JMK Reading Rep

We are excited to form a new Directors' Group in partnership with Reading Rep, who share our commitment to developing new and diverse talent in the industry.

Participants have access to free JMK workshops, residencies and networking events, as well as the opportunity to apply for Assistant Director bursaries.

This Directors' Group is led by JMK Director Practitioner, Nik Partridge. Nik also runs our Directors' Group at Wiltshire Creative & Nuffield Southampton Theatres, and participants are also encouraged to take part in our programmes at these venues.

Take Part:

Please join our mailing list for opportunities in Reading and the wider area.

Current Opportunities:

We are delighted to announce the upcoming series of workshops for the JMK South West Directors' Group as part of the National Programme. We are also excited to be supporting a number of regionally based directors through our new Mentoring Programme. Please see below for more information.

To book your FREE place, please email:

Please let us know if you have any access requirements. We have a small bursary pot available to help with travel expenses and/or any additional access support you may need.

Upcoming Workshops:

Friday 7th February, 3-6pm, Wiltshire Creative (Salisbury Arts Centre)

The Writer-Director Relationship with Carl Grose

A 3-hour workshop with writer and director Carl Grose, exploring the relationship between the writer and director when developing new plays. The workshop will draw upon Carl’s extensive experience, to explore how this relationship can work when generating and shaping new work.

Carl Grose has worked with Kneehigh for the past 25 years and is now Co-Artistic Director. Writing for Kneehigh includes Tristan & Yseult and The Bacchae (with Anna Maria Murphy), Wagstaffe the Wind-up Boy, Cymbeline, Hansel & Gretel, The Wild Bride, Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), The Tin Drum and this year’s Ubu! (which he directed with Mike Shepherd).

 Outside of Kneehigh, Carl’s plays include Grand Guignol, Superstition Mountain, Gargantua, Horse Piss For Blood, 49 Donkeys Hanged and The Kneebone Cadillac. Other work includes The Dark Philosophers and Never Try This At Home (Told By An Idiot), Oedipussy (Spymonkey), Wormy Close (Soho Theatre), The 13 Midnight Challenges of Angelus Diablo (RSC at Latitude), Alaska (Black Fish), The Hartlepool Monkey (Gyre & Gimble) and Bristol Old Vic’s West End musical The Grinning Man.


 Saturday 22nd February, 11am-1.30pm, Reading Rep

Reclaiming Working-Class Identity with COMMON

Are you a working-class creative who works in theatre? Do you feel like an imposter within the arts? How often have you convinced yourself you aren’t right for a job or opportunity because of your class?

Join COMMON’s Founder and fellow working-class director, David Loumgair, for this supportive and personalised workshop exploring ways of reclaiming your working or under-class identity. Through a combination of open discussion, written exercises and responding to provocations, together we’ll seek to change personal narratives from “disadvantage” to one of strength, pride and confidence, and identify what your lived experiences enable you to offer arts organisations that they can’t find elsewhere.

Responding to almost two years of research and the lived experiences of over 1000 working and under-class creatives, COMMON have developed a workshop which aims to eradicate the imposter syndrome, the learned behaviour of inadequacy, and the internalised oppression so often imposed on creatives from our backgrounds.

This workshop is part of a pilot, and during these sessions we are exploring what the most meaningful facilitation and structure of the workshops are. We will therefore be asking for the feedback of those who take part during and following the session.

In using the term working-class, we also aim to include those who identify themselves as being from a benefit-class or under-class backgrounds.

David Loumgair is a proudly working-class theatre director, dramaturg and socio-economic diversity advisor who was born, raised and is based in the Scottish Borders.

 David is the Founder and Creative Director of COMMON. Since its foundation in 2018, COMMON has rapidly become the leading national arts organisation supporting the UK creative industries to achieve greater socio-economic diversity. Our aim is to make arts and culture widely accessible to the working-class; whether they be artists, audiences or communities.

 As a director, David’s work seeks to explore the diversity, complexity and positivity of accurate working-class experiences across Britain.

 David has directed new plays and award-winning revivals of contemporary work across multiple Off-West End and regional theatres. In 2018 he directed the Offie Award-winning revival of ‘Tiny Dynamite’ by Abi Morgan at the Old Red Lion Theatre (London), the first professional revival of the play in 15 years following its original production.




Saturday 7th March, 3-6pm, Wiltshire Creative (Salisbury Playhouse)

Movement as Play with Dan Canham

Dan Canham is performance-maker and choreographer. Through his company, Still House, he makes performance events that span across dance, theatre, short film and audio recordings.

His works for Still House include SESSION (LIFT festival) and Of Riders and Running Horses (Dance Umbrella) and have toured extensively throughout the UK and internationally.

As a movement director, Dan’s most recent work includes A Monster Calls (Old Vic), The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Elliot Harper/Bridge Theatre) and Jane Eyre (National Theatre).

As a performer he has worked with Kneehigh, DV8, Punchdrunk and Fabulous Beast among others.

In his performance work and his teaching, he is concerned with the performer as the central figure, in which their humanity and ‘liveness’ are paramount. He works in the spirit of instinct, generosity, openness and bravery to create opportunities for performers to invite themselves to be seen. Sincerity, heart and joy as an act of resistance are at the core of his work.



Saturday 28th March, 4-6pm, Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Storytelling Poetic Texts (Textual Breakdowns & Direct Address Work) with Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu

Led by Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu, winner of the JMK Award 2019, this workshop will look at various verbose direct address texts and unlock how a director can use the words as a vehicle to stir an audience's imagination.

Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu is a British-Ghanaian writer & director hailing from South London. He has studied at Roehampton University & Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. Credits include: The Brothers Size (Young Vic as assistant director), Timbuktu (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Sweet Like Chocolate Boy (Jack Studio & National tour), Black Attack (Bush Theatre) , Beyond The Canon Showcase 2018 (RADA) & Little Baby Jesus (Orange Tree Theatre) . In 2019, Tristan won the JMK Award for emerging directors in its inaugural year at the Orange Tree Theatre.


Wednesday 8th April, 2-4pm, Reading Rep

Opera-Curious? with Adele Thomas and Tim Anderson

Having recently moved into opera, Adele Thomas is a director who wants to break down the barriers and preconceptions that make many directors feel that they can't do the same. Adele has realised that the barriers to making opera - both real and imagined - are often at odds with a medium that celebrates imaginative directorial vision and, as someone raised in a working class household with no youthful access to Classical music, she is very aware that the industry is crying out for more diverse directorial voices.

This is a playful and immersive introduction to working with operatic music, exploring what it means to work with opera singers and the relationship with a conductor. No in depth knowledge of classical music required, just a desire to explore making theatre through singing.

Adele will be joined by conductor Tim Anderson, a brilliant theatrical mind in his own right. This is a unique opportunity to dive into the rehearsal process of an operatic scene.


Saturday 2nd May, 2-5pm, Wiltshire Creative (Salisbury Playhouse)

Papatango/JMK Trust: Meet SW Writers, Producers and Directors 

Marking the culmination of their WriteWest programme to support emerging playwrights and producers of new writing across South-West England, Papatango will be partnering with the JMK Trust to host an event to connect these artists with directors. Over drinks and nibbles, this will be a chance to meet other makers of new writing and discuss potential new projects.

Papatango run free opportunities across the country to launch new playwrights, each year assessing and giving feedback to over 1500+ submissions, commissioning, producing and touring two world premieres, and providing free training, performances and publication to over 4000 people in community centres, state schools and cultural hubs. Papatango productions or discoveries have premiered in over 20 countries worldwide and in the West End, been adapted for BBC Radio, and won BAFTA, OffWestEnd, Royal National Theatre, Critics' Circle and Alfred Fagon awards.


Saturday 23rd May, 1-4pm, Nuffield Southampton Theatres

Working with Actors with Nik Partridge

Through practical exploration and discussion with 2 professional actors, this workshop will focus on the collaboration between actor and director, reflecting on how a director can set up a safe, creative and explorative atmosphere in the room and considering how the relationship can function in order to support new and fruitful discoveries being made through rehearsal.

Nik is a Bristol based director, who has worked extensively within the South-West. He has collaborated and produced work with organisations like Mayfest The Watermill, Travelling Light, Bristol Old Vic, the egg, Theatre Royal Bath, Strike-A-Light, Theatre Royal Plymouth and Tobacco Factory Theatres. Further afield he has made work for the Royal Court, Traverse and Galway International Arts Festival. 

He was Director-in-Residence at Tobacco Factory Theatres for 2014-15 and Staff Director at Theatre Royal Plymouth from 2016-2018. He trained on the National Theatre Studio Directors Course and at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Nik was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow for 2014 and is a recipient of the Equity John Fernald Award. 


Mentoring Programme

We are excited to be supporting a group of SW based directors through our new Mentoring Programme. Over the course of 6 months, these directors will receive support from the JMK and each other, allowing them space to reflect on their practice and any professional goals they may wish to move towards, as well as providing an opportunity to strengthen and develop networks with other regionally based creatives.

The directors we are supporting through the Mentoring Programme are:

Marcus Bazley, Anna Carr, Bryn Holding, Helen Morley, Deborah Seeley, Lizzie Stables, Adrian Tang, Rachel Taylor and Hannah Treadaway.

More Information:

Listen to Nyasha Gudo describe his experiences working as the Assistant Director on The Mountaintop tour, as our JMK Assistant Director bursary recipient for Reading Rep.