News & Reviews


From Scratch

On July 28th a new event is coming to SE1. A Friend of a Friend is continuing to support new writing, an this time we’re looking at how we can develop and encourage emerging playwrights and new work. With this in mind, we have designed a series of bi-monthly events whose aim is to give artists an opportunity to try new things, and see how they are received across a multitude of genres: rehearsed readings, new musical recitals or art installations.

We hope to incorporate a sense of professional camaraderie and collaboration within our industry; Each event will benefit from the experience and wisdom of relevant industry practitioners. These Experts will both give verbal feedback on each new piece as well as lead a discussion that reflects the concerns and interests of our participants and audience.

The inaugural From Scratch is a new writing event presenting five short plays.
We would like to welcome our esteemed panel:

Harper is a multi award wining Theatre maker. He recently created and directed the sellout show ‘Muse of Fire’ at Shakespeare’s Globe.


Karlien is a Senior Lecturer and Course Director BA (Hons) Creative Writing in the Department of Culture Writing and Performance.


TAMARYN PAYNE is a successful actress and voice artist, best known for her role as Annalise in Hollyoaks.


WHERE: Nolia’s 11, 56 Stamford St, London SE1 9LX (map)

WHEN: Monday 28th July 7:30

HOW MUCH: £4 (tickets on presale soon)


From Scrath flyer notepad

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Take Part in our Scratch Nights

Calling all playwrights!

From Scratch is our new programme of Scratch nights, which kicks off at the end of July. If you’d like to get involved, just send in your short play and we’ll let you know if you’re selected for the inaugural performance of this new bi-monthly event. At the end of each reading there will be a panel lead session for feedback to the playwrights involved so that you can continue to develop your work. This is an ideal opportunity for new playwrights to dip their toes in the water, or for experienced playwrights wanting to try out something new.

To get involved, simply email us your 10 minute play:

It is important that you follow these guidelines:

– each play must be submitted as a single word / pdf document containing

1. a cover page containing the play’s name, your name and your email address

2. a character list

– please make sure that the file name is the name of your play, followed by your name

– in order to be considered towards the July From Scratch, please submit your play script no later than 10th July

We have an archive of short plays that we constantly refer back to – both for our principal productions and now also for our Readings. This means that even if you are not selected in this instance, we may still be able to include you in future productions. We always contact our playwrights before using their work, no matter how long it has been since they sent it in to us, so don’t panic, we won’t use your words without your knowledge!

So what are you waiting for? Get writing!

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#whatsyourstory: Jess

Jess intern As part of our #whatsyourstory campaign towards the BLACKFRIARS STORIES events programme with Southwark Council in 2014, our intern, Jess, shares a memory of Blackfriars.

Living in Kent, the noise, hustle and bustle of London wasn’t something I experienced on a regular basis. I would go to London to see a show, attend a dance class or go to a museum; I was essentially a tourist visiting my own city – which I live a mere twenty minutes away from. It wasn’t until I started studying a BA in ‘Arts and Festival Management’ at London South Bank University that I began to see the ‘real’ London. I now go to places where people live, rather than simply visit, which has given me a new experience of this amazing city.

Before starting university, I had never visited Elephant and Castle. It wasn’t until the university’s Open Day that I ventured into the unknown. Getting terribly lost, relying heavily on the technology on my phone, I was taken down a subway (something I had never seen in London before) which led me to the place I would be studying for 3 years. The different cultures, sights and noises would definitely take time in getting used to!

I have always known that I had to study in London as I share the same desire, like so many others do, to be in the Arts. I had to be in London.

With only being in the area since September of last year, there’s always something new to see, understand and do, which has allowed me to produce many memories. One of my first memories was the first time I visited Elephant and Castles Shopping Mall. I had never been to a place like it! The various market stalls selling everything and anything, the strong smell of popcorn when you enter the centre itself, it felt like I had stepped into a time machine and travelled back thirty years! Bus SE Blackfriars London Jess

As time goes on I am becoming more familiar with SE1. Even in the short time commuting in the area, I have noticed constant changes going on, mostly building work. My first and lasting impression is therefore still in the exciting phase, because everything is relatively new and different; I can see this area becoming a place to come to.

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The Panther And the Firebird

Here at A Friend of a Friend, we love to support our fellow artists, which is why we are so excited to tell you that our beautiful friend Colette Padovani‘s book The Panther and the Firebird is free on Kindle today only!

We’ve read it and we LOVE it: a troubled artist, seduction and the backdrop of a debauched Parisien underworld. What’s not to love?


Grab the “warts ‘n’ all first edition” Colette’s book for free today on Kindle:


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‘Another Day’ Announcement

After a lengthy process of workshops with playwrights, reading their proposals, and deliberating over how they would fit in to the overall production, we are now pleased to announce the playwrights who will be writing bespoke pieces for Another Day:

Isley Lynn

Ben Norton Davies

James Robert-Moore

Lucy Beacon

John Hamilton May

This fabulous fivesome will be working with all of the stories and recollections that we have gathered throughout our #whatsyourstory campaign and will be writing the new short plays that will form Another Day. There will be more about them in the coming weeks, so look out for an insight of just what makes them tick.

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Out with the old…..


Look closely because it’s time to say goodbye to the old logo with its spray painted box…… and hello to our sexy new logo!


logo featured


We are incredibly excited to reveal our new logo courtesy of the wonderfully talented Christopher Jay Designs who is working with A Friend of a Friend Productions this year.

We love how he was able to take our ramblings about supporting new artists, tight knit communities and a no nonsense attitude, and came up with this monochrome crowd motif.

As well as our awesome new logo, Chris has already been hard at work creating the branding for our slick new look, and streamlining the design for our 2014 Season – including the main event, site specific production Another Day.


Watch this space to see more from Christopher Jay Designs for A Friend of a Friend – there’s plenty more to come!


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#whatsyourstory: Patrick

PatrickAs part of our #whatsyourstory campaign towards the BLACKFRIARS STORIES events programme with Southwark Council in 2014, our Associate Artistic Director, Patrick Maubert, shares a memory of Blackfriars.

My tale from the Blackfriars Mile comes from a fairly awkward first date.
I had recently tried my hand at the silliness that is Tindr… I felt I needed a stupid distraction from my typical routine.
I met a cute chap…4 years my junior, and hoped to have a nice dinner, quick drink and perhaps a rerouting to my bedroom. It was to be all very easy, breezy and casual. Aren’t most first dates these days? Apparently not:

Midway through our enchiladas at Blackfriars’ own Picante, it became quite clear he and I had as much in common as chalk and cheesy nachos. Not only that, it was evident this lovely young chap was going to be a gentleman and not agree to that wistful rendezvous without some serious strings.

As I am a man of honour and integrity, I told him I didn’t see a future with us (per se) but would he like to come back to mine to finish the night in more physical terms?
Miraculously, he agreed! But first a nightcap at the Blackfriars Wine Bar. Success!

The walk over the bridge must have allowed the cold, hard facts to be absorbed and it was apparent the energy and mood had turned sour as we settled into a cozy booth. In a cruel twist of fate, we found ourselves starring at another couple.
Their mood had most certainly NOT soured as they were entangled within each other’s passion in a sloppy, frantic make-out sesh. Their eyes Blackfriars bridgeunashamedly met ours as they boasted they were on a fabulous first date. My Mr. Tindr chirped in that we were as well. He then thought it was high time he unmasked my unsavory intentions to our first-date comrades.

She, our neighbour in the broadest Brisbane brogue:
“What?! So he thinks he can wine, dine and ROOT ya?” she queried
“Apparently so. I was so hopeful this time around,” he cried with disappointment

At this point, the lesbians in the corner piped in with similar disgusted daggers being shot through eyes and words.

I became the most unpopular dick-head in Blackfriars, and quite possibly London proving that you simply cannot have your cake and eat it too…

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Press: Better Bankside

Our 2014 Season #whatsyourstory has been featured in Better Bankside‘s April newsletter! Read the full article [here]


better bankside Blackfriars Stories press

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Introducing: Jess

A Friend of a Friend is pleased to welcome two interns to the team for our 2014 season. They will be working on the productions that we have lined up for the year and gaining experience in all aspects of Production. We caught up with Jess to find out a bit more about her.

Hi Jess, welcome to the team. How did you start your career?

Just turning 19, I am at the beginning of my career. I have kicked started it by studying Jess intern a course in the arts, which I am in my first year of. My first experience with working in a professional arts company is with The Stag Community Arts Centre, where I am near to completing a placement with them. There I have actively participated in roles such as Front of House, and have worked closely with the Marketing Manager of the company. I am now looking forward to working with A Friend of a Friend and their current exciting project which will help me develop and learn new fundamental skills needed for my career path.

What is your inspiration?
In terms of being inspired by a particular person, there is no one in particular that comes to mind. However, I do admire different people who work in the arts in the various different roles for achieving the position they are in; I am inspired by anyone who plays a part in the arts because one day I want to be 100% involved in the community, and give back something to the arts, as it has given so much to me.

What is your dream job?
Currently, my dream is to work in a West End theatre production doing anything or everything. I have yet to decide the exact role I want to pursue, but I know I am interested in, and want to work within the performing arts industry. I know that through studying on my course, and gaining experience on placements with different companies, I will establish exactly what it is that I want to do.
At this current time I will just concentrate and enjoy working with A Friend of a Friend.

Any juicy anecdotes?
This particular story comes from a visit to the Palace Theatre.

It began with failing to get cheap tickets to see Matilda; we still wanted to see a show that same evening, any show, just as long as it was cheap! We decided on the musical, The Commitments, where we found tickets for a very reasonable £10. Arriving at the box office ten minutes before the show was about to begin, my friend went to collect our tickets. Thinking we would be sitting right at the top at the back, she instead told us with a grin on her face that the box office couldn’t find us on the system, so they gave us the best available seats. This was in stalls, no restrictions and worth £100, we just paid a tenner! This was one in a life time luck I kept telling myself, so I ensured I enjoyed every second of it!
Another story, when I used to dance, I played the part of the Woman in Black. All dressed in black with dark make-up, we performed in the annual show. A few weeks after the show I was told that someone had complained because I made a little boy in the audience have nightmares for a week because of ‘the scary witch lady.’ Instead of feeling guilty, I felt proud because I met the characteristics of the woman in black. But, sorry again for scaring the little boy!

We’ll hear more from Jess soon as she shares her experience in SE1 as part of #whatsyourstory

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#whatsyourstory: Sooz

As part of our #whatsyourstory campaign towardsSooz Headshot the BLACKFRIARS STORIES
events programme with Southwark Council in 2014, our Artistic Director reflects on what SE1 and Blackfriars means to her.

“Growing up in SE1 means that the area is full of memories, layered
one on top of the other like a delicious millefeuille. As for most people living in London, the riverside walk between London Bridge and Jubilee Gardens has become a familiar and well trodden route, an opportunity for my feet to take the lead while I become distracted by the jostle, the buzz and the sights. Tate Modern, the tiled pathway under the bridge echoing with chatter and a busker’s guitar, the delicious food smells begging the question: bratwurst at Borough Market or savoury crepes in Gabriel’s Wharf? And each time, the mystery – what is the ghost bridge running old blackfriars bridgeparallel to Blackfriars Bridge?

Like something out of a Dickens novel, the milestone at St George’s Circus marks the end of the Blackfriars Road, but for me it also denotes the heart of a sprawling area full of memories:

Trying to find a coffee shop on a Sunday morning when we have a full day of rehearsals ahead. Then settling for Subway as nowhere else was open at that time.

The ghostly painted Routemaster bus hidden in a yard on the corner of Borough Road. The day that they boarded up what is now the Clarence Centre, and the years that followed until its recent opening.

The many years spent working for and with London South Bank University, and the various characters that I met there; it’s a lifetime full of chores, laughter, personalities and acronyms! LRC, ARC, TOIL, UCAS, 1B33. Some names still feel like a mantra.

Walking up London Road, cycling down Webber Street, and endless bus routes, all crossing this junction at some point or other.

Drinks at The Crown after work during the summer.

Adding The Mad Hatter pub to our work ‘do’ Christmas dinner shortlist just because I liked the sound of its name. Followed by recognising a familiar face from my past behind the bar.

When I left sixth form, we had a party at Imbibe on Blackfriars tate modern blackfriarsRoad. One of the girls from my school had hired the whole bar out and put a tab behind the bar to celebrate our graduation. I can still remember the lush purple walls and the heated beer garden, details from a party that marked the end of our school days and the start of our last summer before university.

As a student, almost every weekend was spent strolling along the river and wandering the halls at the Tate Modern. Afternoons sunbathing beneath Olafur Eliasson’s enormous setting sun in the Turbine Hall (part of Tate’s Unilever series in 2003) provided sunshine, culture and shelter on rainy days, and when the sun was out we could grab a shady spot in the garden and reminisce on Louise Bourgeois’ Maman.

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