"Theatre is 'magic'. Magic is an 'illusion'. Theatrical fighting is an 'illusion'."- Jonathan Howell
How I became a fight director
This is one of the most asked questions when I introduce myself as a fight director. I know that when I first walk into a rehearsal room, everyone always looks a little surprised to see a 5'1 tall Japanese female fight director!
The Comedy of Errors @ Mercury Theatre
by Pamela Raith
Rehearsal shot for the Woods @ Southwark Playhouse
by Pamela Raith
It all started with having stage combat lessons in the 1st year of drama school and from the get-go, I loved it! As a physical actor, I loved this form of story telling, the way we can create real tension and huge drama by a make-believe punch to the nose, stabbing in the eye or fatal strangling by simply applying a range of techniques was amazing to me!
Done well, stage fighting can generate huge reactions from the audience, while always keeping the actors safe.
After graduating from drama school, I started my apprenticeship with British Academy of Dramatic Combat and successfully became a certified teacher and fight director in 2005.
Pink Sari Revolution @ Curve Theatre
The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson
Harajuku Girls @ Finborough Theatre
Since then, I have fight directed and taught stage combat in all around the U.K. and Europe at various theatres, drama schools and workshops, spreading the love and fun of this art form to actors of all ages and abilities.
Read an interview about my journey in becoming a stage combat teacher HERE
Riverside Studio | How to Break Out of a Detention Centre *as the fight & intimacy director | 2023 | Dir: Nico Vaccari
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse | Titus Andronicus *as the fight & intimacy director | 2023 | Dir: Jude Christian
Wilton Music Hall | Starcrossed *as the fight & intimacy director | 2022 | Dir: Philip Wilson
BEZNA Theatre | Wipe These Tears *as the fight & intimacy director | 2022 | Dir: Nico Vaccari
Mercury Theatre, Colchester | The Comedy of Errors | 2022 | Dir: Ryan McBryde
Southwark Playhouse | The Woods *as the fight & intimacy director | 2022 | Dir: Russell Bolam
Queen's Theatre Hornchurch | All My Sons *as the fight & intimacy director | 2022 | Dir: Douglas Rintoul
Queen's Theatre Hornchurch | Love Letters the Musical | 2021 | Dir: Douglas Rintoul
Queen's Theatre Hornchurch | Neville's Island | 2021 | Dir: Emma Baggott
Guildford Shakespeare Company | Macbeth/ Romeo and Juliet | 2020 | Dir: Ant Stone/ Gabriella Bird
Park Theatre | The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson | 2019 | Dir: Lotte Wakenham