New Productions for 2020/21

Artistic Director Jane McKell announced an exciting clutch of new productions for the coming two years to extend the scope and reach of regional touring for AsOne Theatre Company. The details are to be released shortly.

AsOne Website

The AsOne website is currently undergoing a refresh and the new look site will go live at the end of July.

New Marie Stopes Exhibition

The culmination of AsOne Theatre Company’s project ‘Escaping the Storm’ was the official opening of the new Marie Stopes Exhibition at the Portland Museum on 13 June 2019. Artistic Director Jane McKell presented the Museum Staff with the final Project book, play script and recorded research. The Bronze Plaque was unveiled by the Mayor of Portland Cllr’ Sue Cocking. The research and exhibition was funded with the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Final Performance of current tour

The final performance of the very successful 26 date tour of ‘Escaping the Storm’ was played to a packed audience at the Pavilion Weymouth on 14th February, attended by the Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, Gill Taylor and sponsors and advertisers who had all supported the project.

“All ‘As One’ productions are vibrant and take us to places we haven’t been before – last nights performance of Escaping the Storm was really exceptional.  Loved the way play and cast captured Portland and your unflinching but affectionate warts and all exploration of Marie Stopes”. Sue Worth.

Details of the 2020 production will follow shortly.

The Tour continues

After a short Christmas break the tour of ‘Escaping the Storm’ resumed with a sell out performance at Dorchester Arts and successful visits to a number of Dorset Schools  – as funded by West Dorset District Council and W&PBC. The tour continues in January visiting venues in Hampshire, Devon, Somerset and Gloucester, before returning to  Dorset in mid February for a final Gala performance at the Pavilion Weymouth.

“It was beautifully set with good musical and lighting effects and a talented cast”  Ginny Farmiloe. “A brilliant performance made enjoyable and educational around a difficult subject” June Lawrence “Absorbing, informative, amusing, captivating and thought provoking….” Chris Elgar .

A hugely informative and passionate play which entertained me. The acting was super and I loved the set – highly recommended! ” Lucy Hennett

Details of the full tour can be found on the current productions page.

On Tour

Following the sell out performances at the Pennsylvania Castle and Royal Manor Theatre, Escaping the Storm is now on tour to great critical acclaim – “definitely an unmissable occasion”,  Marion Cox Dorset Echo.  On Sunday 21 October the play was performed at the Bloomsbury Theatre, as part of this years Bloomsbury Festival, in the very place University College London where Marie Stopes graduated as the first female science graduate in UK.

Escaping the Storm

The Gala Performance of ‘Escaping the Storm’ at Pennsylvania Castle on the 15 October and the premiere performance at the Royal Manor Theatre on the 16 October are both sold out. The first part of the tour continues until 25 October  before a winter break, after which it recommences on January 16 for a further 4 weeks.

Escaping the Storm – Schools access

AsOne theatre company is pleased to announce it has been successful in the award of a ‘small arts grant’ from West Dorset District Council to provide subsidised schools access for its forthcoming production of Escaping the Storm. This will provide the opportunity for secondary students in the West Dorset area to see a live performance of the play about an historic local figure in their own school – free of charge.

Escaping the Storm – HLF Legacy

AsOne theatre company in partnership with the Portland Museum are happy to announce that it has been successful in securing grant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of its project ‘Escaping the Storm’. The funding will enable additional research into the play through the recording and compilation of interviews with local people who knew Dr Marie Stopes whilst living on Portland, and to provide a lasting digital legacy  in the Dorset History Centre. Additionally the funds will enable a permanent exhibition and plaque at the Portland Museum and the setting up of a Heritage trail on the island.

Escaping the Storm – ACE

AsOne theatre company is pleased to announce its successful grant award from Arts Council England for the artistic development of its latest production ‘Escaping the Storm’. The new play, written by Peter John Cooper is about the time Dr Marie Stopes spent on the Isle of Portland; escaping the storm she created in London, following the publication of her revolutionary book ‘Married Love’ in 1918. The cast of four;  Eltjo De Vries, Sorcha Martin, Phoebe Sharman  and Jane McKell,  will start work during a development week in early September leading to a Gala premiere performance at the Pennsylvania Castle on October 15th. A 30 date tour will follow into the spring of 2019.

Data Protection

AsOne Theatre Company Ltd can confirm that; following a review and update of its policies and procedures late last year, it is fully committed to and compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation – dated May 2018. It has a comprehensive Data Protection Policy ref: AS1CM-003 dated 01/11/2017, from which its Staff Privacy Policy is derived. All data is held on a secure server and no data held is passed to a third party or used for any other purpose than originally specified. To make a Subject Access Request please contact the Data Protection Officer.

Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot

The spring tour of Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot has just concluded with its final performances at Bath libraries, to great acclaim. One librarian said;  “I was a teacher for 16 years hosting many theatre companies visits to schools – unfortunately not yours, as this was the best I have ever seen”.  Another teacher commented “What a lovely, lovely way to learn”. The clever script by Peter John Cooper was perfectly balanced to appeal to all ages with a mix of humour and historical facts – fossils, fun and factoids.  Over 2,000 children in 25 Libraries across 3 counties have enjoyed free theatre during this season, although schools are still able to book a visit to the Mary’s Fossil Factory until July. Plans are already underway for next seasons ‘Library Live’.

Library Live 2018 – ACE

AsOne Theatre Company is pleased to announce its successful grant application as matched funding from Arts Council England – The National Lottery, together with West Dorset District Council Small Arts Grants,  to support its 2018 Library Live tour of Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot. The ‘Library Live’ project brings live theatre to local libraries with a mandate to provide theatre which is both accessible and free to all children. It tours Libraries and schools throughout Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire during February and March 2018.  Following recent auditions the role of Joseph is to be played by the experienced actor Eltjo De Vries and the role of Mary by Jane McKell. The new 50 minute play has been written and directed by Peter John Cooper and follows his successful ‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’ for Library Live last year.

Escaping the Storm

Artistic Director Jane McKell announced at the Pennsylvania Castle, Portland in November, that the next AsOne Theatre production planned for the Autumn 2018 will be entitled ‘Escaping the Storm’. The new play to be written by Peter John Cooper, which will complete his trilogy of great Dorset Women; Emma Hardy, Mary Anning and now Marie Stopes. The new play  focuses on the time the revolutionary scientist spent at her Portland Lighthouse home, away from the eugenics storm she created in London.  Casting will be in July and rehearsals starting in September. The production will be in association with The Portland Museum (founded by Marie Stopes) and the Pennsylvania Castle Estate.

Library Live 2018

In partnership with , county library organisations and supported by Crowdfunder, AsOne Theatre Company is planning its latest libraries tour covering; Dorset, Somerset, Devon & Gloucester, in the spring of 2018. The project includes: “Mary Anning’s Fossil Depot” and last seasons “The Fisherman’s Daughter” and will visit local libraries, bringing ‘pop up’ live theatre and a stimulated reading environment to children and their families.

Successful Fundraising Event

The Dreamy Late Summers Eve event on Saturday 19 August was a great success in raising funds for the library Live project planned as part of the 2018 Spring Tour. The event organised by the fundraising committee led; by Sara Jane Glanville, attracted over 500 people to the delightful grounds of Sandsfoot Castle for an evening of magical entertainment.

Sara said “there was much to build upon for next year’s follow up event”!

A Dreamy Late Summers Eve

AsOne Theatre’s community projects is organising a family fundraising event in the grounds of Sandsfoot Castle on Saturday 19 August at 1800 – 2100.  It is based on the theme of “A Midsummer Nights Dream and will feature games, music, magic and Mayhem! Accompanied children go free!

Dorset Industry Awards

AsOne Theatre Company is pleased to announce its nomination for  the best Community Engagement Company as part of the Dorset Echo Industry awards for 2017. This reflects the hard work over the past year working closely with the Library service and Schools authorities to bring live theatre to  young people, children and their families within their own community space.

A Life with Substance

AsOne Theatre company has been selected to run a collaborative project, working with HM Prisons to run a series of personal development workshops with inmates – leading to story telling and performance within a number of pathfinder prisons. This exciting project commences in the summer of 2017.

The Fisherman’s Daughter – Part’s 1 & 2

The spring tour of The Fisherman’s Daughter has just concluded with  sell out performance of both part 1 – Sea Monsters & Pirates and part 2 – Jess’s Odyssey at the St Francis Community hub. The tour the 3rd in the series visited Dorset libraries, schools and theatres in; Burnham, Warminster, Swanage and Portsmouth. Plans are now underway to tour libraries further afield.

Jess’s Odyssey

The cast has been announced for the forthcoming production of the Fisherman’s Daughter part 2 – Jess’s Odyssey. Emily Rowan will play Jess;  replacing Bethany Heath who created the role in the original production, and Ieuan Jeffcott will play Homer. Jane McKell will play Moira and Harold will be himself. The project starts development in late January and Peter John Cooper is script writer and Director. The Fisherman’s Daughter two part piece will tour theatres and schools in the spring and Dorset libraries during half term either as Part 1 – Pirates & Sea Monsters, Part 2 – Jess’s Odyssey, or a double bill.

The Fisherman’s Daughter to tour Bournemouth Libraries

AsOne is pleased to announce that in partnership with Bournemouth Libraries, the Autumn tour and reprise of the one act play the Fisherman’s Daughter will commence during the half term week October 24 until Saturday 29 2016 including; Charminster, Tuckton, Kinson, Boscombe and Oakdale libraries. A two week tour of Dorset Schools, part funded by WDDC follows immediately, running until November 12th.

Tour of Dorset Libraries

As a pilot project for Pop Up theatre,  AsOne theatre has successfully toured Dorset Libraries with its latest production of the Fisherman’s Daughter. The response has been excellent and all venues attended welcomed the initiative for greater use of library space and proactively encouraging children to read. It is planned to extend this tour to other libraries around the UK.

Full houses at Premiere performances

As part of the Weymouth Maritime Festival events, As One’s production of the Fisherman’s Daughter opened its tour at The Warehouse, on Weymouth’s historic harbour side on Sunday March 13 to packed houses. Many children were excited to meet Harold after the show and exchange their own jokes and stories with him!  The premiere of the show was in the presence of the W&PBC Mayor, Christine James, who later complimented the team on bringing something new to; and out of Weymouth, especially for children as part of Weymouth’s own cultural and literary festival. James Farquharson chairman of the Festival Committee said “ I have heard nothing but good things about The Fisherman’s Daughter, my own daughter just loved it and even her grumpy old Grandpa thought it was brilliant!”

The tour continues with visits to schools &  libraries around the County including; Wareham, Weymouth, Dorchester , Bridport, Verwood , Bournemouth and Gillingham.

The Fisherman’s Daughter  – casting

Following the recent auditions AsOne is pleased to confirm the part of Jess in the forthcoming production of the Fisherman’s Daughter will be played by Bethany Heath. Bethany studied at Goldsmiths University London and later trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She is a also an exciting up and coming musician and singer song writer. The part of Moira will be played by Jane McKell.

The Fisherman’s Daughter – ACE

AsOne Theatre is pleased to announce that it has been successful with its applicHaroldation to Arts Council England, with funding awarded to support its artistic development of story telling.  This will enable; the adaptation of the play the ‘Fisherman’s Daughter’  by Peter John Cooper, the design and development of our one legged seagull – Harold, by puppeteer Polly Beestone and the composition of original music by Bath based songwriter Joe Butcher.

AsOne Artistic Director Jane McKell said ” This is fantastic news for support of regional arts projects and provision of work for local theatre practitioners. I would like to thank the team for their hard work in making this happen.” 

The play has been commissioned for the Weymouth Maritime Literary Festival on 12-13 March 2016 and the ‘Fisherman’s Daughter’ can be seen at the Warehouse Theatre, Hope square, Weymouth on Sunday 13 March for two performances. A tour of Dorset Libraries and primary schools will follow. Further details can be found on the production page.


The Tinderbox tour ended with a fabulous finale and two sell out performances at the at the Shelley Theatre Bournemouth on 5 December 2016. This concluded a successful tour of 20 performances including Theatres, Arts Centres and Schools throughout the South and West.

This tour was an AsCend project providing graduates Jessica Chloe Young and John Hatziemmanuel from Arts University Bournemouth with their first professional role in touring regional theatre.

PASSION tour concludes on a high note

The successful tour of PASSION concluded with a Gala performance at the Pavilion Weymouth on 21 November, celebrating 10 years of regional touring by AsOne theatre company. Sponsors and associate members were invited to a wine reception preceding the performance and a party following it.

The 20 date tour – which received plaudits at each of the venues, concluded a successful year for the Company which now looks forward to its next AsOne/AsCend  production – a modern adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s TINDERBOX in the autumn of 2015.

The Company wishes all its friends and sponsors a happy and successful 2015.

The current 20 date  tour of PASSION AsOne Theatre’s latest production opened with a sell out performance and excellent reviews at the Corn Exchange Dorchester on 8th October.

What the papers say:993810_cast

The production blends with great skill the experiences of local men and women across 100 years of real life stories as their diaries are told in dramatic form”.

“Under the Direction of Peter Leslie Wild, actors Jane McKell, Tim Laycock, Steve Rollins and Ieuan Jeffcott bring to life powerful testimonies of those caught up in conflict”

“A production that pulls no punches as it examines human frailties”

The tour continues until 21st  November – see current production for tour dates.

PASSION on Radio Solent – click on this link to listen

 PASSION Launch Event

The launch of the PASSION Project was held at the Dorset History Centre Dorchester on September 5th where the Creative team and cast presented a rehearsed reading of extracts from the new play by Stephanie Dale. The research material and audio archive was presented to Maria Gayton, Community Engagement Officer at the DHC, by AsOne Artistic Director Jane McKell. The evening was attended by invited guests representing ACE, HLF, WDDC, Dorchester Town Council – including the Mayor of Dorchester, members of the press and media and business sponsors. The reception was provided by Gallery on the Square in Poundbury.

AsOne new play PASSION – by Stephanie Dale

With funding now secure development of multi-award winning AsOne Theatre’s latest play is now well underway for the forthcoming autumn tour visiting  some exciting new venues as well as some favourites.  This gripping new play with live music; five stories of soldiers and families 100 years apart. Interweaving original testimony, Passion is poignant, funny and affectingly truthful. It takes you into the living room of news obsessed parents;  into diaries of soldiers; down a camera lens, and over the top then and now; revealing how the ravages of war ripple down the generations.

AsOne successful with research grant application

AsOne has secured a  grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable its WW1 background  research to go ahead. This will involve collating and recording personal accounts and memories from families whom recall their family experiences of the impact of love, separation and loss during war and the effects on the family, next generation and future generations.

These will be documented as an audio record in the Dorset History Centre and museum’s and used as inspiration for the writing of AsOne’s new play – Passion.

This comes on the back of successful grant applications to Arts Council England for the artistic development of the piece and from WDDC for support to the schools related project.

Work is now well under way to bring the new play to theatres and arts centres in the autumn of 2014.

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