Tag Archives: tech

Marcus Romer – Director / Filmmaker / Speaker /

18 Jun


Director / Filmmaker / Speaker

Marcus’ work has spanned three decades in theatre, film, television and consultancy in the Arts.

He was Artistic Director of the award-winning National Touring Theatre Company Pilot Theatre from 1993 to 2016. He directed work across in the UK, throughout Europe and in Argentina. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Marcus has collected three Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards for his productions of Lord of the Flies and Beautiful Thing. Marcus’ adaptation of Looking for JJ won the UK Theatre award for best production for young people.

He is a freelance director and was interim Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from July 2019 – June 2020 where he directed Pride and Prejudice, Peter Pan and Shirley Valentine.

He is currently a founding Artist of Mutiny Projects who made #Covid19Threads and are currently developing #LocusSolus a digital performance platform on Roblox with Simon Poulter and Sophie Mellor.

He is a published playwright. Marcus wrote the screenplay for The Knife That Killed Me (2014) from the novel by Anthony McGowan. He co-directed the film for Universal Pictures.

He was an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 2016 – 2018. He has also been an Associate Artist for Harrogate Theatre since September 2017. For both of these organisations he Produced Livestream theatre projects into health care settings for The Space.

In 2018 Marcus directed for National Theatre Wales, where he developed part of their project, NHS70 – As Long as the Heart Beats.

In 2019 Marcus directed ‘Let the Right One In’ for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and ‘Justice 39’ for the People Power Passion project with Revoluton Arts in Luton.

Marcus is a TEDster, class of 2007 / 2011 / 2013. Participating in the conferences encouraged him to set up the annual conference to discuss technology and the arts, ‘Shift Happens’. He has also hosted the TEDxYork conference, and co-created No Boundaries for Arts Council England in 2014 and 2015.

He provides training and consultancy to Arts organisations, companies and individuals with online mentoring and directing. He is a mentor for the Colchester Mercury Creatives.

Marcus has also worked as an actor and has appeared in several long running series and TV films – including Prime Suspect, Dalziel and Pascoe, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Heartbeat, Hillsborough and The Bill.

For detail about his work please see below – or email him for more information






Marcus wrote the screenplay for the film, adapting the book by Anthony McGowan. He co-directed the film with Kit Monkman.

The Knife That Killed Me was released by Universal Pictures.

It was ranked #10 in the Top Thirty Films of the Year (2014) by the Huffington Post.

“…like a hi-tech version of Lars von Trier’s Dogville” The Guardian

“Easily one of the best films of the year” Huffington Post

“Alive with visual intention” Empire

“an experimental British drama… with a densely intensive visual verve.” The Times

Official-Selection-RIFF-2014 nantes





Marcus was the interim Artistic Director at Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from July 2019 – June 2020.  He was an Associate Artist at Theatre Royal Stratford East from 2016 – 2018. He was also a Producer for Collusion, Harrogate Theatre, and a director for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. . Marcus was Artistic Director at the award-winning National Touring Theatre Company Pilot Theatre from 1993 to 2016. He has directed work across in the UK, throughout Europe, and in Argentina, including national touring productions of: Antigone, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Romeo and Juliet, Lord of the Flies, Beautiful Thing, Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, Looking for JJ, Road, The Fever Chart, Bloodtide, and Rumble Fish.

In 2018 Marcus developed and directed ‘As Long As The Heart Beats’ for National Theatre Wales, as part of their NHS 70 project. He also developed the first Active Reality project ‘Reveal’ with Simon Poulter for Collusion.

Pride and Prejudice:
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a good production of Pride & Prejudice must capture not only the elegance and era of Jane Austen, but also the intelligence and wit. Director Marcus Romer and his talented cast have managed to do all of that and more in the clever new adaptation.” East Anglia Daily Times

Let The Right One In
“It’s only mid-February but we may already have a show of the year on our hands with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s exquisite production of Let The Right One In. Brutal, terrifying and tender, Marcus Romer’s production catches all the winter chill of its Nordic setting, its gothic horror gradually intensifying as its young protagonists Oskar and Eli discover common ground in a small little town where a spate of murders leaves everyone on edge.” The Bristol Post *****

As Long as the Heart Beats:
“If there is one stand-out message from National Theatre Wales’ NHS70 programme, it’s the fact that the institution thrives because of the people who keep it moving. Examples of this are given through the five one-act plays commissioned for the season, but it is this promenade production that really drives the point home. Borne out of real experiences people have shared, As Long as the Heart Beats is a beautifully captured snapshot of life inside an NHS hospital, and the people responsible for making it so.” Wales Arts Review

“The 90 minutes of the single-act play gallop along towards the tragic finale. A young audience absolutely lapped it up.” The Independent ****

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
“Flawlessly directed by Marcus Romer and stylishly designed by Lydia Denno, the discussion this show will provoke will run and run” The Observer

Sing yer heart out for the lads
“…the production seems to have everything: pace, precision, power. The result is sensational” The Guardian ****

Looking For JJ
“This is a genuinely important piece of theatre, every bit as thoughtful and demanding as its audience deserves” The Times

Lord of the Flies
“William Golding meets Quentin Tarantino” The Financial Times

Beautiful Thing
“engaging, sensitive and it does your old heart good” Yorkshire Post

Rumble Fish
“The show generates the kind of rapt attention in which you could hear a pin drop.” The Guardian

“Superlative acting and a dynamic, inventive production by Marcus Romer that splices film footage and suitably atmospheric music into the action.” The Evening Standard


Consultant / Cultural Leader

No Boundaries 2014 - York

Marcus has become a mainstay for arts organisations seeking to improve the way in which they approach technology. He has spoken at conferences in Venice, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Palm Springs, London, and across the UK. He has delivered projects and business and cultural development projects for Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre, Kettle’s Yard, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Theatre Peckham, Theatre Royal Stratford East.

2007 attended TED in California

2008 – 2013 created Shift Happens, a celebration of innovation and a forum for discussion for arts organisations across the UK. Speakers have included Ken Robinson, Clay Shirky, Howard Rheingold

2011 Hosted TedxYork

2014 Co-curated and hosted No Boundaries for Arts Council England and the British Council

2015 Co-hosted No Boundaries 2015

2016 Innovation Norway, conference in Tromsø, Norway

2016 Arctic Moving Image Film Festival, Harstadt, Norway

2017 European Theatre Convention, Karlsruhe, Germany

2017 UK Theatre Touring Symposium, London

2018 Mainframe Derby

2018 With Collusion in Cambridge Marcus produced projects in King’s Lynn and Bury St Edmunds. This included developing and creating ‘Reveal’ with Simon Poulter.

2019 Harstad Residency in Norway developing a new green screen project

To find out about working with Marcus as a speaker, contact him here.


Projects and Innovation


Through Pilot Theatre, and as a freelancer, Marcus has led many high profile arts events across the country:

The Great Exhibition of the North Marcus was on the bid writing team for The Great Exhibition of the North for Harrogate, and presented the bid for Bradford

HOME Created and delivered a new digital strategy for HOME in Manchester

ACE and Norwich City Council A research study for St. Andrews Halls in Norwich

Creative England Creative Director for the Eagle Lab Flight Programme in partnership with Barclays UK

International Indian Film Academy Awards Marcus and KMA created the opening event in 2007 at Sheffield Arena, for a live audience of 15,000 and a TV audience of 500 million

UNESCO Was part of the team that placed the winning bid to make York the UNESCO-designated ‘City of Media Arts’

Tour De France Organised the Cycle of Songs with HistoryWorksUK: the opening event of the Cambridge leg of the Tour de France 2014. The event featured a walking tour app that worked along the route of the race around the city with 9 originally commissioned songs geo-tagged to your location

Immersive Theatre Worked with SlungLow in August 2013 to produce Blood and Chocolate (pictured above), a fully immersive theatre show with 200+ actors that worked via headsets for all audience members and a walking tour across the city of York

Conferences Created the Shift Happens conferences, leading to the No Boundaries events to connect the Arts with technology and to shift thinking

Livestreaming Executed the first ever multi-camera livestream of the York Mystery plays, which enabled viewers to choose from 6 camera angles and to curate their own viewing for the BBC and The Space

Produced Reasons to be Cheerful by Graeae for The Space as a live to digital cinema release in 2018

Produced Theatre Royal Stratford East Christmas shows into Barts Health Trust as a livestream 2016 and 2017 for The Space

Produced Harrogate Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk – livestream to Harrogate NHS Foundation Trust for The Space

For more info please contact


Skype Production meeting for R&J #kissbythebook

24 Aug

Chloe Lamford and Richard Howell live on skype for our production meeting today – saving travelling up from London

#greenmeetings are us!

#tfconf – twitter created 280,000 impressions and reached more than 30,000 people

19 Jun


just click the image to view the stats


Interestingly many of the tweeters were not in the physical room (of course) as they were following the conference remotely from?? USA, Australia, Germany as well as UK and Ireland. This is one of the major shifts that happens…

there is a downloadable PDF document here too

5circles KMA Pilot Theatre 2012 Olympics Application

6 Jun

Our original application video for Artists Taking the Lead with the work and visuals by KMA, original music by Sandy Nuttgens with drumming by Johnny Kalsi from the Dhol Foundation – we submitted this and were shortlisted to the final five…

Preparing to rehearse in Argentina via Skype #shifthappens

10 May

Again waiting for the actors, Julian Sierra and Celeste Martinez to join me for a rehearsal via skype. They will be at UPB Buenos Aires and I will be in my office at home – in York UK – and we will work on the play together / apart / and online.

I have also just got their train tickets from Heathrow to York, as they are arriving next Monday, May 17th. The show will open in York at the Theatre Royal on Saturday 22nd in the afternoon. So drop me a line if you need to find out any more.

I will take a couple of pictures while we are doing the rehearsals and drop them onto Facebook and Twitter (both on my /marcusromer pages)

Shift Happens  – and this is an example of how to use the technology in a way that allows creative engagement and participation in a totally immersive way.

We will livetream the actual performance which will be in Spanish when they are over here too

W.C. School – Made in Argentina details are here on the Pilot Theatre website here http://www.pilot-theatre.com/redesign/default.asp?idno=17595

Survey Monkey about Pilot Theatre

5 May

Hi there,??

as part of the Cultural Leadership Programme one of the groups has set up a survey to look at our work and livestreaming and such things

If you have a moment would you mind having a click through and fill it in?

Many thanks

Rehearsing theatre 7,000 miles away

3 May


I am going to be directing a rehearsal with the actors in Buenos Aires tonight using Skype.

The show I made in March is coming over to the UK in two weeks time. So we have a chance to revisit some of the English and Argentinian Spanish texts.

Using the technology allows us to be ‘in the same room’ again, and as you can see from the photo the actors, Julian Sierra and Celeste Martinez, are in the studio space where we rehearsed and created the original piece.

This process becomes an immersive experience, and once we have got over the initial waving and saying hi and catching up on news and chat we can really begin to work.

Normally skype calls are about ten minutes long, and you get the info you need and then you start to wind things up.

Here for an extended two hour rehearsal session you do get absorbed and the work takes over from the technology. The ability to see work develop and grow over this medium again feels real, because of course that is what it is.

It is creative and allows us to share new ideas and have the debates and conversations as if we were all physically in the same room.

WC School – Made in Argentina opens in York on May 22nd


Live skype rehearsal to Buenos Aires works so well – a real life Gamechanger…

27 Apr


Julian, Soli and Tati rehearsing live in Buenos Aires on skype

OK having just finished a 2 hour session working with the actors and we were 7,000 miles apart is a complete gamechanger.

The ability to direct / work / interact / discuss / share ideas and above all create a piece of theatre across the globe / live, means the world is now a different place. It means that we can really be creative with our time, resources and skills to make something really amazing.

Of course I had met the team before, and worked with them in their theatre space in Buenos Aires. But for that 2 hours I was totally back in that space again and was able to revisit the work, adpat and reshape thoughts and ideas. For sure we had a shorthand already, but this was able to be hooked into straight away.

The show is coming to York and we will livestream it to the world. But in the meantime I am looking forward to my next rehearsal on Monday May 3rd and in the meantime my thinking cap is most definitely – On…!

This is just the beginning as – Shift has Happened…for sure

WC School – Made in Argentina



Live rehearsal on skype between York and Buenos Aires

27 Apr

AudioBoo / Pilot Podcast: Day two of Catcher Rehearsal

27 Apr

AudioBoo / Pilot Podcast: Day two of Catcher Rehearsal – great interview with Ronan and Mitzi by Bec