“Director Cressida Brown thinks traditional theatre is for wimps” - The British Theatre Guide.

agent: I emilyw@berlinassociates.com I
offstage theatre website: I www.offstage.org.uk I
twitter: I @offstage_uk I

Summary:

Cress is half American, half British and went to University College London.

She is the Artistic Director of award winning Offstage Theatre and a freelance director.

This year Direction includes The Political History of Smack and Crack by Ed Edwards (Paines Plough’s Roundabout, Soho Theatre and the Manchester’s homeless refuge The Mustard Tree), and Twelfth Night in China (produced by Guangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre, part of the Royal Shakespeare Company Translation project).

Press:

Please see below CV or this link for print, radio, and TV press: I http://www.offstage.org.uk/press.html I

Click here to hear latest Radio 4 interview on The Today Programme:



Click here to see latest TV interview on France 24 TV: I www.france24.com I

Accolades:

Recipient of Bulldog Prinsep bursary at the National Theatre Studio, 2007
Awarded the Artist International Development Bursary from British Council and ACE
Winner of UK Kevin Spacey Foundation's UK Artist of Choice 2015 I www.whatsonstage.com I
Nominated for 14 Awards, including 9 Offies (including Best Production twice and Best Director), Amnesty Arts Award, Carol Tambor Award, and Three Weeks Editor’s Award)
Twice the recipient of the Big Boost fund for Social Enterprise
Granted Fellowship of the Centre of Excellence in Theatre Training
She has previously been Associate Artist at the Yard Theatre & Theatre Uncut


Offstage Theatre

Cressida Brown is the Artistic Director of award winning Offstage Theatre who since 2006 have been dedicated to celebrating unheard voices. Extensive outreach always goes hand in hand with their incendiary productions and they have commissioned, developed and directed premieres with over 28 emerging and established playwrights They repeatedly make nationwide headlines most notably with interviews on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, BBC Radio 4’s Today’s Programme, Channel 4 News, ITN, BBC News, and multiple features in the Evening Standard, Independent, Guardian, Times, New York Times.

Website: I www.offstage.org.uk I

Workshop facilitator

Including for RSC, Synergy Theatre RADA, Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Ed, LAMDA, JMK, Bush Theatre, Tricycle Bristol Old Vic Theatre school, Rose Bruford, ALRA, Birmingham University, Advent Theatre. Cress was also responsible for workshops with over 18 Regional Theatres on directing as Associate Director for Swallow and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic and NT, Number 1 UK Tour).



PRODUCTION/DATE
  COMPANY/NOTES

ICARUS by Katrin Lange. Translated by Purni Morell   Unicorn Theatre
THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK AND CRACK by Ed Edwards   Manchester HOME's Push Festival. Paines Plough's Roundabout. Soho Theatre
Nominated for Best New Play and Best Director Offies'
THE WORDS ARE COMING NOW
Speaking Freely by Chris Bush
Hotel Du Vin by Richard Bean
Sorry not sorry by Patrick Russell
  Theatre 503
TWELFTH NIGHT   Ghangzhou Dramatic Arts Centre & Royal Shakespeare Company, China
LAND DEFENDERS (working title)   Ice & Fire commission with human rights lawyer Danna Ingleton
THE MACHINE by Susan Mulholland   Unicorn Theatre (in development)
CINDERELLA: A FAIRYTALE
by Adam Peck
  Batumi State Drama Theatre, Georgia - A co-production between the British Council and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Adjara Autonomous Republic
FOOD by Steve Rodgers   Finborough Theatre
THE JOURNEY Bush theatre Associate company Nubian life   Bush Theatre
Almost, but Not Quite
by Somalia Seaton (2017)
  Tricycle Theatre
Hassan Abdulrazzak's Trump In Palestine and Caryl Churchill's Beautiful Eyes   A collection of short political plays responding to the election of Trump over his inauguration at Theatre 503
Vinegar Tom by Caryl Churchill   RADA
SCREENS
by Stephen Loughton (2016)
  Theatre 503
SEPTIMUS BEAN AND HIS AMAZING MACHINE, UNICORN THEATRE (2016)   Unicorn Theatre - Offie Nomination (Best Production for under 7s)
RE:HOME (2016)

  Winner of the Kevin Spacey Award - UK Artist of Choice - A sequel to Offstage's HOME 10 years ago on the Beaumont Estate. Nominated for two Offies, Best Production and Best Acting Ensemble.
Link to: I Beaumont Community responded to RE:Home I
HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA
by Federico Garcia Lorca (2016)
  Rose Bruford
CAUGHT by Christopher Chen (2015)
  Arcola Theatre - Nominated for TBC Offie, UK premiere
MACBETH (2015)   Watermill Theatre
TIM FOUNTAIN'S BEYOND THE FRINGE
(2015)
  House of Commons, in association with Belarus Free Theatre
ACCIDENTAL BRUMMIE (2015)   Birmingham Rep. A promenade play around the library and theatre.
WALKING THE TIGHTROPE:
the tension between Art and Politics (2015) by Caryl Churchill
April De Angelis
Sarah Solemani
Mark Ravenhill
Evan Placey
Ryan Craig
Julia Pascal
Neil LaBute
  An Offstage production, in association with Theatre Uncut
And in partnership with Free Word Centre at Theatre Deli.
Conceived, curated and Directed by Cressida Brown.

Edinburgh, 2015 co-production with Underbelly Productions

With new pieces from Omar El-Khairy and Timberlake Wertenbaker
Nominated for Amnesty Freedom of Expression Award
DYING FOR IT by Moira Buffini (2015)   Royal and Derngate.
ARTIST INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND (2014)   To collaborate with Neil LaBute and Annie Hamburger; and observe Rachel Chavkin. New York, USA. Awarded by ACE and British Council.
THE TEMPEST (2013)   Royal Shakespeare Company, Roy Bowen Theatre, OSU, Ohio, USA.
SPINE (2013)   Theater Row 42nd Street, New York / Theatre Uncut. By Clara Brennan (UK)
THE BIRTH OF MY VIOLENCE (2013)   Theater Row 42nd Street, New York / Theatre Uncut. By Marco Canale (Spain)
THE PRICE (2013)   Theater Row 42nd Street, New York / Theatre Uncut. By Lena Kitsopoulou (Greece)
MACBETH (2014)   Outdoor production by Notredame, Paris Shakespeare & Co’s Bard En Seine, Paris.
BOAT PLAY (2014)   Offstage, RADA and Livett Launches, staged on Queen Elizabeth pleasure boat. A traveling boat play along the Thames based on interviews with river dwellers.
LOVE AND INFORMATION (2014)   Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Schoolpromenade around the entire building.
DRAWING PLAY (2013)   Yard Theatre. ACE funded, National Tour starting at The Berry Eastleigh 2016. A family play where the audience draw devised by Off stage Theatre.
MY VILLAGE AND OTHER ALIENS (2013)   Zoo, Edinburgh Festival. By Terence Blacker.
DRAWABOUT (2013)   Arts Depot/ Bush / Natural History Museum / Unicorn/Eastleigh, The Point / Science museum. RBCK funded.
DEATH ROW GOURMET (2013)   Gate Theatre Reading, By Silva Semerciyan
RUNNING SCARED (2012)   Yard Theatre. By Evan Placey, For Conspirators
YESTERDAY (2012)   Young Vic, Theatre Uncut
THE PROMISE (2012)   Arts Ed by Megan Barker
THE RIOTS (2011)   Tricycle Theatre As Interviewer - edited by Gillian Slovo
AMPHIBIANS (2011)   Offstage Theatre / Bridewell Theatre by Steve Waters
Nominated for 6 Offies including Best Director.
WHIFF WHAFF (2011)   Theatre Uncut / Latitude Festival by Jack Thorne
CONSPIRATORS PROJECT (2011)   NT Studio. Symposium hosted at NT Studio with 8 international writers on human rights.
Produced by Clare Slater (Executive Director at the Gate Theatre).
THINGS THAT MAKE NO SENSE (2011)   Soho Theatre / Southwark Theatre Vaults by Dennis Kelly
THE ENCHANTED PIG (2009)   Nominated for 6 offwestend Awards including Best Director, Best Play
Royal Opera House / Young Vic / Broadway as Associate Director
THREEPENNY OPERA (2009)   Trinity Buoy Lighthouse by Bertolt Brecht; site-specific production
ROSENCRANTZ & GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (2009)   Novello Theatre, in association with the RSC by Tom Stoppard; site-specific production
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST (2008)   Royal Shakespeare Company by William Shakespeare; as Assistant Director; directed by Gregory Doran
HAMLET (2008)   Royal Shakespeare Company by William Shakespeare; as Assistant Director; directed by Gregory Doran
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (2008)   Royal Shakespeare Company by William Shakespeare; as Assistant Director; directed by Gregory Doran
("YOU") (2008)   National Theatre Studio Workshop
THE WHISPER OF AN ANGEL'S WINGS (2008)   National Theatre Studio by Nick Stafford; reading
SWIMMERS (2008)   National Theatre Studio Workshop
BOILING FROGS (2007)   National Theatre Studio by Steven Bloomer; rehearsed reading
RIVEN COURT (2007)   National Theatre Studio by Cecily Hobbs; rehearsed reading
RIPPER (2007)   Union Theatre by Mark Ravenhill; as Associate Director; part of the 2007 Terror Season directed by Tamara Harvey
GUNS OR BUTTER (2007)   Union Theatre by Lucy Kirkwood; as Associate Director; part of the 2007 Terror Season directed by Tamara Harvey
STILL LIFE (2007)   Hampstead Theatre by Anouke Brook; s part of Upstart Night
PHAEDRE (2007)   Craigmillar Castle, Edinburgh by Racine; site-specific production
DOUBT: A PARABLE (2007)   Tricycle Theatre by John Patrick Shanley; as Assistant Director; UK premiere directed by Nicolas Kent
THE CHANGELING (2007)   Rose Theatre, by Middleton and Rowley
GATES OF GOLD (2006)   Traf algar Studios - Studio 2 by Frank McGuinness; as Assistant Director; directed by Gavin McAlinden
SENTENCED (2006)   Union Theatre by Matt Hartley
HOME (2006)   St Catherine's Tower, Beaumont Estate, London by Cressida Brown, Gbolahan Obisesan & Emily Randall; site-specif ic play
CHICKEN SOUP WITH BARLEY (2006)   Tricycle Theatre by Arnold Wesker; as Assistant Director; directed by Giles Croft
THE GLASS MENAGERIE (2001)   Garage Theatre, UCL by Tennessee Williams

Offstage Theatre is important. It engages with key social, architectural and political issues and gives a voice to a community and engages with their heartfelt problems.” - Richard Rogers, Baron Rogers of Riverside.

I THE POLITICAL HISTORY OF SMACK AND CRACK I

We are delighted to announce that Smack and Crack has won the Lustrum Award for Greatest Festival Moments, as awarded by Summerhall for the venue’s Greatest Moments.

We have been top picks in the Guardian, Edinburgh Metro and The Stage. We have also had pieces in Culture matters, Big Issue North and mentions in The Scotsman. We were featured on Mervy Stutters show too.

Here we are in the Guardian’s “Edinburgh in Pictures”: I https://www.theguardian.com/stage I

I ★★★★★ The Stage
I
Yes, yes, yes. The Paines Plough Roundabout’s programme this year is exceptional, but there’s nothing better there – maybe nothing better at the whole festival – than Ed Edwards’ The Political History of Smack and Crack, a riotously entertaining and deeply moving drama-cum-documentary exploring the history of heroin use in Manchester.

I ★★★★ The Independent, Lyn Gardner I
Cressida Brown’s production is a peach, Edwards treats his characters with both affection and dignity, and Steele and Bell bring Many and Neil so vividly to life as they struggle to survive that there is no chance the audience will judge – we only empathise.



I ★★★★ The Guardian I
I ★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine I
I ★★★★ Fest Magazine I
I ★★★★ Everything Theatre I
I ★★★★ The List I
I ★★★★ British Theatre I
I ★★★★★ EdFringe I
I ★★★★★ Back Stage on the Fringe I

I The Morning Star recommendation I
“Under Cressida Brown’s direction, this is an outstanding example of superbly written and wonderfully performed theatre with a social conscience.“


★★★★★ The 730 Review'

Mervyn Stutter's Pick of the Fringe
I ★★★★ The List I
I ★★★★ Whatsonstage I

I And even the Spectator thought it was “wonderful” I


★★★★ The Scotsman
★★★★ Financial Times
★★★★ Whats On Stage

 


I THE WORDS ARE COMING NOW, THEATRE 503 I

Whatsonstage Feature:
I http://www.whatsonstage.com I
Stage Feature: I https://www.thestage.co.uk I
I ★★★★ Guardian I
I ★★★★ The Stage I


I KONCHIA: A FAIRYTALE by Adam peck I

Click here for:
Cress’ interview on Adjara TV: I https://m.youtube.com I
Cress’ interview on Publc Adjara Radio, starts 29 minutes in: I https://youtube.com I
This Morning Radio programme: I https://1tv.ge/audio I
Georgia Today: I http://georgiatoday.ge/news I


I SCREENS I

★★★★ The Stage "Strong performances, slick staging and a unpredictable script elevate this timely drama about identity"

I ★★★★ Carole Woddis "Writer Laughton and director Brown who produced the politically charged Walking the Tightrope...deserve to be seen much more. An important milestone. I

I ★★★★ Whatsonstage There is nothing but solid performances from this cast of five… they are at the heart of this thought-provoking, eye-opening play that tells a story often not heard, that needs to be told. I

I ★★★★ Whatsonstage There is nothing but solid performances from this cast of five… they are at the heart of this thought-provoking, eye-opening play that tells a story often not heard, that needs to be told. I

I ★★★★ Everything Theatre “It isn’t just the script and acting that made Screens such great viewing. The staging, lighting and directing all stand out” I

I ★★★★ Reviews Hub “Screens fights shy of wrapping up complex emotions with a neat and tidy bow” I

I ★★★★ London Theatre 1 "It’s certainly a provocative production, and one that rightly dispenses with offering universal solutions to the issues raised. There’s much food for thought in this uncompromisingly forthright and vigorous play.” I

★★★★★ LGBTQ Arts "This play is important"


I TOP TRUMPSI

★★★★ Guardian
★★★★ The Times
★★★★Arts Desk


I RE:HOME I

Nominated for two Offies: Best Production and Best Acting Ensemble

I ★★★★★ London Theatre 1 "The show is a haunting portrait of a time, a place and a community that’s gone forever; many of the interviewees mention ghosts, and you can really feel their presence. Re:Home is at time moving, at others gripping, and often very funny, perfectly capturing the personality and spirit of the people without whom it could never have been made. Offstage Theatre’s website states that the show is ‘giving a voice to a community that no longer exists’. It’s a voice that deserves to be heard."I

British Theatre Guide: The show does not make any judgements on the wisdom of demolition but it does give voice to a number of those whose subsequent history is in some ways the poorer for the changes. That is something the government should bear in mind as they tear up old communities in the name of market regeneration or some other grand design.

I Excellent review from British Theatre Guide I
I ★★★★★ LondonTheatre1 I
I Dr Catherine Brown's brilliant review! I
I Exeunt Magazine I

'Winner of the Kevin Spacey Foundation Award'
I www.kevinspaceyfoundation.org I

I http://catherinebrown.org/revisiting-the-beaumont-road-estate-one-decade-on-home-at-the-yard-theatre/ I


I WALKING THE TIGHTROPE: The tension between art and politics I

CLICK Here for Radio 4 interview:



I ★★★★ The Scotsman I

I ★★★★★ British Theatre Guide I

I ★★★★★ edfringe review I

I ★★★★ Time Out I

I ★★★★ http://www.theatrebubble.com I

I ReviewsGate - Carole Woddis I
"Brown’s Walking the Tightrope is clearly a labour not just of love but passion, created on a shoestring, by a stirling, hard-working and very versatile cast of seven. Amazingly, Brown herself directed the majority of the plays supplemented by colleague Kirsty Housley. Housed in a make-shift space on a plain wooden stage, in the old Guardian building in London’s Clerkenwell/Farringdon area,the context only added to the strange frisson of an event of artistic worth and intense moral questioning."

I ★★★★ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk I
"Bravo to producer Cressida Brown, her group Offstage Theatre and collaborates Theatre Uncut for bringing Walking The Tightrope to the stage. It truly entertains while challenging, and that is no mean feat!"

I ★★★★★ http://www.themetropolist.com I
"Superb"
"An explosive surgery of freedom of expression"
"Walking The Tightrope is an incredibly important production.
As crocodiles gather below and landmines wait ahead, the tightrope between arts and politics is becoming increasingly dangerous
– it bellies the need for artists to become philosophers. Thankfully Offstage Theatre has risen to the challenge."


I ★★★★ http://femalearts.com I
"Brave storytelling", "Remarkable", "Intrepid."
"A great project and the director-curator, Cressida Brown, should be delighted with what she’s achieved."
“You become part of a much larger and greater discourse by simply being in the audience."


I ★★★★ EverythingTheatre I
"The twelve works are incredibly varied in their subject matter, interpretation and comment on the issue. Often light hearted and illuminating, sometimes cryptic and incisive, the writers infuse their own take on the commission, bouncing the audience through the unrelated scenes, charging the production with provocative energy."

I http://www.independent.co.uk I
"It felt tricky, dangerous, stimulating,  discomfiting – what serious theatre is for, in other words"

I Independent feature I

I The Guardian I


I http://www.britishtheatreguide I


I MACBETH, Bard En Seine Festival in Rene Vivani Square, Paris I

Please follow the links below:

Watch interview on France 24's Culture show Encore with
Cressida Brown here: I www.france24.com I
Melville House: I www.mhpbooks.com I
Port Magazine: I www.port-magazine.com I
Port Magazine: I www.port-magazine.com/photo-story I
Messyness Chic: I www.messynessychic.com I


I AMPHIBIANS, staged in the Bridewell Pool I

Awards: Time Out Critic's Choice, Nominated for 6 OffWestEnd Theatre awards.
Additional coverage: The Independent, The Spectator, The Guardian, BBC London Radio, British Airways inflight magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, The Times, Matt Truman, British Theatre Gude, The Evening Standard,  The Financial Times, The Stage
 
“Potent…lyrical…impressive…it casts a shiver-inducing spell”
Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

“Terrific…imaginative…it’s well worth taking the plunge”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Rather magically Amphibians invokes the memory of water on many levels…Amphibians is a lovely and elusive piece of fringe theatre.”
Caroline McQuinn, Time Out, Critic’s Choice

“For once a production has earned the description ‘site-specific’…Cressida Brown’s direction makes it extraordinary: both detailed and fluid…it’s total immersion.”
Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“Beautifully judged…touching…I was more engaged with their world than ever before, more full of wonder and empathy for extreme athletes in their absurdity and glory.”
Libby Purves, The Times

“Amphibians is an artistic pleasure with its mix of popular storytelling, good acting and fine directorial vision.”
British Theatre Guide

“Director Cressida Brown explodes Amphibians into a sparkling set of fragmented conundrums.”
Matt Trueman, Culture Wars

“It looks amazing,..Cressida Brown directs moments of ungainly vulnerability, dissecting the limitations of her actors with choreographed physical exertion.”
GroupOn

“Cressida Brown’s superb new show…a fascinating and compettling insight into the raw win-or-pose realities of life as an elite swimmer.”
The Arbuturian


I PHAEDRE , staged in Craigmillar Castle I
 
Additional coverage in Edinburgh Evening News
"A classic tale of forbidden love set in the ruins of a 15th century castle, Phaedreis more than just theatre – it's an experience, and an inspired one at that."
Three Weeks ★★★★★, shortlisted for an Editor Award

"Welcome to tragedy...sublime"
The Scotsman ★★★★, Recommended Show

"All the archetypal appeal of the Greeks, epic humanness of Shakespeare and enough Gallic melodrama to fill a dozen castles."
The Stage

"Phaedre is a multi-sensory experience that leaves no part of our body unconscious in the unravelling story of forbidden and fatal love."
Fest ★★★★

"Brown makes great use of a number of imposing, and slightly spooky, locations within the ruin. As they line the staircases between scenes the female chorus add to the play's tension with their haunting songs and chants.”
Edinburgh Evening News


I HOME , staged in St Catherine’s Tower, Beaumont Estate, East London I

Features in Evening Standard, The Times, The Guardian, International Herald Tribune, Building Design, Walthamstow Guardian.

"Unique"
Channel 4 News

"Extraordinary theatre"
BBC London

"An infectiously defiant spirit...linguistically versatile and politically charged...heartening"
Time Out ★★★★

“An enterprising young theatre company”
Evening Standard ★★★★

“Offstage pulled off a coup de theatre, creating a piece at once human, gripping, touching…the writing, direction and acting were impeccably sensitive and nuanced.”
WhatOnStage ★★★★★


I HAMLET I (RSC, Assistant Director for Greg Doran and directed the understudy for Hamlet, Edward Bennett, who performed during Press Night, 2008)
Awards: Edward Bennett and Tom Davey were nominated and won prizes for the Ian Charleston Award for their work in their Understudy roles

“Edward Bennett assumed the role with great style and achieved a well-deserved ovation at the curtain call.”
Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Edward Bennett provided a true theatrical thrill by taking over the role…after this, no one will think that an understudy should be a mimic, obliged to imitate a star performance. After this budging up, everyone will see more clearly the hierarchy of the play”
Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“Playing the prince with a mixture of biting wit and burning anger…the anguished, indecisive and intellectual Hamlet becomes a more sardonic, scornful and definitely sane character, a first-class
mimic, in charge rather than a victim of events.”
Ivan Fallon, The Independent ★★★★


I ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, staged in Novello Theare, Westend I

Featured in publication “Something written in the state of Denmark: an actor’s year with the Royal Shakespeare Company”, Keith Osbourn, published RSC.


I SENTENCED I

“Sensitively directed by Cressida Brown.”
TimeOut ★★★★, Critic’s Choice