3 women behind 3 shut doors on the threshold of stepping outside.
The rules are relaxing now but it’s not that easy.
Caught between the risks of going outside and the cost of staying put, each of the women reaches out to the world via a video call. The conversations are completely different -a selfie video to an unborn child, an online therapy session, a chat with a friend – and yet strikingly similar. Each woman must make a decision. Not just about going outside but about who they are and who they want to be.
Collaborating with Jo Newman, former Associate Director at Salisbury Playhouse, Nicola Werenowska, an award winning playwright and Mercury Theatre associate artist, has developed a new piece of theatre which creatively explores the digital form, creating a personal and intimate encounter between performers and audience members.
Nicola Werenowska is an award winning neurodivergent playwright, radio dramatist and creative writing tutor. After a flirtation with playwriting when she was 16 (her play “20%” was runner-up in the Royal Court Young Playwrights’ Competition), Nicola began writing professionally in 2003, following her life transforming dyspraxia diagnosis.
Productions include: Davy’s Day (Mercury, 2004); Peapickers (Eastern Angles, 2007); Freedoms of the Forest (Menagerie, 2008); BirthDate (Nabakov, 2012); CASH! (Mercury, 2013); Tu I Teraz (Hampstead, Nuffield, Mercury, 2012/13); Tattooed Under Your Skin (Theatre 503, 2016); Hidden (Oxford Playhouse, Marlowe, Mercury, 2017); Guesthouse (Eastern Angles, 2018); Silence (Mercury and national tour, 2018)
Her work has been longlisted for national competitions, (Verity Bargate, Bruntwood, Papa Tango) and Hidden was runner up for the Mercury Prize 2016. Nicola has been on attachment to Graeae, a member of the Royal Court National writers’ group, and is playwright in residence at Lakeside Theatre and Associate Artist at the Mercury. She made her radio debut in 2018 as co-writer for BBC Radio 4’s adaptation of Little Dorrit and has been a member of a BBC Writersroom Access Group. She currently has work in development with the New Wolsey Theatre, Graeae, the Mercury Theatre, and the Marlowe Theatre.
Jo Newman is a freelance theatre director based in the South West. She was Associate Director at Wiltshire Creative; Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury International Arts Festival (2016-2020) and Recipient of Regional Theatre Young Director’s Scheme (RTYDS) 18 Month Placement at Salisbury Playhouse (2015-16). Previously Jo was Co-Artistic Director of Tin Box Theatre (2011-16), a Theatre Maker on the Birmingham Rep’s Foundry Project (2013), part of New Diorama’s Emerging Theatre Companies Scheme, and part of the team managing PILOT Nights, Birmingham.
Training: University of Birmingham (BA Hons Drama and Theatre Arts and MPhil B Directing and Dramaturgy)
Directing Credits Include: The Tailor of Gloucester, Relatively Speaking (Salisbury Playhouse), Imber: You Walk Through (Salisbury International Arts Festival), Handbagged (Salisbury Playhouse, York Theatre Royal, Oldham Coliseum), Silence (Mercury Theatre Colchester, Salisbury Playhouse and UK tour), A Wiltshire Tale (Salisbury Arts Centre and tour), Hansel (Salisbury Playhouse), Happiness Ltd (Bike Shed, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Salisbury Playhouse and tour), Betrayal (Salisbury Playhouse), This Land (Pentabus, Salisbury Playhouse and tour), Pint Dreams (Tin Box Theatre, Holding space commission and UK tour), Not Known at This Address (Tin Box Theatre, UK tour), Stop the Clocks (Tin Box Theatre, The Coffin Works)
As assistant director: The Magna Carta Plays; Bike; Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse), Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse and Mercury Theatre Colchester), The Palace of Wasted Dreams (mac Birmingham). Jo was an Associate Director on we’re here because we’re here (National Theatre, Jeremy Deller, 14-18 Now) and conducted verbatim interviews for My Country (National Theatre)
Rachel Bunce is an established filmmaker, working across the UK to create films specialising in
Rachel is currently working on a commission to create a second documentary for the
Rural Touring Dance Initiative funded by Arts Council England. This involves working
over a 2 year period capturing high-quality dance performances and weaving its unique
story into a short film.
Alongside this, Rachel is collaborating with award-winning theatre-maker Caroline
Horton to create performance films with community groups, commissioned by Corn
Exchange, Newbury. Working with China Plate Theatre, she has created a number of
trailers and full show documentation for Chris Thorpe (Status, Confirmation), David
Edgar (Trying it On), Caroline Horton (All of Me, Mess, Islands), Urielle Klein-Mekongo
Over the course of a year, Rachel was also commissioned by Salisbury Playhouse to
work alongside writer Francesca Millican-Slater, sound designer Helen Skiera & director
Jo Newman to create an immersive audio film experience about the local lost village
Rachel has recently documented many Midlands-based arts festivals, including Shoot
Festival, Moonfest, Bitesize and critically acclaimed Fierce Festival. City of Culture Trust
2021 commissioned Rachel to make a short film capturing Emergency Exit Arts’ Paper
Peace travelling through Coventry.
"“It’s a story that needs to be told, and this is a production that shows Werenowska at her finest." “Subtle script served beautifully by Jo Newman’s sensitive direction, and a cast that bring crystal clear clarity to the time and mood shifts, aided by a simple, yet powerful set and a quite extraordinary sound design.”"