Past Projects

Past Projects.
This Is Some Stuff I've Done In Reverse Chronological Order.

May/June 2016
Produced by the Rosemary Branch Theatre
performed at the Rosemary Branch Theatre, Vera Fletcher Hall, and Brockley Jack Studio

directed, adapted, and designed by Bryony J. Thompson
lighting by Simeon Miller

Anne Elliot, at twenty-seven, is no longer young and is without romantic prospects. Nearly eight years ago, she was persuaded to break off her engagement to the dashing Frederick Wentworth, a naval officer with neither fortune nor rank. What happens when they encounter each other again is a story of love tinged with heartache, missed opportunities, and what it means for a woman to make choices not based on what others think but what is in her heart.

In this new adaptation, the book springs from page to stage with a superb cast of just six bringing to life the unfeeling and silly sisters, the sympathetic grand dames, the bumbling brothers-in-law, the fatuous father, and of course the inscrutable Captain Wentworth and the steadfast Anne Elliot.

As with Thompson's previous adaptations, the author's text has been scrupulously honoured to highlight the innermost thoughts of the two main characters and what is arguably one of the most beautiful love letters in English literature.

With Adam Elliot, Tom Hartwell, Philip Honeywell, Rose McPhilemy, Sarita Plowman, & Beatrice Rose

Venus Quarry
March 2016
produced by pluck. Productions with Action To The Word
for Catford-Upon-Avon Shakespeare Festival
by Damien Hasson

With their father dying, estranged siblings Lilly and Ed are drawn reluctantly back to the farmhouse of their youth. Between them and their inheritance lies a past that won’t go away. But can it be rewritten?

VENUS QUARRY is a new play, inspired by the love-test in King Lear.
It explores themes of sibling rivalry, generational disconnect, and modern lifestyle choices versus traditional values.
It poses the question: How far would you go to get your due?

Jane Eyre
January-February 2016
directed, adapted, and designed by Bryony J. Thompson
featuring original music composed for the production by James Young
lighting by Ned Lay

To celebrate Charlotte Bronte's 200th birthday and 20 years with Cecilia Darker & Cleo Sylvestre at the helm of the Rosie, Bryony J. Thompson's well loved production of JANE EYRE returns.

Orphaned into an unloving household, subjected to poor treatment at a charity school, Jane Eyre emerges to seek her fortune unbroken in spirit and integrity. She becomes a governess to the ward of the enigmatic Mr Rochester, eventually falling in love with him and he with her. This story surpasses mere melodrama and illustrates a passionate and tenacious woman's search for a wide rich life.

Part ghost story, part Gothic romance, and part religious tract, this gripping adaptation of a favourite classic remains faithful to the text. The book literally comes to life with imaginative staging and a cast of only six. Set in 1840s northern England, the early stirrings of feminism shine through the strict adherence to social structure giving this venerated novel its iconic status.

The cast includes: Alice Coles, Jack Collard, Madeline Gould, and Alice Osmanski with Ben Warwick as Rochester and Emilia Williams as Jane Eyre.

Please see the reviews page for full reviews on this production

April-May 2015
produced by Anonymous Is A Woman Theatre Company
directed by Bryony J. Thompson

New writing centred around the lives of five young women fighting in the First World War for the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry. These incredible women ferried injured soldiers from the front line to nearby hospitals. They dealt with horrifically wounded and barely living men, inadequate vehicles, mustard gas and enemy fire. The show is an imaginative adaptation based on the best selling novel by Robert Radcliffe.

Toured April/May 2015
West Midlands and London

With Support from Arts Council England

Pride & Prejudice
March-April 2015
adapted and directed by Bryony J. Thompson
lighting by Ned Lay

Following the success of last year's Jane Eyre,  Bryony J. Thompson turns her attention to regency romance with a witty new adaptation of Jane Austen's most popular novel. Thompson's passion for language and adherence to the original text shines through in this soaring, feelgood romp.

With a delightful dollop of irony, the cast of seven magically multiplies to include all our favourite characters. Watch sparks fly between fineeyed Elizabeth and proud Mr. Darcy, sigh with sweet tempered Jane over affable Mr. Bingley, andraise your eyebrows as extravagantly silly Lydia meets her match in rakish Mr. Wickham. It's almost toomuch for Mrs. Bennet's nerves.

With Daniel Brennan, Alice Coles, Carla Freeman, Danny Frost, George Haynes, Lainey Shaw, and Emilia Williams.
Please click on the Reviews page for full reviews on this production.

Spirit Harbour
performed at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, the Rosemary Branch Theatre, and at the Platform Theatre as part of Tet A Tet Opera Festival, King's Cross.
February-August 2014
A new opera based on The Killing Stone, a Japanese Noh play, by Lliam Paterson the composer in residence at Scottish Opera.
Composed by Lliam Paterson
Directed by Bryony J. Thompson
With Judy Brown, Hannah Partridge, Hamish McKay, Oliver Marshall,

Jane Eyre
March-April 2014
See description below. It was very well received (see reviews page).
Directed, adapted, and designed by Bryony J. Thompson
Original music by James Young
Lighting by Ned Lay
With Lily Beck, Philip Honeywell, Helen Keeley, Hannah Maddison, Rob Pomfret, and Joss Wyre.

Jane Eyre
April-May 2013
Part ghost story, part Gothic romance, and part religious tract.  Charlotte Brontë's original text is combined with the actual narrative to literally bring the book to life. Set in 1840s northern England, the early stirrings of feminism shine through the strict adherence to social hierarchy, giving this venerated novel its iconic status.

"One of the best adaptations of classic literature that I have ever seen"  West End Wilma

" ....fringe theatre at its best"  The Stage
Directed, adapted, and designed by Bryony J. Thompson
Original music by James Young
Lighting by Ned Lay
Associate Producer Freya Cox-Willmott
With Francesca Binefa, Katy Daghorn, Ludovic Hughes, Rob Pomfret, Lainey Shaw, and Helen Russell-Clark.

Please click on the Reviews page for full reviews for this production. 

Promises by Andrew Thompson
November 2012
This was a project part of Sell A Door's new writing week at the Rosemary Branch, which was a part of our Branching Out Festival. "A Lib-Dem member of the coalition plots a coup for the leadership while fighting to hide his son’s discretions from the press. However when the student protest outside spills over into his office with ideas of their own a fight for control can have dangerous consequences. A dark comedy about friendship, loyalty and the ultimate gain."

Basically, the show was cast in advance, but we only had a day to put it on its feet. It was a long day, but actually quite rewarding and I was really pleased with what we all managed to come up with.

William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
October-November 2012

From our leaflet: "A breathtakingly beautiful and fast moving new production of this timeless tragedy of true love and ancient grudge told by a handpicked cast of only seven. Rosie favourite Jason Eddy joins Philip Honeywell, Benjamin Ireland, Carla Kingham, Barry McStay, Catherine Rowney and Mark Rush in this piece of exquisite theatre for both young and seasoned audiences." And yeah. I think we more or less produced what was on the tin, as it were.

directed and designed by Bryony J. Thompson
lighting by Ned Lay
sound by Jason Eddy and Jim Seconde

image by Kyle Henderson
Here are some things that other people said about Romeo & Juliet:

by LAUREN GIESLER (Camden New Journal)
LIMITED space and funds has forced – or rather encouraged – director Bryony Thompson to be particularly creative with the small stage above the Rosemary Branch for her production of Romeo and Juliet.
Her small cast play several roles each, their simple yet adaptable costumes are made from recycled materials, and the set is basic and striking, yet cleverly and subtly manipulated.
Modern music and atmospheric instrumentals play continually throughout the production, to create a layered “live mixed soundscape”. The effect is that the carefully considered soundtrack plays the role of an additional character, extending Jason Eddy’s role from narrating as the Chorus (and as the Friar) to DJ and musician.
The lead roles are played proficiently and passionately, but it is the supporting roles that really impress in this show. Barry McStay injects personality and humour into his role as Mercutio. Catherine Rowney’s ability to switch from knife-wielding, strutting Benvolio to elegant stern Lady Capulet is remarkable and manages to avoid confusion.
Mark Rush adds a touch of flamboyant and heart-warming “Irish Mammy” to the role of Juliet’s Nurse. His stand-out performance marks a first (and triumphant) leap from regular visitor at the Rosemary Branch ­to professional graduate performer.
As Thompson points out in her production notes, this is a story we all know well, and a text we all grappled with at school. However, her cast of seven clearly love and live every word of the romantic tragedy, and pack punches with key lines delivered with gusto, without a hint of cheesy “modern retelling”.
The innovative use of soundtrack, the young, engaging cast, and even the way the theatre directors greet you warmly on arrival at the pub, all make this an accessible production the whole audience connects with.

John Duncan:
Saw Romeo & Juliet tonight. Very impressed. Great production & performances. Such energy & emotion. Don't miss it. Special!  

Laura Freeman:
Completely underestimated the performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Rosemary Branch tonight- blown away! 

Original Theatre:
Beautiful design and direction from Bryony J. Thompson

Greg Wetherall:
...this is a spirited and competent rendition – especially in the second half, when it truly soars.

In terms of how I felt about the production, really I was inordinately pleased with it -- and for a directing debut in London, I couldn't really have asked for more.

Sit Down & Shut Up
February 2012
This was a one-woman show I wrote and performed. It is a biographical piece, interspersed with (what I hope are) witty, candid, and spicy observations on what it is really like to work in theatre. It was a one off, which I then re-wrote and performed again a couple of months later. It is a vaguely on-going project, in that I think I will revive it again at some point, but under another title (possibly "Antithesis"). At any rate, it was more of an exercise to see if I could write and perform my own work rather than something I thought was going to take off in a big way. And also an excuse to show off a bit. In the nicest way possible, obviously.

The Heroes Organization
The Heroes is an arts production company that I served on the board of for a couple of years in Seattle, when we were very much in our early phase. While on the board, we produced a variety of different projects, ranging from fashion shows, to a benefit performance for the earthquake in Haiti, to theatre performance and pop-up cabaret. While I very much enjoyed the time I spent working with the Heroes, it was in a very different role than I now inhabit. Because we were in the very early stages of working out how a company functions, a lot of time was spent on just that -- how does a small arts production company stay afloat? How do we decide what projects we want to fund? What is the criteria? Etc. The Heroes are still chugging along, and you can look at their website here.

And of course, I actually studied acting, so I would be remiss (sort of) if I didn't mention some of that kind of work as well:

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