all about you is the creative collaboration between writer/performer bella heesom and director/dramaturg donnacadh o'briain.
we create theatre with the audience as the central focus. It's all about you; using a flexible fourth wall, we embrace the potency of live performance. we strive to cultivate empathy by exposing our common humanity in all its raw, flawed fragility and beauty.
our work is characterised by a playful approach to big themes: death, sex, family, the self. our plays reflect who we are - they combine unflinching emotional honesty, intellectual rigour and dark humour. by sharing autobiographical stories, we reveal the soft underbelly of vulnerability that we usually keep hidden; coaxing our shame, fears, contradictions, hopes and desires out into the light. Then we look you in the eye and invite you to do the same.
all about you was formed following our years of fruitful collaboration as actor and director on a number of diverse new writing projects. The frist play we made together was bella's debut as a writer: my world has exploded a little bit, a tragi-comic account of bella's battle with grief following the deaths of her parents. the show received audience, critical and industry acclaim at the edinburgh festival fringe 2016, followed by a highly acclaimed run at vault festival, and a successful national tour in summer 2017, supported by arts council england.
we are currently developing our second show: rejoicing at her wondrous vulva the young woman applauded herself, which will celebrate female sexuality, and explore the impact of the internalised male gaze on the a woman's relationship with her body, her desire and her own pleasure.
Bella began her creative career as an actor, training at LAMDA, after studying philosophy at the University of Cambridge. She has played a variety of roles in film, TV & theatre, with a particular focus on new writing. Bella has also run workshops on creating autobiographical theatre at Ovalhouse and The Bike Shed Theatre.
“Bella is a prestigious talent as writer, maker and performer.” - Owen Calvert-Lyons, Head of Theatre and Artist Development, Ovalhouse
Donnacadh is director of the Olivier Award-winning production of Rotterdam by Jon Brittain, he has directed for the RSC (Always Orange by Fraser Grace) and teaches at LAMDA, RADA & BOVTS. He is artistic director of Natural Shocks for whom he created the unique cross art form pop-up theatre PEEP (Edinburgh & Latitude Festivals). Donnacadh spent three years with the RSC working on ten productions including the multi award-winning Histories Cycle.
Sara performed alongside Bella in My World Has Exploded A Little Bit, following which we invited her to collaborate on developing Rejoicing At Her Wondrous Vulva The Young Woman Applauded Herself. She helped shape the piece from the beginning, and played Clitoris/Appetite in the show at Ovalhouse. Sara is a University of Bristol & DSL graduate. Work includes RSC, National and Globe Theatre Rome, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows 1, Zeffirelli’s Sparrow, Mysti Show & Hounded (series regular BBC). She also writes beautiful novels.
★★★★★ 'profound and stunning'
Ed Fest Magazine