Earthquakes in London The enemy is on its way
earthquakes in london show image

Earthquakes in London

Weston Studio, Bristol Old Vic Theatre

Key Information
  • Dates Thu 07 Nov 2019 - Sat 16 Nov 2019
  • Location Weston Studio, Bristol Old Vic Theatre
  • Evenings


  • Matinees


  • Ticket price

    Tickets: Full £17 / £15

    Concession £15 / £13

    Group discounts available

The enemy is on its way

Earthquakes in London

Written by Mike Bartlett
Directed by Cressida Brown
Designed by Angela Davies


The enemy is on its way, but it doesn’t have guns and gas this time, it has wind and rain, storms and earthquakes.”


Meet three very different sisters – Jasmine, a rebellious teenager, Freya, a troubled expectant mother, and Sarah, a passionate cabinet minister.

Their scientist father predicts apocalyptic climate change, whilst the sisters navigate personal and political issues in this intimate, yet surreal story. Decades, locations and dreams crash into one another as this dysfunctional family try to make sense and give purpose to their lives.

Sweeping back and forth through time from the 1960s to 2525, Mike Bartlett’s ambitious play focusing on climate change revels in its excess, lurching from despair to hope.

An earthquake is coming. Buckle up.


Age guidance 14+

Contains themes that some may find distressing

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Nick Hern Books


Image credit: Hide the Shark


You can find our Autumn/Winter 2019 Season Brochure here


Elias Adojutelegan – Roy/Simon/Polar Bear/Narrator

Isobel Coward – Mrs Andrews/Supermarket Worker/Mother/Marina

Michael Dodds – Colin

Charlotte East – Sarah

Olivia Edwards – Peter/Emily/Mother/Foetus

Nancy Farino – Freya

Akshay Khanna – Steve

Nimshi Kongolo – Tom

Al Maxwell – Young Robert/Young Man/Police Officer/Dr Harris

Sarah McCormack – Jasmine

Mark Milligan – Robert

Sebastian Orozco – Dr Tim/Jogger/Businessman/Barman/Daniel

Katja Quist – Old Woman/Casey/Grace/Mother/Liberty/Receptionist

Tommy Sim’aan – Carter



Creative team

Director Cressida Brown

Assistant Director Lucy Hayes

Set and Costume Designer Angela Davies

Design Assistant Carly Brownbridge

Lighting Designer Chris Houseman

Sound Designer Oliver Wareham

Movement Director Michelle Gaskell

Musical Director and Singing Coach  Pamela Rudge

Voice Coach Carol Fairlamb

Dialect Coach James Gitsham

Production Manager Jon Sherwood

Production Supervisor Alix Abram

Producer Frances Macadam

Stage Manager Felicity Simmons

Deputy Stage Manager Victoria Rose

Assistant Stage Managers Elkie McCrimmon and Kizzie Tims

Production Electrician Harriet Hollinshead-Lee

Lighting Operator Lily Baron

Sound Operator Ella Lovelady

Construction Manager Andy Scrivens

Construction Supervisor Frederick Spring

Construction Assistants Ambra Fuller, Maddie Coward, Lily Baron, Ella Lovelady, Chantel Blackwood, Dominic Parker, Emily Poole and Holly Stevens

Scenic Artists Heidi Broad, Alistair Campbell, Bethany Hastings and Jean Wong

Costume Supervisor Amber Bowerman

Costume Assistants Evie Akerman, Albert Taylor, Charlotte Weiss, Summer Marie York

Costume Maker Madi Barncoat

Thanks to:

Nico McCrimmon for providing the Voice of Child, Jennie Wintle and her amazing prams, Lee Markham, Ella Lovelady, Bristol Port Company, Meriel Pym, Jonathan Howell, Leila Glen, Neamh Campbell, Eleanor Condon, Sara Mikulla, Miles
Hutchinson for the music, Debbie Mitchell

Line of students in rehearsal studio Acting

Get an insight into the show with our behind the scenes podcast!

Student Q&As

We’ve chatted to students from a range of disciplines about working on the show – see their thoughts below!

Rehearsal Photography by Ed Felton

Student sat at desk, holding pencil with open book Production Arts

Sound Designer - Oliver Wareham

What does the role of Sound Designer entail?

As sound designer my role is to create the overall sound of the play, making sure that it keeps to the plan of the director and designer.


Why did you choose to study Production Arts?

I chose to study Production Arts as from a young age I was always interested in Theatre, starting onstage and slowly working my way behind the scenes where I decided this was what I wanted to do. The best thing about this course which really worked for me was the fact that in my first and second year I got to work in all kinds of departments including construction and stage management.


What has been your favourite experience at the School so far?

My favourite experience so far has been working as a sound operator on Elephant Man (Bristol Old Vic, 2018) with sound designer Adrienne Quartly. I learnt a lot in this role as it was my first time working an op role at the theatre school and I got to work with a professional sound designer for this.


Has the team faced any particular challenges when preparing for Earthquakes in London?

The main challenge I am facing is the fact the play has so much going on. It changes locations and gives the audience a lot to follow. However, this allows me to push myself as a sound designer to get the best possible end result.


What have you enjoyed the most about working on Earthquakes in London?

My favourite part working of working on Earthquakes in London has been recording my own sound effects. On many days this has involved me walking around the school and finding the strangest items that match up to the sound I’m looking for. For example, I spent a day looking for all the metal bins and getting people to hit them to try and create a particular sound for the show!


Without giving too much away(!) what does the technical/creative team have in store for the audience?

We have a design that fits the space perfectly. Earthquakes in London will provide both funny and emotional moments, including scenes that will have the audience in shock and feeling a little uncomfortable. My sound design will provide some in your face moments to add to the overall feel to the play.

Headshot of female student Drama Directing

Assistant Director - Lucy Hayes

What does the role of Assistant Director entail?


The role of the assistant director is really to support the director and the production. This can manifest in many different ways depending on their needs and the needs of the show, but essentially you’re a second pair of eyes and ears in the room.


Why did you choose to study Drama Directing?


To tell stories better! I felt like I was starting to develop a kind of methodology as a director, and I wanted to a space to scrutinise that process and make it better. To spend time thinking about the craft of directing, and to be in a creative and nurturing environment seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.


What has been your favourite experience at the School so far?


I’ve really enjoyed some of the workshops that we’ve had – working with Donnacadh O’Briain, or going to observe some of Sally Cookson’s rehearsals for Peter Pan. But my favourite experience has probably been a show that I directed for a scratch writing night at the school. I got to work on it again over the summer, and collaborate with the actors and one of the MA designers, and we performed it at The Actors Centre. It was such a lovely process, and wonderful to see it develop to a full show from that initial scratch night.


Has the team faced any particular challenges when preparing for Earthquakes in London?


How demanding the play is! The original version was over 4 hours long. Some Acts have over 20 locations, so crafting both the scenes themselves, and the transitions between scenes has been challenging.


What have you enjoyed the most about working on Earthquakes in London?


It’s been really amazing to work with students and members of staff from all of the different departments in the school. It feels really special to have lots of the School collaborating together over a show.


Without giving too much away(!) what does the technical/creative team have in store for the audience?


Eeeee! In each Act, the characters have a different relationship with the space, so that’s really exciting. And how will we do the eponymous earthquake? I can’t tell you, obviously.

Headshot of female tutor

Designer - Angela Davies

Angela is the Head of Design at the School and has worked on the set and costume design for our first show of the term, Earthquakes in London.


What does the role of Designer entail?

The designer is responsible for the creation of the production’s visual language and an overview of the production and performance requirements. A Theatre/ Performance Design role is highly collaborative and mostly about team communication, starting with the Director. The preliminary work involves creating an imaginary landscape for the text with the director. Designers produce a visual template or map for the performance; in this case a model and story board images and costume and prop drawings as well as a whole heap of useful visual references for everything to communicate ideas to the actors and production team.

Do you have any advice for those hoping to work in theatre design?

A flexible approach is helpful, passion for theatre, performance and visual storytelling is key!

Has the team faced any particular challenges when preparing for Earthquakes in London?

Yes! The play is huge, multi-locational and fast paced – time is the big issue. From a design perspective keeping up with the discoveries in rehearsals is a challenge although our student production teams are brilliant and adaptable.

What have you enjoyed the most about working on Earthquakes in London?

I’ve really enjoyed the collaboration with the director Cressida – and also the BOVTS production process working with students.  I am the daughter of a welder, I was thrilled to see all students make the set, especially young women confidently in command of welding equipment in the workshop- very impressive! As a designer, I always enjoy the collaboration with Scenic Art Students – their work is exceptional and they have only just started the course.

I am a Designer and also a Teacher – it’s rewarding seeing ideas sketched out visualised and the performance come to life,  it’s also exciting to see the progress the students are making and how they gain and grow in confidence working on such challenging productions. It’s good to get an insider’s view!

Without giving too much away(!) what does the technical/creative team have in store for the audience?

To an untrained eye, one of the major structural design challenges / builds may appear to be part of the building. The director and I have engaged a site specific approach to the space, responding to its character, features and function. The audience will notice a large crack in the floor surfaces – I became interested in the idea of Kintsugi- a Japanese art of repairing broken items with the intension of making the repair and object more beautiful. This visual concept arose from imagining the play from Freya’s perspective and became a metaphor for the design and perhaps a ‘religious’ symbol for her journey through the play. The costumes will be a feat – again unnoticed if we get them right, the play reveals an epic kaleidoscope of characters busily getting on with their lives – on a course for mass destruction and… renewal.

Female student sat backstage looking at papers Photography - Mark Dawson

Costume Supervisor - Amber Bowerman

What does the role of Costume Supervisor entail?

My job is to be responsible for hiring, sourcing and buying costume for the production as per the designer’s requirements. I also supervise the costumes assistants during fittings, alterations and tech week. I also need to make sure that everything is ready for tech week and of course for opening night!


Why did you choose to train in Costume at BOVTS?

I chose to study here as it was the perfect course for me. I like how the school runs as it would be in the industry rather in a class room setting. I also love the number of different skills we learn within costume construction and supervision.


What has been your favourite experience at the School so far?

My favourite experience so far was in my first year, working on Nicholas Nickleby as a dresser/costume assistant. I loved the electric atmosphere working behind the stage, alongside the actors and technical team.


What have you enjoyed the most about working on Earthquakes in London?

I have loved working alongside Angela Davies our wonderful designer and Head of Design at the School. I’m really enjoying the different aspects of the show within costume as it’s quite challenging with the different time periods the play is set in, but it’s also exciting and fresh at the same time.


Without giving too much away(!) what does the technical/creative team have in store for the audience?

That’s for everyone to come along and find out! 😀

As a student, the most important aspect of a course is putting into practice what you've been learning, and we do that constantly. I cannot recommend BOVTS enough - my showreel has never looked better! April Storm Perry, MA Screen Acting Student