A Message from our Chair, Stephen Fewell

'Theatre is currently a growth sector of our Creative Industries, but with arts subjects like A level Drama down by a massive third in 2017, nationwide activity to inspire, support and champion directors from all backgrounds is essential at this moment to sustain the creativity, relevance and reach of British Theatre.

Do you share our convictions, and could join our family of financial support?

Your money, doubled, can change things for a generation of directors growing up in a significantly changing landscape.

It's one thing you can do today, to improve tomorrow.'

Double a Donation this August:

If you've never donated to JMK before, we have a pot of Catalyst funding that matches all donations from new donors arriving before the end of August. So a £5 donation becomes £10, etc.

Any amount you can give will go twice as far!

You can make a donation now to have it doubled:

JMK Birmingham Rep – Free Workshop, 15 August

Join us for a free workshop at Birmingham Rep
Thursday 15 August

A practical and theoretical workshop facilitated by Nyasha Gudo (JMK bursary recipient, The Mountaintop)  looking at different rehearsals processes and how to facilitate a productive rehearsal period for the company and creative team.

During the session we will explore techniques used by other directors such as but not limited to Peter Brook, Katy Mitchell etc. As part of the session we will also cover rehearsal room essentials such as giving notes, planning a rehearsal call and many more.

To sign up for your free place, please email Will.Bourdillon@birmingham-rep.co.uk

Find out more about our free directors' group at Birmingham Rep here.

August Opportunity to Double our Impact

Can You Help?

As a small organisation, although we are called a Trust, we don't have income from a trust fund and rely on your help to raise all the money to continue our programmes across the UK each year.

Like you, we believe that there are so many talented directors and theatre makers around the country who need support to make their way in the industry.

However, what we can offer each year is shaped by what you and our other supporters are able to give.

Donations for this appeal are a simple, one-off way to support our work. If everyone in our networks donated just £5 we'd smash our target and be able to claim £9,000 in match funding.

Double a Donation this August:

If you've never donated to JMK before, we have a pot of Catalyst funding that matches all donations from new donors arriving before the end of August. So a £5 donation becomes £10, etc.

Any amount you can give, even just the cost of a coffee, will go twice as far!

You can make a donation now to have it doubled:

Ken’s Network – Offstage career development in the performing arts

Ken’s Network was set up in 2018 by a group of friends and colleagues to honour the memory of Ken Bennett-Hunter.

Ken’s Network wants to look for ways of supporting mid-career development for those working in off stage roles in the performing arts industry who want to change tack, for whatever reason.

Ken himself changed tack a number of times and helped many others to do so, too, through his informal mentoring and network-building. He was acutely aware of how difficult it could be.

The survey below is a starting point for Ken’s Network. The report resulting from this survey will help inform what Ken’s Network could be doing to help.

Deadline 1 August 2019 – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/KensNetwork

Residency Opportunity at ArtHouse Jersey

ArtHouse Jersey are currently accepting last-minute residency applications from creatives (of any discipline) who are looking to develop their practice, meet local artists or to make new work. Residency is available for dates between 9-20th July (more than one room is available depending on dates).

The residencies are currently held at Chateau Vermont in Jersey, Channel Islands, which is a large house that ArtHouse share with a music school. They have six en-suite bedrooms in total, which can be sumptuous doubles for a single person, or made into twins or dormitories if people are happy to share. There is a fully functional kitchen, and a meeting/break-out space that can be booked out on request. The rooms are comfortable to write and work from.

The opportunity probably best suits individuals/groups looking for a peaceful and conducive working environment to develop an idea such as a script or undergo planning ahead of a production or project. Applications for other timeframes are also very welcome but, as this July window has become available, ArtHouse are particularly interested in hearing from artists hoping for a residency within this period (residencies from September 2019 onwards will be based at their new headquarters: Grève de Lecq Barracks).

Generally, ArtHouse are only able to offer the accommodation, though very occasionally they may be able to assist with other costs if the project is completely aligned with their programme aspirations. They ask that all projects worked on during a residency appropriately acknowledge the support of ArtHouse Jersey in all future documentation and publicity.

For further details about the residency and eligibility criteria, please refer to the ArtHouse website. The application form for the residency can be downloaded here: ArtHouse-Residencies-Application-form-2019

‘Live Like a Local’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2019

Our friends at COMMON are supporting The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society to find creatives, presenting work at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, who are interested in taking part in the pilot of their innovative 'Like Like a Local' programme.

The 'Live Like a Local' project seeks to match local residents, who may experience loneliness or social isolation and would therefore enjoy and benefit from having an artist stay with them, but who may not know where to start, with artists taking work to the Fringe.

Call-Out for Creatives at the Edinburgh Fringe Who are Seeking Accommodation:

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society would like to offer artists, who do not yet have accommodation for the Fringe, the exciting opportunity to participate in the pilot of their 'Live Like a Local' programme.

"We know that the cost of accommodation in August has been cited as one of the key barriers for artists attempting to participate with the Fringe, particularly those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and therefore self-funded artists are finding it increasingly difficult to present work at the Fringe.

The 'Live Like a Local' project seeks to match local residents with artists taking work to the Fringe. The hosts will have, in the main, been identified by local charities who the Fringe Society already works with, who may experience loneliness or social isolation and would therefore enjoy and benefit from having an artist stay with them, but who may not know where to start."

Because this scheme will be designed to some-way tackle social isolation and loneliness, there is an expectation the artist would spend a pre-agreed period of time each day talking to, or in the company of, the host.

There will also be an agreed amount paid to the host by the artist, a suggested fee in the region of £100 per week to cover the costs of hosting that they incur, however the Fringe Society's main interest in this project is not purely about the financial transaction, but as an experience which is mutually beneficial to both the hosts and artists.

The Fringe Society encourage a curiosity about the other person and the social and societal benefits of building this relationship, and as such they are ideally looking for artists to stay with their hosts for around 3 - 4 weeks - or the duration of the Fringe - to allow a sustained relationship to be built with, and to build confidence in, the host.

The Fringe Society have only just received support to pilot this programme in a small way in 2019, and are currently in the process of identifying hosts. They hope to have encouraged some hosts in the next week or so, and will ideally start with 5-10 hosts for this year

If you are interested, and if you have any further questions on the project, please get in touch with Xenia, Project Officer, via her email address: xenia.menzl@edfringe.com

JMK Birmingham Workshop – Directing & Devising

Thursday 13th June, 7-9pm
Birmingham REP

What is the devising process? How can you apply it your own practice?

Former REP Foundry Artist, Will Jackson, will be running some clowning and devising exercises based on his practice and the work he does with Quick Duck Theatre.

LYNNEBEC, an experimental movement company based in Birmingham, will be talking about their process of devising and running some exercises with the group to give insight into how they create content for shows and projects.

To book your free place for this workshop, please email Will.Bourdillon@birmingham-rep.co.uk

If you are not already a member of our JMK Birmingham directors' group, please copy in katherine@jmktrust.org

JMK Bristol Workshop – Starting Your Career as a Director

Tuesday 9th July
Coopers' Loft at Bristol Old Vic

Starting your career as a theatre director? Join JMK Director Practitioner, theatre and opera director Adele Thomas for a free and informative workshop for those at the beginning of their directing career.

Sign up for your free place by emailing Lucy Hunt, Engagement Director at Bristol Old Vic, lucy.hunt@bristololdvic.org.uk

This workshop is for members of our JMK Bristol directors' group. If you are not already a member, simply copy in katherine@jmktrust.org to your email when signing up to the workshop.

Meet the JMK Award 2019 Finalists

We're thrilled to share details on the finalists of the JMK Award 2019:

Oscar Toeman. Credit: Johan Persson

Oscar Toeman

Runner-Up, in partnership with designer Rebecca Brower, in recognition of their effective collaboration.

The Sugar Syndrome by Lucy Prebble

About the production:

“In 'The Sugar Syndrome' a recovering bulimic befriends a semi-reformed child molester online, and, together, they attempt to help one another. The play explores our need for connection, and the limits of our empathy. It speaks to us now with its nuanced, messy humanity, and is quietly radical in its plea against knee-jerk responses and judgements; its insistence of listening, understanding someone else. And yet, when does our compassion become problematic?”

‘Let's be lonely together, a little less lonely together.' (Lonely Together, ‪Rita Ora‬ & ‪Avicii‬)

Creative team:
Director: Oscar Toeman, Designer: Rebecca Brower, Lighting Designer: Jess Bernberg, Sound Designer: Giles Thomas, Movement: Chi-San Howard

Anthony Almeida

born bad by debbie tucker green

Credit: Johan Persson / The Royal Opera House

Creative Team:

Director: Anthony Almeida, Designer: Eleanor Bull

Credit: Eleanor Bull



Becky Hope-Palmer

Salonika by Louise Page

About the production:

“Louise Page has perfectly encapsulated the current issue many families face when growing old with no children to look after you. I believe a play such as this could start a larger discussion about the future prospects of caring for the elderly. It could also go some way to asking why this generational divide has happened and explore how to better understand each other.

Salonika shows there is most definitely another narrative for women in drama. Women must be seen leading on stage in all their forms, not as an aid to their male counterparts but as the protagonist.

Staging this play now will give actors over sixty the opportunity to fill our stages telling vivid, interesting stories that ask questions about our humanity in all it's complicated forms - what it means to grow old and with whom. What we value in life. Why grow old if you can't share life with anyone?”

Creative team:

Director: Becky Hope-Palmer, Designer: Ruth Hall, Composer: Sophie Cotton, Movement: Ayse Tashkiran


Jane Moriarty. Credit: Ben Delfont

Jane Moriarty

born bad by debbie tucker green

About the production:

“In debbie tucker green's searing family drama, language becomes a ferocious weapon. When Dawta confronts her family about the dark secret of their past, subjective truths and fragments of memory collide in a devastating battle of silence, victim-blaming and betrayal.

In our proposed production, we want to bring out the fragmentary and inquisitional form of the play, to engage the audience as active witnesses complicit in the unfolding story, and to create a dynamic and immediate production with economic use of design elements, psychologically vivid performances and sensitive attention to rhythm, pacing and the poeticism of the language.

debbie tucker green won the 2004 Olivier Award for Most Promising Newcomer for born bad, which was originally performed at the Hampstead Theatre (2003).”

Creative team:

Director: Jane Moriarty, Designer: James Donnelly, Lighting Designer: Jessica Hung Han Yun, Sound Designer: Alexandra Braithwaite, Movement: Shelley Maxwell


Jocelyn Cox. Credit: Manuel Harlan

Jocelyn Cox

Last Easter by Bryony Lavery

About the production:

“It's a beautiful exploration of the punch of grief. What to do when your heart hurts, when you just miss them and miss them and miss them. But much more it is a play about peace, hope, people acting from love even when it's complicated and will ultimately hurt like hell.

A narrative of fear, hope, sacrifice, faith and love is played out through both direct address and scenes, to create a uniquely poignant depiction of true friendship. Our production focuses on faith. Faith in friendship, and in love, far more than in salvation.

The crescendo of design elements is the final sequence, when beauty breaches the performance space and engulfs the whole theatre. We reveal a beautiful overwhelming image which communicates the transcendent spiritual experience of joy after heartbreak, that moment you can finally breathe with your whole lungs again.”

Creative team:
Director: Jocelyn Cox, Designer: Grace Venning, Lighting Designer: Lee Curran, Sound Designer: Peter Rice



Lilac Yosiphon.
Credit: Natalya Chagrin

Lilac Yosiphon

Static by Dan Rebellato

About the production:

"Static by Dan Rebelatto explores the chaotic landscape of grief in both BSL and Spoken English.

Our approach to the design was inspired by the work of Christine Sun Kim, Pina Bausch, Crystal Pite and Gecko Theatre and the writing of Max Porter and Michael Rosen.

Following major shifts in how we perceive loss and inclusiveness, this production would utilise a movement-led-approach to integrate both languages and engage with deaf and hearing audiences.”

Creative Team:

Director: Lilac Yosiphon, Designer: Jemima Robinson, Lighting Designer: Will Monks, Sound Designer: Liam Quinn, Movement: Angela Gasparetto.


Tash Hyman

Little Baby Jesus by Arinze Kene

Creative Team:

Director: Tash Hyman, Designer: Liam Bunster, Sound: Xana, Lighting: Jessica Hung Han Yun, Movement: Yassmin Foster, Costume Associate: Natalie Pryce

About the production: Design images credit: Liam Bunster

‘You know when you tell everyone to stop, and they're all just looking at you, and that kinda surprises you because you never thought  they would pay you any mind' - Joanne, 'Little Baby Jesus' by Arinzé Kene.


'Every flower came from the dirt. You're supposed to shake off some of the dirt that you came from, but if you don't you're still a flower innit. Most of the mandem's songs will be dirty but you've got to understand where we're coming from innit' - 'Don't call me Urban!', documentary by Simon Wheatley


‘Far from where I wanna be in this life/ It's nothin' I can't be in this life/ I just wanna do my ting and be free in this life' - 'Pressure', Little Simz





The winner of the JMK Award 2019 was Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, with his production of Little Baby Jesus by Arinzé Kene. To find out more, please click here.

JMK HOME Workshop: Working with a Movement Director

Thursday 6 June, 6.30pm
HOME Manchester

What can a movement director offer your piece? Movement directing is a broad term for what practitioners working with movement can offer a production. How do we work together to realise physical life into the piece? It can sometimes feel overwhelming for both the director and the movement director at the start of the process. To discover how to make the process more seamless, join Jennifer Jackson for a practical workshop exploring what we mean when we talk about embodied performances and physical languages.

Jennifer is a movement director, actor and theatre maker. Some movement direction includes: Be My Baby/Around The World in 80 Days (Leeds Playhouse), The Dark (Fuel Theatre), Death of a SalesmanQueens of the Coal AgeOur Town (Royal Exchange Theatre), Parliament Square (Bush Theatre & Royal Exchange Theatre), The Mountaintop (Young Vic & National Tour), and Paines Plough Roundabout Seasons 2017 & 2018.

Places are free but you must be signed up to the JMK HOME Directors' Group. To sign up to the Group, please email sarah.sharp@homemcr.org and copy in katherine@jmktrust.org

Members of the JMK HOME Directors' Group can book their free place here.