Slot Machine Theatre make bold, contemporary work for audiences of all ages.
Our work is interdisciplinary, always made collaboratively, and frequently with the input of children and young people.
In collaboration with and in response to our young audiences, we push the envelope of theatre for all ages.
Slot Machine are three Co-Artistic Directors Nick Tigg, Fiona Creese and Nicola Blackwell, Producer Emma Dolman, and Artistic Associate Isy Sharman.
We formed the company in 2006.
There are three main strands to our practice: New Work, Commercial Productions and Mentoring.
An example of our most recent new work is The Boy, The Piano and The Beach, which is a live classical piano recital illustrated in projection, contemporary dance and puppetry and was co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and Swaledale Festival.
Our commercial productions (all of which are lovingly-crafted adaptations of children’s books) regularly play main house Christmas runs at venues such as Worthing Connaught, Leicester Curve, Corby Cube and Birmingham MAC.
We have a long-term relationship with Norden Farm Centre for The Arts in Maidenhead, who for 10 years have been a key partner for us, co-producing and commissioning our popular commercial work. To date, these productions have been seen by over 110,000 people.
Our mentoring springs from the conviction that making work is a team sport, and that companies and artists at all levels can benefit from friendly and supportive input. Theatre and live work is an ecology, and we want to play our part in encouraging others working in the field. This could range from whole-company mentoring for a new project, to informal phone-a-friend conversations with an emerging artist. Keep an eye on our website for further news about mentoring.
Nick Tigg – Artistic Director
Nick studied English at University College London.
He is a writer, director, performer and musician.
He has worked with the experimental theatre company the People Show since 1992, including the following shows: The Ballroom Show, The Boat Show for Lift Festival 2002, Baby Jane – Fringe First Award winner Edinburgh 2003, Play Dead, and Ghost Sonata, commissioned by Liverpool City of Culture 2008 and performed in the Palm House at Sefton Park.
Other theatre credits includes: Volpone and Antony and Cleopatra (Royal Shakespeare Company), Frogs and Oh! What a Lovely War (National Theatre), The Warp, (Ken Campbell) TinTin in Tibet (Barbican Theatre/Young Vic), Al Bowlly’s Croon Manifesto and The Boy Who Bit Picasso (Untied Artists), The Cleansing of Constance Brown (Stan’s Cafe), Slasher in Down By The Greenwood Side (Brighton Festival).
Composing and soundscape credits for Slot Machine Theatre include Miki, Kipper’s Snowy Day, The Austerity Show, and Your Toys. Other sound credits include The Golem for Richard Waring and The Tribunal for Inroads Productions.
Fiona Creese – Artistic Director
Fiona trained at London Contemporary Dance School. She is a theatre maker, choreographer and performer.
A small selection of her choreography credits includes: The Iron Man (Young Vic), A Concert For Winter (The Globe), Dance To The Music Of Time (Norwich Festival), Private Lives (Hampstead Theatre) and numerous pieces for The People Show.
Choreography for Slot Machine Theatre: The Slide Show, Kipper’s Snowy Day, The Austerity Show, One Snowy Night, Miki, The Scooter Project, Your Toys, The Boy the Piano and the Beach.
Fiona is a core company member of The People Show, and has co-created and performed in the majority of their productions over the last 20 years, including their most recent show The Last Straw (Brighton and Edinburgh Festival 2018). A small selection of her other People Show credits include The Jossers, Fallout, The Story of Us, The Detective Show (winner of Herald Arc Angel award) and Ghost Sonata, commissioned by Liverpool City of Culture 2008.
Other Performing credits include: The Act, Marked Cards, Dinner Dance, 3-Point Turn, Fallen Angels, 20th Century Girls (all co-created for The Kosh), The Tempest, The Storm (Globe Theatre), Mary of Egypt (Aldburgh Festival), We Want God Now (ManAct).
Nicola Blackwell – Artistic Director
Nicola trained as an actor at Central School of Speech and Drama. She is a theatre maker whose work spans performing, direction and design.
A selection of performing credits include: Market Boy (National Theatre), TinTin in Tibet (Young Vic/Barbican and Tour/West End), Kite (Soho Theatre/LIFT), On The Outskirts of a Large Event (Manchester Home/York Theatre Royal), The Sound Collector (Sheffield Crucible), Strike Gently Away From Body, Perilous Stuff (Young Vic), You Hang Up First (Contact, Manchester), Mountain Language (Royal Court), While I was Waiting (ENO Studio/BAC), The Lizzie Play (Arts Threshold/Wink), The Tempest (Wink), The Woman Who Swallowed A Pin (Southwark Playhouse), Class Club, Curing Homosexuality (Site Specific for Duckie), We Are Here, The Birthday Show, The Birthday Tour, Play Dead, Baby Jane – Fringe First Winner (all for The People Show). She has been involved in the development of various projects, including Vernon God Little (Young Vic) ,A Thousand Stars Explode In The Sky (National Theatre).
Direction: On War, Alfred (Young Vic Shorts), The Hit (site specific) Your Toys, Miki, One Snowy Night, The Austerity Show, Kipper’s Snowy Day (co-direction for Slot Machine Theatre) Vacant Possession, The Tribunal (Inroads Productions).
Design: Set and Costumes: Down By The Greenwood Side (Brighton Festival), Boom (Theatre 503), Kipper’s Snowy Day, Your Toys, The Boy the Piano and the Beach (Slot Machine Theatre), L’Etoile (New Sussex Opera).
Costumes: Lady Windermere’s Fan, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Importance of Being Ernest (European Arts Theatre)
Emma Dolman – Producer
Emma has twenty years’ experience in arts management, from working as an arts development officer with rural and urban communities in small groups, to arranging large scale events, to artistic and executive director of arts centres. Latterly she directed the launch and first nine years operation of the highly successful new arts venue Cornerstone, Oxfordshire.
She has also conceived, commissioned and produced arts projects, events and new theatre, including a wide range of outdoor public events, cross-genre collaborations, devised children’s theatre, and work for and with people of varying physical abilities.
She is now a freelance theatre producer working with dynamic theatre companies on strategy, production and promotion, developing partners and projects, funding bids, and tour booking.
Isabel Sharman – Artistic Associate
Isy is a theatre-maker and producer, specialising in devised, political and family theatre.
She trained as an actor at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (ALRA) and recently finished working on a 7-week devising process in Stamsund, Norway, with award-winning Tortoise in a Nutshell, in a co-production of Ragnarok with Figurteatreret I Nordland.
Other recent credits include: Your Toys (Slot Machine, National Tour); Eat Me (Snap Elastic, Manipulate Festiva and Figurteateret); A Stone’s Throw (Giddy Aunt, Scottish Tour); Sleeping Beauty (Syndrome) and Prom (Theatre503); Nightingales (Calm Down, Dear; Camden People’s Theatre); Spin Cycle (Emergency Exit Arts).
Isy is co-director and acting producer for View From Here, a region-focused new-writing company. For three years View From Here co-produced annual new-writing festivals with Theatre503, showcasing the best new writing from three regions – Scotland, Yorkshire and Northern Ireland. The latter led to a collaboration with playwright Alice Malseed on a three-week fully-captioned run of her striking play Jade City at The Bunker theatre in London Bridge in 2019.
Isy is also an associate of Sphinx Theatre Company, and has worked with them on their Women Centre Stage events since 2015. She is currently assistant producer on their newest project Sphinx 30 – a brand new development programme for female playwrights.
As a freelance producer Isy has worked with several small companies and individuals on productions at: Edinburgh International Book Festival, Calm Down, Dear (Camden People’s Theatre), VAULT Festival, The Bunker, Pleasance Theatre’s Litmus Fest, and Big Burns Fest in Scotland.