Coming up in 2016

So, ‘What’s next for Blackshaw?’ I hear you cry!

It’s a box-fresh new year, and we’ve got lots to look forward to in 2016…


Great Expectations: a radio drama adaptation of Dickens’ classic

A fantastic collaboration with Cyphers theatre, the first episode of this epic adaptation will be aired tomorrow evening (Sunday 3rd Jan), 6-7pm on Wandsworth Radio for The Blackshaw Arts Hour.  Tune in live or listen again by subscribing to our podcast on iTunes (or stream online via podbean).

Read more about the project, its cast and creatives, here.



Industry performance of Blackshaw’s Showcase Award Winner 2014: Call it Even by Naila Vázquez Tantinyà

11th January 2016 – StageSpace, Pleasance, London, 7.30pm

“Dad, you couldn’t even get dying right…”

Jamie’s father has died. In Gran Canaria. And now he’s got to deal with it – all of it.

Call it Even follows the struggle of a young transgender man to reconcile with his Dad, after he’s gone. Feeling like a stranger in a land where he doesn’t even speak the language, Jamie has a lot of tidying up to do. Uncle Dave isn’t much help, but will he find an unexpected ally in Macarena, the new woman in his Dad’s life (death)?

Booking open for industry only.


New Writing Nights at The Horse & Stables, Lambeth

Weds 30th March – Shortlist for the Showcase Award 2016 (submission deadline: Fri 11th March)

May TBC (submission deadline: Fri 29th April)

Weds 27th July (submission deadline: Fri 8th July)

Weds 28th September (submission deadline: Fri 9th September)

Weds 30th November (submission deadline: Fri 11th November)

You can submit your writing, or get involved as an actor or director – see our website for details.

Hell and Heaven

(Seeing) Black Shuck by D. J. Hands at WAFF 2016: Wandsworth Arts Festival & Fringe

A fantastic piece of new writing from emerging playwright, D. J. Hands, who is working with us to develop the piece. A tragi-comedy about two would-be smugglers, this play explores the treacherous relationship between Martha and Andy as they await a shipment from Holland on a beach in Norfolk. The possibility of a ghostly visit from ‘Black Shuck’ and the tense situation put additional stress on their already strained relationship.

6-22nd May 2015 (exact dates TBC), The Bedford, Balham

Gormenghast: Titus Groan at Battersea Library

3rd November – 4th December, Battersea Library, Clapham Junction

We’re thrilled to be staging a full run of our adaptation of Mervyn Peake’s cult classic.

With some cast from our original (2012) production, we will be opening auditions for some new faces (around June/July) and recruiting a top creative team so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming opportunities.

This production is contingent on funding – we’re beavering away already and will keep you updated on our progress.



Looking back at 2015

We’ve had a corker of a year, and as we settle down in front of the fire with a mulled wine in hand and snazzy christmas jumper firmly on, we thought we’d take you through the highlights…


The Blackshaw Arts Hour on Wandsworth Radio (fortnightly from Jan 2015)

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Subscribe on iTunes.

Available to download or stream here.

Read more about it and listen to past episodes.


10-29th November 2015 – Staying Alive by Kat Roberts, at the Pleasance Islington

Published by Nick Hern Books.  Buy your copy here.
“explosive emotion…a strong cast…lively and full of wit…” West End Wilma


“Proof that given enough time, talent and perseverance, theatre that really says something about the human condition can be made.”
5-starsFemale Arts


“highly original, nuanced and enlightening…deeply observed social comedy…compelling from start to finish”
5-starsRemote Goat


“wonderfully human…a really powerful exploration of grief – honest and tender…”
four-star-rating-black-hiLondon Theatre 1

Read more here.


25th November 2015 – Blackshaw’s Scare Slam, at the Horse & Stables, Lambeth


Read more here.


4-5th July 2015 – Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton, at the British Home as part of the Streatham Festival


Read more here.


Sunday 7th June 2015 – Blackshaw’s 5th Birthday Party!


Read more here.


2-16th May 2015 – Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton, at the Battersea Library
A sell-out run, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Fringe.
“…creative, imaginative and seemingly effortless style…The whole performance buzzed with energy, fun and joy.”
5-starsLondon Theatre 1


“The fun-filled show brims with chaos, madness and high jinks…the wild but classic tale of Alice in her fantastically retold Wonderland.” – A Younger Theatre


Read more here.

25th March, 17th May, 29th July, 30th September 2015 – New Writing Nights at the Horse & Stables, Lambeth




nwn_250415 2015-03-25 (14)

Read more here.


9-14th March 2015 – Character by Florence Vincent, at the Tristan Bates Theatre
“a delightful theatre production on in Covent Garden. Funny, nostalgic, well acted 2 hander” – London Culture Blog


“a witty play…reminiscent of Ab Fab’s Edina and Saffy” – In & Around Covent Garden magazineSONY DSC

Read more here.


15th Jan 2015 – Staying Alive by Kat Roberts, at the Pleasance Islington 
One night only industry showcase – Winner of Blackshaw’s Showcase Award 2014.


Read more here.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!


See you in 2016.


Ellie & the Team at Blackshaw


Xmas Blackshaw Logo


Quick Questions in Wonderland: Rosie Marsh

We grabbed Rosie Marsh, who’s playing The March Hare/Dormouse in our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library, and fired some quick questions at her…


Rosie HeadshotWhat do you like best about playing your character in Alice in Wonderland?

I like the fact that my main characters are physically connected, which makes the challenge of creating two completely individual personalities that bit more stretching and exciting! Plus they’re both completely bonkers which is always great fun to play.


What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?
I always loved the mad hatters tea party and feel that this is how all tea parties should be conducted. Apparently I was never a fan of ‘the walrus and the carpenter’ poem; my dad told me that when he read it to me as a child I used to cry when the oysters got eaten!


What was the last project you worked on?
I sang in a production called ‘Bunco’, which was a piece of new writing at the proud archivist. I got to sing sixties ballads and wear a blue wig, it was brilliant.


What’s the last book you read?
I am currently reading a book called ‘the other twin’ by Dan Vyleta. It’s about a brutal murder which happens in Nazi occupied Austria and a doctor trying to figure out who’s guilty.


Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?
Ooh this is a really tough one, it was probably my first Edinburgh experience where I was in a play I’d co-written with my friends. There were 7 of us sharing a one bedroom flat for a whole month, performing every day, seeing loads of theatre and drinking far too much. It was absolutely magical.


What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?
I saw an amazing production of Romeo and Juliet at Statford Upon Avon years ago; they started the play by two of the Capulets dragging a Montague onto the stage, tying him to a wooden stake, lighting up a flame torch and almost setting fire to him, which was stopped by the entrance of the prince. It was absolutely terrifying and the only time I’ve really seen a production of the play really grasp the destruction and danger of the rivalry.


Not a lot of people know that…

I have a tattoo


What’s your guilty pleasure?
Passing judgements on people’s menu choices on ‘come dine with me’ and shouting things like ‘YOU’VE NEVER BAKED A SOUFFLE BEFORE AND YOU’RE DOING IT NOW?!?ARE YOU QUITE MAD!?!’ at the telly.


What really grinds your gears?
People who don’t practice their recipes before going on a dining competition show to win £1000.


You can see Rosie perform the role of March Hare/Dormouse (and other assorted characters) in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.


Quick Questions in Wonderland – Michelle Bristow

We grabbed Michelle Bristow,  Associate Designer on our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library, and fired some quick questions at her…


What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?

The White rabbit! And of course, the Queen of Hearts.
What was the last project you worked on?

Maze and JV2, for the Jasmin Vardimon Dance Company. And before that was Character, by Blackshaw.
What’s the last book you read?

I’m currently reading the Wolf Of Wallstreet.
Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past project and why?

So many to pick from….Alice was brilliant the first time round, but I’m enjoying it even more this time, the site specific element has added so much to the process.
What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?

I’m going to see Fleetwood Mac in June, so ask me this again then!


You can see Michelle’s work in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.

Quick Questions in Wonderland: Richard Stratton

We grabbed Richard Stratton, who is playing Tweedle Dum (& other various roles) and also done wrote the play – for our upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library, for some quick questions…


StratWhat do you like best about playing your character in Alice in Wonderland

The best thing about playing my characters in Alice is that they’re all a different kind of crazy. Each of them is mad in their own way and it’s been fun finding those different types of madness and switching between them.

They’re also very active, there’s little time for rest if you’re on stage and I think that’s the same for everyone else too!



What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?

I think it would have to be either the Mad Hatter’s tea party or the scene where Alice meets the door that she enters wonderland through. The tea party is such a classic scene from the book and it was a joy to work on. Plus, the characters in it are probably my favourites alongside the mock turtle who sadly didn’t make it in to this version.

While I tried to stay as true to how the tea party is in the original as I could, with the door scene I found I could put my own twist on it and try my hand at creating a new interpretation of the character of the door. It was really fun to create a character that fit comfortably with the other, established character of wonderland.


What’s the last book you read?

I recently finished ‘So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed’ by Jon Ronson. It’s an exploration of the rise of public shaming (primarily online), why it happens and how it affects those who find themselves targets. Really interesting, worth checking out, particularly if you spend a lot of time on Twitter!


Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?

Tricky. My favourite past role was probably Lt. Ralph in Our Country’s Good. A wonderful play and a fantastic character to have the chance to take on.


What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?

Even trickier! I certainly can’t choose one. Anything by Punch Drunk has to be up there and Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley left me in what I can only describe as a state of shock when I saw it and the Chocolate Factory (certainly not for kids though!). More recently though I’d have to say The Scottsboro Boys; I’ve never seen a musical like it!


Not a lot of people know that…

When I was little I had a teddy bear called Mr. Spiv.


What’s your guilty pleasure?

Terrible action movies on Netflix. Every time I think I’ve found the worst, they add another!


What really grinds your gears?

Dancing dog acts! Don’t really know why. I love dogs, but not when they’re dancing!


You can see Richard’s work in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.



Quick Questions in Wonderland – Marcus Bazley

What are you most looking forward about working on Alice in Wonderland?

There are a number of things I’m looking forward to about working on Alice. For a start I’ve never worked with Blackshaw on a full production and having worked on various new writing nights over the last year or so I’m really looking forward to joining the team on a full project. I also love the space we are performing in! Creating an adaptation of Alice for a library space is interesting enough but when it’s for one as characterful as Battersea Library it opens up so many creative opportunities.


What’s your favourite scene or character in Alice in Wonderland?

I think it would have to be the White Rabbit. I quite like rabbits anyway so a talking, hyper-energetic, perpetually late rabbit is quite appealing! He’s also effectively the gateway into the magic of the story so he is a pivotal character.


What was the last project you worked on?

My last project was directing a French translation of The Diary of a Madman by Gogol at the Reine Blanche theatre in Paris. It’s a truly astonishing text that presents the world through the eyes of a schizophrenic. I think everyone should read it not only as a fascinating exploration of mental illness but also because Gogol’s dark genius makes it incredibly funny throughout.


What’s the last book you read?

I recently finished Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. Another fascinating read and a novel that really gripped me. There’s a frantic, desperate energy that drives through the novel that is terrifying but also irresistible – and it really tests your moral compass.
Besides Alice, what’s your favourite past role (or favourite past project you’ve worked on) and why?

Very tough to decide between previous projects! I think if I had to choose, it would be the production of Shakespeare’s Henry V that I directed as the first production with my company, Cyphers. It was very special to bring that group of people together. Building an ensemble and developing ideas of how we work as a company was a fantastic challenge and one that was immensely rewarding. It’s probably my most important project to date, in that it marked a clear shift in the way I wanted to work as a director.


What’s the best play/show/concert you’ve ever been to?

Continuing the Russian theme… I recently saw an adaptation of Eugene Onegin by the Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre at the Barbican. Wow. This production completely blew me away. I had never seen anything like it on stage before and it made me reassess my views on theatre as a whole. It was a beautifully choreographed piece of storytelling – truly inspiring.


Not a lot of people know that…

In France, stage-left is known as cour and stage-right as jardin. This derives from the one of the first theatres in Paris being situated between the jardin des Tuileries to the right and the cour du Carrousel to the left.


What’s your guilty pleasure?

The Musketeers on BBC. I watch very little TV but this always brings a smile to my face. It’s hardly high art but it’s just pure romanticised, swash-buckling fun. I’m immensely jealous of all the actors who get to dress up in fantastic seventeenth century costumes and play with swords for at least 15 minutes an episode, all in the most beautiful settings too!


What really grinds your gears?

Politics. I just try and avoid the subject now.


You can see the product of Marcus’ work as Assistant Director, in Alice in Wonderland at the Battersea Library 2-16th May 2015 – more details and buy tickets here.


The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 15

This week on the show, Ellie and Matt join Iasha in the studio to chat theatre and arts and bring you more information on what is happening at the Wandsworth Arts Festival 

Matt reviews The Falling starring Maisie Williams and we chat a little bit about what our deal breakers are in films.

Vikki gave us her Arts Thing of the Week which is the Hay Festival taking place this year from the 21st to the 31st of May and we chatted about the writers we have seen give readings.

We played an interview with Richard Stratton who has adapted Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland. Richard spoke to Helen Johnson about how and why he choose to adapt this particular story and the process he goes through as a writer.

Ellie and Iasha spoke about the WAF launch that took place last Friday night and some of the other pieces of theatre happening as a part of WAF 2015.

This week we spoke a lot about our production of Alice in Wonderland which is running until the 16th of May as a part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival. For more information on Alice visit us here and don’t forget to book tickets! Shows are selling out fast. Also coming up at the end of WAF is Blackshaw’s Big New Writing Night, this month at the Selkirk on the 17th of May. Come and join us for an evening of new writing, tickets here!

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 14

On this week’s Blackshaw Arts Hour, Iasha is joined in the studio by Matt Boothman and new radio voice, Helen Johnson.

Matt kicks off the show with his review of Avengers – Age of Ultron and Vikki helps us discuss the BBC Proms series in this week’s edition of Arts Thing of the Week.

With the opening of Richard Stratton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland this coming Saturday (May the 2nd) we played The Walrus and The Carpenter read by Alexander Pankhurst, and then heard an interview with the show’s Costume and Set Designer, Zahra Mansouri.

We heard an untitled poem by resident poet Daisy Thurston-Gent and finished the show off with our Alice in Wonderland audio trailer.

Happy listening!