Here's what some of our club members are saying about being a part of what we do!
"I can not recommend The Directors Club enough. Life can be lonely as a Director and the club is a wonderful place for support, to share ideas and get new ones, both from fellow members and the amazing visiting Directors who come to the club to work with us - not to mention working closely with the Actors and Writers Clubs. It is quite simply fantastic!''
Anthony Houghton - The Directors Club
''Since joining the Writers’ Club last year, I have learned a great deal about my own writing at the industry as a whole. The biweekly sessions have included talks from inspirational industry professionals and chances to talk about our own ideas and vision. I feel that these sessions have given me the confidence to start sending my work out into the world, and since beginning with the Writers’ Club I have had four short plays produced at various theatres. The group allows me to experiment with new approaches in a safe, supportive environment. Through the Encompass scheme, I have had two chances to workshop a full-length play I’m working. This was in conjunction with a director from the Director’s Club and actors from the Actor’s Club. These sessions have been wonderful insights and absolutely invaluable to me as I continue to develop this play. I cannot recommend the Director’s Cut Theatre Company highly enough. It is a friendly, welcoming company, bursting with ideas and full of passion for the future.''
ALEXIS BODDY - THE WRITERS CLUB
''Auditioning for The Actors Club was the best decision I made this year. It’s proved to be the perfect platform to meet up with a wonderful like minded group to continue honing my skills as an actor. The classes and workshops are both challenging and enjoyable, often incorporating specific techniques and creative exploration. Moreover, the collaboration with The Directors Club and The Writers Club were particularly worth a mention and provided an opportunity to perform some fantastic pieces as well as priceless networking.
Above all, the inspiring family environment that Heather has managed to create is a great credit to her, although it’s no surprise given her unwavering support and generosity.
Hamza Siddique - The Actors Club
''I have now completed two terms at the Directors Cut Theatre's Writer's Club and can honestly say it has revolutionised my life as a writer and offered me way more opportunities than I imagined it would. It is also extremely good value and well organised.
The Write to Right scheme each term has been amazing and opened doors for me. The first play I developed for this was much improved by the audience Q&A and working with excellent professionals from the Actors and Directors Clubs. I went on to send it to other theatres and it got accepted at the Arcola and the Waterloo East Theatre and I am now developing the piece further. The second Write to Right night was similarly useful in helping me develop ideas though I have not sent the play off to anywhere else yet.
Other exercises, such as the brilliant bespoke monologue project where writers are paired with Actors Club members to create an audition piece for them has also led onto me working with the actress I was paired with on creating a one-woman show with her.
All the projects that Heather creates are inventive, exciting and extremely useful for writers and actors. The Make the Cut event at St James Theatre was such a fabulous evenings' entertainment and she should really try to market it as a brilliant idea.
The club is such a supportive place and offers such a great way to hone one's craft and meet interesting, talented professionals who are always up for collaborating. As a writer who has done a 3 year MA and various courses and is relatively experienced I still found the sessions educational and stimulating. Heather's motivational skills are so inspiring and she has loads of nifty tricks for writers to use to come up with ideas, fix issues etc.
The talks by visiting professionals have also been very helpful. Particularly the inspiring Rikki Beadle Blair.
Heather herself is a force of nature and a truly inspiring, creative, yet business-savvy individual. She has great connections within the theatre industry and works tirelessly to help promote her club members' works. Her marketing skills are superb too.
I will definitely be joining next term's fun.''
CAROL COOPER - THE WRITERS CLUB
''As an emerging director The Directors Club has been a godsend. The opportunity to meet with fellow directors, learn and refine your craft with top practitioners and to create new work has been increasingly invaluable and formative. Being in an expansive community of professional actors and upcoming playwrights has been incredibly useful and exciting.
The Director's Club has increased my confidence and capability as a director and has spurred me on to create my own work.
Without this fantastic initiative, I would not be the director that I am today.''
JULIAN BRUTON - THE DIRECTORS CLUB
''It has been an amazing and rewarding experience being a member of The Writer’s Club. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey so far and as well as having two rehearsed readings of my short plays, “Antelopes and Misanthropes” and “The Pact” at The Rosemary Branch Theatre and The Pleasance Theatre respectively, I have met and worked with some incredibly talented people in The Actor’s Club, The Director’s Club and The Writer’s Club. I also think that Heather Ward, the Artistic Director and the rest of The Director’s Cut Theatre team deserve a medal for their professionalism, creativity and organisational skills in coordinating all three clubs and the associated events.''
Olu Alakija - The Writers Club
''Heather's vision for the Director's Cut Theatre Company is one of a kind. She aims to give emerging directors, writers, and actors opportunities and support to grow their skills and network. The unique format of Make The Cut is a testament to that vision; new writing, up and coming actors, a knock-out monologue competition, audience participation, and an industry panel - all geared towards creating those high-exposure and, above all, fun opportunities for aspiring artists.
I joined the Director's Cut Theatre Company as part of the Directors Club; another one of Heather's unique visions of creating something that fills a large hole in the current theatre landscape: a support group and network for emerging directors looking for experience, learning, and knowledge. Every semester, the Directors Club members participate in workshops ranging from fight choreography to animal physicality, theatre production and lighting design. And it's not just a group of people sitting around! Each semester ends with a director's Showcase, where each member of the Directors Club directs a professional actor in a 10 minute monologue or duologue, which Heather edits together into an evening-long performance. Last semester saw a massive success in The Secret Life of Sally - sold out twice weeks before show day.
It wasn't long until I joined the Director's Cut Theatre Company as stage manager, and grew into my current role as associate artist. Heather has passion and a vision, one that she isn't afraid to share. In fact, Heather's sole goal is to get as many people involved in the company, in any way they are looking for. It has certainly helped me take away some of the questions and mysteries around the theatre industry in London, allowing me to make my dream come true too, like she did, by giving me the confidence and tools to direct my first full length play in London. Heather has given me the opportunity to get comfortable as an artist and introduced me to many other talented artists, some of whom I still work with and will work with in the near future. Other artists have gone on to make their own dreams come true too, inspired by the Actors Club and Writers Club, all because Heather gave them that platform and chance to grow into it and open their eyes to what they can do.
Looking at the success of the various clubs and the shows, and being lucky enough to be a part of it, I can hardly wait for what comes next. More of what has already been a major success of course, but I am also looking forward to the first feature play, and the first fringe festival entries. Because they will happen and they will be podiums for new and emerging artists that all have that dream, and Heather will be there making it happen with them.''
Saskia Van 't Hoff - The Directors Club
"After previously attending writing courses, I was unsure of what to expect from the first term of the newly created Writers Club and I must say, I was more than pleasantly surprised. First of all, I have to praise the selection process as all of my fellow writers were above par or excellent, many had previous credits and this wasn't just a hobby for them, being in a room with so many talented individuals just seemed to push me further to create better work.
Secondly, Heather Ward created a fantastic atmosphere where we could speak freely about ideas, structure and even the state of the industry, it was fascinating to hear the experiences of other writers and the obstacles we all faced.
Thirdly, the inclusion and interaction of both the Actors Club and the Directors Club meant that we could learn the most valuable lesson of all, how are words sounded on stage. Until you hear your own dialogue being read out, it is almost impossible to gauge how the words will impact both the actors and the viewing audience. Did I mention viewing audience? Yes, part of the course was to have rehearsed readings of our plays performed at established theatrical venues in front of both our fellow writers and a paying audience.
This was one of the best and most worthwhile writing courses I have attended and I'd have no problems thoroughly recommending it to any writer that really wants to develop their craft. It was also astoundingly good value for money.''
JAMES O'SHEA - THE WRITERS CLUB
''Being part of the Director's Cut Theatre family has given me the confidence, connections and insights to grow as a writer and explore new forms of creativity and performance in theatre.''
Daniel Page - The Writers Club
''The Actor’s Club is an opportunity.
That simple sentence is the perfect summation of the club and yet, it doesn’t do the level of opportunity complete justice.
It is the opportunity to connect, to network, to train, to develop, to explore and to have fun.
I had been involved with the Director’s Cut Theatre company previous to joining as part of one of their showcase performances, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Therefore, when the opportunity to get involved with the Actor’s Club came along, it was essential to be a part of it. The club itself is a novel concept, ingenious in the fact that no one else is doing what actors really want to do outside of work – continue to build on a continuous basis. No one ever wants to say they miss the comfort blanket of drama school but I suspect there is a different reality. Granted there are classes/workshops/events available for actors to hone their skills, however, this allows actors to do that as a collective, outside of drama school. It was this which was the key for me.
What I like and respect most about the Actor’s Club, aside from the variety, is the people – from those who run it, to those who are involved in it. It is inspiring working alongside such a talented group of people and I find I learn as much from watching them as I do from the purpose of the class. The space is there to develop and explore without judgement and the simple fact that everyone wants each other to do well is a rare arena to work in.
Opportunities wise? Second to none; the rehearsed readings and Director’s showcases at The Pleasance, St James’ Theatre and Southwark Playhouse on a termly, semi-regular basis, speak for themselves and are a perfect opportunity to gain exposure and put your skills in to practice.
A direct footnote to end, Heather Ward and her team have created something special in the Actor’s Club and Director’s Cut Theatre company as a whole and it has been done so with verve, imagination and an enthusiasm that is as infectious as it is admirable. What is most special, is that they have created a true meeting of creative minds and ideas that so neatly enables each and every person to learn, and thus develop.''
JAMES BARTON-STEEL - The Actors Club
''As a TV documentary director, I took a course at Central School of Music and Drama in theatre directing as a way of working with actors and on plays. At the end of that I wanted to carry on and was glad when my teacher hooked me up with Heather who was just starting the club, which has grown since beyond all recognition from a small group of directors to a community of actors, writers and soon producers too. In a creative industry the kind of collaboration and support that has evolved is unprecedented and it's all down to Heather's energy and commitment to theatre. I'm about to direct a short play in my third showcase and have also hugely enjoyed directing quite a few rehearsed readings. Each time I feel I learn something different and not only has it helped me feel more confident to try things out theatrically but it has also really helped me as I continue to write and direct short dramas and progress onto feature films.''
EVY BARRY - THE DIRECTORS CLUB
''After a visit to the Edinburgh Fringe last summer I was inspired to start writing again. I regularly kept an eye on the BBC Writers room page and was intrigued by the Directors Cut Theatre post asking writers to submit pieces for The Secret Life of Sally. The concept was inspiring and I set to work.
I was thrilled to be one of the winners and see my work performed at the Southwark Playhouse.. A night to remember!
Subsequently, I became a member of The Writers Club and haven't looked back since.
Heather and the team do an incredible job of creating and maintaining this thriving artistic hub.
Even though I live in Cardiff and can rarely come up to London, I feel intimately connected to the company. My writing has improved and the opportunities and challenges offered are opening doors for me here in Wales.
The regular emails and tasks set keep you motivated and the briefs channel your work and help prevent the dreaded writers block!
Forming connections with actors and directors has been invaluable and rewarding.
Without a doubt, being involved and part of this creative community has been or of the best things I have ever done.
Huge congratulations to Heather and her team .. long may this continue!''
CLAIRE ERASMUS - THE WRITERS CLUB
''The Writer's Club has really boosted my confidence as an emerging playwright. It's a forum where I feel I'm taken seriously as a writer and have chances to share and learn from experts and peers. It has provided me with numerous opportunities to practice my craft, particularly through the opportunities to work with professional directors and actors on extracts and short plays, including the Write to Right rehearsed readings and 'Encompass' workshops. But in particular I value Heather's infectious enthusiasm and positivity, as well as the numerous chances to work with other talented creatives within the friendly and supportive community setting.''
CLARE KNIGHTS - THE WRITERS CLUB
''Being a member of the Actor's Club has provided me with numerous opportunities and experiences. Firstly, being part of an active network of working actors/directors/writers etc is extremely fruitful and precious. I have been asked along to workshops, involved in the rehearsed readings of new writing, and last year was lucky enough to perform at The Southwark Playhouse. It was a fantastic evening showcasing the directors work, and has enabled me to play to a large audience, in a prestigious theatre in London.
Every 2 weeks our acting bones are put to good use, whether that be thought provoking workshops with Heather, or fascinating workshops from outside practitioners. These have included stage combat, movement, mask work and the visiting of notable industry professionals to name a few.
Overall the club keeps me feeling proactive in an easily dispiriting industry, provides me with further training and knowledge, and reminds me why I want to be an actor!''
HEIDI GOLDSMITH - THE ACTORS CLUB
''The Writers Club is a fantastic opportunity to become part of an inspiring community of theatre makers. I feel my own work has been greatly enhanced by the wide variety of experiences on offer. Highlights this term have included meeting regularly with other outstanding writers, working alongside actors and directors, and engaging in challenging tasks. All of these, I feel, have stretched me and enabled me to progress. The ethos of positivity and mutual support, under Heather's guidance, enables everyone to succeed.''
JAYNE WOODHOUSE - THE WRITERS CLUB
''The Writers Club has been great for bulking up my CV. I had a reading with Write to Right which led to a performance for Plays Rough at the Cambridge People's Theatre. Rikki Beadle-Blair gave amazing advice that has really helped with all sorts of applications and I'm looking forward to seeing my play workshopped as part of Encompass at Southwark Playhouse.''
BAIRBRE MEADE - THE WRITERS CLUB
''Whilst I have unfortunately had to miss a number of the sessions due to other filming and rehearsal commitments I have found the sessions I have been involved with hugely helpful and it's felt great to feel part of an ongoing acting community and to be part of a group that keeps you active and questioning. The linking up between the clubs has also been very enjoyable and something that has been hugely beneficial. I particularly enjoyed the rehearsed readings and as a direct result of the rehearsed reading I took part in at Gerrys, Theatre Royal Stratford East, one of the writers has asked me to be part of a full production of the piece in The Sherman in Cardiff (along with another Actors Club member, so this has been a great springboard also.''
CIARA POUNCETT - THE ACTORS CLUB
''Being part of The Writers Club (and the wider Director's Cut community) has been a fantastic motivator with my writing for stage. With Write to Right rehearsed readings I had a safe environment to try a new idea where I gained crucial feedback for the development of that idea towards becoming my next short play. In cross-over weeks, with the Directors and Actors Club, you have a great opportunity to get to know and make crucial connections with very talented people - meaning that when I had a play requiring a cast and a director earlier this year I had contacts available to me that I just didn't have before. Heather and the Director's Cut Team are excellent to work with too, such a hardworking and supportive company, no wonder they are going from strength to strength!''
Mitch Day - The Writers Club
"Being a part of this artistic community has enabled me to network with writers, directors and fellow actors, to work with new writing and to keep my acting skills honed so that I am always 'match fit' when I go for auditions."
NEIL KELLY - THE ACTORS CLUB
"What I like about The Writers Club is the opportunity to work not only with other writers, but actors and directors as well. Having one of my plays given a rehearsed reading was especially helpful. It has given me the confidence, encouragement and motivation to continue writing.''
Jeff Nolan - The Writers Club
''For me, one of the main things is that I am fighting my fears with the Write to Right events. English being my second language, I do have a fear of reading text out loud and am terrified by the thought of sight-reading in an audition. The Actors Club has really helped me and made me more confident.
I absolutely love the support we give each other and it does feel like we're a team.
I really enjoyed the workshops with Michael Woodwood. We explored a different approach to acting and he showed us how much we can achieve through our physicality.
Another amazing session for me was when we auditioned for each other, run by Heather. I understood the importance of confidence (belief in yourself as an actor), the energy that needs to fill the room and the appropriate way to address the panel.
The Actor's Club for me, is a place where I feel free to try out new things, be honest, share thoughts and feelings and learn something new every time. I can definitely say that I will take what I've learned from it and use it in my future work.
Looking forward to some more!''
Radina Drandrova - The Actors Club
''I'm afraid I've only been able to attend The Writers Club sporadically this term as I live outside London, however, that has been my loss as the sessions have been valuable, informative and good fun.
The group is very varied which leads to wide ranging discussions with often witty and sometimes provocative contributions from members. Heather's wisdom, patience and peerless organisational skills keep us under control.
By far the most stimulating occasions are the Cross Connection weeks where the myriad of talents in all three groups unite for rehearsed readings of short plays. It's brilliant for me to have directors with vision and actors with great talent bringing scripts to life, followed by a discussion with the audience on the strengths and weaknesses and, importantly, the potential of the writing.
These sessions - again organised superbly by Heather - are unmissable!''
PETE TALMAN - THE WRITERS CLUB
''The Actors Club has been nothing short of brilliant. Not only is it a confidence builder but really has adjusted my thought process when it comes to role play and just general play! I tend to over think (a lot!) and its almost pressed a reset button to before acting got "too serious"
Really wonderful group of people and workshop leaders - looking forward to next term!''
ADWOA-ALEXIS MINTAH - THE ACTORS CLUB
''I have found The Writers Club so valuable to my progression as a writer. I have learnt so much already and have embraced the opportunity to meet other writers, directors and actors through the other clubs, to collaborate with in the future. I think it is excellent we are also offered the platform to display our new writing projects at the Pleasance Theatre, at no extra cost, in the format of a rehearsed reading. I have already taken one play to the next level as a result of the rehearsed reading, and looking forward to the next term of The Writers Club. Thank you Heather Ward for all your support and the opportunities you have given us already!''
Rachel Overd - The Writers Club
''The highlights of my first term with The Writers Club: meeting fellow writers; having a piece read at the Write to Right night (helpful feedback; great to watch a director and actors at work close up, and to make so many connections); being blown away by Rikki Beadle Blair's inspiring talk; the workshops led by Heather, particularly having to write a piece of drama using minimal dialogue, brought to life by actors; attending a Directors Club meeting; watching a powerful play for schools about knife crime; and just generally feeling my confidence grow as a writer and to be part of a supportive and stimulating creative community.
Well done, Heather, and huge thanks!''
SALLY SHERINGHAM - THE WRITERS CLUB