Alex Hayward is a playwright, blogger, and public relations professional. Following an unsuccessful decade of novel-writing, he turned his attentions to drama and has never looked back. Outside of theatre, his interests largely revolve around music, records, and the French language - or trying to find the time to learn it.
A journalist by day, en route to study Creative Writing at Open University. An aspiring novelist, screenwriter and playwright, B.L. Sherrington is penning a fantasy novel and co-writing a play, in between writing screenplays and short stories. B.L. first became a theatre fanatic when Mother Sherrington led the way to the Globe Theatre and it's been love ever since. Since then, Sherrington has developed an addiction to live theatre, be it plays or musicals. Whether experiencing new shows, re-watching the classic Phantom of the Opera or writing a stage production, B.L's future lives on stage.
Civil Servant. Brian flirted with drama at school but artistic differences forced a painful separation. At least he knows what his motivation is. Now occupying a safe position in the audience he enjoys all kinds of theatre. He was bitten by the theatrical bug after watching a production of Tommy in his teens. Other passions include films, TV and classic rhythm and blues. He also finds time for quizzes, football and squash. A keen sports fan, his enthusiasm crashes to a halt whenever anyone mentions golf. A musical based on the life of Tiger Woods could be his greatest challenge.
Bryony is an English Literature MA student at Birkbeck and long term theatre addict. Playing angel #14 in her primary school production of 'What a Very Grumpy Sheep' paved the way for a happy long term relationship with the theatre. When not watching plays or manically writing essays way before the deadline (a day is long enough, yes?), she can be found reading, foraging for her next meal, or in the pub. She's waiting for someone to write a play that encompasses all of these hobbies. Bryony would be willing to reprise her role as Angel #14, as it was a groundbreaking performance.
Darren studied theatre at university and - following a decade of feeding thousands of people their dinner - today he directs and is also a lecturer in Drama and Theatre Arts. He is an experienced facilitator, actor, director and artistic director. He regularly writes for industry publications, alongside working freelance as an examiner in performing arts and as a coach to actors of all ages. He started performing at a young age, but these days can’t imagine anything worse than being an actor: “Those poor bastards are treated like crap. What absolute admiration I have for them.” A bit of a hussy, he’ll watch anything: “Except bad improvisation… that I can’t do.”
Aspiring arts manager. Having moved to London in search of a better and more exciting life, Elke left a small Swiss village behind her and found herself in this big and ruthless city, where she decided to join the throngs of people clustering to find their dream job in the arts. She considers herself a bit of an actor, but wasn’t good enough to convince anyone else. She loves her bike, and sitting in the sun watching the world go by. Elke firmly believes that we all would be fundamentally better if more people went to the theatre, more often.
Works in soap marketing. Emily is a British American Graphic Designer, serious Tube Geek, and football fan living in South West London. The only real experience Emily has with drama is the temper tantrums she throws when the District Line isn’t running properly, but she is an enthusiastic writer and happy to be a theatrical canary in the coal mine.
Francessca is an English student at King’s College London who prefers the term ‘aspiring novelist and playwright’. But don’t get her wrong, she’s no expert, merely a lover and fanatic of all things theatrical, whether it’s but-gusting comedy or haunting drama. Having acted from an early age, the only thing Francessca potentially loves more than the stage is food. Or cats. It’s a tough one, really.
Henry is a trained actor who spends most of his working life pouring pints behind a bar. He uses all of his money and free time on going to the theatre, even when he has very little of both. His lofty goal is to visit every theatre in London (especially the weird ones), and he is particularly passionate about giving emerging theatre companies a voice in the cultural conversation. He really likes guinea pigs and also avocados, but he rarely sees the two together.
Hugo is an actor, producer and competitive stone skimmer from County Durham. A highlight of his career post-university was working as a scarer in the basement Madame Tussauds, where his ghoulishness was such that he was more than once struck hard in the face by tourists, and forced to call an emergency stop. He now spends his time above ground, watching theatre and often writing about it.
Currently a desk zombie in the public sector, Irene has had no formal training or experience in anything theatrical. She does, however, seem to spend an awful lot of her spare time and spare cash going to the theatre. So, all views expressed will be from the perspective of the person on the Clapham omnibus - which is what most audiences are made up of after all.
A Geordie exile, James left the fog on the Tyne to train as an actor at The Poor School and Drama Centre. As a teenaged founder member of semi-feral a cappella group, ‘The Polysonics’, he discovered an enduring love of music and performance. Now, a voice artiste, writer, actor/musician and mandolin enthusiast. James has written for The Royal Opera House and Bath International Music Festival. Theatre is his passion.
Corporate communications executive by day, aspiring reviewer by night; James is a recent returner to London, having graduated from Queen Mary University in 2014. Schooled under the watchful eyes of the master-reviewers at Bristol 24/7 during his exodus home, James’ theatre experience also includes appearing in bits and pieces throughout his time at school and university. When not trying to hide his note-taking at the back of the venue, James can be found ogling at bicycles he can’t afford and returning to Bristol on the weekend to watch his rugby team lose spectacularly to all the other teams in the premiership
Joanna is a Scottish writer and theatre enthusiast. She is currently trudging through both a PhD and a book on both P.B. and M.W. Shelley, teaching here and there, and getting involved in film & theatre projects where possible. Otherwise she is to be found stomping across Bushy Park with her dog River and proclaiming poetry to the skies.
Kate is a newcomer to London and currently wide-eyed in wonder at everything the city has to offer, including it’s incredible, diverse theatre scene. A PR / Communication executive by trade she’d been looking for an outlet to use her powers for good and producing honest, unbiased theatre reviews for Londoners seemed like just the ticket! When not immersed in culture at the theatre or scratching out a living in this wonderful (but ruinously expensive) city she’s usually to be found thoroughly investigating the dazzling array of drinking establishments in the capital or alternatively in the gym undoing all the damage she’s done.
Lily graduated from the University of Surrey with a Music Degree and has worked in a variety of cultural spots in London ever since. She is currently at Chelsea Physic Garden but previous jobs have included an intriguing year working at the Horniman Museum and Gardens with an overstuffed walrus and in the press team at Battersea Arts Centre which opened her eyes to theatre she'd never been brave enough to attend before. Ever since, Lily has found herself becoming more and more adventurous, and has even braved the odd immersive theatre experience, although police charging into a warehouse in Hackney and pushing her out of the way may have been a step too far.
Marianna, being Italian, has an opinion on just about everything and believes that anything deserves an honest review. Her dream has always been to become an arts critic and, after collecting a few degrees, she realised that it was easier to start writing in a foreign language than finding a job in her home country. In the UK, she tried the route of grown-up employment but soon understood that the arts and live events are highly addictive.
Martin is an editor of books on psychoanalysis as well as a writer and poet. Theatre has always been ‘that thing that was always there that he is unable to avoid’ and so he loves it as he does any other member of his family. He has variously been described as ‘the man with all the t’s’, ‘the voice of the indifference’ and ‘Jesus’, but overall he is just some guy. He wakes up, does some stuff then returns to slumber, ad infinitum. A container of voices. He hates mushrooms.
After helping out on university productions as stage manager and photographer, Nadia fell violently in love with theatre when she saw her friends’ staging of The Revenger’s Tragedy. Her feelings cooled when she sat through David Hare plays but were rekindled by Fiona Shaw’s Mrs Millamant in Congreve’s The Way of the World. She now always goes to the theatre with a sense of wonder. Her other life is something to do with films.
A Scottish South African Londoner. From being a TV presenter to an extra in Sinbad, and from being Big Ears in The Adventures Of Noddy to the evil Herr Zeler in The Sound Of Music, Neil had a fun acting career post graduating from theatre school. He stupidly made the promise to himself to stop acting if he didn't have his Oscar by 30 so as the big 3-0, and lack of a gold statuette, loomed he retired and is now a publicist. The arts is in his life blood so Neil will often be found in a theatre getting goosebumps from a play, balling his eyes out at a musical or interacting with a random piece of modern art in a gallery. From entering the world,quite literally, during a performance of The Towering Inferno, he's always had a passion for cinema and recently launched a film blog as the dream one day would be to be a full time film and theatre critic.
Nathan is a writer, painter and semi-professional fencer. He fell in love with theatre at an early age, when his parents took him to an open air production of Macbeth and he refused to leave even when it poured with rain and the rest of the audience abandoned ship. Since then he has developed an eclectic taste in live performance and attends as many new shows as he can, while also striving to find time to complete his PhD on The Misogyny of Jane Austen.
By day Rachael is on the reception of a North London secondary school inevitably being deafened by a parent, by night she is frequently found wandering the London streets desperately trying to kill time post-detention and pre-theatre. She has a BA in Film & American studies from King's and prides herself on her first essay being on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, final dissertation on Anime. As you do. She has a terrible penchant for stage door and live tweeting her cultural adventures, sometimes simultaneously. She has never knowingly turned down pizza nor jazzy socks.
Rachael is a young actress who recently finished training at East 15 Acting school. Prior to her masters in acting Rachael studied English Literature at Sussex University. Rachael began reviewing theatre as a way to combine her love of writing with her love of theatre.
Post-degree, Samantha abandoned her dream of becoming a psychologist in favour of the far more sensible pursuit of stage and screen glory. She knows how being crucified on stage feels: having jingled her way onto the small screen as a belly dancer and gotten to grips with a shirtless Chris Hemsworth on the big one, she was unlucky enough to be mistaken for Jesus on her own theatrical debut. By day, she indulges her other weakness - clothes - as a fashion writer and stylist. She occasionally makes it onto the catwalk herself, sporting an increasingly avant-garde assortment of hairdos.
Simone is a trained actress and has worked in the theatre and television. She has also run drama workshops for children. She now teaches in a primary school in East London and enjoys trips to the theatre with her six year old daughter. She is a regular reviewer of children's theatre. She loves comedy, Radio 4 and cake. She doesn't get out much after dark and loves the chance to see as much fabulous theatre as she can.