09.04.15 - Former Student’s Success story – From School Stage to West End

A former Ockbrook School student, whose first experience as a playwright was at school, is now celebrating the first full-length run of her own work at an off-West End venue in London from 14th-25th April 2015.

Twenty four year old Emily Holyoake from Derby received a BA in Drama and a Masters in Playwriting & Dramaturgy at the University of Exeter. Her play Stasis, described as a thrilling new science fiction drama with a ‘spellbinding narrative saturated with imagination, sincerity, and humour’ (Impact) is being staged by acclaimed company Encompass Productions for two weeks at the award-winning White Bear Theatre in Kennington, London.

Emily says: “As you can imagine, I’m absolutely thrilled at this opportunity. My very first play ‘Special Delivery’ was staged by the Ockbrook School Drama Club in 2009, co-written by Rosanna Wilson. Now my first London production of ‘Stasis’ represents such a big step forwards for me as an emerging playwright. I wanted to get back in touch with everyone at Ockbrook School to let them know about my success and to give thanks to the school that supported me at the beginning of this path.”

Mr Hannigan, former Head of Drama at Ockbrook School, remembers Emily’s time at the school: “We have such a strong tradition of dramatic success at the school and Emily’s passion for drama was clearly evident during her time with us.”

Tom Brooksby, Headmaster, Ockbrook School, adds: “Congratulations Emily – what an achievement. Her work is already receiving rave reviews from critics and the school is hoping to take a group of students to her production to show them the great things that our students go on to achieve. I’m sure it won’t be too long before we’ll be seeing Emily’s name up there in lights on the West End and beyond.”

Stasis asks the question: how far are you willing to go, to say you’re sorry? Set in the future, stowaway Ren is on a Union spacecraft, her mission uncertain. What is for sure is that she shouldn’t be there. With the whole crew in stasis and only a hologram and the ship’s computer for company, Ren must cope with isolation and depleting oxygen whilst trying to find her way home.

Encompass Productions is a London-based company that has been making bold and visually arresting new work since 2010. The company explores the psychological and emotional, drawing from cinematic influences to tell stories through heightened reality. Stasis marks the beginning of their fifth anniversary year. The White Bear Theatre was founded by Michael Kingsbury in 1988 and focuses on new writing and classics. People who have cut their teeth at The White Bear include: Joe Penhall, Emily Watson, Tamzin Outhwaite, Kwame Kwei Armah, Vicky Featherstone, Torben Betts, and Lucinda Coxon.