Past productions


Escaping the Storm –

Marie Stopes on the Isle of Portland

The isolated communities of the Isle of Portland on the Dorset coast are shocked to discover the notorious sex campaigner Marie Stopes has bought the Higher Lighthouse.  She hopes it will be her refuge from the storms battering her on the mainland. A collision of cultures is inevitable. How will she change the Islanders’ ways of thinking and how will she be changed by Portland?

Dr Marie Stopes transformed how we think about sex. One of the 20th Century’s most controversial women, her strong views provided graphic understanding of pleasure and consequence of sex. Vilified then by the Catholic Church, Marie Stopes still provokes today. But apart from her work, who was the real Marie Stopes?

Escaping the Storm finds Stopes on Portland; writing, exploring fossil forests, skinny-dipping, and interacting with the locals. Fascinating and formidable – Marie Stopes’ complex private world as controversial as her public one.

 This first play about Marie Stopes marks 100 years from the publication of Married Love, selected by Melvyn Bragg as one of “12 Books that Changed the World”.

An ensemble of four performers give life to this thought-provoking piece of storytelling by playwright/director Peter John Cooper.

 There was an optional post-performance Q & A with the AsOne ensemble. 

April 2016- 2017

The Fisherman’s Daughter


Jess’s Odyssey

A double-bill

The Fisherman’s Daughter

James Farquharson Weymouth Leviathan Maritime Literary Festival Founder:

‘I’ve heard nothing but wonderful reviews for the Fisherman’s Daughter. Apart from everyone else, my eldest daughter and father in law attended the 14:30 pm. She loved it, especially the bit where she had to make storm noises, and even grumpy old grandpops was very energised by the experience,”It was brilliant,” he said.’ 

Originally Commissioned by The Leviathan Weymouth – Maritime Literary Festival 12-13 March 2016

Various premiere Leviathan audience members:Brilliant’, ‘Better than a visit to the doctors’, ‘Harold was hilarious’, ‘Two very talented performers’, ‘A wonderful play, both touching and very funny’ ‘Very striking, stripped-back set.’

FishermansDaughter-4 cropped

Jess’s Odyssey


Fisherman’s Daughter Jess now loves reading, and books fill the hours of waiting for her dad. But reading Homer’s Odyssey strange words, names and places confuse her. Frustrated she throws down the book and up pops a stranger who just happens to share the name of the writer. Homer is a Greek boy from a trawler moored in the harbour.  He tells Jess that a woman, Moira, has been kidnapped and held below decks.  Jess is in disbelief until he produces a bedraggled Harold, the one legged seagull.  They revive Harold, and all three set off on their own odyssey to rescue Moira.

 venues: primary school, library, village hall, theatre, or arts centre.




A captivating twist on an original tale’

Play by Jacqueline Avery
Music by Joe Butcher

A war-torn soldier and an obstinate princess – aided by three unearthly dogs, a strange and wizened woman with a magic tinderbox – discover the unbreakable bonds of true love.

This new play gives a classic Hans Christian Andersen tale an illuminating Jurassic Coast twist, and AsOne AsCend ensemble add heart and soul dusted with humour.

‘tinderbox’ is an audio-visual treat to thrill all the family. Powerful physical storytelling; puppetry; shadow play and animated imagery – accompanied by live, original music and song – combine to create a spell-binding experience whatever your age.

AsOne AsCend ensemble is putting the magic back into family theatre.

  Writer/Director               Song-writer

Jacqueline Avery

Jacqueline Avery

Joe Butcher - Songwriter

Joe Butcher


– click on photos for more information


John Hatziemmanuel


Jessica Chloe Young

Laurence Aldridge

Laurence Aldridge

Jane McKell



– Line of Departure

By Stephanie Dale


True Stories of War and Love 

100 Years Apart 1914-2014

 Multi-award winning AsOne Theatre Company present

gripping new piece of theatre with live music – five incredible stories of families affected by war. The play has been created using real testimony from people:  who’ve fought in Afghanistan; who’ve waved their child off to fight; who’ve discovered a WW1 relative’s diary. Intertwined  with extensive research and dusted with  talent this is affecting theatre at its best.

AsOne Theatre Company’s project 2014/15 ‘PASSION’ had live music, song and film and was timed for the anniversary of the start of WW1 and the planned final exit of UK troops from Afghanistan. Funding in place from Arts Council England, The Heritage Lottery Fund, West Dorset District Council. It was premiered at The Corn Exchange, Dorchester and toured from Wednesday 8 October 2014  – throughout wider Wessex and into Gloucester, London, Bath and Bristol – until our finale in Weymouth in November 2014. In 2018 we plan a national tour out of Edinburgh with some secondary schools hosting us where we will not only perform but offer workshops (Tel. 01305 835541 if you are interested). A big thank you to our Major Sponsor Brewery Square Dorchester who invested £1500 towards our Marketing Budget ensuring the quality of our  marketing. We are always thrilled to have such amazing partnerships.

THE CREATIVE TEAM  Multi-award winning AsOne Theatre Company has gathered a creative team par excellence: Playwright – Stephanie Dale; Director – Peter Leslie Wild; Composer and Musical Director: Tim Laycock

Stephanie Dale was our commissioned playwright

Current commissions include: For the Past 30 Years (Birmingham REP, 2014) Alice in Wonderland; (Theatre in the Quarter,2014) Passion, a play about the First World War and the exit from Afghanistan, (AsOne Theatre, touring 2014) and A World Beyond Man; (Arena Theatre and tour, 2014). Recent work includes:  Chester Mystery Plays;(cast of 250 at Chester Cathedral, June-July 2013) an adaptation of Moonfleet; which toured the South West (BristolOld Vic Theatre School, May-June 2013). Believe Me; (nominated for the Tinniswood Award 2011, BBC Radio Four, 2011) andThe Witches’ Promise ;(cast of 120, Birmingham REP @ Weoley Castle Ruins, July 2012). Other work includes: Mary Macarthur; (cast of 80, Midland Actors Theatre) and A Time to Keep; co-written with David Edgar, (cast of 120, Dorchester Community Play Association, November 2007). A Time to Keep is published by Nick Hern Books. Stephanie taught Applied Drama at Loughborough University for seven years and was a Supervisor on the MRES in Playwriting at the University of Birmingham for five years.  She currently teaches Writing and Devising at Birmingham School of Acting. Stephanie has facilitated playwriting workshops in over 500 schools, colleges and universities and has facilitated over 50 pieces of community based theatre projects. She has also written four large- scale plays for schools. She has an MA in Playwriting (University of Birmingham, 1998) BA (Hons) Theatre and Media Drama, 1996.

Peter Leslie Wild directed. Peter Leslie Wild is a theatre director and audio drama producer with more than 20 years’ experience in the business. Since winning the 1989 BP Young Directors Award he has worked in a vast range of media including theatre, radio and video. He set up and ran the Community Programme for the Orange Theatre between 1991 and 1995, before moving to the BBC where he produced and directed hundreds of radio dramas for Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, Radio 3 and Radio 2. He has also made a speciality of site-specific work, creating theatre and audio in vast cathedrals, a Roman gold mine, the streets of cities, and museums and art galleries. He is known for combining drama and documentary, having produced more than 25 drama-documentaries for Radio 4, two of which won the prestigious Prix Marulic. His site-specific audio work has often included a documentary element, as in the Titanic Trail, which mixed commentary and drama to tell the story of the designer of the ill-fated Titanic; and the National Trust audio trail for Dolaucothi Gold Mine, which features interviews with archaeologists and dramatic inserts. In the theatre, Peter has directed major site-specific work such as The Chester Mystery Plays (Chester Cathedral and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, 2013), and The Worcester Pilgrim (Worcester Cathedral), right down to small scale touring and work in regional reps such as The New Vic, Stoke.

Tim Laycock composed and arranged original and traditional music. is well known in Dorset as a folk musician, composer, playwright, director, actor, and storyteller. Tim toured as musical director for A Winter’s Tale with the RSC earlier this year, directed the local New Hardy Players The Woodlanders, and continues to perform his Tuneful Stories at Max Gate, tour the his own ‘Time Clock’ performance piece . Tim is an extraordinary talent and genuinely loved wherever he performs or works. He has written 10 plays for theatre companies, and continues to work for Solomon Theatre with writing, arranging and playing in two short plays for senior citizens: Trickster, which has received over 450 performances to date; and Too Good to be True, both directed by Mark Hyde. Sonia Ritter and he perform in The Land; and Tim’s own play about William Barnes: The Year Clock with musician Colin Thompson is also still being booked. He is currently appearing in Whoops, Apothecary! with Alan Cheeseman for Theatre Merchants.

AsOne Theatre Company Associate, Annette Sumption designed the set, props and costume.  Annette has 30 years experience of Theatre design and has worked throughout the UK since 1977 including: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; The Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke; Contact Theatre, Manchester and in London’s West End. This will be her fourth design for asOne Theatre and we are delighted.

Jane McKell has been AsOne Theatre’s founding Artistic Director/Producer for 10 years. The company draws upon the experience of Jane’s work with memory projects in theatre, education, the community, and on both commercial and BBC radio. Jane set up AsOne Theatre Productions in 2004 to employ Dorset based professional theatre practitioners and shake hands with the community whilst taking real Wessex stories to theatres all over the region and encouraging new writing. An experienced professional actor, singer, director and theatre producer Jane has toured regionally and nationally in everything from Pantomime to contemporary and classical theatre with a little film and television for good measure. She feels it is a privilege to explore real, regional stories and then create exciting, bitter-sweet theatre that informs whilst genuinely pulling at the heart strings.


We asked ‘Has your family lived or are you living in Wider Wessex; either: Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset, Bath or Bristol and have you either family connections or direct stories to tell about WW1 or the Afghanistan Conflict?’ The response was wonderful and some fantastic families came on board from Portland, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Dorchester and Bath. Their stories touched, amazed and thrilled us. 

Dorset based, Award winning, AsOne Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Jane McKell, accompanied by film and radio expert, Andy Worth collected and recorded real stories from Wessex families as research,  for Stephanie Dale our playwright to interweave some of these remarkable stories writing a brand new theatre piece with live music; as well as create pod-casts for the internet, and a radio documentary as a legacy. The creative team chosen is of standing and experience. Playwright, Stephanie Dale; director Peter Leslie Wild, and Composer/Musician Tim Laycock are joining forces with Artistic Director/producer Jane McKell commissioned by AsOne Theatre Company to respectively write, direct, compose, design and produce a premier tour of  ‘PASSION’ –  Stories of War and Love 100 Years Apart

“Intertwining stories from the First World War and the Afghan War, Passion integrates genuine memories, original live music and song to create a poignant, sometimes funny, vivid and surprising take on the effect of war on combatants and families alike.”

AsOne asked Wessex people willing to talk openly about their own experience as a soldier or what it is like to have children, husbands, fathers or brothers and sisters away fighting in Afghanistan; some who returned safely, some injured, some who lost loved ones to the conflict. We talked to descendants of Great War combatants about the stories, photos and diaries handed down by their relatives, who were involved in WW1 in Europe, Messapotamia, Gallipoli or Russia. All research was handled sensitively and with respect, with people’s anonymity  preserved if that was requested.

If you would like to further contribute to exhibitions that will be touring with us and share relevant memories, letters or diaries please do so  by writing to:

or AsOne Theatre Company ‘Talbothays’, 3, Osmington Lodge, Osmington, Weymouth Dorset DT3 6EX

100 – autumn 2013

'100' 2013

 Award winning AsOneTheatre Company proudly presented it newest venture 2013:  AsCend Physical Theatre chosing Diene Petterle, Neil Monaghan, and Christopher Heimann’s thought provoking ‘100’ as its first touring production.

Imagine you had to choose just one memory to take into eternity, and that you would re-live that treasured memory afresh, experiencing it as for the first time over and over and over. That is what four characters are urged  to do by a mysterious other – to a count of ‘100’! This singular decision turns out to be far more difficult than any can imagine. It challenges the way each have lived, loved, observed, and even valued life itself; there are implications none would have guessed. What memory would you choose?

Award winning AsOne Theatre presented its new sister company AsCend Physical Theatre with an imaginative, energetic approach to story-telling and a huge heart that will leave the audience buzzing with images, thoughts and questions. Written by Diene Petterle, Neil Monaghan and Christopher Heimann ‘100’ is an Edinburgh First winning production – realised anew by AsCend in collaboration with acclaimed director Peter John Cooper.

Directed by Jacqueline Avery and Peter John Cooper

Music by Simon Swarbrick      

Animation by Thomas Hughes

AsCend is touring late September through to late November 2013, and would love to come to your theatre. We also offer an optional audience Q & A post-performance; this comes at no extra-cost.

Our Final Performance of the tour is now upon us!

21st November 013 – Weymouth Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth, Dorset Box Office: 01305 783225

There is a planned National Tour in Spring 2015

If we have already performed at your theatre we are always keen to return; if you have yet to see us in action we would be very excited to share ‘100’ with your audiences.

Programmers – Tel: 01305 835541 for more information

‘100’ – Fringe First Winner 2002

‘… this breathtaking piece of theatre. I do believe I will remember it, in both my head and my heart, all of my life. It is a tiny, huge, simple, complex play that touched me in places I didn’t even know I had. (…) This play moved me more profoundly than anything I can remember seeing in theatre..’  The Scotsman, Edinburgh

The Cast

 Photographs from the technical rehearsal – click on a thumbnail to launch a slideshow.

All photos of the technical rehearsal © Andy Sherlock

AsCend Physical Theatre Rehearsal AsCend Physical theatre Rehearsal  AsCend Physical Theatre RehearsalAsCend Physical Theatre


The Cabinet Makers Daughter

The Cabinet Maker's Daughter 2012

The Cabinet Maker’s Daughter  is a much acclaimed original production.

“compelling and powerful – brilliant acting”

This new play by Peter J Cooper portayed the life and final moments of the renowned 19th Century fossil hunter from Dorset – Mary Anning. It completed its 21 date tour on 16 November at the Bridport Arts Centre. The final three theatres played to capacity houses and overall represented one of the best audience take ups and responses to any of our productions to date.

She Opened The Door – 2010-2011

She Opened the Door 2010/2011

She Opened the Door! is an original play by Peter John Cooper based around the women in the life of Thomas Hardy and how they may have influenced the characters in his books – the wife, the mother and the other woman.

It successfully toured 15 theatres, starting at the 2010 International Thomas Hardy Festival in the Corn Exchange Dorchester and culminating in a rerprise performance in the garden of Hardy’s Home Max Gate – where the play was set.

“Sure to become a theatrical treasure of the future” – Dorset Echo.

A book of the play is now available on Amazon by Roving Press.

Hey Baby – 2009

Hey Baby 2009

Hey Baby! is a magical piece of story telling in the hands of playwright Nell Denton which has the unmistakable ring of truth. Based on real stories from five very different Portland couples as they journey into parenthood. Evoking a truly unique but universal experience, the play, directed by Peter Cooper, toured five counties during the Spring and Autumn 2009 .

Lets Do It -2007-2008

Let's Do It 2007/2008

Yet another new piece of theatre – AsOne Theatre’s devised magical mix of memories, music and projected image, Lets Do It! sparkled with much-loved songs and anecdotes from the brilliant minds of Noel Coward and Cole Porter, evoking five decades.

Evergreen Noel Coward and Cole Porter remain two of the wittiest and intelligent of 20th century composers and lyricists of revue/musical theatre. Their stories and music is inter-linked by photographs and film evoking contrasting times of gaiety and depression.

A String of Pearls – 2005

A String of Pearls 2005

 A String of Pearls is an evocative human drama with music as a beating heart, a celebration of World War II through the eyes of women; the second in a series of two productions, this time commemorating and celebrating VE Day.

A String of Pearls toured from the end of April until late June 2005 in Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. It is an original project, the culmination of 18 month’s research and collation by As One Productions using more than 200 original WWII memories – sent from all over the UK – the stimulus for a story of three sisters with very different lives and goals. The sisters go on a journey of discovery whilst packing up their deceased Grandma’s possessions. What they learn about themselves is more than matched by what they learn about Grandma.

A thrilling string of stories about all kinds of women; the trailblazers, the homemakers, the brave, the frightened, the young innocents and the worldly-wise with one common denominator; an indomitable spirit… and Grandma certainly has the last word. This production sees the very experienced, singer/actress Giselle Summers joining as performer/joint musical director/vocal arranger.

In the Mood 2004

In 2004, In the Mood was a multi-media tribute to D Day featuring Glenn Miller, Andrew’s Sisters, Vera Lynn and Judy Garland, linked by living memories from survivors of turbulent days. Devised by As One out of an original idea from Artistic Director, Jane McKell, In the Mood – with its rich three part harmonies, nostalgia and gritty story telling – has proved a big hit; touring until November 04, a springboard to As One’s new Spring 05 show. The company was joined by choreographer/performer, Antoinette Woolven.

Circle of Life 2002/2003

AsOne Theatre Company have been touring the South West with performances ranging from Fantasy and Freedom, a crafted compilation West End and Broadway Musicals show to their original musical revue, Circle of Life, a wry look at life in word, picture and song. Lorraine Rowan was performer/joint musical director.

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