Gemma began her career as a founder of pioneering performance collective, SHUNT ('The daddies of immersive theatre' Time Out). She shared the artistic direction of the company in their central London venues (2000-2010) and was in the core creative team for all shows, developing the concept and devising the script and production, within the original cast. Since leaving their home spaces, she co-directed THE ARCHITECTS and THE BOY WHO CLIMBED OUT OF HIS FACE.
Recent productions as a creator and director: KINGDOM COME - an epic on the iconoclasm of the English civil war, for the RSC at Stratford-Upon-Avon, and AN EXECUTION (BY INVITATION ONLY) - an intimate show in a paper prison cell that gradually collapses around the audience.
Alongside the built spaces of her work with Shunt, she has a particular interest in creating theatre within existing environments and functioning public spaces. She aims to harness the often epic visceral and visual power of found landscapes, transforming them into locations for intimate and delicate shows. Work includes productions in cars, in hotels, and hidden within cityscapes, from London to Brisbane to Tokyo to Tel Aviv (see the section on found environments in PROJECTS).
Her work as a director is noted for its striking visual identity, sharp humour, and the quality of the performances that she crafts with devising actors. She works collaboratively and is proud to count as her colleagues many of the most exciting and brilliant artists working in the UK (see CONTACTS for details of collaborators).
She is happy to be approached to collaborate as a consultant or creative for events and and experiences (see PROJECTS). She has a particular insight into the complexity and potential of the performer within immersive spaces. She also draws on her experience as part of the team that created, curated and ran the iconic SHUNT LOUNGE nightclub (2006-10).
This is bold, brilliant work. An almost orgiastic visual experience.
(The Stage on KINGDOM COME)
It was, in the best way possible, completely mind-blowing. I've never seen anything like it.
(Nicholas Hytner, Artistic Director of the National Theatre, on seeing SHUNT for the first time)
Radical. Original. Incredible.
(Time Out on SHUNT)
A very special and at times shocking piece - always brilliantly executed.
(Time Out on AN EXECUTION (BY INVITATION ONLY))
Crafted so exquisitely it becomes high art… Eerie and hysterical.
(The Stage on AN EXECUTION (BY INVITATION ONLY))