DIRECTOR, WRITER, DRAMATURG
Current and future credits include: AVALANCHE (Barbican); TAO OF GLASS (Manchester International Festival);
Theatre works include: GRIMM TALES (Unicorn); THE DISTANCE (Roundhouse); MISTY (Bush Theatre/West End - Dramaturg); THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS (Bush Theatre, Ovalhouse, West Yorkshire Playhouse Transform17 Season and Northern Stage Edinburgh – Co-Director); MYTH (RSC – co-written with Matt Hartley, from an original idea by Kirsty); THE ENCOUNTER (Complicite, EIF, Warwick Arts Centre, Theatre Vidy, Bristol Old Vic - Co-Director); A PACIFIST'S GUIDE TO THE WAR ON CANCER (Dramaturg, National Theatre and Complicite); WANTED (Chris Goode and Company, Transform Festival, West Yorkshire Playhouse); WALKING THE TIGHTROPE (Offstage and Theatre Uncut); ALL I WANT (Live Theatre, Leeds Libraries and Jackson’s Lane); MASS (Amy Mason at Bristol Old Vic, CPT); THE BEAUTY PROJECT, THEATRE UNCUT 2012 (Young Vic); HOW TO BE IMMORTAL (Penny Dreadful at Soho and tour); BANDAGES (Corn Exchange Newbury and tour); 9 (West Yorkshire Playhouse for Chris Goode and Company); THIRSTY (The Paper Birds).
Kirsty has been the recipient of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust award and the Title Pending award for innovation at Northern Stage.
She is an Associate of Complicité and also currently working with a number of independent artists.
Misty Triumphs in West End
After a sold-out run at The Bush Theatre, Arinzé Kene’s Misty has taken the West End by storm. As the second black British play ever to play in the West End, Misty has captured audiences and critics alike in this astonishing production. With Dramaturgy by MLR’s Kirsty Housley and Sound Design by MLR’s Elena Peña, this is one production not to miss.
‘Arinzé Kene's work is an extraordinary, playful look at gentrification, writing and what it means to be a young black man in London.’
The Telegraph ★★★★
‘By the end of it, you feel you’ve been drawn into his mind itself - it’s phantasmagorical and inspiringly individualistic.’
London Theatre ★★★★
‘While he’s just trying to tell a story, a truth, he’s still verging on the territory of a Black person in trouble; violent, and in trouble with the law, rather than a plot involving Black people that isn’t about being Black.
Kene’s articulates his frustrations through smart, concise rap and poetry, and it’s difficult not to be enthused by what he has to say, whether it’s about the gentrification of the city he loves – the viruses migrating to the city replacing community theatres with fancy cafes pricing out the people he loves - or how theatre and the arts treat work by Black artists.’
A Younger Theatre
‘It’s spectacular in its honesty and eloquent in its rage; textured in its emotionality; and polished in its rawness.’
MISTY opens at the Bush Theatre
Arinzé Kene writes and stars in MISTY at the Bush Theatre, which has Sound Design by MLR’s Elena Peña and dramaturgy by Kirsty Housley.
Broadway World UK ★★★★★
“his voice rotating between a wild roar and the most beautiful of symphonies.”
“an articulate critique of humanity's internal intolerances”
The Up Coming ★★★★★
“It’s heart-pounding, blood-pumping, uncategorisable magic.”
The Stage ★★★★
“‘intelligent and interrogative’ “
“Misty is at once a polemic, an essay and a poem”
“It's as fiercely thought as it is elegantly structured, split down the centre between story and storyteller.”
The Arts Desk ★★★★
“a powerful meditation on how we tell stories and a raw, beautiful Odyssey through the heart of London. “
“the most obvious parallel for the urgent rhythm of every line is Shakespeare.”
Time Out ★★★★
THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS & LETTERS TO MORRISSEY are Fringe First Winners!
(Image - LETTERS TO MORRISSEY)
The first set of Fringe First Awards, recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the Edinburgh Festival, have been announced for 2017.
The winners include Javaad Alipoor’s “thoughtful and visually stunning” THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS, co-directed by MLR’s Kirsty Housely. And LETTERS TO MORRISSEY by Gary McNair with Sound Design by Danny Krass.
Kirsty Housley Co-Directs THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS
THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS, by Javaad Alipoor and co-directed with Kirsty Housley is playing as part of the Northern Stage season at Summerhall.
The Stage ★★★★
“boldly conceived and gut-twistingly immediate”
The Independent ★★★★
“a multimedia feast of a show”
“ambitious but cohesive”
The Scotsman ★★★★
“this tentative but brilliant show… a vital Fringe event”
Kirsty Housely and Will Duke open THE ENCOUNTER on Broadway
Following sell-out runs at Edinburgh International Festival 2015 and The Barbican, Simon McBurney and Complicite’s production plays at the Golden Theatre until 8th January 2017. Co-conceived and co-directed by Kirsty Housley, with Projection Design by Will Duke.
New York Times
“no production on Broadway has ever thrown the doors of perception open as widely as “The Encounter””
“summons those sensations not just through sound but also through lighting (by Paul Anderson) and projections (by Will Duke) that transform a sterile stage into a phosphorescent jungle where shadow trumps substance or an American suburb illuminated by a bonfire of discarded worldly goods.”
“utterly transfixing mind-tickler”
“offers a meeting of ear, mind and soul you will never forget.”
The Guardian ★★★★
“unusual and enthralling”
“mood-altering and mind-expanding”
The Hollywood Reporter
“resembles no other theater piece in memory.”
“an extraordinarily visceral, often hypnotic piece of storytelling”
Wall Street Journal
“a piece of storytelling that is as haunting and enthralling as a half-remembered dream.”