshawcameron: Firstly fantastic writing by @SilvaSemerciyan and I hope theatrical invention with a twist to the plot which shocks

@theatre503: What has been unique about this creative process?

@rshawcameron: I’ve felt so connected to this piece for so long having met @SilvaSemerciyan 5 years ago and so feel a great deal of responsibility to her and the play. I’m proud of what we are trying to achieve in @nkcomposition sound design too

@theatre503: What makes @IATVat503 unique in it’s exploration of gun crime in America?

@rshawcameron: Like all good plays @SilvaSemerciyan gives space for audiences to make their own judgement and presents all sides

@theatre503: Why do you feel that the issue of young people and violence is pertinent in today’s theatrical climate?

@rshawcameron: We are proud to be giving a performance to Young People in care of @KidsCompanyUK & their issues are reflected in the play. Having a strong young female protagonist at the centre I think is rare and important too

@theatre503: How would you describe the term ‘outsider’?

@rshawcameron: Well, we all are at sometime or another! So in that sense ‘normal’

@theatre503: Finally… #WhoIsAimee?

@rshawcameron: Well she’s…. come along and find out!!

A huge thanks to Robert Shaw Cameron for a great Q&A and insight into @IATVat503 Use code FIRST10 for £10 preview tickets: 

Animals Reviews

April 15th, 2015

This past week has been full of excitement and energy as our in-house production Animals has moved to its home here at Theatre503.

Opening night was a blast. We had a sold out crowd of writers ready to be inspired. We have had over 40 Rapid Write Response submissions for the show! Audiences in general have left feeling shocked, scared, thoughtful and overall glad that they saw such an interesting piece of theatre.

Not only did the writers respond well but Animals has also had some great reviews from the press. We have received four stars from a few reviews so far along with many great quotes, a few of them being:

★★★★ – LondonTheatre1

★★★★ – London City Night

★★★★ – Plays to See

“A very topical dystopia” – Time Out

“Full of black humour and successfully racks up the tension” – The Stage

“As dark and sweet as Philip Ridley or Martin McDonagh” – WhatsOnStage

Animals is as funny as it is relevant…a winner” – London City Nights

“Emma Adams’ script is witty and multi-layered” – LondonTheatre1

Press night was, as always, an enjoyable time. The cast enjoyed their time in the limelight but quickly got back to work to continue to create such a great show.

It has been a fantastic first week and we are very excited about what is to come in the weeks ahead.


Jacob Anderson

American Intern at Theatre503

Claire Mullane (Animals Assistant Director) gives us a little insight into the crazy world of their rehearsals

April 1st, 2015

Animals in RehearsalWe’re preparing to begin our final week of rehearsals and it’s been one great adventure so far. The first day of rehearsals was like was the first day of school – all these eager, expectant faces in the room. It’s all a bit different now – what started out as a lovely, sweet, innocent cast has turned vicious! They now delight in discussing the details of murder and are no strangers when it comes to handling knives. I’ll have to be on my best behaviour around this cast if I want to make it out unscathed.

Research for this project has been very interesting, if a little disturbing at times. If anyone is checking my Google searches I think my name just might be pinging on some watch-list! Our research certainly hasn’t been all doom and gloom – we’ve had fun times drawing up the floor plan of Norma’s house (she certainly knows how to manage a household), drafting a map of our town (I don’t think we’ll be invited to become town-planners any time soon) and improvising moments in the characters’ lives, which provided much hilarity. Research for this project even included watching part of Shrek, so we have certainly covered a lot of ground!

We had our first stagger through the play yesterday. That was fun! It was the first time seeing all of the scenes in order. I must admit I was prepared for major confusion, but it went swimmingly (our director, Lisa Cagnacci, is certainly on it!). It was nice to have members of the creative team, Theatre 503 and our lovely writer, Emma Adams, in the room – it made the stagger through a little nerve-wracking, but it also injected lots of excitement and laughter into the affair.

So far we have consumed copious cups of tea, biscuits, and even a delicious lemon drizzle cake homemade by one of our cast members. We have contemplated our fate as the threat of climate change looms, and we have discovered just how far we might be prepared to go in order to survive.

©RWD15_Animals Rehearsals_093

It has been a great ride so far. I look forward to seeing what treats lie ahead – although, if anyone brings in ham sandwiches I might just have to pass (come see the play to find out why!).

Click here to book tickets for Animals

Q&A with WINK Movement Director Isla Jackson-Ritchie

March 25th, 2015

We did a little Twitter Q&A with Isla. Check out her interesting & insightful answers:


Is there a specific method that you prefer to use (i.e. Laban, Alexander) or does it vary depending on the actor?

It really depends on the actor and their previous training/physical backgrounds. I like to work in a collaborative way. It’s about allowing the actors to explore things freely. Then I plan rehearsals according to their responses to exercises.


What has been your main focus for WINK?

Making sure the movement portrayed the internal feelings of the characters. Also making sure the actors had a connection with the movement.

What is your favourite part of being a movement director?

The challenge of helping an actor develop a physical approach to a piece is always something I really enjoy. To help maintain technique throughout the show is hard but I give the actors a set warm up and also make sure half way through a run I go over the meaning and qualities of all the parts of movement to refresh. 


What challenges have you come across while working on WINK, if any?

Plenty of challenges! Rehearsing for just three weeks was difficult as it was such a short process. It’s vital that the movement has meaning and connection otherwise it’s just there to look nice, and usually this takes months. I have to give credit to our two actors as they worked extremely hard.

 How much research goes behind what you do?

It varies on the production. WINK we all did a lot of research into the main bodies of the play, ie the Internet. Going into a job I always have to have a good understanding of the director’s vision and contexts always helps with style. Once in the rehearsal room, I would always try and use outside research to influence exercises.

As a movement director what would you suggest actors should do to maintain good technique when they are not in a show?

I think it’s important to see as much theatre as possible – physical or not. There’s also loads of drop in classes at Laban, Pineapple Studios etc that are great. In a rehearsal room you can always draw out people’s techniques or physical ability. That’s part of being a movement director.


When working with an actor or a cast for the first time what do you normally start with?

Once the warm up is done, I always start with a day of exercises that involve physically getting to know other cast members and also ways of responding to a text physically. As soon as you can start helping an actor begin to think physically you’re half way there! I would always start with helping an actor explore the body as well.

And finally… If you could be the movement director for any show which would it be?

Gecko theatre company do great work. I would love to work with Lloyd Newson from DV8. Peter Darling who choreographed Billy Elliott is also brilliant! In terms of a specific show- it’s varies. Pornography by Simon Stephens or the other end of the spectrum and Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge.


Book tickets for WINK here to catch Isla’s work in action

WINK receives rave reviews

March 13th, 2015

It’s only had 3 performances so far, but debut play by Phoebe Eclair-Powell, WINK, has already received a very large handful of stonking reviews. Here are the highlights so far:

Wink - high quality

LondonTheatre1 – ★★★★★

“Wink is so, so much more than just another internet play. It is a play about human beings, genuine situations and very raw, real emotions.”

“Phoebe Eclair-Powell’s script is a delight; warm, honest, funny and moving.”

“Wink is a modern play for a modern world, but its themes, and the feelings it elicits, are timeless. A triumph.”


Entertainment Focus – ★★★★★

“Sam Clemmett and Leon Williams bring this show to life and the play is really enhanced by the power and quality of their acting.”

“The set was so simple, yet so perfect.”

“Phoebe Eclair-Powell has proven what a talented young writer she is.”

“Wink is currently being shown in the tiny and intimate Theatre 503, in Battersea, which is gaining a most excellent reputation for staging some very strong work.”


Londonist - ★★★★★

“The twin streams of consciousness are note-perfect, Eclair-Powell weighting each word precisely, her phrasing both real and rich (and often very funny).”

“The stylised direction by Jamie Jackson has shades of Danny Boyle about it”


The Stage – ★★★★

“The result is both humorous and disturbing, with the playwriting being remarkably assured, well observed and emotionally convincing.”

“Movement work by Isla Jackson-Ritchie ensures that the staging is never static and creates a physical impression of the online world in what is a really exciting debut play.”


The Public Reviews – ★★★★

“it is the insight in [Eclair-Powell’s] writing and the tenderness shown towards her characters which are the most memorable features of her play.”

“this little gem reveals a new writer full of promise”



“Phoebe Eclair-Powell has created a harshly funny story of modern-day loneliness and male alienation.”

“Jamie Jackson’s boldly directed production is infused with evocative, jerky choreography “

“There’s very strong performances too from Leon Williams and Sam Clemmett.”


Bargain Theatre

“a great script, interesting and engaging characters who are brought to life through wit, pathos and astute performers, a great set and lighting all wrapped up with a brilliant soundtrack.”

“the whole stage is a delicious visual feast.”

“Thoroughly deserving of an audience, Theatre503 has programmed here another piece of exciting new writing.