WoLab provides emerging performance makers the opportunity to try their ideas out.
Our methodology is based on connecting with the body's
natural impulses. Through grounding techniques, physical and vocal training and
improvisation, we are able to activate our emotions and expand our imagination. This
leads to having a real ownership of text, and a heightened realisation of who the
character is. Through ensemble work, the rehearsal process offers exercises that
connect with the body's senses and subconscious desires, creating work that is
reactive and not prescriptive. The goal is to create performance that is raw and
photo credit: Tammana Begum
"You are required to search and probe the uncomfortable; to play with danger and the limits of your own capabilities. It's a feeling unlike any other, it's truly magical." - Alex Britt
"The supportive, safe, risk-taking space that alistair creates is electric; I’d encourage everyone to jump at the chance to work with him and WoLab." - Lizzie Manwaring
"The brilliance of a WoLab workshop resides in its purpose. alistair weaves physicality and ensemble practice with great confidence and clarity." - Jimmy O'Donovan
"A space to be playful, experiment,
and explore. alistair encourages actors to let go of thought and live in the
moment." - Mia Georgis
alistair wilkinson - Artistic Director
alistair is a theatre practitioner from Manchester, now based in East London. He received his undergraduate from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and completed an MA in 'Text and Performance' at RADA/Birkbeck. As well as working freelance as a director, he is an associate for NYT, a visiting lecturer at various drama schools, and also regularly facilitates drama-based workshops in schools, PRUs, young offending institutions, elderly care homes and refugee centres. alistair is also a writer and is currently under commission to various theatres and arts organisations.
Rachel is a dramaturg, facilitator, theatre maker, performer, illustrator, voiceover artist, writer; general creative from London. She likes to have her fingers in many (vegan) pies. She originally trained as an actor with NYT on their social inclusion course 'Playing Up', as well as at RCSSD and The Actors Class. Rachel also works within participatory art contexts and outreach settings for various arts organisations throughout London.
the Actor-Writer Showcase
~ in partnership with Theatre N16
WoLab are thrilled to be partnering with Theatre N16 to deliver a FREE 12-week intensive course led by industry professionals, aimed specifically at actor-writers.
Over the 12 weeks, you will develop your existing playwriting and acting skills through a series of tailored workshops, which will also include mentoring sessions in producing and marketing, as well as regular visits from established playwrights/theatre makers within the industry. All participants will be working towards a industry showcase to an invited audience of agents, casting directors, programmers, and producers. Throughout the duration of the course, participants will write their own monologue to perform for the showcase, as well as co-write a duologue with another member of the group. They will receive personalised support and feedback during the process.
The recipients of the first ever 10 places on our showcase are Olu Adaeze, Toto Bruin, Mandi Chivasa, Thanh Le Dang, Charles Entsie, Holly Rose Hawgood, Sonny Poon Tip, Tom Powell, Louis Rembges and Chloe Wade.
projects in development
Housewerk devised by the Working Laboratory ensemble
Following the stories of four New York City drag queens, Housewerk is an inventive blend of theatre, cabaret, performance art and direct address. Discussing themes of internalised homophobia, queer erasure and inner city culture, the piece will feature an original musical score, performed live by the company during the show.
Going Under by alistair wilkinson
Taking the discussions surrounding sexuality, party culture and drug-use, Going Under is an examination of queerness and sexuality, and a critique of our own internalised intolerances. A piece about three individuals who meet, talk, argue and try to unlearn themselves, the play encompasses a spirit of resistance, and a call for unity, beyond boundaries.
Other projects in development include:
Man-Cub (for film)
blue leaves ~
you have my heart
happy ever after?
"An honest expression of wonder and adrenaline." - WhatsOnStage
For Man-Cub we were fortunate to meet and audition a lot of exciting actors, but then it was important to find a group of individuals that could work together as an ensemble. We formed a group in which different energies would be allowed to flourish. It wasn’t necessarily about writing a play, but creating an environment for material to be generated. We needed actors that were not afraid to question, and it was important to cast performers who were intelligent and impulsive – people who could react to what’s going on in the room and be able to play and explore. The actors involved themselves in the discussions, so much so that the characters were bespoke tailor made to them – which created an exciting feeling on stage.
photo credit: Tammana Begum / Andrew James Photography
‘Music’ - vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion.’
PlayList was an event that brought together a collective of performance makers, giving them an opportunity to try their ideas out. Prospective playwrights had the following task:
‘Write a short play, scene or monologue inspired by a song that means something to you. You can choose any theme, however the piece has to be the same length as the song that inspired it.’
19 writers were chosen to tell stories that provoke, challenge and inspire. Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Frank Ocean, P!nk, PJ Harvey and Tracy Chapman were just a few of the artists that inspired the selection. It was brilliant to see so many people join WoLab as we pressed PLAY.
photo credit: Andy McCredie
We at WoLab find enthusiasm contagious and love hearing from people who want to just have a go. Please see below for the relevant contact details.
Want to invite us to see your work? Email:
Got an idea for a project? Email:
Want to be in our upcoming productions? Email:
Need dramaturgical support on a script? Email: