About Us

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR  ANNA FRIEND

 

Anna Friend has been working as a Director and teacher for the past 12 years after completing her PGCE at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has always been passionate about bringing theatre into everyone's everyday experience and making it accessible and exciting for audiences and participants alike.

 

She has founded and run two Youth Theatre companies, inspiring many members to continue onto to further training in the arts. Quirky Bird Theatre launched in November 2015 and since then has gained a reputation for compelling, surprising theatre with young actors at the heart of it. She directed the phenomenal Wroughton Passion Play from Gatecrash Theatre and 'Tusk Tusk' which won several awards at the All England Theatre Festival. Most recently she has directed DNA by Dennis Kelly and That Face by Polly Stenham which both tour schools and colleges across the UK.Other projects include Spur of the Moment by Anya Reiss at the Shoebox Theatre, Heartbreak Beautiful by Christopher William Hill and the 2018 Old Town Nativity. In 2021 Quirky Bird will be adding to their popular schools tour to enable more students to access theatre in the light of the COVID 19 crisis.

 

Anna is also Resident Director at one of Bristol's much loved studio theatre's, The Alma Tavern Theatre. She directed and performed in their debut homegrown production of 'Two' by Jim Cartwright and has received 5* reviews for her adaptation of the Ibsen classic 'A Dolls House' and 'flawless' interpretation of Mike Leigh's 'Abigail's Party'. Most recently she starred in the one woman tour-de-force 'Shirley Valentine' by Willy Russell which is set to return to the stage in November 2020.

 

Quirky Bird Theatre runs classes for 4 - 19 year olds,professional productions for young actors, schools packages and one-to-one Speech and Drama lessons.

 

She lives in Wiltshire with her family and holds a current DBS check and chaperone licence.

TECHNICAL MANAGER DAVID JELL

David has 17 years’ experience of working in technical theatre roles and has been working with Quirky Bird Theatre and Anna Friend since 2016 providing technical support and lighting design to projects, including Polly Stenham’s Tusk Tusk and That Face and for the inaugural production of Schoolhouse Productions (Alma Tavern‘s new in-house production company) Two by Jim Cartwright..  

 

David works in both main house and touring theatre; his current full time role is as Deputy Technical Manager for Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre and Swindon Arts Centre  as well as production manager for the annual Summer Youth Project at the Wyvern Theatre.  David has an interest in local amateur dramatics and community theatre and has spent the last 8 years working with a range of theatre companies around Swindon, starting with Sixth Sense Theatre Company (now Prime Theatre) on professional touring shows. For Gatecrash Theatre,

 

David leads on technical aspects and provides lighting design for all our shows – particular highlights being stage managing and designing aspects of The Passion and Nativity at Wroughton.  He has also been working with Gatecrash Theatre, providing technical design services on projects such as Jerusalem in 2015 and last year's epic production of The Crucible.

 

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