We are proud to receive support from established, working-class artists who have joined the COMMON family as our Patrons, and share a fierce passion for our cause of achieving greater socio-economic diversity in the UK theatre industry.
OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING PLAYWRIGHT
James Graham is an Olivier award-winning playwright and film and television writer, who was raised in Mansfield (Nottinghamshire). He was Writer in Residence at the Finborough Theatre during his early career, where his work included Eden’s Empire - winner of the Catherine Johnson Best Play Award - The Man, and Sons of York.
James' recent plays include Quiz, running in the West End at the Noël Coward Theatre in Spring 2018, and This House, which is touring nationally throughout 2018 following its premiere at the National Theatre in 2012, and subsequent Chichester Festival Theatre/West End transfers in 2016.
In Autumn of 2017, James had two plays running simultaneously in the West End, next door to one another - Labour of Love at the Noel Coward (Michael Grandage Company/Headlong), and Ink at the Duke of York's, following its transfer from the Almeida.
Other recent plays include The Culture: A Farce in Two Acts (Hull Truck/City of Culture 2017); Privacy (Donmar Warehouse/Public Theater New York); Monster Raving Loony (Theatre Royal Plymouth/Soho Theatre); The Vote, which was broadcast live onto television on the night of the general election 2015 and nominated for a BAFTA (Donmar Warehouse).
Writing for TV includes: Coalition (Channel 4 winner of the RTS Best Single Drama in 2016), Prisoner’s Wives and Caught In a Trap.
theatre director & Artistic Director of nabokov
Stef O’Driscoll is a theatre director and was previously the Associate Director at Paines Plough and at the Lyric Hammersmith.She is the current Artistic Director of nabokov, a company who celebrates the infinite array of lives and stories of our nation.
Stef grew up in South London and found somewhere local, Ovalhouse Theatre, to develop and grow, before then studying drama at St Mary’s University - back when her fees where still paid for by the government.
She thankfully found plays that she felt spoke to her and mirrored her own experiences, and was particularly drawn to Rebecca Prichard’s ‘Yard Gal’, a play about two Hackney teenagers. It showed her a world she could relate to, and showed her that her role in theatre would be to tell those stories and support people to tell those stories.
Stef’s Credits include:
For Paines Plough: ISLAND TOWN by Simon Longman, STICKS AND STONES by Vinay Patel, WITH A LITTLE BIT OF LUCK by Sabrina Mahfouz, HOPELESSLY DEVOTED by Kate Tempest, BLISTER by Laura Lomas.
For nabokov: LAST NIGHT by Benin City (Roundhouse/Latitude) BOX CLEVER by Monsay Whitney (Marlowe Theatre/Roundabout), STORYTELLING ARMY (Brighton Festival) and SLUG by Sabrina Mahfouz (Latitude).
Other Director credits: YARD GAL by Rebecca Prichard – Winner Fringe Report Awards for Best Fringe Production 2009 (Oval House), A TALE FROM THE BEDSIT by Paul Cree (Roundhouse/Bestival), A GUIDE TO SECOND DATE SEX and WHEN WOMEN WEE (Underbelly/Soho).
Olivier award-nominated theatre director
Matthew Dunster is an Olivier award-nominated director, a playwright and actor.
He was born and raised in Oldham, with his Dad working as a draftsman at a small local truck firm, and his Mum working as a clerk for various catalogue and wholesale grocery companies. After graduating Bretton Hall College, he moved to London in 1995 to work as a director, playwright, actor and drama teacher.
He was recently the Associate Director of Shakespeare's Globe, and prior to that, Associate Director at the Young Vic Theatre.
His directing credits include: The Secret Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing, Imogen, The Frontline, Troilus and Cressida, Dr Faustus and The Lightning Child (Shakespeare's Globe), Love the Sinner (NT), Hangmen (Royal Court Theatre, Wyndham's Theatre (West End) & Atlantic Theatre (NYC), Liberian Girl (Royal Court), The Seagull, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Open Air Regent’s Park), Love’s Sacrifice (RSC), The Love Girl & the Innocent, You Can Still Make a Killing (Southwark Playhouse), Mametz (National Theatre Wales), Before the Party (Almeida Theatre), A Sacred Flame (English Touring), Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (Royal Exchange Manchester) and Mogadishu (Royal Exchange Manchester and Lyric Hammersmith).
SENIOR PRODUCER - KING'S HEAD THEATRE
Louisa Davis is the Senior Producer at The King’s Head Theatre, one of London's leading Off West-End venues, coming from a working-class background and being raised by her mother in North London.
Louisa originally trained as a Stage Manager, working across many Fringe and Off West-End venues across London before permanently joining the King’s Head Theatre as Theatre Manager in 2012. Being in a Producer-led office peaked her interest in theatre producing, and started her on the journey to becoming Senior Producer at the venue.
Her credits as a Producer include:
A King's Head, West-End season at Trafalgar Studios, featuring Tommy Murphy's Strangers in Between and the Olivier award-nominated La Bohème. The critically-acclaimed stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting, which has gone on to multiple successful seasons at The King's Head Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as UK and international tours. Joe DiPietro's F*cking Men at The King's Head Theatre, Vaults Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as 2 Become 1 at The King’s Head Theatre and Edinburgh Fringe Festival.