On the Royal Court Young Writers thing they told me to write what I know – so I write about twitchy panic and ecstatic foolishness, which my doctors insist on calling epilepsy.
I’m part of BFI Network x BAFTA Crew 2021 and I’m on attachment at Bristol Old Vic. Paapa Essiedu (I May Destroy You) selected my last short play to direct at the Royal Court. My first film, Round Round Baby Round Round, won Best Debut at Papaya Film Festival – it will be at more festivals later in the year but I’m not allowed to name them yet (I know this sounds like saying my gf goes to a different school but I promise it’s true).
I won the IdeasFund Innovators Award w my theatre/performance company Live Beasts. My live things are focused on a close, empowering relationship with the audience – I invite them to form a loose chorus, and their response to that invitation is a crucial element of the performance. They can become everything from witches’ magik to an anxious woman’s therapy dog, and everybody can be as loud or quiet as they like – I’ve found this is the best way to avoid leaving anybody out. I’ve written about this for The Guardian here.
A very polite teenage boy sold me his dad’s VHS camera, which came with a tape marked ‘HAM’ inside, full to the brim of 90s porn – I taped this small film over it. I directed and we wrote as we made it (more here)
I won Best Debut at Papaya Films Festival for this, which I adapted from an installation video. (more here)
I was DoP on this – as well as filming it I also edited it w the writer-director Josephine Starte, and colour graded it. It’s set in Exmouth, where I grew up, and was partly filmed in my childhood home. (more here)
This grew out of a commission from GoldHost, and was of ten installations at Alchemy Film & Moving Image. It is designed to loop perpetually – an endless buffer. (more here)
A monologue: a folk horror and a love story about an anxious woman’s Faustian relationship w her therapy dog. The audience are the dog. Developed as part of my attachment at Bristol Old Vic, supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Ronald Duncan Prize. I wrote and directed it. (more here)
I had an idea for a performance that is filmed by the audience on their phone and which I then edit into a film, and it seemed like a good frame for a story Josephine Starte wanted to tell about her experiences as a young actress – so we put this together, and then the pandemic happened and it was cancelled. (more here)
A riot grrrl ritual. Two witches meet a young woman who has run away from a stagnating relationship, and use magik to try and convince her that she should join their coven instead. The magik is the audience - they are the ‘hairy spirit’ that the witches pray to, providing potion ingredients, volunteers, and percussion/backing vocals for punk incantations. I co-wrote it with the cast (Josephine Starte, Ami Okumura Jones and Caitlin Doherty), and directed it. Generously funded by the Alpine Fellowship. (more here)
A revenge tragedy with audience as revenger, set in a hauntological town hall meeting. OHP puppetry and songs (the audience sang too) to tell a story of love and trampling based on the paintings of Tom de Freston. Louise Mari (Shunt, Nigel & Louise, Samuel Beckett Award-winner) said ‘I can’t remember the last time I felt like this in the theatre – shambolic chaotic genius’. Andy Field (Forest Fringe) called it ‘beautifully conceived; touchingly delicate and nuanced even in its vaudevillian grotesquery’. I wrote and directed it. (more here)
A kebab-based modern satyr play – naturalistic dread is disrupted by a ranting satyr, who turns the audience into a singing monster and has it eat the protagonists. FringeReview Number One Pick of the Free Fringe, and The Scotsman gave it four stars. The Independent called it a ‘well-observed combination of the fantastical and prosaic, capturing a youthful ennui with scathing accuracy’ and The Stage said ‘Parker Rees has a talent for writing sharp, witty and frank dialogue’. Tim Crouch called it a reason to be cheerful. I wrote and directed it. (more here)
The winning script in a competition to have a radio play professionally produced. Hungover flatmates piece their night together and realise their friend has been eaten by a tiger while trying to get it to pose for a Tinder picture. (more here)
Ill-advised folk-punk opera for children based on Euripides’ Bacchae and Cyclops. Live music was performed by the cast (banjo, fiddle, guitar, cajon) – and the audience had songsheets so they could join in when they wanted to. ‘Pick of the Fringe’ in What’s On Stage and FringeReview. I wrote the libretto, directed it, and made the puppets. (more here)
Ill-advised reconstruction of a play questionably attributed to the Earl of Rochester. I wrote it, directed it, and played the lead. Looking back I think I just wanted an excuse to wear a codpiece tbh. Three Weeks gave it five stars, calling it ‘unmissable’, and Broadway Baby said ‘you must get your ticket. NOW’. It got one-star reviews and five-star reviews but it didn't get any threes. (more here)