DYSPLA 2011 took place at Theatro Technis 1-6 November, 2011. GALA Night consisted of guest speakers, music, poetry, and performance extracts of the full plays. Wine and canapés were sponsored by Barefoot Wine and Blackbull Productions (documented the GALA).



Matthew Scurfield (Actor, I Could Be Anyone): has traversed the far corners of the stage; from the pantheons of Berkoff’s London theatre Group, to Shakespeare’s New Globe, The Royal National Theatre and a lengthy adventure with the ground breaking Complicite. He has appeared in numerous films and television productions. He recently played the part of Seddiq, a blind wizard, in Sinbad for Sky 1 and BBC Worldwide. Since moving to Malta, he has completed his autobiographical book I Could Be Anyone. His latest book, Indictment: Education and Flowering, was published in 2011.

Clare Agius (Actor, I Could Be Anyone) is an Actress, TV Presenter, and Producer who has hosted TV programs, Events and Festivals for the past thirteen years establishing herself professionally as one of Malta’s leading personalities. With more than 2500 aired programs to her name, she has developed a skill of interviewing people and making them feel at ease in front of the cameras while bringing out the best in them. To date she has produced and presented most of her shows with great success and following and is renowned for her ‘natural flair’ of presenting.

Eilidh Nairn (Sophie in Life: Meaning Us): is a London based professional Scottish actress. Her work to date has been mixed between her two passions, theatre and screen This year she has starred in several films and theatre productions. Playing a wide diversity of roles, from the beast in a Scottish Horror feature film to the more light hearted characters in her recent theatre roles. She is delighted to be part of such an important and exciting event as The DYSPLA Festival.

Stewart Lockwood  (Adam in Life: Meaning Us): Stewart has no formal acting training; he has simply read hundreds of acting books and has made, and continues to make, a shed load of acting mistakes. He has appeared in TV adverts this year for BBC’s Comic Relief, Halifax building society, Sainsbury’s and mental health charity–Time to Change. Stewart lives in Kent and enjoys making shoddy electronic music in his spare time.

Kristin Mcilquham  (Beth in Life: Meaning Us): Kristin Mcilquham trained at Arts Educational School. Since leaving drama school her stage credits have included Crumbs at the Roundhouse, Souk at Theatre Delicatessen and Last of the Red Hot Lovers at the Bridewell Theatre which were met with excellent reviews. Her recent film work includes the role of ‘PC Harris’ directed by Allan Corduner for the BFI, ‘Crystal’ in Bridesmaids and most recently ‘Jo’ in Sperm directed by Nicola Quilter.

Charlotte Winer  (Audrey in Life: Meaning Us): Charlotte trained with Dorothea Alexander and at Ecole Florent. Theatre roles include Louise in Private Lives at Theatre Clwyd , Portia in Julius Caesar, Slavenka in The Dancing Master at the Battersea Arts Centre, Marlene in Petra van Kant at the Etc Theatre, and Leila Arden in Rope at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Television appearances include Mary Queen of Scots in The Virgin Queen with Ann-Marie Duff.

Kevin Layne  (Matt in Life: Meaning Us): Kevin Layne is the second of two children of Vernon (business owner and costume designer) and Allyson MBE (Senior Midwife) Williams. Layne is of British birth and Trinidadian origin. From an early age Layne has had a strong passion for Acting, following the likes of Bruce Lee and having watched his father appear in several films of his generation. This is where the Acting bug was first born. Since a young age Layne has wanted to pursue Acting but thought he had not gained the life experience or confidence required to have what he believed would give him a firm stance in the industry. After a long period of reflection, Layne decided to attend the Arts Educational School of Acting in 2009 in which he studied Acting before graduating in 2011. Since leaving Drama School Layne has since acquired representation and is currently on the Acting circuit with a specific focus on screen Acting.

Paul R Norton (Harry in Life: Meaning Us): Credits include: Stage –State Theatre, Austin Texas: The Woman In Black, The WeirGross IndecencyMrs Warren’s ProfessionMacbethThe Little Prince. Austin Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V, Hamlet, La Ronde. Bridewell Theatre, London: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Waiting For Godot, Romeo & Juliet, The Country Wife. Film – Sexless, dir – Alex Holdridge, The Meat Market, dir – Chris Ohlson Voice – Deus Ex II Invisible War

Sarah Jayne-Harris (B in Cut Throat): Sarah Jayne-Harris, since graduating from drama school, has played in numerous fringe theatres and on-screen productions. Past theatre credits include Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Oxford Playhouse, Harold Pinters’ Old Times at the Southwark Playhouse, Rabbit at The Landor Theatre and David Mamet’s Reunion. Screen credits include feature film Pub Crawl (IMDb) in 2009 with 555 Films and in January 2010 she starred in Ryan J-W Smith’s award-winning film For Rachel, a tribute to Rachel Corrie. This film was winner of Best Short 8th Cinewest Flex International Film Festival. More recently she has played Miss Julie on the London Fringe in Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie; her performance described as ‘riveting’ in the West End Journal, and then Aegeus in Medea; an all female ensemble production of the Greek tragedy for the Lost Theatre. She has just completed a summer run as Hermia in an open air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, which performed in both London’s Hyde park and Victoria Embankment Gardens. She is next set to play the female lead in a London fringe production of Fool for Love for the Sturdy Beggars Theatre in 2012.

Amy Hoerler (A in Cut Throat): Amy Hoerler has wanted to be an actress since the age of 5. She has always had the desire to create characters and present them to an audience. It was only after the tragic events of 9/11 that she decided to pursue her dream of acting. In late 2002, Amy started her acting career, stepping on stage for the very first time. Shortly thereafter, she started in film. Due to family circumstances, she left NYC with her husband and dogs, making her home in Florida. She is a 2011 BRIFT Master Acting Class Graduate/Master Acting Student (under the tutelage of her mentor and friend, Mr. Burt Reynolds), where she continues to study and hone her skills as an actor. Amy is excited to be part of Cut Throat–her very first London Fringe play–and wishes to thank the director, the writer, and the cast for her inclusion in it! Amy would also like to thank Lennie, Dan, and her family–“without whom I could not follow my dream.”

Ulrika Krishnamurti (C in Cut Throat): Ulrika Krishnamurti started working in film and theatre at a young age. She is a passionate performer with a special love for theatre. Her first acting experience was at age 12 when she got cast in Rockford, a film by avant-garde director Nagesh Kukunoor. Ulrika came back to acting training after studying neuroscience, psychology, economics, and Spanish in university in the US. Ulrika’s recent projects include a performance at a recent private art show, part of the Freeze Festival in October 2011, and a short film called Between, stylistically shot in diverse London locations, about a group of friends caught in a night of reflection and delirium. Ulrika is currently working on London Stories, an independent feature film that simultaneously tells the intertwined stories of different Londoners and their complicated relationships. Ulrika is also a trained singer and yoga practitioner.

Maya Thomas (D in Cut Throat): Maya trained in Lecoq Technique at the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). Prior to that Maya trained both in Israel and London in Stanislavski, Meisner Technique, Comedy & Long Form Impro, Mime, Clowning, Classical and Modern Text Analysis, and Circus Skills (including Static Trapeze). Recent roles include: The Boy in The Boy, The Forest & The Desert (Arcola Theatre), Death in The Tragedy Of Soliman & Perseda (Rose Theatre Bankside), Island Spirit in Mary Rose (Brockley Jack), Polonius in Tower Hamlet (Courtyard Theatre), Eve in BUNK (King’s Head Islington), and Beth in 310 (Short Film, Andy Lewis Productions).

Rustyna Edwards (E in Cut Throat): Rustyna trained at The Actors Studio in NYC, The Laban Centre for movement and dance and in Film Directing at London College Of Communication. As an actor, director, choreographer Rustyna has worked for many international companies throughout her career including Fourth World Arts in Mexico City, Dormu Theatre in Amsterdam. She has also directed an award winning short film and can sing a pretty mean tune as well.

Melanie Hunter (Playwright, Life: Meaning Us) Melanie has pursued a career in writing from a young age, completing her first published work by twenty-one. She won her first professional commission with her short film script, Low in 2009, and continues to work as a freelance scriptwriter for commercial films. Originally from Northeast England, Melanie has just completed her MA degree (writing for the stage & broadcast media) at Central School of Speech & Drama in London, continuing her long-term ambition to become an established writer for the stage and screen.

Eleanor Haskins-Griffiths (Playwright, Cut Throat): English-American, born and raised in South London, Eleanor is now a final year undergraduate at Queen Mary, University of London, studying Drama.

Matthew Scurfield (Playwright, I Could Be Anyone): Matthew lives on the island of Gozo in Malta with his wife and son. Before coming to Gozo he was involved with many different theatre projects in the UK, traversing the far corners of the stage; from Dundee to Cornwall, from the pantheons of Berkoff s London theatre Group, to Shakespeare’s New Globe, The Royal National Theatre and a lengthy adventure with groundbreaking Complicite. He has appeared in numerous films and television productions. Since moving to Malta, Matthew has overseen the renovation of three houses, completed his autobiographical book I Could Be Anyone. His most recent book Indictment: Education and Flowering was published in 2011.

Lennie Varvarides (Playwright, The Caretaker): see PRODUCTION TEAM BIO

Lena Scurfield (Director, I Could Be Anyone): Directing this performance is the first time in any kind of theatre work for me and it grew out of collaborating in the early stages of rehearsal with Matthew and Clare. Also out of a very personal interest in exploring a dynamic dialogue between the linear and non-linear way of being. I guess I am somewhere between Matthew and Clare on that scale, and it made for some very lively rehearsals as we let our cats out of the bag. A linear minded friend asked “Is it always the linear that has to give way?” Let’s check it out.

Chryssanthi Kouri (Director, Life: Meaning Us): Chryssanthi studied Media Arts in Southampton Solent University and Acting at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, graduating with an MA in Performance. She works as an actor and director in both theatre and film and is a member of the Young Vic Director’s Program. Chryssanthi also writes screenplays and has recently finished her first feature length script, currently going through the development circuit. For MSFT she has directed AWK-WORDThe Currency and the short film @7.

Ross Drury (Director, Cut Throat): Ross Drury studied at the University of Kent on the four year ‘Drama and Theatre Studies’ course, specializing in ‘Theatre Directing’ and is currently studying at East 15 acting school for an MA in theatre directing. He is Artistic Director of Brendans Boats theatre company and spent two years touring with Shakespearean clowning troupe- the Pantaloons. His directing credits include an adaptation of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Bent by Martin Sherman, ROAD by Jim Cartwright, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House (WSYCT), Labutes The Shape of Things, Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire (Brighton Fringe Festival, The Basement Theatre) and the re-staging of his NSDF award winning production of  Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis at Hull Truck Theatre. Ross has also assisted directors  Edward Bond (The fool, Cock Tavern) and Dr Stephen Purcell (The Globe Theatre, Gesture Lab). He is part of the Young Vic Genesis program, the NSDF ensemble 2008 and recently studied on the National Theatre Directors Course 2011.

Lennie Varvarides (Director, The Caretaker): see PRODUCTION TEAM BIO

Jon Adams (Artist) Visual Artist, Interventionist (Dyslexic and Aspergers) and Soundscape Composer who ‘plays’ with the transformation of the ‘ordinary’ and concepts of the ‘hidden’ and what is ‘normal’. Jon writes, transforms books and ‘consults’ on the arts within the UK. Dyslexic and Proud, I have Aspergers too so can sometimes be ‘blunt’ and take what you say ‘literally’ which can cause some ‘fun’. It’s all black and white, extremes, and obsessions. I was abused at school, told I was lazy, rubbish and would never do anything worthwhile – its stayed with me but I’m gonna show that ‘teacher’ he was wrong…and he was!

Katherine Hewlett (Artist) Katherine has lectured at several educational institutions: Royal College of Art and National College of Art and Design Dublin. She studied at the Royal College of Art and has a Masters in Glass Design. For six years, following the RCA, she set up and developed several high profile projects within an interior glass design setting, such as a major project at the Ritz Hotel Paris. Katherine has lectured in three-dimensional design both at degree and postgraduate level. Katherine is currently undertaking a PhD investigating visual learning at Norwich University College of the Arts and is a Director for AchieveAbility, Trustee of WFDA responsible for the adult provision, Governor of Leyton Sixth Form College and a practicing artist. Recent exhibition has been at the Westminster Reference Library for her research exhibition Ways of Thinking October 2011.

Leon Cole (Artist) Born in 1979 in Nottingham, Leon Cole spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Leicester. After formal education, Cole went on to pursue his growing interest in art at DeMotfort University, where he received a Merit after completing their Btec Art Foundation. Cole’s current artist practice arises from skills developed during the completion of a first class degree with honors in Fine Art, from Guildhall University. His practice deals with issues around scale and the urban/suburban space. His interest lies in urban monuments such as bridges, towers, retail parks, industrial sites and vast detailed landscapes such as seascapes.  The images are often shot at night time or made to look like night scenes by underexposure, mostly exempt of people. Cole further removes the familiarity of these spaces by using a very low viewpoint. Along side his artist practice, Cole currently holds a Computing Officer post at the University of Westminster. Future ambitions include, academic progression of his practice to the MA and Phd Level.

Mike Juggins (Artist) I am a Devon-based dyslexic community artist, filmmaker and painter. I studied Fine art in a Social Context at UWE, Bristol, graduating with a BA Honors 1999. Since then much of my work has been focused on raising greater understanding and appreciation of dyslexia. I have lectured internationally, delivered multimedia arts projects nationally and been published widely on the social and educational implications of dyslexia. My collaborative approach to film has enabled many others to also have their say on the issue. The last two years have been difficult regards dyslexia – I nearly drowned in text, as I battled with the Department of Education over a disability discrimination case. The case fizzled out and I just let it go in the end. I realized I needed to focus on my own ability: The visual… I had missed my painting and the joy it gives me. Painting is my high place, with spontaneity and serendipity welcome guests. I channel gesture, color and emotion in a free state of mind, often taking cues from the music I listen to. I love the visual, physical and emotional reward that it gives. Likewise all the things I love, like making music videos, illustrating books or simply making a drawing. So, I push on to a brighter future.

Lynn Weddle (Artist) Lynn Weddle’s practice is concerned with human interaction and exploring ways of presenting ourselves through photographic portraiture. The practice is intrigued by the roles that people play and challenges the ways in which we view each other.  The process by which the works emerge is collaborative becoming therapeutic and educational for her subjects and this is integral to her vision as an artist.  In other words the ‘social’ and ‘artistic’ meaning of the practice is wholly fused and interdependent.  Lynn Weddle works freelance and is based in Brighton, UK.  She has been working as a photographic artist and artist educator since 2003.  Both her work as both a photographic artist and artist educator is concerned with notions of self, misrepresentation and challenging diversity.  Asking the viewer to witness an experience that has come from a collaboration between photographer and sitter. Her work is informed by her experience of being dyslexic and through a process she experienced by posing for a series of self-portraits in and around her old schools.  She ultimately visually reflected on her educational experience, the act of creating this body of work titled Being Dyslexic motivates her to offer the feeling of self-reflection and advocacy with the people she now works with. Lynn Weddle received a first class degree in Photography from Falmouth College of Art and has a Masters in Photography from the University of Brighton. The practice has been presented on an international platform at the phototherapy and therapeutic photography conference in Turku, Finland in 2008, as well as presenting at the Photographers Gallery and Camden Arts Centre. Lynn Weddle has published her work through Millennium images in the Sunday Telegraph and the Guardian and has exhibited work with: Petworth House, Pallant House Gallery, Four Corners and Brighton Photo Fringe.  She has undertaken commissions and residencies from the Royal College of Physicians, English Heritage and first site contemporary art.

The Antipoet (Musician) “Paul and Ian have brought together the wit and wisdom of one of the country’s finest performance poets with melodic rhythms of solo bass and the odd piece of gratuitous percussion thrown in for good measure to create the unique sound and spectacle that is The Antipoet.” (cited from here)

RRRANTS “RRRANTS is a non profit making organization that has been designed to help promote original and unusual poets, storytellers and songwriters; helping them to reach a wider audience through live performance, broadcast and publication as part of a mutual collective. All of our artists are fully independent, but working together to raise money with which we buy independent, non curriculum poetry books which we then donate to in order to inspire the next generation to read, write and perform.” (cited from here)

Kazimir Bielecki (Filmmaker) Kazimir Bielecki is a Cinematographer and Documentary Filmmaker. We will be screening his film, Happiness-Documentary, on the 4th.

Danusia Iwaszko (Speaker) A dyslexic professional playwright. “Danusia read Drama at Manchester University and acted professionally on stage and television. She also worked as a comedy sketch writer and presenter for the BBC, Granada, Central and the Children’s Channel. In 1992 she set up the Hal Company as a community theatre company in Camden Town, offering a weekly workshop to all comers and staging new writing, devised and classic plays. Many members went on to be professionals in the theatre. She previously taught drama and the The Old Rectory, a dyslexic special school, one day a week for six years, where she wrote 13 plays devised with the pupils. She also held drama workshops at Phoenix House Drug rehab Centre and Lisson Grove Centre for Special Needs where she devised the play WE MUST GO. In 1996, Danusia’s first play, STILL LIFE, won the 2nd London One Person Play Festival. It was mounted at the Etcetera Theatre and directed by Mehmet Ergen. From 1997 – 2000 she was a member of Camden Artists and New Playwrights and they produced her play FIRST OUTING. In 1997, her plays, THE NET and FIFTH POSITION were produced by Hal Theatre Company. In 1998 the Etcetera Theatre mounted a double bill of her plays STILL LIFE and PERPETUAL MOTION. STILL LIFE has also been produced in Edinburgh and Sydney. Danusia has written and devised several pieces for children and students including THE RHYTHM OF LIFE, WHAT GOES UP for the Hampton Youth Project, LUCY’S DAY, THE BIRTH OF LOVE and GOLD STARS which were produced at the Quay Theatre in Suffolk in 2002. Danusia’s first full length play, ONE GLASS WALL, was directed by Crispin Bonham-Carter at Theatre 503 in November 2004. She was on attachment to the National Theatre in 2005. In 2006 she worked as a new writing mentor for Traverse Cubed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, mentoring four emerging playwright to rehearsed readings. In 2009 Danusia worked with Synergie Theatre, London, on a series of playwriting workshops in prisons culminating with a reading of the prisoners’ work at the Royal Court Theatre. She also delivered four workshops on playwriting for the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, culminating in readings of new works at the Pulse Festival. She is currently working as a moderator for Trinity College London for the Arts Award. This year she will be the moderator for Stand Up For Shakespeare for the RSC.” (cited from here)

Rob Holmes of Wordtrigger©  (Speaker) Founder of Wordtrigger©, a game which utilizes new developments in teaching methods to improve the English language skills and confidence of children aged six to nine years old and is particularly aimed at dyslexic pupils.

Neil Alexander-Passe (Speaker) Author of Dyslexia And Creativity: Investigations From Differing Perspectives (among other books) and a SEN Teacher to dyslexics in mainstream education.


DYSPLA Sponsors

Thank you to our GOLD SPONSORS: P.O.E.T. and The Dyslexia Think Tank
Thank you to our SILVER SPONSORS: Dyslexic BrianBarefoot Wine, and The Others. The following organizations have made it possible for I Could Be Anyone to be staged in DYSPLA 2011: Malta Dyslexia Association, Malta Arts Fund, National Lottery Good Causes Fund, President’s Award for Creativity
Thank you to our AMBASSADORS: British Dyslexia Association and Adult Dyslexia Organization
Thank you to those who have helped us IN KIND:  Wordtrigger©RASPThe Royal CourtBlackbull ProductionsWickes DIYTime2Shine Productions, and Theatro Technis


Production Team

Lennie Varvarides (Festival Producer): Lennie Varvarides has an MA in Writing for Performance from Central School of Speech and Drama and a BA in Performance Art, from the University of the Arts. Lennie is committed to exploring the performative space between the story makers and the audience and has produced over 30 plays by dyslexic writers under the DYS(the)LEXI brand, which is the most exciting project she puts her name to.  The ambition is to build a small empire where we can continue to develop and produce a new genre of writers and find creative partners that are able to help make the DYSPLA Festival as big as the Edinburgh Festival.

Rachel Creeger (Stage Manager/Art Curator): Rachel is a playwright, singer-songwriter and director. She runs Time2Shine Productions, a performing arts and production company specializing in raising self-esteem, building confidence and improving communication skills through arts opportunities. Time2Shine provide themed workshops, team building sessions, leadership training programs as well as producing shows and events. Rachel’s personal credits include ESTHER! The Musical at Artsdepot (writer/director), Gil and Chen’s Metsuyan Adventure at the Intimate Theatre (writer/director) and The Shul Must Go On at The Bull Theatre (writer/director). She also writes for and performs with vocal harmony group Kol Sheva.

Phil Hunter (Lighting Designer): Some notable shows include: Showstopper (Ambassadors and International Tour), English Blood Irish Heart (Trafalgar Studios), Hit Me. The Ian Duty Story -(The Garrick Theatre), and The Duchess Of Malfi at the New Players.

David Bevan (Festival Photographer): David is a freelance photographer based in West London. Visual arts such as photography were always an important part of David’s childhood. Initially his instinct for composition and “capturing the moment” were developed with a 35mm film camera. Traditional film photography still has a prominent place in David’s images however his everyday work is dominated by digital. David grew up in the north east coast of Scotland which is reflected in classical landscapes dominating his early work. During his time in London he has developed professional skills in photography through studies at Kensington and Chelsea College. This has resulted in a move towards studio imagery/portraiture, wedding/ event photography. David successfully held his first independent exhibition at Chelsea and Westminster’s public gallery. Exhibited work included a college based project Time and a selection of west London landscapes. David aims to develop his project based work in the future. In 2011 David’s Posture and Function Project came first in the photography category of the Art and Health award held by the World Confederation for Physical Therapy. David is now focusing on headshots for performing artists, theatre, wedding photography, personal/corporate portraiture and commissioned landscapes. Please take the time to view some of his work and feel free to contact him

Rob Holmes (Festival Flyer): Founder of Wordtrigger©.

Kaz Bielecki/Blackbull Productions (Festival Documentary Filmmaker): Kazimir Bielecki is a Cinematographer and Documentary Filmmaker.

Amy Schulz (Webmaster/Graphic Designer/Staff at MSFT, MSFT management, DYSPLA, and MAD About Talent): Amy resides in Florida, with her husband Dan and their dogs Olive, Cassie, Millie, and Baby. Together, they run a small business–where he does the marketing and she does graphic/web design. She is an actress, as well.