Victoria Tunnah – Artistic Director
Raised in North Manchester amongst women and cats, I was always passionate about pretending to be other people, doing handstands and studying the Argos catalogue. I somehow finished high school and entered the hospitality trade for a stupefying length of time before finding myself at Salford Uni studying English & Creative Writing thinking ‘I’ll just be a teacher’. A period of depression taught me how vital it is to pursue your dreams so I started actor training at weekend and night classes. I went on to perform at Hope Mill Theatre (Angel of the House, Asphalt Roses, The Contact Theatre (Boxes, Contact Compacts) and at the Edinburgh Fringe (The Last Motel, Sheepish Productions) but soon felt the frustrating dearth in quality roles for women. Our stories just weren’t being told as frequently, honestly and with as much heart & soul as men’s.
I needed a break from the whole thing so fled to South America to reconnect with my childhood love of handstands completing my 200 hour Yoga teacher training. I also began focusing on writing and debuted my one woman show Emergency Door Release at GM Fringe in 2019. Since then my work (Shade Queen) has been shortlisted for the Royal Court ‘Introduction to Playwrighting Group’ and longlisted for the Papatango Prize. Most recently Up’Ere Productions staged my second play Smoking in Bed as part of their rep company at Salford Arts Theatre. I’m currently developing my latest work – They Came For My Mother – and soaking in the sweet joy that is ACE applications. I was fortunate enough to be successful in my DYCP bid this year to develop more fully as a playwright and so have no more excuses.
My work focuses on women’s voices and stories; their real, felt and lived experience. Whether I’m leading a class or writing, I’m interested in how honouring and integrating our experiences enable us to move towards wholeness. I believe Human empathy and togetherness is key for our individual and collective progression and evolution. Connecting to each other’s experience through story, using the body through movement or voice to express pain and suppressed trauma, can result in profound healing and transformation.
With Theatre and performance, there is Life. With story and song, there is empathy, hope and Humanity. Peace x
Josie Cerise – Associate Artist
For over 10 years I’ve worked as a freelance performer. The first thing you’ll notice about me is I’m 4 ft 11 & a half (the half is very important). Originally, I’m from New Zealand, but moved to the North West when I was 8 and now live in Manchester. I’m a proud northerner, passionate about creating theatrical work in the north. In the last 3 years, I’ve stepped away from performing and concentrated on writing, directing and movement directing/coaching. Being part of Bluestocking has been a game changer for me, I’ve realised the power of creative collaboration and have gained confidence to lead and tell my own stories. I will always want to keep performing, I love being part of an ensemble. I’ve trained especially in clowning, devising and physical theatre with Philippe Gaulier, Frantic Assembly, Theatre de Complicite, John Wright, Spymonkey, Phoenix Dance and RashDash.
Theatre credits include: UK Theatre award winning ‘The Hobbit’ (The Dukes, Lancaster), MTA award winning ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ (Kings Arms, Salford) & West End/International tours with ‘The Gruffalo’ & ‘Room on the Broom’ (Tall Stories). TV credits include: BAFTA nominated shows ‘Grandpa in my Pocket’ (Cbeebies) and ‘Ha Ha Hairies’ (Cartoonito). I’m also an Associate Practitioner for Spymonkey (The UK’s leading Clown & Physical Comedy Theatre Company) and I’m currently being mentored under the Pen Pals scheme by Box of Tricks to finish writing my first full length play.