JMK Reading Rep Residency – 26 & 27 Oct

We are thrilled to announce details of our upcoming residency at Reading Rep, with some fantastically exciting directors and theatre-makers. 

Over two days, participants will have the opportunity to work with and learn from them, with workshops focusing on: the power and responsibility we have as artists, tackling challenges in the rehearsal room and during production, working in community based-contexts, fundraising and company development. 

The Friday sessions will be led by Nyasha Gudo and Gbolahan Obisesan, both currently working on The Mountaintop, which will be in production at Reading Rep over these residency dates. Concession priced tickets are available to all participants. 

The Saturday sessions will be led by Christie O’Carroll and Paul Stacey, Associate Director and Artistic Director of Reading Rep.

More details about the weekend and information about how to sign-up can be found below:


Friday 26th October, 11am-5pm

Workshop Day with Nyasha Gudo and Gbolahan Obisesan

As directors and theatre makers we have so much power and with great power comes great responsibility. This workshop will be in two parts, the first exploring the power we have as artists and our responsibility to the community, audiences, company and theatres.

The second part will be based around The Mountaintop by Katori Hall directed by JMK Winner, Roy Alexander-Weise, it will include Gbolahan Obisesan - one half of The Mountaintop cast, also a writer and director. It will be an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences on process and how we handle challenges in the rehearsal room, tech and during the run through a combination of discussions and activities.


Participants will be offered concession rate tickets to the evening performance of The Mountaintop on Friday 26th or Saturday 27th October.

About Nyasha and Gbolahan

Nyasha Gudo:

Nyasha is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar and recipient of the JMK Regional Assistant Director bursary. A director from Birmingham, Nyasha started his professional journey as a director at The Birmingham Repertory Theatre as part of the RTYDS Introduction to Directing Scheme and subsequently on The Birmingham Rep‘s Foundry Programme.

Nyasha has been Assistant Director at The Chichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company. He was Associate Director for the National Caribbean Heritage Museum and Furnace a community project by the Birmingham Rep. Recently, Nyasha has been researching process and technique as a director training with Peter Brook.

Gbloahan Obisesan:

Gbolahan is an actor, writer and director. He has served as a Genesis Fellow and Associate Director at the Young Vic.

Whilst Associate Director at the Young Vic, Gbolahan directed Cuttin’it by Charlene James. The Play was a co production between Young Vic, Royal Court Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible and The Yard Theatre. Cuttin’it was nominated at the 2017 Olivier Awards for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.

As a writer he is under commission to Eclipse Theatre Company. He is also writing an original feature, WE GET AROUND, for Emu Films/Film4

 Theatre includes: How Nigeria Became: A Story, And A Spear That Didn’t Work (Unicorn Theatre); Pigeon English (Bristol Old Vic / Edinburgh Festival); Mad About The Boy (Edinburgh Festival and UK tour).


Saturday 27th October, 11am-5pm

Christie O’Carroll and Paul Stacey:

The morning workshop will involve the group working with Christie O’Carroll, Associate Director at Reading Rep, who will be focusing on her practice around working with vulnerable groups and in a community-based context.

The afternoon session will be led by Paul Stacey, Founder and Artistic Director at Reading Rep, who will be exploring the practicalities of how to set up a company and fundraise.


About Paul and Christie

Christie O’Carroll:

 Before joining Reading Rep as Associate Director in September 2015, Christie was the Drama Artist for the Royal Lyceum Theatre Company in Edinburgh, where she assisted on professional company shows and directed large-scale productions for young people.

Christie’s work often received four and five star reviews in local and national press. She worked for many years as an Associate Artist with the Grassmarket Project throughout the UK and internationally, and has an extensive history as a freelance director and practitioner. She also lectured in Performing Arts in prisons throughout Scotland, directing performances in various facilities – one was nominated for a Koestler Award.  She was awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Travelling Trust Fellowship and won the Bruce Miller Award for Directing. Christie trained at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Paul Stacey:

Paul is the artistic director of Reading Rep and Reading Studio of Dramatic Art. Credits include Sexual Perversity in Chicago (American Repertory Theatre), ‘Night Mother (Old Red Lion), The Dumb Waiter, Miss Julie, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, Waiting for Godot (all Reading Rep), A Little History of the World (Reading Rep and Watermill co-production), Every You, Every Me (Reading Rep, Oxford Playhouse co-production), Little Tragedies (Dramaturg – Moscow Art Theatre Institute), The Scarlet Letter (Playwright/Adaptor – New Repertory Theatre and on tour), Sleep No More (Assistant Director – Punchdrunk).

 Paul founded both Reading Rep and Reading Studio and has acted as Executive Producer on all projects to date. He has taught theatre history, acting and dramaturgy at Harvard University, University of Reading and Reading Studio of Dramatic Art. He is a Dramaturgy graduate of the American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre Institute at Harvard University. He read English at the University of Nottingham, is a Teach First Ambassador and a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow.


The residency is free of charge to attend. To book your place please email:

JMK Manchester HOME Programme Dates

We're thrilled to share the details of upcoming workshops for our JMK group at Manchester HOME. 

Working with writers - Thursday 15th November, 6pm-9pm
Learn about how to build relationships with writers, give constructive feedback and collaborate when developing new plays. Working with Manchester based new writing company Box of Tricks (Narvik, Chip Shop Chips, Plastic Figurines) learn about how to foster relationships with writers and pick up some useful dramaturgy skills. Book your free place here.

Add the following dates to your diary, booking will be open shortly:

JMK Directors group social - Wednesday 21st November, The Maids Press Night
See The Maids directed by Lily Sykes for free and catch up with fellow directors and theatre makers in the region.

One to one CV surgery - Tuesday 4th December, 6-8pm
An informal opportunity to receive one-to-one feedback on your CV with Liz Stevenson (JMK Director Practitioner and Freelance theatre director) and Jennie McCusker (Head of Talent Development at HOME) and to ask any questions or have a general chat about your career development as a theatre director. (If there is demand for this workshop we will plan an additional session but in the first instance these sessions will be given on a first come first served basis).

Save the dates - Devising theatre - Saturday 15th December and Sunday 16th December, 10am-6pm 
More details to follow.

JMK Newcastle – Workshop & Ticket Offer at Northern Stage!

We're thrilled to have a workshop with JMK Award winner (2017) Josh Roche coming up at Northern Stage, as well as a ticket offer for the post show discussion performances of some brilliant upcoming productions...

The Weird World of Dramaturgy - Workshop with JMK Award winner Josh Roche

Northern Stage, 16th October - 3.30pm - 5.30pm
An idiot's guide to dramaturgy; what on earth is it and how does it work? How does dramaturgy affect directors, writers, actors and creatives? By exploring a selection of different scenes from new and old plays, this workshop will uncover what lies beneath the weird and beautiful world of dramaturgy.

Josh Roche is a freelance director and dramaturg. He is the 2017 winner of the JMK Award, directing My Name is Rachel Corrie at the Young Vic. He was the literary associate for Soho Theatre for two years and has worked as an associate director with Shakespeare's Globe and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

To sign up for this workshop, please email Mark Calvert:

JMK Northern Stage Directors' Group - Exclusive Ticket Deal

We have a great deal to see the following fantastic performances at Northern Stage. You'll find out loads about how these productions were made from their post show discussions, and you'll watch with other JMK Newcastle directors and theatre-makers! This deal offers:

£7 tickets for post show discussion performances of:

The Mountaintop 11 October. Directed by JMK Award winner (2016) Roy Alexander Weise.

Future Bodies - 17 OctoberUnlimited and RashDash smash together science fact and fiction in a kaleidoscopic montage of words, music and movement.

Fagins Twist - 30 October. Tony Adigun’s Avant Garde Dance flips your expectations of a tale you think you know...

Under Milkwood - 14 NovemberAn enfolding, haunting and at times unsettling experience that glimpses a golden era that may never have existed.

This ticket offer costs £28 in total. This must be paid all at once, and you must stay for the post show discussion.

To register your interest, please email JMK Director Practitioner Maria Crocker:

Reminder - JMK Assistant Director Bursary at Northern Stage

Apply by 12 October to assist Mark Calvert on the upcoming production of A Christmas Carol at Northern Stage. Click here for full details and how to apply!



JMK Regional Blog – Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir

JMK Assistant Director bursary recipient Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir gives us an insight into working on Ulster American at the Traverse Theatre and what she's up to next...

Why did you apply for the JMK Trust Assistant Director bursary?

I'd been wanting to work for the Traverse as an assistant director for a while and I'd applied for their assistant director positions a few times before. When I saw that the JMK bursary this summer was to aid someone to assist on the new David Ireland play I knew I had to apply. As someone who fell for theatre very much due to my introduction to in-yer-face I felt sure that this was going to be the kind of show I'd want to work on, knowing David's reputation and rising profile. Having seen a few of Gareth Nicholls' shows and been very impressed with his style, sense of storytelling, choice of subject matter and skill of staging I knew there was a lot I could learn from him. As someone who is carving out a career in directing new writing, it was a unique opportunity to be part of something special. When we got to read the script ahead of our interviews I got super excited about the prospect of being part of it. It is such a visceral play, it skewers its characters and their world views fearlessly and it takes the piss out of itself all the time. It's not often you come across a play like this and I felt very privileged to be reading it, let alone given to opportunity to be part of staging it.


What are 3 things you learnt from working on this production?

There was so much I learnt from being an assistant on Ulster American. I had never worked on a black comedy before. I hadn't been part of a professional team working on a brand new text and I hadn't been part of anything so politically dangerous to present.

I guess the first main lesson was how to pitch a black comedy like this, and that comes down to what you are wanting to say with the production. There are different ways to play this text but how it is played says a lot about the intent behind it. It took us a while to find where exactly to pitch this show and each new audience influenced this a little. It was a schooling for me, as someone who had predominantly worked on drama, to be working with material that felt volatile, responsive and fluid in the room in terms of how it hits you and what it says.

This fed into the second lesson, which was how you approach dangerous subject matters. It has been incredibly meaningful to me to be able to discuss this work with audiences, artists, fellow creatives and to see it discussed in criticism and online. I think the best thing about theatre is its liveness, the fact that it happens here and now. But there are degrees in which playtexts speak to their contemporary socio-political contexts. This was a play that needed to be performed in front of an audience here and now. Not in six months, it was pressing and urgent.  And as such it felt dangerous, it felt like it was a huge statement. We needed to treat that with a delicate touch, to discuss the connotations of the play, its history, context, politics and ideas thoroughly within the rehearsal room but not on our social media and our press outputs. It was important that the audience saw it without too much knowledge of how it might be interpreted to maintain an honest dialogue with them. In short, we really had to do our homework but we needed not to lecture anyone on the findings unless specifically asked. It was quite a task, I have fifty pages of basic research on it, with links to loads more!

In terms of the third lesson, the one on how to work on new text, it is the one hardest to share. Each new text will have different needs. But my main take away from this experience is to really interrogate the text, to keep an eye on its dramaturgy at all times and keep an open communication between the writer and the director and the cast. It was a joy to work with a team of actors and a director who are used to this process and with a writer who embraces it. It was so obvious we all wanted this text to be the very best it could and I think new writing needs that kind of passion.


What surprised you about the production?

What didn't? I guess my main surprise was the audience reaction. We anticipated strong reactions but I don't think anyone could have imagined the almost football match levels of engagement and vocal reactions we had during some of the performances. Some reactions were completely different to what I expected. A laugh in a place I didn't foresee mainly but a few shock and horror reactions in places I didn't expect as well.


What other projects are you working on, and what ideas will you apply from this bursary?

I am working on quite a few small cast, intimate new writing pieces and this experience will influence a lot of the work we do on them. I'm in development for a few new plays and having had this experience I feel a lot more qualified to lead those processes. It has made me a better dramaturg and a bigger enthusiast for the magic of the in-rehearsal rewrites, for sure! I think I will be more likely to push for shows to really go for the guts in their approach to their subject matters, and I hope I can lead artistic teams to that end. Now is the time to be brave and say the wrong things so that we can interrogate them.


What advice would you give for directors starting out, and for those setting up a theatre company?

Having just directed a version of Hamlet (currently touring) with my own company I guess the words 'To thy own self be true' feel really important to me right now. There are gigs out there that are good money, but don't do shows because of that. Do them because they say something you want to say, explore something you want to explore, scratch a creative itch in a way you need it to be scratched and you can be proud of. And if a production doesn't do any of those things, find a way to make them. Challenge the content and the team. It has to be relevant, to you, to the audience, and to the journey you both are on.


What excites you most about theatre directing?

Everything. I think being in a rehearsal room is the best feeling any job could give me. It is a chance to create, a chance to aid, a chance to surprise, a chance to grow, a chance to challenge, a chance to learn, a chance to teach, a chance to listen and a chance to be heard. It is a collaborative process that cannot be replicated or quantified and it always happens for a reason. I just think it's beautiful.


Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir is the Artistic Director of Brite Theater

Brite Theater's Hamlet (an experience), (Richard III (a one-woman show) and (Can This Be) Home are currently touring.

This bursary was kindly supported by the Leverhulme Trust.

We're looking for our next JMK & Leverhulme Assistant Directors, with current bursaries for Northampton and Newcastle based directors. You can also find out more about our Regional Programme here.

JMK Assistant Director Opportunity – Northern Stage

The JMK Trust in partnership with Northern Stage is offering an Assistant Director Bursary to a participant of the JMK & Northern Stage Directors’ Group. The bursary is an arts scholarship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust that will provide a learning and training opportunity for a talented emerging director, based in the North East who has demonstrated a commitment to directing and a passion for theatre making. The recipient will become a Leverhulme Arts Scholar.

The role:

We are looking for an Assistant Director for Mark Calvert's upcoming production of A Christmas Carol. This Northern Stage production of A Christmas Carol will be designed by Rhys Jarman, lighting design by Sam Vivash, with sound design by Nick John Williams and musical composition by Hannabiell Sanders. The show will be presented in a reconfigured Stage 1 at Northern Stage.

The assistant director will need to be available for:

Rehearsals from 29th October 2018

Technical from 26th November 2018

First preview 1st December 2018

Press: 6th December 2018

Closes: 5th January 2019

As Assistant Director, your duties would include:

  • To provide general assistance to the Director.
  • As agreed with the Director, to carry out any research that will inform and benefit the production.
  • To observe rehearsals and have input in discussions and production meetings.
  • To assist the company in documenting the rehearsal process for the purposes of marketing, archiving and evaluating the project through blogs, social media and other forms as agreed.
  • To observe and assist the Director in the production week as required.
  • To attend and participate in post-show discussions by mutual agreement with the Producer.
  • To support the company whilst the play is in performance as agreed with the Director and Stage Manager, including attending and noting the production.
  • Any further duties as required by the Director.

The bursary recipient will demonstrate a commitment to living and making theatre in the North East area and will also be or become a participant of the JMK Northern Stage's Directors’ Group and as part of the bursary will also be responsible for working with JMK and Northern Stage to support and facilitate the group until next year’s bursary recipient is chosen.


The Leverhulme Bursary consists of £2,350.

How to apply:

Please send a CV and covering letter to Mark Calvert at by 5pm on 12th October 2018.

Interviews will be held at Northern Stage on the afternoon of 17th October.

Please detail:

Why you are interested in working with Mark Calvert the director on this production of A Christmas Carol at Northern Stage.

  • Your relevant experience and what you can bring to the role.
  • How this assisting opportunity and involvement in the Northern Stage JMK Trust Directors’ Group will contribute to your professional development.
  • Your commitment to living and making theatre in North East.

If you have any questions please contact

JMK Birmingham Workshop – Mon 8 Oct, Arts Council Funding

The next JMK & Birmingham Rep Directors' Group session will be in conjunction with The Foundry on Monday 8 October. The session will focus on Arts Council funding, and will be hosted by Alison Gagen.

Event details: Monday 8 October, 6:30pm to 8:30pm in Rehearsal Room 2 at The REP. 

Please RSVP by Thursday 4 October to

JMK Shows to See this Autumn

Looking for some great theatre picks? We’ve gathered together a collection of exciting productions across the country, featuring JMK Award winners and finalists, Regional Programme partners and bursary recipients. These fascinating stories are perfect for the darkening autumn evenings:

The Mountaintop

Image © Ernest C. Withers, courtesy of the Withers Family Trust:

Two years after winning the JMK Award with this brilliant production, director Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night, National Theatre) and Desara Bosjna are touring The Mountaintop with Reading Rep and Nuffield Southampton Theatres. This production is assisted by our JMK Regional bursary recipient Nyasha Gudo.

April 3, 1968. After delivering his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech on behalf of the sanitation workers in Memphis, Martin goes to Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel to rest before another long day of campaigning. With a storm raging outside, a beautiful young maid arrives to deliver his cup of coffee and his world is spun on its axis. At first, they only exchange flirtatious remarks, but soon they start a deep dialogue and King is forced to confront his past, his fears, his ideals, and his hopes for the future.

Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement, Katori Hall’s sharp and powerful play confronts the legend and his legacy. Are we really free or do we live in a world of false liberation?

Nuffield Southampton Theatres, 26 Sept – 6 Oct.

Then touring: Northern Stage Newcastle (9 – 13 Oct), North Wall Oxford (16 – 20 Oct), Reading Rep (23 Oct – 27 Oct), Curve Leicester (13 – 17 Nov), Bristol Old Vic (21 – 24 Nov), Birmingham Rep (27 Nov – 1 Dec).

About Leo

Directed by JMK Award winner Michael Oakley, About Leo moves fluidly from modern Mexico to 1930s France, where the young Leo is involved in a notorious affair with the surrealist Max Ernst.

"I have never, in my life, for one moment, been anyone's muse. I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist."

Eliza Prentice – millennial, Londoner, wannabe journalist – has arrived in Mexico City on the Day of the Dead. She is armed with a Dictaphone, a taste for tequila, and a lot of questions. But the greatest living Mexican artist, Leonora Carrington, doesn't give interviews. She won't discuss her work. And she doesn't talk about Max.

Jermyn Street Theatre, until 29 Sept.

Dance Nation

Somewhere in America, a revolution is coming. An army of competitive dancers is ready to take over the world, one routine at a time. With a pre-teen battle for power and perfection raging on and off stage, Dance Nation is a ferocious exploration of youth, ambition and self-discovery.

Winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and The Relentless Award, Clare Barron’s explosive new play Dance Nation makes its UK debut, directed by JMK Award winner Bijan Sheibani (The Brothers Size, Young Vic; Barber Shop Chronicles, National Theatre).

Almeida Theatre, until 6 Oct.

The Lovely Bones

Directed by Melly Still and assisted by our JMK Regional bursary recipient Lucy Bird, The Lovely Bones is a unique coming-of-age about life after loss. This is the first stage version of the bestselling novel by Alice Sebold, adapted by Bryony Lavery.

Susie Salmon is just like any other young girl. She wants to be beautiful, adores her charm bracelet and has a crush on a boy from school. There's one big difference though – Susie is dead.

Now Susie can only observe while her family manage their grief in their different ways. Her father, Jack is obsessed with identifying the killer. Her mother, Abigail is desperate to create a different life for herself. And her sister, Lindsay is discovering the opposite sex with experiences that Susie will never know. Susie is desperate to help them and there might be a way of reaching them…

Royal & Derngate, Northampton until 22 Sept.

Then touring: Liverpool Everyman (25 Sept – 6 Oct), Northern Stage (9 – 20 Oct), Birmingham Repertory Theatre (30 Oct – 10 Nov) and New Wolsey Theatre (13 – 17 Nov).

60 Miles by Road or Rail

After a year away, Northampton-based JMK director Andy Routledge returned home and was eager to create a theatrical event that looked inwards to Northampton. He assembled a company of local artists from a wide range of theatrical practices and listened to the experiences of over 100 local people through heritage events, workshops and meetings in pubs and cafes.

During this time, Northamptonshire's local authority went bust. Austerity measures mixed with mismanagement by local and central government led to slashed core services, closed libraries and protests on the streets. Northamptonshire was suddenly front-page news in the New York Times: A Middle England county in chaos.

60 Miles by Road or Rail evolved into a resounding state of the nation play. It presents a retelling of the past 50 years of Northamptonian experiences and asks what it means for our sense of belonging when our home undergoes crisis, and what we can do about it.

Royal & Derngate on Friday 28th Sept.


Hear Me Howl

From JMK Award finalist (2016) Kay Michael, writer Lydia Rynne (Soho Theatre Young Writer, NFTS Odeon Scholar and iShorts / BFI Funny Girls Finalist), and musical consultant Fay Milton (drummer of Mercury Award Nominated band Savages) comes Hear Me Howl, a bitingly honest portrayal of one woman's personal revolution:

Jess is turning 30 when she presses pause on the conventional life she's been living and joins a post-punk band. 

Sure, some might argue that punk is dead, others could say she should really stick to the day job, but the resounding concern is: shouldn't she be settling down by now?

From behind her drum kit, warming up for her very first gig, Jess lurches defiantly into an unknown future.

This pro-choice play returns after a sold-out work-in-progress run at The Landor Space in March and The Plymouth Fringe in May. Writer Lydia Rynne’s previous play, The Buzz, sold-out at the Bread & Roses theatre earlier this year as one of the Top 3 of The Bread & Roses Playwriting Award 2016/2017.

'Thought-provokingly relevant with a dash of adept quirkiness too' (The Buzz, **** Act Drop)

Old Red Lion, until 29 Sept.

@Hear_Me_Howl #HearMeHowl

Touching the Void

A Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Fuel co-production.

Tom Morris directs the first stage adaptation of this nail-biting adventure, assisted by JMK bursary recipient Evan Lordan. The production is based on Joe Simpson's 1988 memoir, adapted by David Greig – the Award-winning writer and Artistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh. This international bestseller and BAFTA-winning film sensation charts Joe’s struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes aged just 25.

The heart of the story is Joe Simpson's mental battle as he teeters on the very brink of death and despair in a crevasse from which he can't possibly climb to safety. Also unforgettable in the story is the appalling dilemma of Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, battered by freezing winds and desperate to rescue the injured Simpson, who hangs from a rope below him. Knowing that they will both ultimately fall into the void, he makes the critical decision to cut the rope, forever changing the lives of both of them...

Bristol Old Vic, until 6 Oct.

Then touring: Royal & Derngate Northampton (9 Oct – 20 Oct) and Royal Lyceum Edinburgh (24 Jan – 16 Feb).


Our JMK Director Practitioner Adele Thomas (for Sherman Cymru, Tobacco Factory Theatres and Bristol Old Vic) directs Eyam, a powerful new play at the Globe Theatre:

1665. As the plague runs rife through London, Reverend William Mompesson arrives in Eyam, Derbyshire, to the parish. But Eyam is no sleepy backwater; it is a village at war with itself. The community has dissolved, and neighbour feuds with neighbour under the watchful eye of a ruthless landowner bent on maintaining his grip on the village. When the plague arrives in Eyam, the villagers are tasked with examining their civil responsibility, as they must decide whether to stay quarantined, or flee and risk spreading the deadly disease.

Globe Theatre, until 13 Oct.

Future Bodies

A HOME and Unlimited Theatre co-production in collaboration with Rash Dash.

Over in Manchester, our JMK bursary recipient Heather Carroll is involved in a scientific examination of what human extremes are coming next…

The human being is being upgraded. This is terrifying and exciting and it’s coming – whether we like it or not.

Two of the UK’s most thoughtful, inspiring and consistently brilliant theatre companies come together to imagine the implications of real world, leading edge developments in human enhancement technologies. Working with leading scientists and researchers in the fields of brain implants, smart drugs, and artificial intelligence, Unlimited Theatre and RashDash smash together science fact and fiction in a kaleidoscopic montage of words, music and movement.

HOME Manchester, 28 Sept – 13 Oct.


Directed by JMK Award winner (2014) Kate Hewitt, Cock by Mike Bartlett opens at Chichester Festival Theatre on 28 September.

Has John straightened out? After years glued to his boyfriend, the couple have been through a sticky patch, and now John’s attached to someone else. Someone who is different in every single way. But can John give her what she wants, when he’s never been with a woman before?

Funny and eye-openingly fresh and frank, Cock is a provocative peep into relationships in these days of oscillating identities. It tussles with knotty twenty-first century questions: can we – and should we be allowed to – change if we want to?

Chichester Festival Theatre, 28 Sept – 27 Oct.

JMK South West – Programme Dates

Directors of Salisbury, Southampton, Reading and surrounding areas! We've got some great free opportunities coming up over the next few months at your local venues. Scroll down for details and how to sign up!

JMK Director’s Residency with Shôn Dale Jones

Friday 21 (11-5pm) and Saturday 22 September (10-4pm)
White Room Studio, Salisbury Arts Centre

A two day workshop exploring the practice and work of theatre-maker Shôn Dale-Jones, who’s shows include The DukeMe and Robin Hood and The Wonderful World of Hugh Hughes.

Shôn’s work plays on the line between reality and fiction, often exploring personal experience as a way into universal truths.

The workshop will explore how to discover and develop stories through a mixture of writing and improvisation.

Shôn is has won two Scotsman Fringe Firsts, a Total Theatre Award, a BBC AUDIO DRAMA AWARD for Best Scripted Comedy Drama and has recently been nominated for a Prix Europa for Best European Radio Drama for The Duke.

This workshop will coincide with Shôn’s shows The Duke (21 September) and Me and Robin Hood (22 September) tickets £5 in the Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse. (You don't have to see the shows to attend the workshop)


Please note this residency is taking place at Salisbury Arts Centre, Bedwin Street, Salisbury, SP1 3UT, not Salisbury Playhouse.

Workshop with director Simon Harvey
Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Saturday 20th October (2-5pm)

Simon Harvey is the Artistic Director of o-region, a Cornwall based Theatre and Film production company, Associate Director at Kneehigh and Associate Artist of Hall for Cornwall.The workshop will look at the practical process of building an ensemble, collaborating with a creative team and general approaches to making theatre and telling stories, with a particular emphasis on the process of making FUP (his current touring show, which comes to Nuffield Southampton Theatres in October). To book your free place email

Save the dates:

Friday 26th and Saturday 27th October

Residency at Reading Rep, more details to follow.

JMK Northampton Directors’ Group – Programme Dates

Sign up for the following FREE Masterclasses and receive a complimentary ticket for the performance that evening at Royal & Derngate, in partnership with the JMK Trust and Royal & Derngate’s Generate Programme.

These workshops are designed for those already working or with a genuine interest in pursuing a career as a professional director or theatre maker. 

20th October

Workshop: Directors & Play5.30pm-7pm

Join one of the country’s best Clowns, Frank Wurzinger, as he gives an insight into how play can assist and inform your work as a director and a theatre maker.

Performance: Oh! Suburbia - 8pm

This solo show by Bob Karper explores suburbia’s serious silliness. With film, songs and photographs you can watch how a master of ‘play’ has created theatre.


4th December 

Performance: The Worst Witch

Ticket offer for the Royal & Derngate’s Christmas show The Worst Witch on 4th Decemberin advance of our Directing Musical Theatre workshop on 10th December.

10th December 

Workshop: Directing Musical Theatre (time tbc)

A masterclass with Perfect Pitch Musicals.


31st January

Our Lady of Kibeho Matinee performance & exclusive workshop/ Q&A - 2.30pm

Join Royal & Derngate Artistic Director James Dacre post performance to discuss directing his new play, Our Lady of Kibeho and the techniques he employs in the rehearsal process.


8th March 

Workshop: Directing Children’s Theatre11am-1pm

Join us for this practical workshop on directing immersive children’s theatre.

Performance: The Reluctant Dragon - 2.30pm

Join Munchkins & Monsters for their work in progress sharing of this well-known children’s novel.


To Book:

Call the Royal & Derngate Box Office via 01604 624811

Please note that to receive the complimentary ticket offer you must attend the accompanying workshop on the same day.

For more information on this programme of workshops and productions, please email


To find out more about the JMK Trust and our work with directors in Northampton:

Please get in touch with and sign up to our mailing list to receive further opportunities.

JMK Northampton Assistant Director Bursary

The JMK Trust in partnership with Royal & Derngate is offering an Assistant Director Bursary. The bursary is an arts scholarship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust that will provide a learning and training opportunity for a talented emerging director, who has demonstrated a commitment to directing and a passion for theatre making.

The role:

We are looking for an assistant director who will work on one of the exciting Made in Northampton productions at Royal & Derngate between December 2018 – March 2019.  We actively encourage applications from under-represented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals and those who consider themselves to be disabled.

As Assistant Director, your duties may include:

  • To provide general assistance to the Director.
  • As agreed with the Director, to carry out any research that will inform and benefit the production.
  • To observe rehearsals and have input in discussions and production meetings.
  • To assist the company in documenting the rehearsal process for the purposes of marketing, archiving and evaluating the project through blogs, social media and other forms as agreed and transcribing interviews with the creative team to be put online.
  • To observe and assist the Director in the production week as required.
  • To attend and participate in post-show discussions by mutual agreement with the Producer.
  • To support the company whilst the play is in performance as agreed with the Director and Stage Manager, including attending and noting the production.
  • Inputting into the reading of scripts for consideration as future productions.
  • Any further duties as required by the Director.


This is a paid placement in which £2350 will be awarded to the selected individual.

The bursary recipient will also be or become a participant of the JMK Directors’ Group at Royal & Derngate and as part of the bursary will also be responsible for working with JMK and Royal & Derngate to support and facilitate the group until the next bursary recipient is chosen.


Interviews will take place on Tuesday 9th October 2018.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter, no more than 400 words, to Erica Martin via by 28th September 2018.

Please detail:

  • Why you are interested in working with us.
  • How this bursary opportunity will contribute to your professional development.
  • Your relevant experience and what you can bring to the role.