Stahl welcomes new Theatre Director and Productions Manager
1st October 2014

Stahl Theatre productions will re-commence in September under the Theatre’s new Director, Naomi Jones. Naomi will be working with Reb Desmond, the Stahl’s new Theatre and Productions Manager, on a wonderfully diverse and intriguing selection of productions.


Naomi Jones


I am so excited to be here in Oundle and to take up the post of Director of the Stahl Theatre.  I have spent the months since my appointment thinking and planning in abstract terms; it is great now to be on the ground and actually making those plans happen! I have been very warmly welcomed into the School community and it is becoming increasingly clear what a special place the Stahl is. 


The 2015 season will see an increase in the professional body of work hosted by the Stahl. In doing this I hope we can appeal to a broader range of people and encourage those who might never have been here before to give it a try. You can even now follow the Stahl on Twitter @StahlTheatre.”



Naomi joins the Stahl having spent the past six years working as a freelance theatre director based in London. She has worked extensively in the Eastern region where she was an Associate Director for Eastern Angles Theatre Company, directing a number of their productions, most recently two large scale community plays for Peterborough: Dark Earth by Forbes Bramble and River Lane by Tony Ramsay. Other credits for the company include Private Resistance by Ivan Cutting, Lincoln Road by Danusia Iwaszko, The Long Way Home by Charles Way and Return to Akenfield by Craig Taylor.


Naomi has directed and taught at some of the country's leading Drama schools. This summer, she directed A Man of No Importance for The Royal Academy of Music, while previous credits include: The Boy Friend and The Witches of Eastwick for Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance at Stratford Circus, Bodies, Baking and Bunting by Danusia Iwaszko for LAMDA, Suddenly Last Summer and The Long Goodbye by Tennessee Williams for Hampstead Theatre Studio, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Nights Dream for Blenheim Palace Gardens, as well as Philistines by Maxim Gorky (trans. Andrew Upton), Enemies by Maxim Gorky (trans. David Hare), Man of Mode by George Etherege and Machinal by Sophie Treadwell at BAC, all for the Oxford School of Drama and Little Women for Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts at Waterloo East Theatre.


Prior to her freelance career Naomi was the Assistant Director at Out of Joint Theatre company where she directed Flight Path by David Watson at both The Bush Theatre London and on National tour. She has also directed Sisters, Such Devoted Sisters by Russell Barr at The Drill Hall London, on national tour and Brits off Broadway season in New York.


As the Assistant Director for Out of Joint, Naomi worked with Max Stafford-Clark on King of Hearts by Alistair Beaton at the Hampstead Theatre, The Overwhelming by JT Rogers and The Permanent Way by David Hare at the Royal National Theatre, O Go My Man and Duck by Stella Feehily, Talking to Terrorists by Robin Soans at the Royal Court Theatre and the site specific, promenade national and international tour of Macbeth.


Reb Desmond


“It is my vision to get the Stahl up to date with advances within the theatrical industry and strive to provide the highest quality productions. Encompassing both town and School, the Stahl should be a theatre where all audiences can be provided with the very best in performance making, reflecting the industry standard set in London and other theatrical hubs. Technical theatre is a forever expanding and developing art form, as technology moves on so does theatre.”


Graduating from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London, Reb’s freelance work includes the set and costume design for; Carmen at Opera Instiga, Nottinghill London, Stop Kiss Stonewall’s ‘Some People Are Gay: Get Over It’ campaign as their premiere production at Leicester Square Theatre, London, Last Confession directed by Sarah Berger at The Tristan Bates Theatre (Actor’s Centre), Covent Garden for the premiere production of The So and So Arts Company, In Flame at The Pleasance Theatre Islington London, Dumbfounded at Tete e Tete Festival Riverside Studios Hammersmith London, and Prophet and Loss opera commissioned by the Oundle International Festival, written by Julian Grant


Reb has worked as an in-house technician at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick, previously as a Technical Drama Fellow at the Stahl Theatre and most recently as Theatre Technician and Assistant at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Previous design credits at The Stahl include; Frogs, A School Journey to the Centre of the Earth, A Christmas Carol, The Boy Friend, Twelfth Night, Frank and Ferdinand and Treasure Island. At The Royal Academy of Music, productions and events included; Elton John Charity Dinner and BAFTA rehearsal sessions, The Rape of Lucretia, The Lighthouse, Little Me the Musical, A Catered Affair, Little Women, A Man of No Importance, Dave Holland’s Evening of Jazz, The global stream of Death and the Powers and the BBC filming of Garath Malone’s The Choir semi final.


Reb’s additional freelance work includes various artistic and managerial roles such as; Prop Maker for The Snow Maiden at The Bloomsbury, London, Associate Designer for Eugene Onegin at the Royal Academy of Music London, Scenic Painter for Holland Park Opera London, Scenic Artist for A State of Emergency The Gate Theatre Notting Hill, Scenic Painter for Marriage of Figaro at The Shaw Theatre London, Instillation Artist at Plaza Exhibition Centre, Chelsea Green Hippo, Puppet Maker at La Vera Constanza at Sir Jack Lyons Theatre, London, Props Master at Cendrillon Royal Academy of Music London, Scenic Painter Upstairs at the Gatehouse London, Production Manager for Cunning Little Vixen at Oundle International Festival, Stage Manager for Theatre 503, London, Stage Manager for Latitude Festival, Deputy Co-ordinator for Shell (now National Theatre) Connections Theatre by the Lake Keswick.


Events for this coming season include:


Pickled Image in association with The North Wall’s


The Shop of Little Horrors


Friday 12 September


Tickets: £9.50


Grimlake’s Emporium of Novelties, where corny magic tricks and strange puppets collect dust.


Albert Grimlake is a man obsessed with ventriloquist dummies – each face lovingly crafted and bearing an uncanny resemblance to friends and family long gone.  But Grimlake is growing old. Time is running out to find a successor, someone to breathe life into his creations, someone who shares his peculiar passion for puppets…


Enter Eric: The Perfect Applicant. He’s young, loves The Muppets and is eager to learn.


How do you scream without moving your lips?


The Shop of Little Horrors is a dark and twisted show with a wicked sense of humour, featuring a macabre collection of characters.


Recommended for ages 12 – adult







Concert for a Cause


Friday 26 September

7.45 pm

Tickets: £7.50

Raising money for the Rosie Rainbow Fund and the Dalit Children's Charity comes an all-singing, all-dancing evening of the most popular, new and adored musical theatre songs that will be a testament to Oundle School’s many outstanding performance talents.


With songs ranging from the splendour of Matilda and the audacity of The Book of Mormon to the beautiful Once and spellbinding Wicked, this one-off, fun-filled show is a must-see production conceived and directed by pupils, Molly-May Keston and Sarah Boyle in aid of two very worthy causes.


All proceeds go to our two chosen causes.




Forty Years On

by Alan Bennett


Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 October

7.45 pm

Tickets: £5


An Oundle School Production


Set in an all-boys English public school, Albion House, Alan Bennett’s great and much-loved first work for the stage is part play and part revue.  As the Headmaster on the eve of his retirement tries to keep control of proceedings, the play wanders off into ribald comedy, noisy songs and touching nostalgia.  A hilarious meditation on the past and the decline of authority, Forty Years On continues to delight with its quirky wit and its razor-sharp observations.


Performed by the boys of Bramston House under the direction of pupil Francesco Loy Bell.










Sweeney Todd

by C.G. Bond


An Oundle School production


Thursday 30 and Friday 31 October

7.45 pm

Tickets: £5


The classic melodrama finds Sweeney Todd returning from deportation on a false charge to avenge his wife and daughter who have both suffered at the merciless hands of the Judge.


Teaming up with Mrs Lovett, the pie-maker, Sweeney opens his barber shop and starts to wreak his terrible revenge …


A talented cast from Laundimer House, under the direction of pupil, George Smale, brings this dark and gripping tale of murder and love to the stage in a razor-sharp new production.



Blackeyed Theatre, in association South Hill Park, presents

Not About Heroes

by Stephen MacDonald


Monday 17 November

7.45 pm

Tickets: £9.50


I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity. Wilfred Owen


Not About Heroes is the unforgettable story of two of the finest ‘Great War’ poets, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon, their friendship, their inter-dependency, their poetry. Through the letters and poems of these two men, Stephen MacDonald’s acclaimed play paints a vivid and moving picture of their friendship and the conflict that brought them together.


One hundred years on from the beginning of the First World War, Not About Heroes is both exhilarating and uncompromising in its exploration of love, war and a friendship that changed the face of British poetry.


Director - Eliot Giuralarocca

Composer - Tom Neill

Designer - Victoria Spearing

Costume Designer - Jenny Lethbridge

Lighting Designer - Charlotte McClelland


Great clarity and theatrical ingenuity… A production that really should be seen

What’s On Stage (on Dracula)


Amazing production; faultless execution; brilliant

Remote Goat (on The Trial)


One of the most innovative, audacious companies working in contemporary English theatre

The Stage

Suitable for age 13+                                      

Running time: c.1 hour 50 minutes plus interval





Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare


An Oundle School production


Thursday 4, Friday 5 and Saturday 6 December

7.45 pm

Tickets: £5


My only love sprung from my only hate.


Shakespeare’s archetypal love story thrives on contradiction and counterpoint. It starts as comedy and ends in tragedy; those who seek to enforce peace find only anger; love between two teenagers ends the hate between their parents.


The play is driven by the rapid passing of time. Whereas the older, apparently wiser, characters seek to slow down and freeze its passage, either by holding on to their enmity or by clinging to treasured moments, it is the frantic pace of youth which is more joyous, more funny, more beautiful, more passionate and ultimately more tragic.


Performed by a talented cast of Oundle School pupils and directed by Matt Burlington.

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