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About us

Stage Write was created in 2011 by Paul T. Davies to

“Give voice to those characters who may not be fully represented on stage, to tell universal stories, and to support new writing”. We work within the local community and with professionals to create work that also offers a learning environment.

The Company

Dr Paul T. Davies

Artistic Director


Dr. Paul T. Davies is a playwright, director and actor, and set up Stage Write in 2011. He has directed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff and the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, as well as the Mercury Theatre studio and the main stage (Living with Luke 2015). He wrote the Colchester history play Bury Me in Colchester Mud, Siege 1648, a site specific production staged to huge acclaim in 2016. Play Something performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017, and ran at the Drayton Arms, London, in September 2018. Living with Luke continues to be staged throughout the UK, raising money for autistic charities. In 2020, he performed the acclaimed play How We Love at the Vaults Festival, London. He played Trevor in Surprise, a play written for the Essex Against Domestic Abuse project, staged in Chelmsford Shopping Centre and on film for Caravan Theatre. His previous acting credits include The Tempest and Molly Sweeny for Father Hen Theatre, and he worked with Complicite in creating the audio soundtrack for The Encounter (Edinburgh International Festival 2015.) He also wrote Uninhabited for Footprints Theatre in Colchester in 2015. His PhD examined AIDS, Queer Theory and Theatrical Discourses 1983-94, and he has lectured in theatre for over 25 years. At the University of Derby he was member of the team that won the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts 2013.

Ben Maytham
Jacko Pook

Company Actor


Ben is well known to Stage Write audiences for his role as Luke in the play Living With Luke, from the Mercury Studio to the main stage and then a national tour- and continuing! He is reprising his role as younger F in Play Something at the Drayton Arms Theatre, London, in 2018 following the Edinburgh Fringe run in 2017. He played Joshua Barnes in Bury Me in Colchester Mud in 2016. He originated the role of Gabe in Shedding Skin in 2013, and in the 2018 revival played the role of Luke, and is a graduate of The International School of Screen Acting drama school in London.

Shane Whitworth

Company Actor

Shane made his debut for Stage Write in the 2013 play Like Her in That Film, where he played the lead character's Imagination! Since then he has gone on to originate the role of the ref in Living with Luke, performing in both the regional and UK tours and played John Barnes in Bury Me in Colchester Mud. He has appeared in the 2015 film Macbeth, alongside Michael Fassbender, and the Tim Burton film Alice Through the Looking Glass. He has also performed award nominated roles in The Accrington Pals and The Cripple of Inishmaan. He played older F in Play Something at the Mercury Theatre, the Edinburgh Festival and the Drayton Arms Theatre, London, in 2018.


Steve Hannam

Company Actor

Steve IS Danson Thunderbolt! It was his blogs, Living With Luke that inspired the play, and, as a semi-pro wrestler, led to the play being set in a wrestling ring where Danson literally fights The Autistic Shadow to try and make contact with Luke. Steve is also the author of Captain Square Jaw, and Lessons from living With Luke, titles available from Amazon.

Jazz Ely

Company Actor and Writer

To critical and audience acclaim, Jazz played transgender Sam in the 2016 production of Swallow by Stef Smith. Jazz wrote the highly praised The Theory of Nat and Mike, presented by Stage Write in 2016. She is well known to local audiences for her roles in, among others, The Accrington Pals, The Cripple of Inishmaan and Breathing Corpses. She played the DJ in Play Something, and will reprise that role in Edinburgh. She is currently studying at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Eleanor Kent Dyson

Company Actor

Jacko made both his Stage Write and Mercury Theatre debut in Play Something, performing the part of younger M. He then performed as William in Bury Me in Colchester Mud and reprised his role as Young  M in Play Something at the Edinburgh Fringe and at the Drayton Arms Theatre, London. He has just completed his MA in Playwriting at the University of Essex, and has had his plays Bran the Fisherman and Father Tinker produced, the former was taken to the Arcola theatre.

Matt Bradbury

Company Actor


Matt made his Stage Write debut in Play Something, performing the role of Older M, which he reprised at Edinburgh and London. He is well known to local audiences for his roles in A Matter of Life and Death,  The Cripple of Inishmaan, Breaking the Code and The Recruiting Officer. He also appeared with the Mercury Theatre Company in The Winter’s Tale.

Paul Tyrrell

Company Actor

Paul is an internationally renowned wrestler, and he IS The Autistic Shadow! With his tag partner, Phil Powers, they form the Essex Bad Boys and have won multiple titles in the UK and beyond. Living with Luke is his first acting experience, and audiences hate him- in the right way!

Liz Moss

Lighting and Sound Technician

Liz Moss has played a range of characters in local theatre. from heart breaking widowhood in The Accrington Pals to family themed fun with local company Chameleon’s Web. For Stage Write she has developed her talents even further and has operated lighting and sound for both Living With Luke and Play Something.

Jonathan Davis

Company Actor 

Company Actor 

Eleanor is an award winning actress, and made her Stage Write debut in the highly acclaimed production of Swallow by Stef Smith, staged at the Mercury Theatre in 2016. She also worked with Paul T. Davies in the highly successful production of Kneehigh’s A Matter of Life and Death and is currently writing scripts and looking to performing in Shakespeare in the open air!

Thomas Roy Edwards

Company Actor 

Tom made his Stage Write debut playing Dan and also characters from the last fifty years in Shedding Skin at the Mercury Theatre in 2018. He is a stand up comedian, directed Surprise by Rich Chilver for Caravan Theatre, and played Touchstone in TWAS Theatre’s As You Like It. He was a member of the original Early Careers Training Programme at the Mercury Theatre.

Osian England

Jonathan made his Stage Write debut playing a variety of characters, from Lord Aaran to a closeted married gay man, in Shedding Skin at the Mercury Theatre in 2018.  He plays the Dance Captain in Jacky! He is producer for Colchester based company Protocol Theatre, for whom he performed in A View From the Bridge. He is also known locally as bit of a musical theatre legend, playing many roles to much acclaim at the Mercury Theatre.

Sara jane Derrick

Company Actor 

Sara is an established actress, having worked professionally for many years, and made her Stage Write debut playing Linda and The Wife in Shedding Skin a the Mercury Theatre in 2018. Prior to that she performed in Protocol Theatre's highly successful Colchester production of A View From the Bridge, and was a member of the Mercury Theatre Early Careers Training Programme 2016/17 cohort. She plays Mum in the forthcoming production of Jacky!

Lee Birnie

Company Actor 

Osian made his professional and Stage Write debut playing Gabe in the 2018 production of Shedding Skin at the Mercury Theatre. He studied drama at the University of Essex, and was a member of the 2017/18 Early Careers Training Programme at the Mercury Theatre.

Company Actor 

Lee made his professional and Stage Write debut playing the lead role of Jase in Shedding Skin at the Mercury Theatre in 2018. Well known to local audiences for an array of Pantomime performances, he loved the challenge of creating Jase and finding his inner drag queen!

A Brief History

SWALLOW by Stef Smith. Staged at the Mercury Theatre in 2016, winner of a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival.

DOWNTOWN. (2011 Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich.) A sit-com about a gay couple on the verge of marrying, and an ex-wife who wants a child.


LIKE HER IN THAT FILM.  (2012) A mixed media production that explored the relationship between Mother, who since suffering a stroke, cannot speak, and her son, who, to cope with the situation, resorts to his imagination. The audience hear what she really feels through the character of Voice, and what he really thinks through the character of Imagination. Their mutual love of film unlocks her story when they watch an old cine film found in the attic.


SHEDDING SKIN (2012/2018)A play that explores the deep friendship between teenagers heterosexual Gabe and gay Jase, and the impact of homophobia on young people’s lives. REVISED for the Mercury Theatre, premiering February 2018 to reflect 50 years since the partial decrimilisation of homosexuality.


LIVING WITH LUKE (2014, Mercury Theatre, on tour until the present) Set in a wrestling ring, the play is adapted from the blogs by Danson Thunderbolt about living with Luke, his autistic son. Set in a wrestling ring, the play fuses wrestling and text to show life with autism, and has been revived due to constant demand.


PLAY SOMETHING (2016, Mercury Theatre/2017 Edinburgh Frine Festival/2018 Drayton Arms Theatre, London) Exploring a gay relationship from first meeting in a club until the end, the characters ask the DJ to play songs that underline episodes in their life together, with older versions recalling their younger selves, and what happens when they are given a second chance years later.

All of the above plays written by Paul T. Davies. EDINBURGH FRINGE FESTIVAL 2017. **** ( **** (Theatre design reviews)


THE THEORY OF NAT AND MIKE. (2016, Headgate Theatre) by Jazz Ely explores a destructive relationship, and the attractions and rituals that keep people together.

BURY ME IN COLCHESTER MUD (SIEGE 1648) A site specific play recounting the events of the Siege of Colchester during the English Civil War and the story of citizens trapped in the town and starving for three months. Performed in St. Martin's Church, the actual site of refuge. Staged in 2016.

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