James Blakey is a theatre director, and in addition to being an Artistic Associate contributes to the framing of Upstart’s artistic vision and programming.
He was a founding director of Upstart’s sister company Oscar Mike, developing and presenting theatre that invites audiences to play. Co-Directing for Upstart / Oscar Mike includes The Situation Room (Hull Truck, The Lowry, Shoreditch Town Hall), This City (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Falling Sickness (Theatre in the Mill). He has worked as a freelance director for RashDash, Slung Low, West Yorkshire Playhouse and the National Theatre Studio. James trained on the MFA in Theatre Directing at Birkbeck University of London, and at the National Theatre, where he was Staff Director on Tim Sheader’s production of The Magistrate and Howard Davies’ production of Children of the Sun. He was Associate Director on Jonathan Munby’s Wendy and Peter Pan by Ella Hickson at the RSC.
James has worked extensively within communities, is an Associate Director at Company 3, and is particularly focussed on the integration of professional and non-professional artists in a performance space.