Tag Archives: Work

Marcus Romer – Director / Filmmaker / Speaker /

18 Jun

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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

marcusromeruk@gmail.com

 

FILM

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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

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THEATRE

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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

Antigone:
“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

Road
“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

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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

marcusromeruk@gmail.com

Pictures from the archive of shows I have directed – Romeo & Juliet

10 Jun

This was a national tour that ran for 6 months between September 2010 and March 2011. Opening at York Theatre Royal and with a three week run at the Unicorn in London.

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Directed by Marcus Romer with Katie Posner

Design by Chloe Lamford

Lighting by Richard Howell

Music by Sandy Nuttgens

Associate Director Katie Posner

Photographer  Karl Andre

Cast

Rachel Spicer as Juliet, Oliver Alvin-Wilson as Romeo, Mary Rose as Lady Capulet, William Travis as Capulet, Chris Lindon as Mercutio, Richard James-Neale as Tybalt, Bryn Holding as Benvolio, Louisa Eyo as Nurse and Prince.

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Rachel Spicer as Juliet, Oliver Alvin-Wilson as Romeo

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Rachel Spicer as Juliet, Oliver Alvin-Wilson as Romeo

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The cast on the flower filled set

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Oliver Alvin-Wilson and Louisa Eyo

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Rachel Spicer as Juliet, Oliver Alvin-Wilson as Romeo

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Louisa Eyo as The Prince

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Rachel Spicer as Juliet, Oliver Alvin-Wilson as Romeo

Trailer from the show

 

Quotes

“Much like Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film version, this is an ultramodern Romeo & Juliet, but theatrical rather than cinematic. Out go Pilot’s trademark multi-media flourishes; in comes traditional, flesh-and-blood, physical theatre strengths, allied to Sandy Nuttgens’s always appropriate music.”

York Press

“This is a stylish take on Shakespeare’s ever-popular tragedy. Pilot Theatre’s reputation for productions easy on-the-eye has been well-earned and they don’t disappoint with Romeo and Juliet.”

Yorkshire Post

“As a company dedicated to reinterpreting classic work for young people, Pilot can be depended upon to apply a fresh perspective.”

The Guardian

Moving on – onwards and upwards

3 Nov
A new landscape

A new landscape

Hi Friends!

Before the press releases hit, I thought I’d take the opportunity to let everyone know that I will be moving on from Pilot at the end of the financial year. Yes—after 22 years as Artistic Director of the company, I’m stepping down to take up some new and exciting freelance opportunities.

I’ve been asked to put together some work highlights from my time as AD for a press release, and I figured the best way of doing it would be to do my usual blog-style thing with a list of stuff, in no particular order, and let you choose what interests you.

I’m proud to be leaving the company in a great financial and reputational position. We’ve secured our second round of Arts Council NPO funding until 2018, have EU-funded projects until 2019, and have built a great team who are creating extraordinary work across the UK and internationally.

So in no particular order….here’s stuff I made earlier, since becoming Artistic Director back in 1993:

  • I directed the first livestream of a theatre production back in 2008, which lead to the 6 camera livestream of the York Mystery Plays for the BBC and The Space. We now lead the TheatreLivestream.TV project nationally

  • Following my first visit to TED in 2007, I created 5 national Shift Happens Conferences which started back in in 2008 and ran to 2013—these led to TEDxYork, which I also curated, and became the template and structure for the Arts Council / British Council’s ‘No Boundaries’ which ran in 2014 and 2015.

  • The 960 performances of the first ever tour of my production of ‘Lord of The Flies’ – which ran between 1998 and 2008 to almost every theatre in the country. We employed 5 different casts in 6 separate productions over the period and won the MTA (Manchester Theatre Award) for best touring production

  • I wrote the script and co-directed ‘The Knife That Killed Me’, the first ever feature film shot entirely on Green Screen in Yorkshire, which was picked up and distributed by Universal Pictures

  • We won the UK Theatre Award for best production for young people, with the first ever adaptation and premiere of Anne Cassidy’s‘ Looking for JJ’

  • I worked with and commissioned new work from the brilliant Roy Williams, then saw that our first adaptation of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner had a new production in New York

  • I was part of the team pitching for York to win the title of Unesco City of Media Arts—the first city in the UK to achieve such a title, and I am continuing to help steer that project forward with new plans and ideas.

Some more? OK, OK. Some more highlights:

  • Directing the opening sequence of the Bollywood Oscars event in Sheffield—The IIFAs—for an arena audience of 15,000 and a TV audience of 500 million

  • Blood + Chocolate and bringing Slung Low theatre to York to help make this happen

  • Making a show in Buenos Aires 

  • Meeting Susan Hinton, who flew from Oklahoma to York when we premiered the first ever theatre production of her novel, Rumble Fish which had the first ever integrated AV and sound projection on back in 2000!

It’s been a phenomenal job and I’ve worked with lots of amazing people some them at the start of their careers, and helped them on their way to make amazing projects. Thanks to everyone who has been part of the journey up to now.

But all of these things are just work things. During that time I have seen my two children grow up and launch into the world and be creative and brilliant, and I’ve shared the journey with Susie, who continues to go from strength to strength and is now heading up an amazing charity in Cambridge, where we now live. It seems like the right time to take the new freelance opportunities that are coming my way.

I’m going to carry on making new projects and helping to deliver new ideas in a freelance capacity from 2016— so, onwards and upwards. If you’re interested in finding out about work we could do together, just drop me a line:

MarcusRomerUK@gmail.com

marcusromer.com

Oh — The recruitment process for my successor will begin in late November…

The opening 4 minutes of The Knife That Killed Me movie #TKTKM

29 Sep

Here is the opening 4 minutes of our new movie – written and directed by Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman – for Greenscreen productions in association with Pilot Theatre and  Premiere – with UK distribution by Universal Pictures

The Knife That Killed Me – based on the novel by Anthony McGowan