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The Old Vic announces The Old Vic 12 Class of 2016-2017
London, 5th December: Today The Old Vic announces the theatre makers behind this year’s Old Vic 12: a
company of talented, developing artists looking to make the next step in their careers. The scheme offers them
the opportunity to expand their networks, experience first class mentoring and receive funding to create three
brand new plays as a collective.
The newly announced Old Vic 12 consists of:
Directors, Chelsea Walker, Lekan Lawal and Jesse Jones
Producers, Molly Roberts, Tobi Kyeremateng and Aaron Rogers
Playwrights, Joe White, Rebecca Crookshank and John O’Donovan
Designer, Fin Redshaw
Movement Director, Rachael Nanyonjo
Composer, Cassie Kinoshi
This Autumn, after receiving 1,300 applications and interviewing over 300 candidates, The Old Vic is thrilled to
start work with these artists to nurture and unveil the work they produce.
Artistic Director, Matthew Warchus said, ‘Supporting the next generation of theatre-makers is one of the most
important and effective contributions to our cultural future we can make. It is also one of the most enjoyable.
The Old Vic 12 sees emerging creatives engaging with people at the top of their profession across a wide
range of theatrical disciplines and it's hugely inspiring to see how much all parties get from the mutual
exchange of ideas. The presence of these early-career creative minds in our midst through the year is
extremely energising. And it's also exciting to see the partnerships formed within the group and how these
develop forward beyond The Old Vic. So, we are very happy to welcome this year's group, and to support
them as they collaborate to create new work and bring fresh energy to this building.’
The Old Vic 12 demonstrates the theatre’s commitment to outreach and inclusivity in everything it does and
feeds into The Old Vic’s integrated artist development strategy at the heart of the theatre. During Season 1 of
Matthew Warchus’ Artistic Directorship, The Old Vic engaged with 10,000 people via four new outreach
programmes: OV12, Stage Business (a unique leadership and employability project for young people aged
16–18, who then deliver additional workshops for younger students aged 11–14), Baylis Director and Assistant
Baylis Directorships (annual post that provide a notable opportunity for one director and assistant directors
each year) and Frontline (a scheme offering 16–20 year olds, an opportunity to discover more about careers in
theatre through paid placements with The Old Vic’s front of house team). These initiatives unlock creative
imagination in people of all ages and backgrounds, building close relationships and friendships, developing
strong communities, and enhancing employability. The Old Vic is committed to working in a united way with
artists to ensure genuine career progression and development at every stage.
During its year of inception, The Old Vic 12 developed three brand new plays; ​Five Years, Prince of the River
and ​The Test, which were recently presented in an intimate setting at the Criterion Theatre. Alongside this
process they received mentoring from industry experts, collaborated on a variety of projects and delivered
masterclasses to other emerging artists.
Achievements from the Class of 2015–2016 include: Director Caitlin McLeod moving on to win a Sky Arts
Scholarship to create new theatre company The Coterie, pairing with OV12 Producer Martha Rose Wilson.
Producer Paul Jellis moved on to become Executive Producer (maternity cover) at HighTide and Sarah
Georgeson is now Assistant Producer at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Director Ed​ Stambollouian recently finished a successful run of B
​ lush at The Edinburgh Festival; composer
Harry Blake takes up post as Cameron Mackintosh resident composer at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and
Samuel Bailey is presenting his next play C
​ hamp at the Tobacco Factory.
For general Old Vic press enquiries, including OV12:
Amy Dowd | E [email protected] | M 07737 007 016
For production press enquiries:
Jo Allan | E [email protected] | M 07889 905 850 | T 020 7520 9392
Kitty Greenleaf | E [email protected] | M 07545 131 539 | T 020 7520 9392
THE OLD VIC 12 CLASS OF 2016–2017
Chelsea Walker​ trained at the Central School of
Speech and Drama, and the University of Oxford. She
was a runner up for the 2016 JMK Award and will be
directing ​Low Level Panic by Clare McIntyre at the
Orange Tree in February. Her recent directing credits
include ​White Lead (Women Centre Stage,
Hampstead), ​P’yongyang (Finborough), K
​ lippies
(Southwark), ​Chicken Dust (Finborough), O
​ ccupied
(Bush Bazaar, Bush) and ​Lean (Tristan Bates). Her
recent assistant directing credits include W
​ ild
(Hampstead), ​Routes (Royal Court) and L
​ ittle Mermaid
(Bristol Old Vic). Chelsea is a director for Southwark
Playhouse’s Young Company, a Stage Business
Facilitator for The Old Vic and a script reader for the
Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Lekan Lawal ​is a director, and theatre maker. He is
currently finishing an 18-month placement with the
Regional Theatre Young Directors’ Scheme (RTYDS)
at Derby Theatre and an Associate at the Hackney
Showroom. He has directed and assisted at several
venues including the Young Vic, Derby Theatre, Arcola
and Summerhall. He will be directing a production of
Harold Pinter’s ​Betrayal at Derby in Spring 2017.
Jesse Jones i​s a theatre maker from Bristol. He
Trained on Bristol Old Vic Made in Bristol Program and
the National Theatre Studio’s Directors Program. Jesse
was founding Artistic Director of the Wardrobe Theatre,
set up in 2011 and is a founding member of award
winning company, The Wardrobe Ensemble whose
work has toured nationally and internationally. Jesse
has recently finished an 18-month residency at Royal &
Derngate, Northampton having been awarded the
prestigious Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme
Work directed for the Wardrobe Theatre includes:
Wilbore, ​Scumbag and ​Guttermouth. For The Wardrobe
Ensemble: ​1972: The Future of Sex, ​Edgar and the
Land of Lost, ​33 (as associate) and R
​ iot (as devisor
and performer). For the National Theatre: T
​ he
Grandfathers, ​Maggot Moon (workshop development)
and ​Emil and the Detectives (as Assistant). For Bristol
Old Vic: ​Smoke and Bridges, ​Paths Present Future,
Two and ​Brave (Assistant Director). For Royal &
Derngate: ​A Day To Remember, ​Market Boy,
KONTAKT. As Associate: ​The Tempest, ​Soul, ​The
Herbal Bed. As Assistant: ​The Hook, ​Brave New World,
Gaslight and​ Odd.
This Autumn Jesse will direct ​Shipped for Theatre west,
Champ for Tobacco Factory Theatre’s and return to
Northampton this Christmas with ​Second Star to the
Joe White ​is a writer from Birmingham, and is a
graduate of the Royal Court Young Writers Programme
and Invited Studio Group. He has developed work with
Birmingham Rep, Lyric Hammersmith, HighTide
Festival and BBC Radio 3. In 2014, he was selected for
the BBC writersroom 10, and won the Channel 4
Playwriting Award (formerly Pearson Award) for his
play ​Pangaea. In 2015, he was the Writer in Residence
of Pentabus Theatre Company.
Rebecca Crookshank​ left the Royal Air Force to train
at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts where she
gained a First Class BA (Hons) in Acting. She is now an
artist based in East London.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot her debut play as a solo
writer/performer, is based on her own story as a woman
the British Armed Forces and highlights inequality,
sexual harassment and bullying in institutions. The
script is published by Oberon Books and has just
finished playing in New York. ​Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
was nominated for Best New Play, Best New
Production, Best Director and Best Actress in the 2015
Broadway World Awards and shortlisted for the
Brighton Fringe Audience Choice Award. Rebecca
recently won Performer of the Year at the Devon
Performance Awards and the show was shortlisted for
a Liberty Human Rights Arts Award 2016.​
Writer credits include: ​Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
(Edinburgh Fringe, UK Tour, United Solo New York);
Alice: A New Musical (St James, London); D
​ etached
(Feature Film-In Development with WARP Films and
Bcre8tive). Her first short play ​Clipping My Wings
premiered at the Our Bodies Our Future Conference in
2015 led by MP Stella Creasy.
Rebecca runs her own creative consultancy company
encouraging equality, the arts and future voices. Clients
include the Royal Ballet, The International School of
Harrow Beijing, Jacksons Lane, LAMDA and Arts
Award. She has worked as writer in residence at
Frederick Bremer School in East London. In 2007 she
set up a creative education company in Devon called
‘The SHAC’ which later became Shacademy Ltd where
she ran workshops and new writing projects with young
people in rural communities.
John O’Donovan​ is a London-based playwright from
Co. Clare, Ireland. His work has been read and staged
in the UK at the Old Red Lion, Southwark Playhouse,
Theatre503, New Diorama and Arcola Theatre and in
Ireland by Druid Theatre, the Abbey Theatre and the
Irish Drama League. A former member of the Royal
Court Young Writers’ Programme and the Abbey
Theatre Playwrights Hub, he has had stories and plays
published in Verbal Arts Magazine, Crannóg and Bare
Fiction. ​If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show
You How I Love You is published by Methuen Drama
Molly Roberts ​is Artistic Director of new writing
company Poleroid Theatre and a professional Actress
and Theatre Producer. As a producer she specialises in
working collaboratively with new writing and developing
emerging artists. Her 2014 production of F
​ ree Fall by
Vinay Patel was nominated for three Off-West End
Theatre Awards and is published by Methuen Drama.
Producing credits include: ​Plastic (Latitude
Festival/Touring 2017), ​This Must Be The Place
(Latitude Festival/Vault 2017), ​All The Things I Lied
About (Soho Theatre/Paines Plough Roundabout as
assistant), ​The Human Voice (JMK Award Runner Up
Prize Winner), ​Foreign Body (Off Beat/RADA Festival),
Jackie The Baboon (R&D, Orange Tree/Brunskill &
Grimes), ​Write It : Mic It (Live Theatre/Paines Plough
Roundabout/Vault/Hackney Attic/Castle Hotel
Manchester/Wilderness Festival), ​The Locker Outings
(Vault), ​The Allotment (R&D, Live Theatre), L
​ ife On A
Plum & Bangin' Wolves (Wilderness Festival), F
​ ree Fall
(Pleasance/Offie nominated), ​Apathy (Theatre
Uncut/Poleroid/MolinoGroup). As an Actress she has
been nominated for Best Female - Off West End
Theatre Awards, and worked with the New Vic Theatre,
Frantic Assembly, Open Clasp, Oxford Shakespeare,
BBC and Channel 4 amongst others.
Tobi Kyeremateng ​is a Producer based in South West
London invested in using storytelling and poetry as a
tool to evoke empathy and debate, balancing unique
forms and genuine commentary on the world we live in.
Through this art-form, Tobi has worked with artists such
as Caleb Femi, Theresa Lola, Debris Stevenson, Tom
Gill and Deanna Rodger.
Tobi has worked with organisations such as Battersea
Arts Centre, Ovalhouse Theatre, The Roundhouse,
Bestival, Block9 @ Glastonbury, The Big House
Theatre Company and A New Direction to work with
young people and emerging artists to produce
professional, honest work and has collaborated with
other organisations such as The Prince's Trust,
RichMix, Caius House and Katherine Lowe Settlement.
In addition, Tobi has just been appointed the new
Producer for Apples & Snakes - England’s leading
organisation for performance poetry and spoken word
with a national reputation for producing exciting,
engaging and transformative work in performance and
Aaron Rogers ​is originally from Dublin, he trained at
Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts and most recently
he has completed an MA in Creative Producing from
Birkbeck. Aaron is currently an Associate Producer at
Theatre Royal Stratford East and previously the
Assistant Producer to Paul Taylor-Mills.
Producing credits include: ​The Rise And Fall Of Little
Voice (Union Theatre), ​Three Guys Naked From The
Waist Down (Finborough Theatre), ​Rebel Song (Her
Majesty's Theatre), ​My Dads Gap Year (Tristan Bates
Theatre), ​An Invitation To:You From:Me (Tristan Bates
Theatre), ​Fragile (Cobalt Cafe Theatre, Dublin).
Assistant Producer credits include: ​In The Heights
(Kings Cross Theatre), ​Casa Valentina (Southwark
Playhouse), ​Red Riding Hood (Pleasance Theatre
London), ​Miracle On 34th Street (UK and Dubai Tour)
and ​Willemjin Verkaik in Concert (Ambassadors
Rachael Nanyonjo ​graduated from Roehampton
University with a BA Honors in Dance Studies and
formed Kansaze Dance Theatre in 2011 to create
innovative contemporary dance physical theatre that
responds to socio- cultural and political themes through
collaborating with different art forms. Rachael works as
a choreographer, teacher, movement director and
assistant director. Rachael has worked with the Young
Vic, National Theatre, East London Dance, Wayne
McGregor | Random Dance, Big Dance, BBC (working
titles films), Roehampton University, Sky Arts, Batalo
East (Uganda) and has worked as a visiting lecturer
teaching choreography at Middlesex University. Rachel
gained a Masters in choreography from Middlesex
University 2012, and is a 2015 British Council and Arts
Council England international development fund
recipient to undertake a research, development and
documentation project with Ugandan-based Tabu Flo
Dance Company. Rachael is a One Dance UK (ADAD)
Trailblazer Fellow 2015–2016.
Commissions include Dance East HOST Festival 2016,
Ballet Boys Ignition Festival 2014 & Roehampton
University Third Row Dance Company 2013.
Achievements include a recipient of Dance UK’s
Mentoring Programme 2013/14 & London Hub’s ‘Pitch
It!’ bursary 2013. Shortlists include: Matthew Bourne’s
New Adventures Choreographic Award &
Choreographic Captures (2011).
Fin Redshaw ​recently graduated with a first class
honours from the Royal Welsh College of Music &
Drama in performance design. Prior to this, in 2013 she
completed an Art Foundation degree at the university of
the arts London, specialising in Theatre Design. Whilst
at RWCMD in 2016 she was set designer for​ Mojo
directed by Sean Linnen at the Richard Burton Theatre.
She was also the set and costume designer for I​ n
Arabia We'd all be Kings directed by Andrew Whyment
at the Bute Theatre in 2015. In addition Fin has worked
as a scenic artist at the Royal Opera House and
National Theatre. She has recently worked as a model
maker for Rob Howell and Bob Crowley on several
productions. Currently she is the designer for comedian
Richard Herring's monthly show ​As it occurs to me at
the Leicester Square Theatre. She is also working as
artistic director on a number of upcoming short films.
Cassie Kinosh​i is a London- based composer,
arranger and alto saxophonist known for her work with
jazz septet NÉRIJA, Afrobeat band KOKOROKO and
her own large ensemble SEED
Alongside working frequently within the world of jazz
music and live performance, Cassie has also written for
short film and videogame as well as professional
classical ensembles such as the Benyounes Quartet
and members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Notable artists Cassie has worked alongside include
Dele Sosimi, Zoe Rahman, Nathaniel Facey, Yazz
Ahmed and Laura Jurd.
In 2012 Cassie was shortlisted for the BBC Young
Composer of the Year award and was recently
nominated for Jazz FM Breakthrough Act of the Year
2016 as part of the ensemble Nerija.
Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Tina Alexandrou, Cate Blanchett & Andrew Upton, Robert Bourne, Nick &
Caroline Clarry, Hani Farsi, Nathalie & Nicolas Giauque, David & Rose Heyman, Fawn James, Laura & Nigel
Mead, Sir Alan & Lady Parker, Steven & Ann Pleschette Murphy and Ian Powell.
This project was made possible with seed funding from the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust.
The Old Vic under Artistic Director Matthew Warchus is a place that encourages a new love of theatre, as well
as offering a refreshing experience to those who keep coming back for more. It is a theatre steeped in tradition
yet still innovating and making history today through a huge variety of output on and off stage which grabs the
imagination of the broadest range of people.
The Old Vic programme encompasses invigorating new writing; works that engage with a wide social
conversation; nurturing new musicals, mounting passionate revivals and famous old plays; experimentation
with quirky, eye-opening and challenging pieces; and family shows and pantomimes. In addition, we work with
over 10,000 people each year of all ages and backgrounds to unlock creative intelligence through school
projects, employability schemes and community engagement. All of this is achieved whilst operating as a
not-for-profit organisation without a regular subsidy, in an almost 200 year old building with a touch of magic
about it.
(CREDIT: Amit & Naroop. Location: House of Vans)
OV12 2016​–​2017 - Image available to download h
​ ere​.