Upper Circle was founded in May 2017 by Emma Betty. Since then, it has grown and we now have 17 contributors regularly enjoying and reviewing theatre, usually covering 4-5 shows per week.
Emma Betty is a 24 and lives in London. After studying Biochemistry, she is now training to be a Children’s Nurse at King’s College London and Evelina London Children’s Hospital. Emma has the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Soundtrack (On CD!) to blame for her love for Musical Theatre, which she found in her parents living room pretty much as soon as she was old enough to know what it was. She began combining her love for Theatre, the Internet and Writing while she was still at school, through various blogs and on social media. Having moved to London in 2013, she launched Upper Circle 4 years later. A couple of years on, she is delighted to have a small team and is so grateful to those helping Upper Circle to grow every day!
Evie Freeman is 21, originally from Oxford and now a final year Musical Theatre degree student at Bird College. She is an aspiring Casting Director and dreams of moving to New York at some point once she graduates. When it comes to theatre, her main loves are musicals and immersive theatre, but since starting to review, she has found a new love for plays and Fringe theatre. The best show she saw this year was Mean Girls on Broadway but in general she would recommend seeing anything by Frantic Assembly. When not reviewing, you’ll find her either training, at the gym or eating (most likely eating).
Chloe Hoey is a Yorkshire lass from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire (a.k.a. God’s Country). In true testament to her northern roots, she lives as north of North London as possible, ensuring she travels on the homely Northern Line whenever she can. She trained at the International School of Screen Acting in 3Mills Studios, London and is passionate about British film, TV and theatre. Loves Glenn Close, animals, new writing & her husband, in that order.
Jamie Kutner joined the Upper Circle team in May 2019. After an unconventional route into writing via a Quantity Surveying degree and time spent teaching English in Vietnam, Jamie is now working towards forging a career as a screenwriter, playwright and critic. He favours dramas or comedies and cites Simon Stephens as a major inspiration. He also has an inbuilt love for musicals and will proudly confess he has seen Wicked five times.
Olivia Mackrill is 20 and currently in her final year of studying BA Design at Goldsmiths University, with an increasing interest in immersive theatre and set design. Olivia loves all theatre, but specifically musicals, and likes to go on and on about the touring production of Rent she saw on New Year’s Eve in 2016. Alongside writing and designing, she is also passionate about filmmaking and learning British Sign Language.
Esme Mahoney is a graduate of Drama Centre’s MA Acting course, having previously studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge. Esme has been involved in productions as an actor, director, producer and stage manager – one of her most memorable experiences was as DSM for a production of Lord Of The Flies, in which she was chiefly responsible for putting flaming torches into the hands of children as young as twelve.
Victoria Margaret is a northern girl lost in London. She is a huge fan of dogs, cups of tea, cake and gravy – not necessarily all at same time. A lover of all things theatre and film; she’s having a ball reviewing for Upper Circle Theatre.
Beth Pratt is a huge fan of theatre who fell into stage managing after studying English at the University of Exeter. She has been working in theatres across London and the UK for the past year. In her spare time she sings loudly in the shower, tries out fad exercises and tells people about her new puppy.
Abi Standing is a graduate from the MA Text & Performance course taught jointly by RADA and Birkbeck, where she studied theatre making and how to compromise with people. Despite so far only tracing her roots back to the North of England, she continues to hold out hope for some distant Italian ancestry which she feels would make her more interesting and explain her love of red wine, cheese, art and passionate arguments. Should her attempts to prove this fail, she plans on using her Portuguese husband to procure European citizenship in the event that Brexit surprises everyone and actually happens. In her spare time, as well as watching and making theatre, she loves travelling, playing netball badly and wishing Alex Ferguson had never retired.
Eddie Tansley is 17 years old from Cambridge. He has always had a love of theatre and is desperately trying to decide which area of theatre he wants to go into. He is incapable of having a conversation without quoting lyrics from musicals throughout. Eddie’s other love is chocolate, which he eats nonstop.
Jennifer Thompson is a second year journalism student at University of Sheffield. She has been a fan of theatre for as long as she can remember regularly attending a variety of shows throughout the West End and London. Since moving up North she has enjoyed exploring all the exciting offerings of regional theatre. Outside of the theatre Jennifer enjoys all things Disney as well as filming and editing.
Ashanti Wheeler-Artwell is a poet, writer and actor. She is currently writing and developing her debut one women show, British Vogue, that will first be shown as a work-in-progress at Offbeat, Oxford’s Fringe festival from 27th-29th June. You can follow her creative endeavours on facebook @Ashanti Wheeler-Artwell Instagram @poetrythatunpicks or on her website ashantiwheelerartwell.com