Spies Like Us is a multi award-winning ensemble physical theatre company based in London. Formed in early 2017 by 7 Young Pleasance graduates as part of the XYP initiative, we are committed to making endlessly inventive theatre.
Our first show, Our Man in Havana, enjoyed a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 as well as winning theatre Weekly's 'Best Fringe Debut' award. The show has since toured internationally to Hong Kong.
The following year we returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with a fresh adaptation of Woyzeck which enjoyed critical esteem and scooped Theatre Weekly's 'Best Physical Theatre Show' 2018 and Voice Mag's 'Pick of the Fringe' award. The show then went on to tour to Bristol and is available to programme at schools with accompanying educational material.
In 2019, we returned to Edinburgh as a New Diorama Theatre Emerging Company with our new show, Murder on the Dancefloor.
In 2020, we began creation of our new and most ambitious show to date, Speed Dial. The show was nominated for the Les Enfants Terribles award 2020 and, funded by Arts Council England, was shared as a WIP at VAULT 2020. The show will now return in 2022 at Pleasance London.
MEET THE TEAM
Spies Like Us is made up of a team of founding members and collaborators. We operate on a basis of equality and shared responsibility, particularly in our approach to creative work, but with the following official titles:
Co-Artistic Director/ Director
Ollie Norton-Smith is the Co-Artistic Director of Spies Like Us. He directed Our Man In Havana and Woyzeck having written the script for both productions with Hamish Lloyd Barnes. He wrote and directed Murder on the Dancefloor. Having cut his teeth with Young Pleasance from 2012-2015 performing in Teechers, Rites, #MyWay and The Hampstead Murder Mystery in Edinburgh and London, Ollie worked as Assistant Director for Incognito Theatre on All Quiet on the Western Front in Edinburgh, London and New York. In July 2019 Ollie graduated from the University of Manchester, Ollie performed in, wrote and directed numerous productions as part of the University of Manchester Drama Society, of which he was President 2018-19. With Spies Like Us he hopes to continue to hone his abilities as a director and writer and create theatre of the highest quality for as long as he can.
Hamish Lloyd Barnes is the Co-Artistic Director of Spies Like Us. He performed in and co-wrote Our Man in Havana and Woyzeck with director Ollie Norton-Smith, as well as co-writing and performing in Speed Dial.
Alongside working with the company, Hamish has written and performed comedy on stage and on the radio, notably for The Upload Comedy Hour (BBC Radio Tees), Newsjack (BBC Radio 4 Extra), The Skewer (BBC Radio 4), and DMs Are Open (BBC Radio 4 Pilot). He is currently represented by The Galton Agency.
Nikita Karia is the Producer of Spies Like Us having assisted technically with their debut production Our Man In Havana. Nikita was part of the Young Pleasance from 2011-2014, performing in Teechers, The Death of Chatterton and #MyWay in Edinburgh and London. She has also worked as a member of the Front of House team for the Pleasance Theatre as well as a technical operator for Incognito Theatre on All Quiet on the Western Front. Nikita graduated from Durham University in 2018, where she studied Modern Languages and was involved in a number of student productions as an actor, stage manager and producer. She worked at Jacksons Lane in Highgate after her studies until June 2019. She hopes to continue working Spies Like Us and within the realm of theatre for the foreseeable future.
Tullio is an actor from South-West London and performer with Spies Like Us. He studied Theatre and Italian at the University of Bristol, where he graduated in 2019. In his younger years, he was a member of The Orange Tree Youth Theatre in Richmond and later went to The Edinburgh Fringe with Young Pleasance in 2014, where he first met the other members of Spies Like Us. He has since returned to the Fringe with Bristol University in 2016 and later with our productions of Our Man in Havana, Woyzeck and Murder on the Dancefloor. He brings to the company a love for comedy acting, physical theatre and choreography, as well as experience in multi-rolling character work. At University Tullio appeared in productions of A View from the Bridge, White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Vernon God Little and Pink Mist. Outside of the theatre, he has a great love for languages and music. He also has a particular passion for working with children, having worked abroad as a language teaching assistant in Naples. Tullio hopes to train as an actor while continuing his work with Spies Like Us.
Phoebe Campbell is an actor. Having studied Theatre and Performance at the University of Bristol until graduating in July 2019, Phoebe started working with Young Pleasance in 2012 in their London run of Teechers and has gone on to perform with them in Rites, #MyWay and Alice Unhinged in Edinburgh, working with the rest of Spies Like Us along the way. Additionally, Phoebe is part of the National Youth theatre completing her course in 2015, and is signed with Curtis Brown. She has four professional credits including ITV’s acclaimed Midsomer Murders and the Sky film, The Last Dragon Slayer. At university she was very active on the theatre scene as both actor and director, taking part in a directing course with Bristol Old Vic’s Lee Lyford and assistant directing RENT in the Winston Theatre. Phoebe is eager to continue experimenting with different roles in theatre and hopes to pursue an acting career after her studies at RADA, commencing in September 2019.
Rosa Collier is an actor with Spies Like Us. Rosa met the other members of the company as a performer in Young Pleasance, which she joined in 2014. Having performed in #MyWay and The Hampstead Murder Mystery! in Edinburgh and in London she joined Spies Like Us upon leaving school. Rosa is currently training at LAMDA.
Alex Holley is a 21 year-old student from South London studying Drama at the University of Sussex. He has been performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 2015 when he joined the Young Pleasance where he performed The Hampstead Murder Mystery! and Alice Unhinged. He believes that the experience had with these two shows was highly influential in him considering acting as a career. In 2017, he played Jim Wormold in Spies Like Us’ debut show, Our Man in Havana. Alex hopes to continue working with Spies Like Us for years to come, creating exciting and engaging theatre. Alex is currently training at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Frankie Thompson is a 21 year-old clown, butoh dancer and drag king performing in South East London. Her one woman advert break, Forbruker, a fusion of clown, lip-sync and drag, had a sell out performance at Camden People’s Theatre and was consequently programmed back for a two day run in October 2019. Forbruker will also undertake an eight day run at The Edinburgh Fringe 2019 supported by Soho Theatre Youth Company. She joined Spies Like Us for their third show, Murder On The Dancefloor having performed with many of the company as part of the prestigious Young Pleasance Theatre Company in The Hampstead Murder Mystery! in 2015.
Evangeline is an actor, writer and voiceover artist. Evangeline trained for three years at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating in 2017, and since then has worked in mediums across the industry. After showcasing pieces of new writing at the Old Red Lion and Edinburgh Fringe, Evangeline toured nationally with the Young Shakespeare Company and also took their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Gibraltar. She then went on to write, develop and perform her one-woman show Dear Peter which had its premiere at the Tristan Bates Theatre as part of Maiden Speech 2019. She has been performing in the award-winning immersive production of Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds since August 2019 and consistently works in commercial voiceover, as well as continuing to write for companies such as Iris Theatre. Evangeline joined the company to work on Speed Dial in 2020 and can’t wait to develop the show further.
Gabriella is an actor and singer from London who trained at The Oxford School of Drama and RADA. She has worked at theatres such as The Young Vic, The Globe, The Arcola, Theatre503 and Theatre Royal Stratford East; and has toured internationally with The Handlebards. She joined Spies Like Us in 2020 to perform in Our Man in Havana and help develop and perform in Speed Dial. She can't wait to continue working on the project and to see where it goes next!
Ned is an actor and deviser who first worked with Spies Like Us on our work in progress showing of new production Speed Dial at this year’s VAULT Festival. Growing up in Sheffield, he was a member of the Sheffield People’s Theatre, featuring in several professional productions on Sheffield Theatre’s renowned Crucible Theatre stage. He graduated from the Manchester School of Theatre in 2018, and has since worked as an actor on stage and screen projects up and down the country, including Emmerdale, open air Shakespeare in Manchester, numerous plays in London’s fringe theatres- Theatre503, Old Red Lion, Arcola Theatre- and was an original cast member of Hall for Cornwall’s premier of Hireth, a new First World War play directed by Kneehigh Associate Simon Harvey. Ned is passionate about collaborating and helping create new work; he’s taken part in workshop and research and development sessions with exciting companies such as YESYESNONO Theatre. He’s loved getting back in touch with this through working with Spies Like Us and can’t wait to keep working on Speed Dial.
Pleasance Associate Producer
Pleasance Associate Producer
As a team of collaborators, creatives, optimists and chancers we are eternally grateful to those who have supported us so far in our short existence. We will always be grateful to Anthony Alderson, Heather Rose, Nic Connaughton, Kathryn Norton-Smith, Joseph Spence, Joanna Billington, Heather Baskerville, Tim Norton and the many others without whom we would never have existed. Thank you.
If you are interested in collaborating with us in any capacity please contact firstname.lastname@example.org