News & Reviews


Meet the Cast of LIPP

With just two weeks to go we couldn’t resist spilling the beans on the fantastic cast that we have lined up for John Hamilton May’s Love in the Past Participle.

You can find out more about them on our live programme.


Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance:


LIPP tickets on sale!

Hurry! Head over to the Tabard Theatre to grab your tickets to see Love in the Past Participle!

They are only £10, so grab your diary and book online here

We’ll see you at the Tabard Theatre on 3rd-4th April at 7:30pm

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the design of the auditorium, latecomers cannot be admitted


You can find out all the latest here:


Welcome back John Hamilton May

Playwright John Hamilton May is the

winner of the BBC Verb New Voices Award, and was recently shortlisted for BBC
Opening Lines and the Perfect Pitch Award, marking him as One to Watch in the future of new writing. His honest
and powerful work has been performed internationally, inspiring audiences around the country and the world. His play, Love in the Past Participle marks his fourth collaboration with AFOAF.

You can read our interview with him from last year’s Blackfriars Stories project here: 


Love in the Past Participle heads to Tabard Theatre

We’re excited to be teaming up with AFOAF alumni John Hamilton May to bring his award winning play to the Tabard Theatre for its London debut as part of the Playmakers Festival.

Following a sold-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Love in the Past Participle has been handpicked from
almost 200 entries by judges including BAFTA Award Winning Playwright Glenn Chandler, Director Ken McClymont,
The Stage’s Georgia Snow and The Tabard’s General Manager Simon Reilly to feature in the Playmakers Festival as
part of the Tabard Theatre’s 40th anniversary celebrations showcasing the best of new writing.

Watch this space for more details!

LIPP banner The Scotsman quote


What we’ve been reading

Here’s a round up of what we’ve been reading online this week…


Editor’s Blog: Made in Dagenham and the plight of the British musical

By Theo Bosanquet via What’s On Stage

“Walking through the West End these days, you could be forgiven for thinking it was 1995 rather that 2015, such is the proliferation of ‘golden oldies’. And arguably, when it comes to new work, audiences would rather now get their fix from plays rather than musicals”

[read article]


New work makes up nearly two-thirds of all British theatre productions

By Maev Kennedy via The Guardian

“What we were most struck by in the research is that, despite reasonable fears that the theatre in these straitened times might fall back on ‘safer’ forms of theatre, like reviving the classics, in fact theatremakers and audiences seem to have turned to new work”

[read article]


London’s Ten Best Plays – 6 February 2015

By Stephen Collins via British Theatre

“What Play should you see first in London? We have compiled this list to save you the trouble of working it out! It’s just our view – and everyone has one”

[read article]


Guest Feature: Why a Theatre Festival About Sexual Abuse & Violence?

By Tessa Hart via Female Arts

“People are eager to join in and let their voices be heard, share their feelings and experiences.”

[read article]


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory rewrites script following audience complaint

By Matthew Hemley via The Stage

“West End musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has rewritten part of its script after a challenge from an audience member.”

[read article]


Calling all SE1 Playwrights

We’re keen to kick off 2015, and are placing an open call for playwrights living in SE1 on and around Blackfriars Road to send in your short plays for our upcoming Summer performance. There is no set theme, although we are particularly keen on reading plays inspired by the neighbourhood and the theme of street life.

Have you written a short play that takes place in or is inspired by your area? Or has an idea worm been nagging at you and insisting that you pen it down? We want to hear from you!

Get involved  / / Find out more


Miss Another Day?

Has it really been three months? If you missed Another Day, or if you simply miss it like we miss our gorgeous cast and the plush room 101, then you can soak yourself in nostalgia courtesy of Luc Gauthier, creator of the Another Day film.

Watch it, share it, and remember, “you don’t build a community, you ARE a community….”



AFOAF International: Canada Masterclass

That’s right, it’s 2015 and AFOAF is going international! Calling all Canada-dwellers, on 4th January Resident Director Patrick Maubert will be leading a one-off MT masterclass that you won’t want to miss:

Join Patrick Maubert and Anne Marie Murphy as they explore the art of acting through song. Modelled after A Friend of a Friend Productions’ Musical Theatre #FromScratch platform, this master class will further explore truthful reacting through singing as well as exercises looking at scene to song techniques. Emphasis is placed on the student’s ability to connect with a scene partner through text-based exercises and techniques regardless of their experience level. Everyone works at their own pace in a safe and nursing environment.
The final portion of the masterclass will give an opportunity for solo workshop in an audience setting. Please prepare a song of your choice with appropriate sheet music for piano. This is not mandatory but highly encouraged.
Students will learn many fundamentals through peer observation.

Whether you are novice or budding Broadway star, Patrick Maubert and Anne Marie Murphy’s advanced Acting Through Song Master Class is sure to be a beneficial and FUN afternoon.

Only a limited number of slots available.
Pre-booking rate $45.00

Sunday January 4th
LHHS Music Studio
$50.00 at the door

Masterclass Patrick Canada

From Scratch in pictures

Thank you to all who made it down to the Phoenix Artist Club for last week’s From Scratch: New Musicals. Our wonderfully talented photographer Bogdan Staiculescu captured some fantastic images of the evening.

FROM SCRATCH musicals photography bogdanClick on the link below to see more photos from the night…Continue Reading..


The fantastic cast of From Scratch

We’re presenting four new musicals tonight, so naturally we searched high and low for a kick-ass cast to do the pieces justice…. so three cheers for the company of From Scratch!


Tickets are available online until 6pm, and on the door at the Phoenix Artist Club from 5:30pm:




Ruthie LuffRuthie Luff

Ruthie is a Canadian actress with a MA in Musical Theatre from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Upon graduating, she starred as Dot in Sunday in The Park with George at the Edinburgh Fringe. In Canada, she has played in a variety of roles from Eponine in Les Miserables to Shelia in HAiR. Her London credits include Peep Bo in the Landor’s Hot Mikado and in the new musical comedy Wasted Love. Most recently she in the feature film Suffragette starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep. Apart from being the next Carol Burnett, she dreams of some day being the voice of a cartoon character.

Stacey Ghent FROM SCRATCH headshot musical castStacey Ghent

Stacey was born in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, and graduated from The American Musical Theatre Academy of London (AMTA) in July 2013. Theatre credits includes: Nellie/Actor-Musician in The Threepenny Opera (UK Tour); Janine in Reasons to be Cheerful; The Festival (UK & Germany); Connie in Passport to Pimlico: Rehearsed Reading (SouthWestFest); Actor-Musician in The Opinion Makers (Mercury Theatre and Derby Theatre); Featured Vocalist in Sondheim Women (St. James Theatre); Backing Vocalist in Hannah Waddingham and Her Band (St. James Theatre), Julie Atherton: All I Want For Christmas is an Audience (St. James Theatre), Christmas in New York (Palace Theatre, London), and Julie Atherton & Laura Pitt-Pullford; Partners in Crime (St. James Theatre), and recently, Julie Atherton: Rush of Life (Album Launch). Television credits include: Nurse Morris in Breathless (ITV). Stacey is currently performing in Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas at the Lyric Hammersmith, and is very excited to be making her first appearance at From Scratch! @staceylghent 

Daniel Donskoy FROM SCRATCH headshot musicals castDaniel Donskoy

Daniel has recently graduated form ArtsEd and had a busy few months since , working on a feature film as well as a play and two musicals . Before moving to London to study, Daniel grew up in Berlin and Tel Aviv but was actually born in Moscow . Daniels has made his professional debut in June on this very stage playing Stan , an American porn actor in the play Porn Virgins as part of the Camden Fringe Festival . Theatre includes: Stan, Porn Virgins (Phoenix artist Club); Snake, The Apple Tree (Rose and Crown Theatre); Joshua, Soviet Zion (Lost Theatre). Film includes: Karl in The Honourable Rebel, Adama in Prometheus Rising.

David Young FROM SCRATCH musicals cast headshotDavid Young

After shows with the National Youth Theatre in London and China, David attended the three year BA Acting course at LAMDA. Whilst at LAMDA, David’s credits included: Chebutykin in the Three Sisters, Bosola in The Duchess of Malfi and most notably: Vindici in The Revenger’s Tragedy, which gained him representation in LA, where he hopes to also work in the future. At LAMDA, David received tutelage from the current head of music, Rob Archibald, who co-wrote ‘The Dating Cycle’ which is included in the repertoire tonight. David used to play Ice Hockey for Great Britain and is still a keen athlete. He enjoys tennis, swimming, most water sports and due to the natural competition between him and his identical twin brother, will try his hand at most sports, stunts and tricks.

Tiffany Melrose FROM SCRATCH headshot musical castTiffany Melrose

Tiffany Melrose recently graduated from the Guildford School of Acting with a BA (Hons) Musical Theatre. Credits while training include Marmee in Little Women (Union Theatre), Miss Lynch in Grease (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre), Lady Dolly in Twang (Ivy Arts Centre) and Rona in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (GSA). Tiffany also sang the part of Marmee from Steven Luke Walker’s musical adaptation of Little Women at his concert The Songs of Steven Luke Walker (St James Theatre). Tiffany recently performed the part of Woman 2 in Here’s To Life, a newly written song cycle, at Cornbury Festival. 

Christian Lunn FROM SCRATCH cast headshot musicalsChristian Lunn

Christian is newly graduated with 1st Class Honors from The Guildford School of Acting. His credits during training include Anatoly Sergievsky in Chess (The Union Theatre) Directed by Steven Dexter. Songs for a New World (The Electric Theatre) Directed by Paul Baker. The Sheriff of Nottingham in Twang! (Ivy Arts Centre) Directed by Ian Talbot. Giuseppe Zangara in Assassins (Guildford School of Acting) Directed by Andrew Wadsworth. Christian Lunn is no stranger to New Musical Theatre. He was involved in the creation of The Water Babies musical in which he played Claude in a Workshop Staged version. He played The Emerald King in the premiere of BBC Composer Martyn Swain’s Ruby and the 13th Door. Twelve in New Musical Boiling Frog (York Theatre Royal) and this year he premiered his own Musical “Here’s To Life” at The Cornbury Festival sponsored by Caffe Nero which he co-wrote with collaborator Claire de Belloy. He is excited to announce that “Here’s To Life” will be staged at The National Portrait Gallery in March 2015. In which he will play the part of Man 1. Born in a small town in Yorkshire, from a young age he always hoped to achieve his dreams in London. Christian is honored to be involved in the friend of a friend MT from Scratch Company and the development of new material and hopes you enjoy this evenings diverse collection. @lunnbelloy

Tony Bayliss FROM SCRATCH musicals cast headshotTony Bayliss









James Taylor MD ROM SCRATCH headshotJames studied Music & Sound Recording (Tonmeister) at the University of Surrey, achieving First Class Honours, followed by a postgraduate diploma in Musical Direction at LAMDA. Musical Directing credits include PlatformLDN, Emerging Artists, ‘I Love You Because’, ‘As You Like It’ (Actor-Musician), ‘RENT’, ‘Sweeney Todd’ (Assistant MD). James is currently Musical Director for London based cabaret group, DENIM, with recent events including Port Eliot Festival and Mario Testino’s 60th birthday party. James has worked as rehearsal pianist for several recent productions, such as ‘Sweeney Todd’ (Tooting Arts Club) and ‘The Confession Room’, as well as performing on many recordings, and as a classical soloist, having won several awards as a piano soloist and accompanist. James also works as a vocal coach, both privately and at drama schools such as LAMDA and GSA. @JATaylor_90