I Am England

Portrait of soccer football fan with red cross english flag painted over face

Theatre Royal Bath Theatre School presents I Am England by David Lane (co-created by Sita Calvert-Ennals)

“And this, Max… is the start of that… We’ll make you untouchable. Immortalised in history forever.”

Isolated and lost on the edge of a world it once dominated, an ancient, proud, nation thirsts for nostalgia, for empire, and for revenge.
A young soldier is caught between duty, glory, expectation, and truth. Now, their country calls on them again, and Max finds themself at an impossible precipice. When the world is falling apart, whose responsibility is it to hold it together?

I Am England was originally developed for TRBTS by writer/director duo David Lane and Sita Calvert-Ennals a decade ago, inspired by Shakespeare’s Corialanus and a rapidly shifting political landscape. Now, ten years later, it returns with its unique, urgent, and prescient voice.

The production was directed by Kate Pasco, produced by Soph Jacobs-Wyburn, and the production photography was by Josh Jackson with BrightSky Film. Full company details can be found below. Please email for more information.

Production Photos

Rehearsal Photography

I Am England Company

Val – Alice Stillman

Arty – Avery Trotter

Chorus – Campbell Maddox

Chorus – Daisy Jackson

Chorus – Emily Nosworthy

Soldier/Chorus – Ewan Hipperton

Max – Genevieve Murray

Cynthia – Georgia-Mae Tan

Nell – Grace Abercrombie

Chorus – Jack Leemans

Chorus – Jasmine McKenzie 

Brian – Kieran Perry

Laura – Miranda Pharoah 

Chorus – Phoebe Bartlett

Ria – Rowan Periton

Caz – Sephy Priston

Chorus – Talia Galise

Chorus – Veronica Causey

Chorus – Willow Fedor

 

With Special Mention to;

Tilly Broadbridge, Jess Taylor, Gaia Eynon, Lucas Kover-Wolf, Louis Faucompre, Amelie Gorringe, Madieline Whitmore, Zandra Ross, Alex Robson, Joss Leiper-Gill, Scarlett England, Charlie Johnston, Izzy Lane, Evie Lloyd, Ammelia Mahlberg, Jack Leemans, and Evie Berrimen.

All Members of TRBTS who contributed to the R&D process for I Am England through 2022

Backstage

Student DSM/ASM – Hannah Malone

Assistant Stage Manager – Isaac Long

LX Operators – Olive Reynolds, Clayton Scholz-Every

Sound Operator – Danny Connaire

Wardrobe Assistant and Dresser- Audrey Hall

Prop Construction – Eva Ashdown, Oscar Legge, Evelyn Lydiate, Indra Norton, Jamie Mason, Caitlin McGuinness, Maximilian Oritz Velilla

Director’s Notes

I first read I Am England back in 2016, and was immediately struck by how current and urgent it felt – despite it having been written 4 years before. Fast forward to 2022, to our current political and economic landscape, and somehow this play feels more timely and important than ever, as do the voices of the young people both in our story and on stage. 
Our rehearsals have been filled with the company’s fascinating discussions, intelligent questions and thoughtful responses around duty, national identity and patriotism, fear and power. It can often be hard to find plays that feel and sound like they authentically explore and represent the voices of teenagers, but David has kept that at the heart of this piece – both through its original development and with this current version. He has really listened and embedded their voices into the play, and that feels vital. 
This company of young performers have taken on this play and the rehearsal process with great maturity, determination and focus. As a cast they have truly collaborated, listened to one another, supported and celebrated each other’s progress – and it’s been wonderful to see that bond grow. I’m really proud of what they have achieved as a company and grateful for all the energy and dedication that they have given.
We hope that watching this play ignites questions and discussions, and that most importantly the voices of young people, their hopes, fears and ideas for the future of this country are listened to and taken seriously.
– Kate Pasco

Assistant Director’s Notes

When I first read David Lane’s fantastic script, I couldn’t believe it was written ten years ago. Despite some small alterations that were made for this year’s production, the script was chillingly relevant to today’s world and revealed a version of the future we could face. 

I believe this allowed us to connect more easily when exploring characterisation and unpicking motivations. Our young creatives confronted this political piece with such maturity and took on their multifaceted characters subtly, with nuance and depth. 

I was particularly fascinated by the role of the Chorus within the play; appearing as civilians tangled up in the story, yet with the ability to break the fourth wall and push the narrative along. This presented a unique opportunity to create a distinct movement language for the Chorus. This enabled us to lift out of the realism of the play and offer a stylised means of expression (in a Brechtian fashion one might note). Playing with this in rehearsals was something I enjoyed greatly. 

Similarly, working with Director Kate Pasco was a delight. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to watch her work and learn from her over the past three months. Ever organised, meticulous and creative, Kate has taught me skills that will last me a lifetime. A big thank you to everyone who was involved in this wonderful production and to those who made it happen. 

– Anna-Louise Fleet

The Company of I Am England (2022)

Writer’s Notes

Back in 2011 I pitched a project for The Egg’s Shakespeare Unplugged season. It was prompted by connections between the ailing new democracy in Coriolanus’ Rome and our political situation in England at the time. We had the backdrop of an uneasy coalition government; summer riots in English cities; a rising use of food banks; a growing sense of economic nationalism as David Cameron held up EU efforts to prevent Eurozone meltdown, and far-right waves in Greece and France.  

Director Sita Calvert-Ennals and I worked together with teenagers in the young company at The Egg, inspired by Coriolanus but exploring their own perspectives on patriotism, national identity, going to war, whom and what they would fight for and why. Out of this came their vision of a future broken England, economically and politically isolated, short on fuel, food and energy, and in the throes of far-right populism at the hands of a fascistic prime minister.

In the 2012 production of I Am England the teenagers playing the general populace – as they were in Shakespeare’s original – end up insulted by the lead character for their apathy and disinterest in current affairs, but with deadly results for all involved. Ten years on, the outside world may look alarmingly as predicted, but the teenagers I’ve met through four other productions of the play between 2016 and 2022 have all been more politically active and informed. The chorus voice in this production hopefully reflects that.

But conflict remains despite politicisation. Power manipulates public opinion. It disturbs it, worries it, and distorts it. Just as the tribunes in Coriolanus – the newspapers of their day – stir up the people of Rome into political fervour, see also Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, Twitter, and news reporting in a post-truth world.

I Am England was written as a warning from a generation unable to vote. Now it has become their response. We hope – again – that it’s heard. 

– David Lane

I Am England Creative Team

Original Idea Created by David Lane and Sita Calvert-Ennals

Director – Kate Pasco

Assistant Director – Anna-Louise Fleet

Producer – Soph Jacobs-Wyburn

Designer – Roisin Martindale

Costume Supervisor – Anna Dixon

Make Up Artists – Ammelia Mahlberg and Emily Lidster

Production Manager – Becky Vowles

Deputy Production Manager – George Seal

Stage Manager – Katie Jones

Lighting Design – Jenny Roxbrough

Sound Designer – Joseph Harris

Deputy Stage Manager – Amy Palmer

Technicians – George Bryant, Lloyd Evans, and Merlin Salter-Ling

 

With special thanks to; David Lane and Sita Calvert-Ennals for their wonderful support for this production, Sam Kenyon Hamp, Harry Mawford, Bristol Costume Services, Hannah Denning, Bath College, Future Carpentry, John Gooding, and all of the loved ones of company members for their support.

Kate Pasco
Director

Kate Pasco is a freelance Director, Theatre & Movement Maker and Facilitator based in Bristol. She has extensive experience in making and directing theatre with and for young people. Current and recent projects include: The Bear (Pins and Needles Productions), The Story Olympics (Tobacco Factory Theatres, Schools Take Over), It Snows, Zero For The Young Dudes!, Antigone (all The Egg Theatre), Oz (As Assistant Director, Tobacco Factory Theatres), alongside developing a number of new works in progress. As well as this Kate has previously directed shows for The V&A Museum, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, IYAF, as well as with her award winning company Little Echo Theatre. Kate was a recipient of the Arts Council’s Develop Your Creative Practice grant in 2021.

Anna Louise Fleet
Assistant Director

Anna-Louise is a British Actor who trained in Dance with Theatre and Performance at the Guildford School of Acting (2016-2020). She has worked in the dance industry for the likes of Tavaziva, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance and Edifice Dance Theatre. Anna-Louise is now expanding her skills in theatre at The Egg as Movement Director for Summer Company’s Blood Wedding (2022) and Assistant Director for I Am England (2022).
She also has experience with Voice Acting, Film, Advertisement and Music Videos; some of her credits include Netflix series Bridgerton (2019-2020) and Sex Education (2019-2021).

Soph Jacobs-Wyburn
Director/Producer

Soph is a champion of innate creativity, a theatre-maker and an advocate for creating professional art work with and for all.

A graduate of RCSSD and currently the Head of Community Theatre at TRB, Soph is responsible for the Theatre School and TRB’s extensive training and outreach program. Exceptionally fortunate when in training to be encouraged by teachers and mentors to explore  many forms and styles of artistic expression, they are now dedicated to encouraging the same individual exploration of creativity.

Firmly believing in serious playfulness and playful solemnity, Soph specialises in puppetry, theatrical anarchy, and joyful pushing of the boundaries.

Previous directing credits include; ROUTES (The Egg Assembly), Blood Wedding, Hamlet, Arabian Nights, Folk Lore, Boudica (The Egg – TRBTS), Who Me (WGYTC), Aurora (The Egg), Giovanni (Silent Opera), The Gingerbread Man (Rainbow Collectors). In 2017, Sophie was awarded a Leverhulme Arts Scholarship, working on Medea at Bristol Old Vic.

Roisin Martindale
Set and Costume Designer

Roisin is a Set and Costume Designer based in South London. Roisin graduated in 2019 with an MA in Performance Design from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Past work at The Egg includes Blood Wedding (summer 2022); Antigone (January 2019); The Wardrobe/It Snows Double Bill (2022). Roisin has also worked as a design assistant on Sweeney Todd (2022) and delivered a theatre experience workshop as part of the TRB Theatre Experience Residency.
 
Other recent work includes: exhibit in Hallyu! The Korean Wave (The V&A, London); Never, Not Once (The Park Theatre, 2022); New Beginnings (The Kiln Youth Programme, 2021) and Design Associate on Big Big Sky (Hampstead Theatre, 2021). Roisin has worked on new writing development with Half Moon Children’s Theatre, Weighed In Productions and is a founding member of Whitecard Collective for Theatre designers.

Jen Roxbrough
Lighting Designer

Jen has enjoyed lighting productions with companies that produce theatre to inspire and broaden the perspective of audiences. Her design path started when awarded the BBC Performing Arts ‘Ones to Watch’ fellowship in Lighting Design with English Touring Theatre.

Her most recent credits include ‘Destiny’, created and performed by Florence Espeut-Nickless on a national tour, ‘Old Market (REMIXED)’, written and performed by Tom Marshman at the Wardrobe Theatre, ’Cockroach’, created and performed by Chloe
Mantripp at Jacksons Lane.  Other work includes designing and installing the lights for a new cafe and bookshop in St Paul’s, Bristol called ‘Hidden Corner’, and designing Postcard Production’s ‘The Stranger on the Bridge’ at the Tobacco Factory Theatre.

Joseff Harris
Sound Designer

Joseff Harris is a Composer, Sound Designer & Audio Producer working across theatre, film and audio. He is interested in how sound can tap into our subconscious, seeking to create work focused on rhythms and cycles. His process trusts simplicity, granulated textures and the human ability to be centred. He is also part of the Rabbit Holes Cohort, working with the BBC to reimagine how podcasts can be experienced.

Recent credits include: DESTINY by Florence Espeut-Nickless (dir. Jesse Jones), The Clothes They Stood Up In by Alan Bennett (dir. Adam Penford), SEE MONSTER by New Substance (installation), If.Destroyed.Still.True by Jack Condon (dir. Sarah Stacey) & End of the Cornfield by Blue Tuesday Productions (dir. Trevor Algatt). Joseff’s debut EP, Talking to Trees, was also released last year.

Anna Dixon
Wardrobe Supervisor

Becky Vowles
Production Manager

Production Management credits include: Crimes on Centre Court (New Old Friends, Theatre Royal Bath and UK Touring), A Christmas Getaway (New Old Friends, The Ustinov, Theatre Royal Bath), Vixen (Travelling Light Theatre, UK Touring), Crimes in Egypt (New Old Friends, UK Touring), Zero for the Young Dudes & Chaos ( Bath Theatre Academy, the egg), Josephine (the egg & Holm, UK Touring), Crimes on the Nile (New Old Friends, UK Touring), I Wish I Was A Mountain (the egg, Award Winning, Uk and International Touring), The Falcon’s Malteser (New Old Friends & Seabright Productions, The Vaults).  

Becky is currently Production Manager for Travelling Light Theatre Company.

George Seal
Deputy Production Manager

 

Katie Jones
Stage Manager

Katie is a Production and Stage Manager for theatre and live events based in the South West
mainly working in Bristol and Bath. Katie graduated from Bath Spa University in 2020 where she
studied Theatre and Digital Production.

Recent Credits: Blood Wedding (TRBTS Summer Company/The Egg), Light Falls, (Boomsatsuma/Tobacco Factory Theatre), The Trial of the Shell 7, (Old Theatre Royal), Crimes on Centre Court, (New Old Friends/Bath Theatre Royal), Rats Tales, (Bath Spa Productions/The Egg Theatre), Sparkfest, (Bath Spa Productions), The Government Inspector, (Bath Spa Productions/The Mission Theatre), Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat, (Bath Spa Productions/Ustinov Studio).

Amy Palmer
Deputy Stage Manager

Amy Palmer graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in Theatre Production in 2022 and headed straight out onto a UK tour of Noises Off as Technical ASM. Having found a passion for stage management while studying, Amy is excited to be working back at The Egg, which she considers to have played a pivotal role in her development and degree.

The Selfish Giant

Based on the classic modern fairy tale by Oscar Wilde, join TRBTS members for a memorable journey about the joy of friendship and the magic of childhood imagination.

TRBTS

Theatre Royal Bath Theatre School aims to offer an inclusive program of training and workshops, that cover all disciplines of theatre-making and are open to any young person aged 5 to 25 years old.

Each week we run over 17 hours of sessions – working directly with young theatre-makers to develop their skills, mentor their artistic growth and support their creative drives. This includes our Backstage program, unique in the South West, offering a dedicated weekly space to learn technical and design led disciplines, as well as the opportunity to apply their skill-set to Theatre School productions wherever possible.

Our curriculum offers structured development of valuable skill-sets, which could be applied across a wide range of life experiences. We also promote an ethos of respect, daring, and self-identity throughout, fostering a sense of community and strong roots to support their growing creativity.

We aim to empower young artists and theatre makers to explore their own unique, capable, and persuasive voices. But we also hope to witness the development of life-long friendships, communities of peers offering support, and building enduring memories.

Interesting in joining us?

Bath Theatre Academy offers cutting edge Performing & Production Arts training based in The Egg Theatre. We work with industry professionals and experts to teach the course and the results are extraordinary.

Our Course centres around practically exploring all aspects of making theatre; over two years, students on our level 3 course learn about everything from lighting design to stage combat, producing to acting for screen.

Each year, we present a season of work in May; what better way to find out what we do, than to see our shows?

Come along to see Bath Theatre Academy in action in their home theatre, or find information about joining the course below – 

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