Who are we?

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Alongside Bible Society and Wroughton Parish Church, Gatecrash Theatre is providing a professional production team to lead on the project. Gatecrash Theatre is a non-religious based theatre company from Swindon providing development opportunities to aspiring actors pre or post training, and non-career actors aged 18+ in and around Swindon. The company has been in operation for just over one year and offers weekly workshops and performance opportunities that are professionally led and designed to encourage the artistic development of its members. For more details on Gatecrash and how to join them please click here

The Creative Team

Laura Barnes – Producer

JERUSALEM2 087Laura is a life-long Wroughton resident and Artistic Director of the semi-professional Theatre Company Gatecrash Theatre. She recently worked for several years as Education and Outreach Leader for the Swindon based, nationally acclaimed and government funded theatre company Sixth Sense Theatre for Young People. She has directed multiple productions and specialises in physical theatre, gritty drama and improvisation. She has also directed for the Radio One Big Weekend, the National and Local Government Arts Organisations Annual Conference, Ugly Sister Productions and the Edinburgh Fringe.

She has ran various workshops in theatre (including running Swindon Youth Theatre for seven years at The Wyvern, for Salisbury Playhouse and The Egg in Bath) and regularly works collaboratively with playwrights, teachers and actors (including Frantic Assembly’s Scott

Graham and acclaimed playwrights including Brian Jordan, David Lane and Mike Akers) to deliver bespoke projects. Laura is a qualified and experienced Secondary School Drama Teacher and currently works freelance delivering workshops and as a Director and Producer for companies based around the South West.

Anna Friend – Director

FullSizeRender_22Anna is Artistic Director of local arts company Quirky Bird Theatre and has been working as a drama teacher and director for the past 11 years, after completing her PGCE at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has directed everything from Godber to Grease and has a particular talent for adapting Shakespeare, having tackled some of his biggest works, including Hamlet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Nights Dream. Most recently her worked picked up five awards at the One Act Festival in Swindon, hailed as theatre that is “full of invention, full of creativity. Absolutely magnificent!”. As a director she has founded and run two Youth Theatre companies, producing high quality performances with young people and in the last two years she has bought her experience to adult theatre, working with local community actors to produce ‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright, a highly ambitious and well received adaptation of ‘Macbeth’ and most recently taking ‘The Virtuous Burglar’ by Dario Fo to the Swindon Mini Fringe. Quirky Bird Theatre runs classes for kids age 4 to 14 as well as her award winning Young Actors Company. Anna also works as a freelance Director and workshop provider locally as well as examining for Edexcel GCSE Drama.

Jamie Carter – Assistant Director

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Jamie is a member of Gatecrash Theatre and has performed in all of their productions so far. Keen to attend Drama School Jamie has already been through several educational stages in performance including studying Performing arts and Musical theatre at New York Film Academy and University. Jamie also teaches for Revolution Performing Arts and Drama Babes and is keen to use this experience to learn more about the Directing element of theatre.

David Jell – Stage Manager

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I have 14 years’ experience of working in technical theatre roles, including company management ,production management, stage management, lighting design and operation, sound operation, stage crew and follow spot operation. I have worked in both main house and touring theatre. The venues I have worked in as venue staff include: Wyvern Theatre Swindon, Swindon Arts Centre, Alexandra Theatre Birmingham, New Theatre Oxford, Old Fire Station Studio Oxford. My current role at the Swindon Arts Centre sees me overseeing the venue for all technical and maintenance requirements, as well as production management for the annual Summer Youth Project at the Wyvern Theatre, overseeing also the technical training aspect of young participants. I have a strong passion (excuse the pun!) for local, amateur dramatics and community theatre and have spent the last 8 years on and off working in particular with Sixth Sense Theatre Company on professional touring shows, such as This Secret Life, No Direction Home and Jabberwocky and Swindon Youth Theatre workshops and productions, providing lighting design for The Forgotten Odyssey, Ted’s Tails, Hansel & Gretel and His Dark Materials.

Recently I have been very lucky to have been invited to work with Gatecrash Theatre Company, leading on technical aspects and providing lighting design for their inaugural production, Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem at Swindon Dance and Swindon Arts Centre and now on this epic and fantastic community Passion event. I have a strong love for theatre and it takes up a great deal of my life – not only have I worked in technical departments but also front of house, box office and in marketing. I strive to help make theatre as good as it can be to encourage others, maybe those who have never been to the theatre, to experience something that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

For more information on Gatecrash please click here