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The Blue Elephant Theatre never ever does things by

Please see our past programme section for reviews of past shows.


Q & A with writer Anna Iwazawa

Date published
Friday 7 June 2024

We sat down with Anna, writer of new musical Windson High, and she shared some insights into the journey of writing her first stage play.

What inspired you to write Windson High? Was there a particular moment or experience that motivated you to start writing?
My inspiration mainly came from my love for musical theatre and the regret of my final school production being cancelled in high school. Studying abroad in London immersed me in the West End Theatre, which was one of the reasons I chose to study there. Over the last three years, watching different musicals has strengthened my desire to write one of my own, and I felt anything was possible in London! This is my final year here, and I want to write a short piece and bring it to the stage. I've loved musical theatre since childhood. I always wanted to be part of it but didn’t join because I didn’t think it would be a good fit, even though my friends encouraged me to do so. In my final year, when I finally decided to join by becoming part of the ensemble, it got cancelled due to the COVID pandemic. That disappointment stayed with me. Many of my secondary school friends (half of the cast) and I grew up together, and after this year, we will be even further apart. I wanted to create a memory we could all share, and thus, Windson High was created.

How did you begin the writing process for your first musical? What were the initial steps you took to bring your idea to life?
I started with the first monologue our main character Lin says at the beginning. It was last summer during sleepless nights when I typed everything out. The songs followed the monologue naturally. I’m the type of songwriter who waits for the melody to come to me, which can take a while. For instance, the opening song was written over a period of three months. I had the first verse in summer, but the rest came in December when I was having a night walk in Singapore. A few other melodies came from songs I wrote in my teenage years. After writing the songs, I worked on the stories. Many characters are inspired by my school life, combined with some of my favourite characters from musical theatre, such as Glinda from Wicked and Blanche Barrow from Bonnie & Clyde. Since I don’t read scores, Libby Yunqian Lyu helped me compose the songs, and I've also incorporated ideas from our cast and crew.

As this is your first-time writing a stage musical, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced? How did you navigate through them?
The biggest challenge was developing strong character motivations. As a film student, story writing is not my strength; I always find script writing difficult, even though I have many stories to tell. I think I am more visual than verbal. I navigated this by chatting with my cast and crew. Usually, I would ask my friends for ideas, but I wanted to keep Windson High a surprise, so I didn't ask many friends this time. Qianhan, Sophie, Paulina, and Xinglin helped me with proofreading and gave ideas, which I incorporated into the story! Another challenge was that the character Mr. Stanley, who is very complicated. As a 21-year-old, I have not yet become a parent nor reached middle age, so it was difficult to fully understand an older character and his experiences. However, there are many things I want to convey through this character, so I considered a lot of aspects while writing about him.

Who were your biggest supporters or mentors during the writing process? How did they influence your work?
Angela, a friend who encouraged me to pursue musical theatre back in high school and is also part of the producing team, has always been incredibly supportive. I can never thank her enough. Qianhan, who has been on this journey with me the longest, her optimism and positivity has influenced me a lot throughout the way. Kassandra and Isabella, who have supported me virtually from afar. Yanshi and Irene for always providing emotional support. Each member of the cast, Sophie, Billie, and Andrew, for always turning my impossibles into possibles. Rui, Paulina, and Theo for being lifesavers with their fantastic performing skills. I'm grateful to all of our crew for making this show happen, and to my family and friends who have supported my dream every step of the way!

How did you handle feedback and revisions for your first project? Can you share any significant changes that were made based on feedback?
I handled feedback and revisions for Windson High through a collaborative approach, regularly discussing ideas with my cast and crew and incorporating their suggestions. After each rehearsal, we would have an open dialogue session where cast and crew could provide crucial input in refining the story and characters. This process helped us uncover more details as we rehearsed, making the final piece stronger and more dynamic. For instance, some characters initially had unclear motivations, but after feedback from Qianhan & Paulina, I reworked their backstories and motivations, adding depth and complexity. Moreover, the musical numbers underwent several revisions. I collaborated with Libby Yunqian Lyu who arranged my melodies into songs, as I don’t read scores. My approach to songwriting is intuitive, waiting for melodies to come to me, and Libby helped bring those ideas to life. With Libby’s composing and my incorporation of ideas and suggestions received from performers to adjust the arrangements, ensuring the songs fit them well. Receiving feedback and being open to revisions allowed the project to evolve significantly, resulting in a polished and well-received final production.

Writing your first piece can be emotionally taxing. How did you balance the emotional highs and lows throughout the process?
I was actually happy most of the time while writing this piece. I think it's because I genuinely love musical theatre to the point where I don’t feel any negativity. Throughout the writing process, I found balance through my deep connection to music. Singing musical theatre songs has always been a part of my daily routine, but it became even more prominent during this writing period. Singing those songs has always been my way of relieving emotions, whether they were high or low. When I was emotionally high, I would belt out joyful or powerful songs, which allowed me to channel my excitement and joy into my work. Conversely, during low moments, I would sing sad songs, which not only helped me process my feelings but also served as a practice in emotional acting control, allowing me to train my genuine emotions through my performances.

What was it like seeing Windson High performed for the first time in rehearsals? How did it feel to see your work come to life on stage?
It reminded me of my high school days! Having not been involved in theatre productions since Year 10, I was filled with excitement to witness my work take shape on stage. Reflecting on my IGCSE history teacher's words about how we will only remember the happiest memories of school life, I found a similar sentiment resonating within me when Windson High was brought to life on stage. Upon entering the theatre for rehearsals, all the challenges and hardships I faced during the writing and rehearsal process seemed to vanish as if by magic. As the stage lights illuminated, the melodies I had sung were played by instruments, and my solo songs were transformed into harmonious ensembles. It was a magical moment that brought me immense joy and fulfilment!

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers who are looking to create their first musical or theatrical work?
Dream big and don’t be afraid! Every story deserves to be told. Remember, if you have a goal, you’re already halfway there!


Bring a Show to the Blue Elephant!

Date published
Wednesday 8 May 2024

Are you looking for a venue for an Edinburgh preview or a one off/short run in July or August?

We are programming shows in our 50 seat, black box venue and would love to hear from you!

We have availability from July 15th to August 11th and are interested in hearing about all shows, although preference will be given to shows which resonate with our diverse urban London location and the communities here.

We will programme as we receive applications with a cut off date of June 8th.

We offer these terms:
- Access to the space from 10am on the day of the performance with 4 hours support from a technician
- Marketing support including listing on our website, in our enewsletters and on our social media
- A 50/50 box office split BUT the first £100 of ticket sales goes to the Blue Elephant towards staff costs, eg if £170 is taken, £100 goes to Blue Elephant and £70 goes to the company but so long as at least £200 is taken each night, both Blue Elephant and the company get the same split. We regret the need to introduce this practice but are trying to be sustainable in the wake of funding cuts.
- Full ticket price should be at least £12

Please get in touch at if you would like to propose a show. We'd like to know a bit about the show and those involved, see some past footage if available and would also like to hear what dates you would like and what marketing plans you have for the show. You can see more about the theatre on the Info for Companies page.


Blue Elephant’s Chance for Double Donations

South London Community Matters
Date published
Friday 15 March 2024
Michael Holland

Blue Elephant Theatre is taking part in the Big Give’s Arts for Impact campaign to raise £5,000 in just one week!

The small but mighty theatre is raising funds for some of its core work, delivering Creative Minds drama workshops in local schools. It is vital for the Blue Elephant to raise money for this important work, having recently lost regular core funding from Arts Council England as part of arts funding cuts to London, a decision described as ‘cultural vandalism’ by local MP Harriet Harman.

Blue Elephant Theatre has worked with Southwark schools for more than twenty years. These workshops have improved outcomes for vulnerable young people by supporting academic achievement and language development, and addressing social, behavioural and emotional challenges.

Donations to the campaign will be generously matched by Big Give’s Champions during the campaign to make double the difference in supporting local young people.

Jo Sadler-Lovett, Head of Participation at Blue Elephant Theatre, says:

“Creative Minds is truly an example of arts having impact. I’ve seen selectively mute young people speak for the first time in school for years and school refusers say they let go of stresses in workshops. One of the leaders of our Young People’s Theatre first encountered Blue Elephant through school workshops, before joining youth theatre and remaining part of the theatre ever since.

We hope we can raise enough funds this year to allow our work to continue. With this campaign, we’re looking to raise a total of £5000. In order to access the £2500 we have in the matching pot, we need to raise £2500 in online donations. We’d be very grateful for any support.”

The Big Give’s Arts for Impact Campaign will be live from 12 noon on Tuesday 19th March to 12 noon on Tuesday 26th March. Blue Elephant Theatre’s campaign page is here:


Casting Call for The Elf who Saved Christmas

Date published
Friday 27 October 2023

Blue Elephant Theatre is excited to be mounting an in house family Christmas show The Elf who Saved Christmas.

When Santa falls ill on Christmas Eve, there’s only one Elf who can make sure the presents are delivered all over the world. Inspired by conversations with young people, The Elf who Saved Christmas touches on celebrations across the globe as our Elf rushes to deliver every single last present!

Aimed at ages 3+, we are looking to create a show that is full of joy, humour and playfulness, and represents our local communities onstage. Our Christmas shows are a highlight of our year, usually selling out completely and always receiving positive feedback, as well as being an finalist in 2021.


Rehearsals: Monday 27th November – Friday 1st December, 9am – 6pm
Tech & Dress Rehearsal: Sunday 3rd December
Performance Days:
Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th December (shows at 10.45am and 1.30pm)
Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December (shows at 2pm and 4.30pm)
Monday 11th - off
Tuesday 12th – Friday 15th December (shows at 10.45am and 1.30pm)
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December (shows at 2pm and 4.30pm)
There is a possibility of extra performances being added to some days.

Total Payment: £1744 including holiday pay for the above schedule.

Casting Breakdown:

Elf (also multiple roles including playing a Nigerian child and a Jamaican elder) – Eager to please, Elf is often overlooked because they are neither exceptionally good at anything nor any trouble at all. We are looking for a Black actor of any gender, who is able to do Nigerian and Jamaican accents.

King (also multiple roles including playing Elf Supervisor and a number of child characters) - King is the main storyteller of the show, jumping in and out of the story. We are looking for a Latin American or Spanish actor of any gender, who is also able to sound like a London child.

Good comic timing and movement skills are helpful for both parts and actors should be comfortable leading Christmas carols. Puppetry skills/experience may also be helpful. Ideal applicants will have experience of children’s theatre and the ability to react quickly and ad-lib in response to audience interaction.

How to apply: Please apply via our audition notice on Mandy or by emailing by end of day on Thursday November 2nd with a CV/spotlight link and short cover note outlining your suitability for the project. You are welcome to send the cover note as a video or voice note. If emailing, please entitle the email ‘The Elf who Saved Christmas’ and address it to Jo Sadler-Lovett and indicate which character you are applying for. It would be helpful if you could indicate if you have had a DBS check within the last three years.

We will hold auditions at Blue Elephant Theatre on Friday 10th November between 10am and 1pm. Any call backs will be on Monday 13th November.
For more information about Blue Elephant Theatre, please visit our website

Blue Elephant Theatre welcomes applications from all sections of the community regardless of race, colour, ethnic or national origins, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disability or religious beliefs. With our children’s shows especially, however, we always aim for our casting to reflect our multi-ethnic local community. Please note that our performance space is on the ground floor, where there is also an accessible bathroom, and is accessible for wheelchair users but our upstairs bar is not.

The Elf who Saved Christmas is funded by Southwark Council’s Culture Together Fund.


Denmark Hill man cycling gruelling route across France to raise money for The Blue Elephant Theatre

Southwark News
Date published
Friday 21 April 2023
Herbie Russell

Denmark Hill man cycling gruelling route across France to raise money for The Blue Elephant Theatre

Matt has a 'nagging feeling' he hasn't trained enough but is still looking forward to the challenge.

A Denmark Hill man is cycling 627 miles across France in just eight days to raise money for the Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell.
The theatre, based on the Wyndham and Comber Estate complex, supports over 150 vulnerable young people through theatre, dance and writing.

But avid cyclist and Blue Elephant trustee Matt Craig, 59, says the theatre is vulnerable after losing funding from the Arts Council and Southwark Council.

So, on May 5, he will leave Ouistreham on the Channel coast, arriving in Sète, on the Mediterranean, on May 13, as part of a fundraising effort with a £2,500 target.

He has a “nagging feeling” he hasn’t done enough training but is still looking forward to the challenge.

“There’s a big attraction of going through the French countryside,” he said. “There will be nice green hills, orchards and lush meadows… then you go from lush northern Europe to the dryer, rockier, more arid area of Languedoc.”

In the north, he will go past Pegasus Bridge, one of the first bridges to be liberated during the D-Day landings.

In the south, he will go through Montauban, one of southern France’s most ancient fortified towns.

But it won’t be easy and some days will see him cycle 99 miles and climb over 5,000 feet.

Fortunately, on his way around he will stay at one and two-star hotels, offering respite from days of relentless pedalling.

Having spent his career as a financial journalist, Matt is now a trustee on The Blue Elephant’s board.

The community hub and theatre group does outreach work with local schools and communities, and also hosts live theatre.

It’s been the recipient of numerous awards, and supported the careers of successful theatre-makers like Offie Award-winning costume designer Emily Stuart and director David Mercatali.

Read the article on Southwark News here


Our Trustee Matthew Craig to cycle across France for Blue Elephant Theatre

Date published
Sunday 16 April 2023

Matthew Craig, one of our dedicated team of trustees, is cycling across France to raise funds for Blue Elephant Theatre.

He says:

This May, I am planning to cycle across France, from the Channel to the Med - 627 miles in 8 days - to raise funds for the Blue Elephant Theatre (BET) in Camberwell.

BET is a very special place; it is both a community hub on a disadvantaged housing estate providing high-quality participation opportunities and also a vibrant venue which supports emerging artists. The participation work, which has generated positive outcomes for two decades, includes Young People’s Theatre, a youth theatre for over 150 vulnerable young people every year, Creative Minds, a schools partnership project, and Playing Up, supporting early years' creative practice. The Blue Elephant has a well-earned reputation for providing exceptional value for money. But recent changes to its funding by Southwark Council and the Arts Council have placed the theatre in a very vulnerable position. Hence, my bike ride across France, from top to bottom, of 627 miles and around 27,500 of climbing, over 8 days. It should be a great experience, but also a demanding physical and mental challenge. Naturally, I will cover all costs myself, so any funds raised will go to this very good cause.

Why Should You Support The Blue Elephant?

Due to funding cuts, BET is now prioritizing its participation and outreach work, in keeping with its ethos of providing artistic opportunities to those who otherwise may not have access to them.

“The community needs BET because we don’t have a lot of money…[BET gets young people] off the streets [where] there’s a lot of gang-related incidents. They’re getting everything catered for in one space – social, emotional, physical, imagination.” (Parent of participant)

“It’s amazing what BET do for disadvantaged communities. I could have got caught up with the wrong crowd if it wasn't for my experience working with BET.”

I've been involved BET for several years, and I know it has changed peoples’ lives for the better. Many thanks for reading this and I hope you can support the Blue Elephant; it will help me keep going when the road points upwards, or my legs are complaining!

Matt Craig
Trustee, Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell



Date published
Wednesday 11 January 2023

En Blue Elephant Theatre iniciaremos nuevamente nuestro taller de teatro para adultos Latinxs residentes en SOUTHWARK.

El taller empezará el LUNES 16 DE ENERO, y se realizará por diez sesiones, los lunes de 6:30 a 8:30pm en Blue Elephant Theatre (59 Bethwin Road, SE5 0XT) de manera gratuita y culminará con una pequeña muestra en el Teatro.

CREANDO ESCENARIOS es una oportunidad completamente gratuita, gracias al apoyo de United St Saviour's Charity.

Si eres residente de Southwark, mayor de 18 años y hablas español.. ¡acompáñanos!

Para inscribirte por favor llena este formulario


Statement regarding Arts Council England's recent NPO announcement

Date published
Monday 7 November 2022

We are very grateful to have been a part of the Arts Council’s National Portfolio over the last 4 years and as a result are deeply saddened by the decision not to fund Blue Elephant Theatre as part of the portfolio after April 2023.

The contribution the theatre makes to its highly deprived local community and the emerging companies and artists it supports is an incredible one.

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those on the Blue Elephant Theatre team who worked tirelessly to make the theatre what it is - a small theatre with a huge heart.

Over the coming days and weeks, we will be taking stock as to what this funding cut means, but our commitment to artistic excellence, inclusion & representation and working with the most vulnerable members of our community remains. We send strength to the other organisations, companies & artists that have been affected by the news.


Casting call - A Topsy Turvy Christmas

Date published
Thursday 6 October 2022

Blue Elephant Theatre is excited to be mounting an in-house family Christmas show A Topsy Turvy Christmas - we are looking for two women to fill the roles of Robin and Mother / Santa / Baubles.

Combining comedy, audience interaction and a heartwarming message, A Topsy Turvy Christmas is a story about navigating change, listening to ourselves and finding Christmas magic wherever you go.

Aimed at ages 4-8 years.


Nov 25th & 27th (9am-5pm)
Dec 1st, 2nd & 4th (9am-5pm)

Additional rehearsals (to be confirmed asap if funding allows): Nov 6th, 10th, 11th, 13th & 24th (9am-5pm)

Tech & Dress Rehearsal: Weds 7th December


Thursday 8th – Friday 9th December (shows at 10.45am and 1.30pm)
Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December (shows at 2pm and 4pm)
Monday 12th - off
Tuesday 13th – Thursday 15th December (shows at 10.45am and 1.30pm)
Friday 16th - off
Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th December (shows at 2pm and 4pm)

Performances TBC:

Monday 19th (shows provisionally at 10am, 11.30am and 2pm)
Tuesday 20th (shows provisionally at 10am & 11.30am)


Performances paid at weekly ITC min rate of £494 per week (2 weeks total confirmed; more TBC)
Rehearsal days to be paid at ITC min daily rate £100 per day (5 days confirmed; more TBC)


Woman, playing age 25+, any ethnicity
This is a dynamic multi-role part requiring a versatile actor who can balance physical comedy and slapstick with emotional depth. We are looking to cast a woman for this role, playing age 25+ and we have no specific ethnicity in mind for this character.

Black woman, playing age 16-25 (character is a child)
Our young protagonist who drives the story. We are looking for an energetic actor who our audience can relate to and can engage well with the children watching. This role will require a sense of playfulness, but an ability to connect with a range of emotions. We are looking for an adult actor who can capture the energy of a child and we are ideally looking to cast a black woman in this role.

Good comic timing, movement skills, and a strong singing voice are helpful for both parts. Puppetry skills/experience may also be helpful for both parts. Ideal applicants will have considerable experience of children’s theatre and the ability to react quickly and ad-lib in response to audience interaction.


Please apply via our audition notice on Spotlight or by emailing by end of day on October 13th with a CV/spotlight link and short cover note outlining your suitability for the project.
You are welcome to send the cover note as a video or voice note.
If emailing, please entitle the email ‘A Topsy Turvy Christmas’ and address it to Alice Gentle indicating which character you are more interested in. It would be helpful if you could indicate if you have had a DBS check within the last three years and could fill out this monitoring form.

We aim to hold auditions at Blue Elephant Theatre on Wed 19 and Thu 20 October (morning), with recalls tentatively on Fri 21 Oct (morning).

For more information, you can download our full casting breakdown here: Casting call - A Topsy Turvy Christmas

Please email Guillaume at if you have any further questions.


Elephantology Festival applications now open!

Date published
Friday 30 September 2022

Elephantology is Blue Elephant Theatre’s Festival for recent graduates/those who are just entering the performing arts industry. With the support of the Idlewild Trust, we created our Elephantology Festival to offer showcase opportunities as a supportive step into the arts industry.

This year, we are offering three "graduate companies" two performance slots each, from 23 to 25 Feb 2023. These will be performed as double bills.

The offer is:

2 performances in our professional venue in a festival setting
£150 bursary towards the expenses of those taking part
50/50 box office split on top of the bursary
Technical support including an operator for the shows
• Artistic, marketing, press and fundraising mentoring

What you should know before applying:

⦁ We are looking to support those who have entered the performing arts industry in the last eighteen months or will be shortly; if you finished or are finishing training in 2021 or 2022 for instance.
⦁ The pieces should be original pieces and not a remounting of a script by an established writer.
⦁ The pieces should be no longer than an hour, and changeover times will be short. Ideally, set-up time excluding tech should be no longer than 20 min. Please note you will have had a few hours of tech time with us beforehand.
⦁ All collaborators must be over 18 and based in the UK, ideally London.
⦁ For more technical information about Blue Elephant Theatre, please see here:
⦁ Our stage is 7.5m x 5.5m and we only have one (small) dressing-room which isn't suitable to very large casts.
⦁ Please note that the Blue Elephant’s theatre space is on the ground floor and accessible to those in wheelchairs but its upstairs bar area is not.
⦁ We will work with you to make this as rewarding an experience as possible, bespoke to you.
⦁ Blue Elephant Theatre is committed to widening access to the arts and we particularly strive to work with people who reflect our local communities and audiences in Southwark and make work that is relevant to contemporary multi-cultural London. We particularly encourage applications from people who are underrepresented in the arts and/or face discrimination, including people who experience racism, identify as working class, identify as having a disability or are from the LGBTQ+ community.

To apply, please complete the application form here by Friday 21 October midday.

Alternatively, you can record your answers as video or audio files and share those with us at After you submit your application, we may get in touch with you to ask for more information or to clarify anything we are unsure of. If you would like to apply differently or have any questions, please contact Guillaume at or call 02077010100.


Artist call-out: TRUNKATED scratch night

Date published
Wednesday 28 September 2022

We are on the lookout for emerging Black artists who are willing to showcase up to 10 min of their work as part of our upcoming scratch night TRUNKATED: AstroBlack.

The event will be taking place on 14 October at 7:30pm at Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell. Artists may need to get there an hour early (or earlier depending on their tech needs).

We are interested in a very broad range of genres: music, film, theatre (scenes or monologues), spoken word, poetry, movement / dance - feel free to apply even if your artform doesn't fall within these categories!

Blue Elephant will cover £15 worth of expenses per act.

To apply, please complete this form by Friday 7 October: TRUNKATED application form

Please email if you have any questions or if you would like to apply differently.


Blue Elephant 2023 Residencies

Date published
Monday 5 September 2022

Blue Elephant Theatre is delighted to be able to offer week-long residencies to three emerging artists/companies in Jan-March 2023!

These residencies are for the live performing arts (all genres!) to provide research and development time between January and March 2023.

The offer is:

5 days of space at Blue Elephant Theatre (Monday to Friday, 10am – 5.30pm) for research and development of a new piece. The piece can already be a work in progress or be completely new. The goal is to give you the opportunity to have some thinking time, to experiment, and to create without the pressure of a polished final outcome.

£300 bursary towards the expenses of those taking part

• Artistic, marketing, press and fundraising mentoring

• Some technical support and the opportunity to present a showcase in our professional theatre

Applications for the residencies are now closed. Join our artist network to receive similar opportunities in the future!

If you've got any questions, please email Guillaume at


Blue Elephant Theatre is recruiting for Head of Participation

Date published
Sunday 14 August 2022

Blue Elephant Theatre is recruiting for a Head of Participation.

With a wide range of responsibilities, this is a varied and exciting role in a small and vibrant arts organisation. It is a one-year full-time fixed-term contract, which is expected to be renewed as permanent, with a salary of £31,200.

The role is responsible for the strategic direction and project management of the Participation Department of Blue Elephant Theatre. The Head of Participation is responsible for managing Participation staff and freelancers, as well as core delivery for a substantial amount of projects. As such, the postholder must be an experienced creative facilitator.

Please click below for full details of the job description and person specification, as well as the application form -
Head of Participation Job Description and Application Form

The closing date for applications is Friday 9th September at midday.

First round interviews will be held on 21st and 22nd September via Zoom and second round interviews (with workshop) will be held the following week at the Blue Elephant Theatre.

Please contact us on 020 7701 0100 or if you would like more information, to arrange an informal discussion ahead of applying or if you would like a more accessible way to apply.

Please also complete our Monitoring Form by midday on Friday 9th September


Vacancy: Technical Manager

Date published
Monday 8 August 2022

Blue Elephant Theatre is recruiting for a Technical Manager!

This role encapsulates a wide range of responsibilities within a small and vibrant arts organisation. It is a one-year fixed term contract, with an hourly rate of £12.50 and very flexible schedule - 20 hours per month as a minimum, and potentially significant additional hours will be offered most months at the same hourly rate.

The postholder will be responsible for liaising with visiting companies and hires regarding tech needs, supporting get-ins and occasionally operating shows, rigging / derigging lights etc. as well as a range of small general maintenance and repair jobs around the venue.

Full details of the job description, as well as the application form, can be found here: Technical Manager Application Form.
Please complete it and send it to
Please also complete our monitoring form.

The closing date for applications is Thursday 1 September at midday. Interviews will be held week commencing 5 September at Blue Elephant Theatre.

Please contact us on 02077010100 or if you would like more information, to arrange an informal discussion ahead of applying or if you would like a more accessible way to apply.


How Give Me The Sun came to life - interview with Niamh de Valera

Date published
Wednesday 13 July 2022

Our in-house show Give Me The Sun opened yesterday! Theatre Manager and Programmer Guillaume sat down with our Executive and Co-Artistic Director Niamh (currently on maternity leave) to ask her how this play came about, the journey it’s been on, and what first drew her to this story of familial bonds, fatherly love and identity.

How did you meet Give Me The Sun writer Mamet? What is the play’s origin story?

Mamet approached us, originally with a few other plays – including a one-man adaptation of Macbeth. We were very intrigued by him and interested in collaborating somehow. He said to us, “People keep telling me to write about Iran! In Iran, I write about Iran. I’m in London now, can’t I write about London?”

When he sent us the script for Give Me the Sun, we thought, “There’s something there. It’s not quite ready for production, but there’s something in this script.” We had an initial meeting to discuss how we could work together, and so began a long development process. In fact, it’s been three years now since we first met Mamet. It is amazing to see how far the play has come, getting to the final script while making sure it was still the work he envisioned.

Tell us more about the development process of Give Me The Sun.

Mamet was initially going to direct and act in the piece, as well as being the writer. The script was different back then. There were four characters, including Baba’s love interest and Bashir’s girlfriend. But they were very tiny parts, who appeared and disappeared very quickly and ultimately didn’t need to actually be seen on stage. The first stages of the R&D consisted in a lot of back and forth between Mamet and the Blue Elephant team, as we gave him feedback to consider, some of which he pushed back on as it wouldn’t be true to the culture.

We invited Mamet to organise a rehearsed reading in February 2020 to test the script in front of an audience and the response was incredible. It clearly moved a lot of people. We started thinking about potential collaborators and funded two days of R&D in April 2021 with director Sepy Baghaei and two actors. They were all of MENA (Middle Eastern & Northern African) background – we were really taken with this play, as it’s unusual to see an intimate family story like this about people of MENA background in London.

What’s the Intergenerational Festival, that Give Me the Sun is part of?

We’re always looking for work that feels real and relevant to our local communities. A few years ago, we commissioned a piece of work based on criteria our youth board suggested. One of the themes put forward was the expectations that a lot of immigrant parents put on their kids. There’s a whole host of things they experience. There’s often a huge amount of pressure to achieve academically for instance.

During the pandemic, we were allowed to apply for a project grant from the Arts Council because their rules for their regularly funded organisations changed. We jumped on the opportunity and applied to fund a larger Intergenerational Festival, looking at stories about being ‘first gen’, about parents from one country with its specific culture and a child who’s grown up in London - what the clashes may be, and what these generational divides mean in a tangible way.

As well as Give Me the Sun, the ‘festival’ included R&D periods for the two winners of our playwriting competition in 2020 which addressed these themes (The Apple Of His Eye by Vicky Olusanya and Roughly 150 Years by Rebecca Batala). It also included a community play. All these elements were supposed to happen close together but thanks to Omicron and other challenges, they ended up being spread out quite a bit.

Why should audiences come see Give Me The Sun?

In a way, it’s a play where nothing happens and yet so much happens. It’s intimate, it’s well-written, it’s not too in-your-face, it’s got subtlety to it. You don’t often see father-son relationships onstage like that. They’re vulnerable. It’s two brilliant parts for two actors.

When we had the rehearsed reading, people related to it. I was really intrigued. Even when it seemed like there was still a lot to resolve in the script, people related to it in different ways: people of MENA background because it’s very specific to them; anyone who was an immigrant was able to see themselves in it; and white British people were able to relate to the intricacies of the father-son relationship.

It’s a special play people can relate to in so many ways. Everyone watching it will see something for them in it.

Give Me The Sun will be on until 30 July at Blue Elephant – head to our What’s On page for more info, or click the button below to book.

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