NEWS: Alice in Wonderland at WAF 2015

The Wandsworth Arts Fringe (WAF) is coming up in May, and we’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be transferring last year’s WAF production, Alice in Wonderland by Richard Stratton, to the Battersea Library (Clapham Junction) 2-16th May 2015*.

It’s especially exciting because 2015 is the 150th anniversary of the original book’s publication by writer Lewis Carroll.

The show will be directed by Blackshaw’s Managing & Artistic Director, Ellie Pitkin, with assistance from Marcus Bazley.  Zahra Mansouri is designing set/costume, with associate designer, Michelle Bristow.  Andrew Crane is designing sound and lights.

Some original cast are returning, and some new faces are amongst us…



Alice has lost her cat, but when her search leads her to the library, Alice discovers more than she could ever imagine. Fall down the rabbit hole with Alice as her world is turned upside down in this new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale. Suitable for ages 4+ (and plenty of jokes for the grownups).

ALICE-000207“this ingeniously directed production by Ellie Pitkin showcases all the theatrical tricks one can imagine…this resourceful and clever production” **** – Public Reviews

“an imaginative production…highly entertaining and engaging…a fun afternoon adventure” – Everything Theatre

“tightly directed and precisely performed – and gloriously silly” – Cumbria PR


*Sat 2nd May (6 & 7.30pm shows), Bank Holiday Mon 4th May (3pm and 4pm shows), Fri 8th May (7.30pm show), Sat 9th May (6 & 7.30pm shows), Fri 15th May (7.30pm show), Sat 16th May (6 & 7.30pm shows).

The Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 5

Matt Boothman is in the studio once again, this week reviewing ‘Jupiter Ascending’ and we reviewed Cyphers’ production of Great Expectations at the Proud Archivist.

The actresses performing in Blackshaw’s upcoming run of Character at the Tristan Bates (9-14th March) spoke to us about the show and we also played a selection of poetry form Owen Collins and Daisy Thurston-Gent.

Happy listening!

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Character 2015 – promo photos

What? Character by Florence Vincent

Where? Tristan Bates Theatre

When? 9-14th March, 7.30pm (duration: 1 hour)

How much? £12/10.

Book Tickets!

Directed by Ellie Pitkin

Performed by Clare Harlow and Angela Ferns

Michelle is about to turn thirty and not coping well. Desperate to finish her novel before the big 3-0 arrives, she retreats to the countryside with a typewriter, a crate of wine, and her oldest friend Freya – who is harbouring problems of her own.

Character is the searingly funny and achingly dark story of two women trying to navigate their way through the modern world, and – in the process – keep their friendship afloat.

“A classic odd couple double act” – Public Reviews

“Played with great energy and conviction…a fantastic chemistry on stage…laugh-out-loud funny…a stark reminder of what is so fun and exciting about fringe theatre” – Remote Goat

Photos by Richard Stratton

Working for Blackshaw – Funding & Partnerships Manager, Nick

As Funding & Partnership Manager it is my job to search, apply and cross my fingers in hope for funding. As you can imagine, it’s not easy getting funding for arts based projects. The pots of money are getting smaller and the number of people applying to them is increasing! I also keep on the lookout for potential partnerships for our projects. Not only can this ease the burden in terms of financing a project but also it is good for us to work with new people. This role also means advising on some of our more dreary legal documents but nevertheless important to get right.

My day job is very similar. I work at the University of East London as a Research Funding Officer helping academics search and apply for funding for their research projects. This comes with a healthy dollop of project management once the grants are awarded. These skills are handy when it comes to working for Blackshaw.

Searching for funds mostly comes down to endless Googling until you find the right one, and requires a lot of reading eligibility requirements (not worth reading much else before that).

I work closely with our Strategy and Planning Manager, Vikki, AKA taskmaster general, when we collaborate on a funding application. Each application and project is ultimately overseen by Ellie, our Managing & Artistic Director (AKA arty boss). They are great to work with and even though it can get tough at times, it is ultimately satisfying getting the applications submitted and even more so when they are successful.

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 6

Tune in to this week’s instalment of the Blackshaw Arts Hour, join Iasha to hear all things theatre and arts in Wandsworth and beyond!

We play Wailing Well, read by Duncan Gates for your listening pleasure and poets Owen Collins and Daisy Thurston-Gent provide us with a mini poetry segment within the show.

Also this week, we have a piece of new writing by Joe Banks called Have you Seen Spider-Man 2? performed by Grace Felton and Smith Lowe.

Happy listening!

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Working for Blackshaw – Radio Producer, Iasha

What is your role at Blackshaw?

My role at Blackshaw is to organise the content and produce our weekly radio show, The Blackshaw Arts Hour, on Wandsworth Radio.


What day to day tasks does that mean you do?

Generally my busiest day is a Sunday as that’s the day the show goes out live on the radio. I have to be at the studio about an hour before the show to load the clips we are playing and program all our content. The show goes out live on Wandsworth Radio from 6-7 and I am normally helped out by a co-host or two. I panel (press all the buttons), make sure the sound is going out at the right level and present the content while always keeping an eye on the time (and occasionally forgetting to turn the mics off!)

During the week I email a lot of writers, actors and theatre associated people in order to generate content for the show. I try and have a couple of recordings lined up for the week so that my sound man Andy can have them edited and ready to go out on air at the end of that week.


How do you think of ideas for the radio show?

Thinking about what is coming up for Blackshaw is always my first point of call when coming up with content. Interviews and promos for upcoming productions are really easy ways to generate quick radio content and are also great in prmoting Blackshaw to our listeners! The pieces performed at new writing nights are also guaranteed audio entertainment.

Ideas I have found also come from talking to people about the show. Some people have things they have written that they would like to record, and I have obtained a lot of contacts from the people we have had on the show in the past. It has been really nice to hear the positivity from people and their willingness to be involved is a huge bonus.

If you have anything you think would sound great on our radio show, get in touch!  You can reach me at


Do you work particularly closely with anyone else on the Blackshaw team?

I work closely with Andy Crane, Blackshaw’s resident sound expert. He’s with me when we records radio plays and interviews and is the one that takes the audio we record away, makes it listenable with his editing prowess, and then sends it to me so I can program it into the show.

Matt Boothman has been with me live in the studio every week from the shows inception delighting us with his wonderfully worded film reviews. Director Ellie is my loyal co-presenter most weeks and Vikki has contributed content and co-presented too!


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the on air presenting side of my job. I had a bit of a break from live presenting but getting back into it this year has been really fun. It’s fantastic working with such a great bunch of motivated and creative people and the support from all members of the Blackshaw team has been fantastic.

It’s also really fun! From hanging out and meeting new people and recording them to being in the studio every week, it has been an absolute pleasure to get this radio show off the ground. It also means I get to see way more theatre than I ever have, which is always nice!

Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 4

Join us for the fourth instalment of the Blackshaw Arts Hour!

This week Matt Boothman our resident movie reviewer is co-hosting and delivers his review of “Selma”. We hear from Marcus Bazley and Rupert Sandler from Cyphers theatre talking to us about their new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Great Expectations (The Proud Archivist 10-11, 13-14 February at 7:30pm, and on 15 February at 3pm).

Vikki is back this week with her ‘Arts thing of the week’, focusing on theatre in schools and more poetry from Owen Collins.  Bringing us to the end of the show this week we played a new writing piece adapted for radio. “Have you seen Spider-Man 2?” was written by Joseph Banks and stars Smith Lowe and Grace Felton.

Listen below and enjoy!


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Blackshaw Arts Hour – Episode 3

Check out the third instalment of our radio show, Blackshaw’s Arts Hour.

Our film critic Matt Boothman is with us live in the studio once again taking us through the new film ‘Whiplash’, Owen Collins treats us to a selection of his eclectic poetry and we hear an essay by Corey Hulls detailing why, in his opinion, Spider-Man is the worst superhero of all time.

Blackshaw’s Vikki Weston joins us for her co-presenting debut and talks to us about an innovative “artistic” ball pit project for grown-ups and Blackshaw Arts Hour regular voice, Ellie gives us her review of the play, ‘Taken at Midnight’ (Theatre Royal, Haymarket, running until the 14th of March)


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NEWS: ‘Character’ at the Tristan Bates, 9-14th March

If you haven’t already heard, we’re doing a run of hilarious comedy play ‘Character’, by Florence Vincent, at the Tristan Bates Theatre (Covent Garden), 9-14th March 2015.

Michelle is about to turn thirty and not coping well. Desperate to finish her first novel before the big 3-0 arrives, she retreats to the countryside with a typewriter, a crate of wine, and her oldest friend Freya – who is harbouring problems of her own.

More info about the show on our ‘What’s On’ page, AND here on this very blog, from when we did the show at the Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe 2014.

Tickets are on sale now, at the very reasonably priced £12 full, £10 concessions.

There are only 6 shows, so click and book to avoid disappointment.