Curtain Raisers for Loaded 2017

Thanks to the partnership from the Ormiston Academy Trust and funding from the Ernest Cook Trust we have been able to work with 50 pupils from Birmingham Ormiston Academy, Stoke High School and Ormiston Sudbury Academy to pilot a new education scheme inspired by Loaded. We have delivered devised theatre workshops at all three academies and invited students to make their own response to Loaded to be performed in front of a public audience at the Old Rep 5 & 6 October. Led by Loaded‘s director and members of the cast, students were given the same stimulus that we have used to create the show including scientific and philosophical texts and anecdotes exploring physical and emotional weight, sandbags, music, images and poetry

We’re really excited to see the results on Thursday 5th October at 7.30pm and Friday 6th October at 2pm. In the meantime here’s a sneaky peak of what they’ve been up to.

Book tickets for Loaded at the Old Rep, Birmingham here.



Loaded at The Old Rep Birmingham

What will 10 hours of manually sifting bags of sand give you?

Out of Inc and Scribbled Thought Productions bring you a new dance-theatre titled ‘Loaded’.

Directed by Olivier-Award Nominee Sinéad Rushe the piece is powerful, lyrical and engaging and combines performers using everything from sandbags to ballast, pulleys to planks, to explore how bodies and structures learn to bear loads – or fall apart.

Along with an evocative original sound score with texts ranging from ancient literature to modern science, Sinéad Rushe, director of the Olivier nominated Out of Time with Colin Dunne (The Pit, Barbican, Baryshnikov Arts Centre, New York) joins forces with leading choreographers and scientists to create a startling new show about the mechanics of weight and what happens when we face the limits of our strength.

Performances run at The Old Rep Birmginham 5 – 6 October at the following times on both days: 2pm & 7.30pm. Following these shows there will also be Q&A on the 5 October 7.30pm with the Creative team discussing process behind Loaded and another one on the 6 October 2pm – Director, Sinéad Rushe, and Dr. Vijay Tymms.

‘Loaded’ is suitable for 13+ and developed with practitioners from Frantic Assembly and teachers from OAT. Students will be able to see abstract concepts come to life on stage and take part in a Q&A with the professionals.

For more information, please follow this link and contact Producer Steph Connell via

To book tickets, please contact the Old Rep Theatre via 0121 359 9444 or


Loaded: Meet the team

Loaded R+D PH.03

In September 2017 Scribbled Thought will join out of Inc theatre back in the rehearsal room to complete new dance-theatre work Loaded to be performed at Old Rep, Birmingham 5th & 6th October 2017. Below is a bit more about our fabulous creative team.

Sinéad Rushe – Director:

Sinéad studied at Trinity College, Dublin, École Normale Supérieure, Paris before training as an actor at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London where she currently teaches on the BA Acting CDT programme, specialising in the Michael Chekhov Technique and Meyerhold’s Biomechanics. Directing credits include Concert (Centre National de la Danse, Paris, and 2017 Dublin Dance Festival), Gogol’s Diary of a Madman with Living Pictures at Sherman Cymru in Cardiff, Something or Nothing with Guy Dartnell at The Place Theatre (& tour), commissioned by Sadler’s Wells and Out of Time (The Pit, Barbican and Baryshnikov Arts Centre, New York, nominated for a Dance Critics’ Circle and Olivier Awards). She has directed four shows with her own company, out of Inc: Loaded (Jacksons Lane), Night-Light (Oval House, London, Bristol Old Vic and tour), Life in the Folds (BAC, London and tour), and An Evening with Sinéad Rushe (BAC, London). She is the author of The Michael Chekhov Approach to Acting: A Practitioner’s Guide, (forthcoming, Methuen 2018), the co-translator into French of four plays by Howard Barker (published by Editions Théâtrales, Paris) and is a former Ulster and All Ireland Irish dance champion.

 Sandra Harnisch-Lacey – Movement Director:

Sandra is a German born choreographer and dancer living and working in the UK. Sandra was the recipient of the Sylvia Bodmer Award at the Laban Centre in 1997, and was also nominated for the Ffresh Award in 2004. She received The Creative Wales Award from the Arts Council of Wales in 2012. Sandra has been Artistic Director for the dance programme at The Gate Arts Centre in Cardiff, as well as a visiting lecturer on the dance degree courses at both Cardiff Metropolitan University and at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Her work has toured extensively across Wales, England, Germany, France, Austria, Slovenia, Luxembourg, and Canada. Her dance dome short film ‘The Sublime’, won the Award For Innovation at an International Film Festival in the USA. Recently she was commissioned to direct and choreograph the stage version of the popular Channel 5 children’s animation Igam

Rosie Elnile – Designer:

Rosie Elnile studied design for stage at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2014). She was the first resident design assistant at the Donmar Warehouse in London.

Work as a set and costume designer includes: Big Guns (The Yard), The Convert (Gate Theatre), Macbeth (Mountview Academy of Theatre),  Hard C*ck (Spill Festival), The Half Of It (RADA).

Work as an associate designer includes: Grand Finale (Hofesh Shechter Company), Seventeen (Lyric Hammersmith), Elegy (Donmar Warehouse 2016).

Colin Grenfell – Lighting Designer:

Colin is an award-winning lighting designer who has been working in the industry for the past twenty years. He has long-term collaborations with National Theatre of Scotland and Improbable Theatre. He has been resident lighting designer at Opera Holland Park since 2004.

Recent credits include Beauty and the Beast (Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago), Platinum (Hampstead Theatre) and James and the Giant Peach (Northern Stage).

For the National Theatre of Scotland designs include the critically acclaimed Black Watch, The Bacchae, 365 and Men Should Weep. Also in Scotland, The Elephant Man (CATS award for best lighting design), A Doll’s House, The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Steel Magnolias, Equus (Dundee Rep), Pandas (Traverse Theatre), Beauty and The Beast, Hansel & Gretel (Citizens Theatre) and numerous shows on the fringe for the festival. National and international work includes: Theatre of Blood (Royal National Theatre), The Hanging Man (West Yorkshire Playhouse; TMA Award for best lighting design), Lifegame (National Theatre, UK Tour, La Jolla Playhouse, Off Broadway, Brisbane, US Tours), Spirit (Royal Court, UK & US Tours, Sydney Opera House, New York Theatre Workshop, The Caretaker (Everyman Liverpool, West End, Adelaide Festival, US Tour), The Village Social (National Theatre of Wales), Riflemind, Alex (West End), Through a Glass Darkly, When the Rain Stops Falling (Almeida Theatre), Thief of Baghdad (Royal Opera House).

Lex Kosanke – Composer and Sound Designer:

Lex is a sound designer and composer based in London and trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Recent credits include It Is So Ordered (Pleasance), Bunny (White Bear), Dinner at the Smiths’ (Latvian House) and To a Simple Rock’n’Roll… Song (Barbican). Other credits include The Heresy Of Love (Embassy Theatre), The Tell-tale Heart (The Glory), Richard III, (New Diorama Theatre), Divided Laing (Arcola Theatre), My Eyes Went Dark (Finborough Theatre), Market Boy (Embassy Theatre), Gone Camping (The Art of Dining), Jack, Sissy that Stalk! (The Royal Vauxhall Tavern) and The Boy Who Climbed Out Of His Face (Shunt).


We’ll be introducing our cast very soon so watch this space for details plus rehearsal blogs, behind the scenes interviews and images and much more.




R&D week 1: Playground Victories

Week one of R&D OF Playground of Dreams from performer, Maria Gray.

Back in the room with Light the Fuse Scribbled Thought for more sweating, swinging and general shenanigans. Their new show Playground of Dreams is certainly pushing our imaginations and skills to new possibilities.

Director, Gemma Fairlie wants, once again, to reach out to the unsuspecting nation with dynamic, exciting theatre and circus that the general public can be entertained and inspired by…. and what better way to do it than on a playground!

An everyday setting that we can all relate to in some way…a place where children, over protective parents, exercising grannies, loved up teenagers and imaginations come together to claim victory over oddly shaped apparatus. Frames, towers and hiding places that present challenges and platforms for us to climb on, fight over and fall off.


Rules, races, games, chases, kids vs. parents, pirate ships with monsters, school fights and competitive mums (and this was all in the opening discussion of what playgrounds means to us!). But before long the pens where put down and we kicked off with the practical work! And of course, in true Light the Fuse style, this R&D started in the good old-fashioned meeting of minds through armpits in faces, sweat in eyes, lifting, leaning, standing on shoulders with the typical introduction of…

Maria: Hi, my name is Maria what’s yours? (Whilst standing on this guy’s hands as he hoists me into the air!)

Craig: Craig…do you want to try and stand on one leg… on my head?

Maria: Nice to meet you… sure why not!

Let the fun begin!

Lots of sweat, lots of play, lots of parks and people watching and pure persistence to discover the endless possibilities of what can happen in one day at the playground!

Thanks to the residency at ArtsDepot, Light the Fuse and Scribbled Thought are back to bring theatre beyond the forth wall, (and all other walls in fact), and into imaginations of the masses.


To be continued…


Love Maria x

Full Stop – Waiting for a bus really has never been so much fun!

May – September 2015

Well, what a year. We’ve packed our bus stop away for the winter but it’s been an amazing summer with a lot of fun had and lessons learnt, so it seemed fitting to write a blog and share them.img_0263

Full Stop came about in 2014, created by Light The Fuse and directed by the wonderful Gemma Fairlie and Neil Bettles. Having worked with Neil since 2013, I knew it would be a keeper and after seeing the bus stop come to life at Greenwich and Docklands International Festival 2014 to a crowd of 1400 people, I couldn’t resist. Full Stop came under the Scribbled Thought umbrella in October 2014. I won’t pretend it hasn’t been a bumpy ride with funding failures, broken noses and schedule clashes galore but I could not be prouder. We’ve had a wonderful team along the way who have made every pitfall easier and every success, of which have been many more, a celebration. Supported by Arts Council England we’ve toured Full Stop to six festivals this summer and performed to over 9200 people. Full Stop has been mine and Scribbled Thought’s first endeavour into producing outdoor arts and it has been wonderful.

A lot of the people go out of their way to attend outdoor festivals after seeing brilliant, bright and well thought through marketing campaigns, but the people that truly excite me are the ones who didn’t have a clue what they walking into and ended up staying. They heard some wonderfully loud music (standard Neil Bettles), saw people beginning to gather and were curious. My favourites are the ones laden with shopping bags, those fighting to keep their children in a pram and those suited and booted with a briefcase and a schedule. Without meaning to and without having planned to squeeze it into their busy day, they stop, put down their phones, take out their headphones and watch. They reclaim those 5, or hopefully in our case 24, minutes as their own and enjoy them. They take a minute to look around and realise what their city centre, park, field or street corner has to offer. They didn’t wake up that morning wanting to go and see a piece of theatre, dance or circus, they maybe thought it wasn’t for them, but they did see it, and they engaged with it, and tomorrow morning they might wake up wanting to do it again. Full Stop has no final thought or moral, it does not aim to teach anything or to save the world, it makes people laugh. It makes them oooo and ahhh, it’s clever, fun, silly, technically impressive and, in my very biased opinion, just plain brilliant! I’ve been lucky enough to be in the audience of many of the shows this summer, and being able to look round to see a thousand plus smiling faces from all backgrounds and ages looking at our performers with awe and laughter (in the nicest possible way) completely free of charge is a wonderful feeling and the reason I do what I do.

The outdoor arts is a fascinating sector and surely one that touches more people and so should get more support. It gains honest and immediate reactions from the widest audiences and throws new and ridiculous challenges and those crazy and wonderful enough to make the work in the first place. Never have I had to worry about packing ponchos, wellies, suncream, sweat towels, drying towels, cooling sprays, rain covers and heat reflective sheets in one day. Nor have I had to worry about burning, freezing and drowning all at the same the time – and that’s just for our performers, never mind our audiences who have sat through rain and complete unshaded sunshine (sometimes during the same show) to watch our performance until it’s explosive finale.

Thank you to the festivals that hosted us this summer – SiteLines – Reading South Street, Bradford Festival, City of London Festival, Latitude, Summer in Southside and Freedom Festival; it is wonderful that you provide such high quality programmes to audiences free of charge and give artists the platform and opportunity to make and share such brilliant work. Thank you to Arts Council England and most of all thank you to our marvelous team…

Directors: Gemma Fairlie and Neil Bettles

Production Manager: Vivienne Clavering

Stage Manager: Jake Evans

Designer: Mika Handley

Cast: Anna Simpson

Maria Gray

Robert Welling

Luke Chadwick-Jones

Max Cormac

Full Stop aims to be touring again so look out for our bus stop in a town near you. In the meantime, here is our new trailer so you can get a taster of what you missed this summer.

Bye for now


Steph Connell


Company Director of Scribbled Thought



How Many Ways Can I Get Off A Bus Stop? By Maria Gray

This is the post excerpt.

Full Stop 2015 Rehearsal Blog: Maria Gray

What is this? A bus stop in a studio under the archway of a railway? What can I do on it? I’d hardly even breathed and I was all over it like a rash…a Caravan Palace soundtrack and a bunch of likeminded acrobat/actors/dench individuals…I knew their armpit hair before I knew their names! This was going to be 24 hours at a bus stop like I’d never known before!

The anticipation of a new rehearsal process is always an adventure in a performer’s life…well it is for me anyhow; and this one, with Scribbled Thought and Light the Fuse was really one to be treasured. I love a challenge; I embrace sweat; and face diverse sets with a smile and twingy muscles that are eager to get involved. And what better way to feed my adrenaline than Neil Bettles and Gemma Fairlie exploring how to push a granny off a bus stop and clean up a raver after a heavy night out on the town…and this was just the first hour! Let’s try hanging upside down, swinging around broom handles; angry commuters; dolphin clamps; Singing in the Rain; a creepy pervert; fighting yummy mummies; box splits from the top of a bus stop; old men and back flips; ass shaking…and of course Granny Annie. I could go on but I don’t want to spoil all the surprises….I’m trying to count the number of costume changes that happen but I’m struggling to count my own let alone everyone else’s…for a 24 minute show there are more changes than the four of us would do in a week… put together!

It’s been an exhilarating experience so far, so much fun and so much exploration of ideas and movements! Being able to express yourself and work closely with such strong talented people is just a dream job. These are two brilliant companies to work for in one!

The combination of Neil and Gemma meant we got a rich mix of slick moves with integrity and intention and a frantic mash up of acrobatic, ensemble, awesomeness. Nothing like a morning workout of twerking to hip tunes, yoga stretching the hairs off the floor and hanging upside down on pure muscle! Can’t say I’ve ever laughed and sweated so much in such a short space of time.

The question is…does the bus arrive? Or is it a classic case of waiting for ages and then they all turn up at once? Well you’ll have to get down to one of the festivals and check us out…Full Stop!

Maria x
Full Stop Rehearsals 2015