Nick Wood


Link to AOTM Ellen Cheshire’s

Yorkshire Silent Film Festival puts women directors in the spotlight

Lois Weber Shoes 1916The ambitious month-long Yorkshire Silent Film Festival kicks off on 1 July, with film screenings across the Yorkshire area.

As well a plethora of sensational women on screen including Colleen Moore, Louise Brooks and Brigitte Helm, the Festival also features two films by director silent-women-bookLois Weber, one of the many amazing women working behind the scenes celebrated in our recent book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema.

Ellen Cheshire one of the contributors to this book will be giving a short talk before the screening of Lois Weber’s Shoes (1916) on 19 July at the Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, and you can also catch Weber’s 1921 The Blot at the Showroom in Sheffield on 9 July.

We’ll be selling copies of the book there for £12 (cash only) or you can order a copy online now.

Care Takers at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Caretakers3-29 August 2016 – Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Cvenues.

Truant Company are taking Billy Cowan’s play Care Takers to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. We’ve published the playtext, buy a copy here.

Ms Lawson, a new teacher at Newall South High School, believes Jamie Harrow is being bullied because he’s gay. She wants to help but Mrs Rutter, the Deputy Head, thinks it will sort itself out. Is Mrs Rutter speaking from experience or is there something more unsavoury about her uncaring attitude?

The play deals with homophobia in the staffroom of a secondary school, and is an excellent teachers’ training resource.

Latest reviews

“Hits home with a punch!” Helen Jones, WhatsOnStage 5 stars. Read the full review here.

“Cowan’s play is so well argued that at no point does it feel like he has slipped into a lecture. Instead you are simply drawn into the points being made balancing one against the other and never losing attention for a moment.” David Cunningham, Manchester Theatre Awards. Read the full review here.

“The writing is full of memorable quotes… The acting was of an exceedingly high standard. Both actresses putting their all into these rolls and reaping the dividends. Powerful and real performances… Directed with great aplomb and sensitivity by the author.” Mark Dee, North West End. Read the full review here.

Check out the trailer for Care Takers here

Ashwin Singh’s plays being celebrated at the Durban Playhouse

ashwin singh croppedThe 3-D Conference: Durban Dialogues Dissected
Saturday 11 June 2016

At the Playhouse, DurbanUntitled-1

Ashwin Singh’s award-winning plays have made an indelible impact on the Durban cultural landscape over the last decade. Combining humour and pathos, his numerous works delve into myriad issues in contemporary South Africa and have moved mature, multi-cultural audiences as well as the younger generation. In recent years the playwright has acquired an international reputation as his work has been staged in India and published in the UK by Aurora Metro as Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice, Five South African Plays.

This one-day conference features readings from his plays Reoca Light and Beyond the Big Bangs.

Spice n stuff Ashwin SinghThe Durban Playhouse are also performing Singh’s popular play Spice ‘n Stuff  from the 8 – 11 June 2016, published by Aurora Metro as part of Singh’s play collection Durban Dialogues, Indian Voice Five South African Plays.

Spice ‘n Stuff is a tantalising mixture of comedy and drama. It traces the last days of a group of Grey Street traders as they deal with escalating crime, failing businesses, friendships across racial and cultural denominations and entwined family relationships. The play showcases a female trader, Rita, in the central role. It is the pressures of dwindling business that preoccupies Rita but it is the fear of her secret which threatens to unravel her, as she undergoes an emotional journey of self-discovery. The actions of the street and the poignancy of the store becomes increasingly sensitising as it plays out to a dramatic finale.



Kevin Brownlow, Oscar recipient, celebrating Silent Cinema

2011-11-21-KevinBrownlowKevin Brownlow one of the contributing authors in our collection of essays celebrating women working in the silent film industry, Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema, will be talking about his incredible career in preseving and championing Silent Cinema at Worthing WOW Festival on Sunday 12 June.  We’ll be there selling the book, so bring £12 (special offer price)!

Kevin Brownlow who was awarded an Honorary Oscar for his work preserving Silent Film is part of a day Celebrating Silent Cinema curated by Melody Bridges, co-editor of our book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema.

Celebrating Silent Cinema
Sunday 12 June, The Denton Lounge, Worthing Pier

2pm to 3pm: Composing music for silent film Masterclass with Neil Brand
(Free – arrive early to guarantee a seat)
Multi-award winning Neil Brand is considered one of the finest improvising concert pianists in the world. Experienced presenter from BBC4 Sound of Cinema and Radio 4 regular, Neil will be offering his insights into how to improvise on the piano.

From 3.30pm: Kevin Brownlow Talk & The Signal Tower Film Screening
(Tickets £10, conc. £7.50)
Academy Award winner Kevin Brownlow is a documentary film-maker and expert on the silent film era. Before a screening of the 1924 film ‘The Signal Tower’, Kevin will give us an window into long career in film, and explain why this American movie has a special relationship with Worthing. The Signal Tower, directed by Clarence Brown, is a film that looks at the boundaries of friendship and marriage, as a work colleague stays over and finds himself on the road to temptation. (70mins)

For more details and to book, click here.



Ambreen Razia on Channel 4 News

CkSgCPAXAAEmwpH.jpg largePlaywright and actress Ambreen Razia was interviewed on Channel 4 News about her new play The Diary of a Hounslow Girl which is published by Aurora Metro.

You can watch the interview again here.

About the play: You’ve heard of an Essex Girl or even a Chelsea Girl and now there is a Hounslow Girl, geared up and ready to take on the world. The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is told through the eyes of a 16 year old British Muslim teenager growing up in West London.

From traditional Pakistani weddings to fights on the night bus this is a funny, bold, provocative play highlighting the challenges of being brought up as a young woman from a traditional Muslim family alongside the temptations and influences growing up in London.

A comic story of dreams, aspirations and coming of age.

The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is currently on tour in the UK, find out more.

Nick Wood’s adaptation of Arthur Ransome classic selling fast!

we-didnt-mean-go-seaGood news for anyone in Suffolk and Peterborough area, as Eastern Angles are reviving their acclaimed stage adaptation of We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea at The Hush House, near Woodbridge and Nene Park. The play runs from 22 June  – 9 July 2016. Some dates have already SOLD OUT so do book soon!

Based on the novel by Arthur Ransome, Nick Wood’s adaptation of We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea is published by Aurora Metro. agirlwith

The Stage on We Didn’t Mean to Go to Sea: “There is a nice sense of period about these kids coping on their own under extraordinary, but quite believable circumstances, lisle pullovers and plimsolls at the ready but the human anguish between them is universal and timeless, although there are lots of laughs on the way, too. Highly recommended.”

We have published a number of plays by Nick Wood, the most recent being The Girl with a Book and other plays which Susan Elkin writing in The Stage said “The four topical plays in this volume are all written by Nick Wood (actor, teacher and journalist turned full-time writer) with young people in mind although not necessarily for young audiences so there’s plenty of scope here for schools, colleges and youth theatre groups.”

Celebrating 120 Years of Women in Film with Girl from God’s Country documentary

nell-shipman-in-the-girl-from-gods-country-1921Melody Bridges co-editor and contributing author of our book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema is chairing a panel discussion on the history of women in film and the UK première of a new documentary on silent filmmaking pioneer Nell Shipman by Karen Day (who has written about Shipman in the book).

An expert panel including Laraine Porter (British Silent Film Festival), Nuala O’Sullivan (Women Over 50 Film Festival) and Kate Kinninmont MBE (Women in Film and Television) discuss 120 years of women as makers and creators of cinema.

It has been argued that the first narrative film was made in 1896 by director Alice Guy-Blache. 120 years later, only one woman has been awarded the Best Director trophy at the Academy Awards. Expect a lively debate about diversity within the film industry, favourite film clips from Lois Weber to Jane Campion, and a look ahead to how the television and film industry may change in the future.

Following the discussion is the première UK screening of Girl from God’s Country (2014), a documentary about groundbreaking silent era filmmaker, Nell Shipman (1892–1970).

The event has been programmed as part of this year’s Worthing WOW for whom Melody is Artistic Director.  This event takes place on 5 June, 7.15pm. More information.

Event supported by Women in Film and Television and Film Hub South East.

Live Stream on Wednesday 25 May of The Diary of a Hounslow Girl are very excited to announce that there’ll be a live streaming of The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia this Wednesday from 7.20pm.

Head to Black Theatre Live for 7.20pm on Wed 25 May to see live interviews before the curtain goes up at 7.30pm. After the performance there’ll be a backstage chat & post-show Q&A.

Wherever you are watching you can Tweet or Facebook your questions for the Q&A after the show to #HounslowGirl

We’re delighted to be publishing this play, which has been getting fantastic 4 & 5 star reviews, find out more here.

The production is being filmed by Black Theatre Live’s digital partners Pilot Theatre at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds.


Ambreen Razia’s debut play getting 4 & 5 star reviews

diaryofmuslimgirlWe’re thrilled to be publishing Ambreen Razia’s debut play The Diary of a Hounslow Girl.

Ambreen is currently touring her one-woman monologue around the UK, and has been getting fabulous 4 & 5 star reviews.  Here’s just a sample!

“Ambreen Razia has written, and is now performing a one-woman monologue The Diary Of a Hounslow Girl, at venues around the UK and it’s a powerful piece of theatre indeed… Ambreen Razia’s performance is astonishing and engaging. For any actor to hold an audience interested for over an hour is an achievement in itself. The fact that she manages to inject the performance with humour, and the fervour of youth, says a lot about her understanding of her subject, of the quality of the writing and of the talent of Razia herself.” 5 stars Douglas Mayo, Read the full review here

“With her debut show The Diary of a Hounslow Girl, Ambreen Razia proves to be as talented a writer as she is a performer. This is a sophisticated, moving and often very funny piece of writing, particularly nuanced in its depiction of Shaheeda’s relationship with her mother. Smart, astute, and funny play about the life a British-Pakistani teenager.” Lauren Mooney, The Stage Read the full review here

“Ambreen Razia is cutting, mocking and empathetic by turns.” Verity Healey, Theatre Bubble Read the full review here

“This simultaneously amusing and poignant show reminds us that behind every seemingly surly and irascible teenager is a person just as human as we are.” Chris Omaweng, London Theatre 1 Read the full review here

“A fresh and hilarious play written and performed by such a talented lady that I did not just enjoy the play, I was completely and utterly impressed by it.” Emily Cousins, Everything Theatre Read the full review here


Check out the trailer for The Diary of a Hounslow Girl

Maria Giese is changing history!

Maria GieseA year ago, Maria Giese complained to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) about gender discrimination when she felt she had hit a glass ceiling, being passed over for directing work on movies and TV shows.

This week she and thousands of other women directors are one step closer as it is revealed that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun expanding its investigation into gender discrimination in Hollywood.

Maria Giese contributed a chapter on the current state of play for women directors in Hollywood for our book Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema.

Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media said of the book that it “…honors the women in cinema who actively paved the way for future women in this indusilent-women-bookstry, and brought attention to the issue of gender bias in media, a problem we are still fighting today.”  Gayle Nachlis, Senior Director of Education, Women In Film Los Angeles added “Silent Women: Pioneers of Cinema is inspirational reading for any woman who dreams to express her vision through film in any direction this industry takes us. Only by understanding our past can we embrace our greatest future.”

Read more on this in the Los Angeles Times and The Daily Beast.

Maria Giese wrote and directed two feature films: When Saturday Comes, (starring Emily Lloyd, Sean Bean & Pete Postlethwaite) and Hunger, based on the novel by Nobel Prize-winner, Knut Hamsun. She introduced the plight of women directors to the ACLU and co-founded the activist/agitator web forum, ‘Women Directors in Hollywood’, which helped initiate the current EEOC joint government agency investigation. While writing regularly about women directors (Ms. Magazine, Elle, Film Inquiry, IndieWIRE), she has been  featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and on Bloomberg TV, among others. Giese is currently the subject of several documentaries and is working on a book about her work. Educated at Simon’s Rock of Bard College, Wellesley College, and UCLA Graduate School of Film and Television, she is an active member of the Directors Guild of America, and is currently attached to direct several feature films.

Picture credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

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