Kirsty Housley

Kirsty Housley Portrait

DIRECTOR, WRITER, DRAMATURG

Current and future credits include: THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS (Co-Director, Bush Theatre), THE ENCOUNTER (Co-Director, UK/International Tour) and THE PACIFISTS GUIDE TO THE WAR ON CANCER (Director, UK/International Tour). 

Recent credits include: 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 currently collaborating with Bryony Kimmings, Complicite, The Unicorn, and The Bush Theatre, and is an Associate of Complicite.

17 September 2018

Misty Triumphs in West End

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.  

WhatsonStage ★★★★

‘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.’

23 March 2018

MISTY opens at the Bush Theatre

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”

https://www.broadwayworld.com/westend/article/BWW-Review-MISTY-Bush-Theatre-20180321

The Up Coming ★★★★★

 “It’s heart-pounding, blood-pumping, uncategorisable magic.”

https://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2018/03/22/misty-at-the-bush-theatre-theatre-review/

The Stage ★★★★

“‘intelligent and interrogative’ “

“Misty is at once a polemic, an essay and a poem”

https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2018/misty-review-bush-theatre-london/  

WhatsOnStage ★★★★

“It's as fiercely thought as it is elegantly structured, split down the centre between story and storyteller.”

http://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/reviews/misty-bush-theatre-arinze-kene_46106.html

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.”

https://theartsdesk.com/theatre/misty-bush-theatre-review-powerful-meditation-how-we-tell-stories  

Time Out ★★★★

https://www.timeout.com/london/theatre/misty-review

11 August 2017

THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS & LETTERS TO MORRISSEY are Fringe First Winners!

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.

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/edinburgh-festivals/the-scotsman-fringe-first-awards-2017-winners-announced-1-4528889

07 August 2017

Kirsty Housley Co-Directs THE BELIEVERS ARE BUT BROTHERS

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”

“hugely informative”

https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2017/believers-brothers-review-summerhall-edinburgh-bold-gut-twisting/

 

The Independent ★★★★

“a multimedia feast of a show”

“ambitious but cohesive”

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/the-believers-are-but-brothers-northern-stage-at-summerhall-edinburgh-festival-review-a7876411.html

 

The Scotsman ★★★★

“this tentative but brilliant show… a vital Fringe event”

“stunning”

http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/culture/theatre/edinburgh-fringe-review-salt-the-believers-are-but-brothers-1-4523229

03 October 2016

Kirsty Housely and Will Duke open THE ENCOUNTER on Broadway

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””

“astonishing” 

“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.” 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/theater/the-encounter-review.html?_r=0

Timeout ★★★★★

“utterly transfixing mind-tickler”

“offers a meeting of ear, mind and soul you will never forget.”

https://www.timeout.com/newyork/blog/theater-review-the-encounter-on-broadway-amazes-both-ear-and-brain-093016

The Guardian ★★★★

“unusual and enthralling” 

“mood-altering and mind-expanding” 

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/sep/29/the-encounter-review-simon-mcburney-revolution-headphones

The Hollywood Reporter 

“resembles no other theater piece in memory.”

“an extraordinarily visceral, often hypnotic piece of storytelling”

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/encounter-933590

Wall Street Journal

“a piece of storytelling that is as haunting and enthralling as a half-remembered dream.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-encounter-review-take-a-trip-to-the-jungle-1475195401

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