Nine Foot Nine by Alex Wood

legs 11

For November 2017 we workshopped Nine Foot Nine, a new play by Alex Wood, at Theatre Deli. Photos below, many thanks to all participants for contributing so much.

Nine Foot Nine is set in a dystopian world. It asks the simple question: What if, over a period of nine months, a disproportionate number of women on earth started to grow to 9 foot tall. What happens to society, to gender norms and social conventions?

How would a family cope?

This piece is in development stages and will be performing in London and touring to Edinburgh in 2018.

Alex Wood is a writer, theatre critic and film maker.

After graduating back in 2015, Alex actually started his career in marketing for an AI and data-driven advertising company, while moonlighting as a theatre blogger for Theatre Bubble. During this time he also developed a knack for videography, and has worked on short films that have featured as part of the BFI London Film Festival and screened at independent cinemas. Video work with The North Face was also shortlisted for the World Media Awards. Eventually, his passion for writing took over and he made the jump into working full time at WhatsOnStage.

 As a freelance theatre marketing manager Alex has overseen campaigns for theatre shows including the national tour of the world premiere of Philip Pullman’s The Ruby in the Smoke and the award-winning Around the World in 80 Days. He also had a poem published when he was 12, it was called The Rim of a Teacup. It was about teacups.




Sarah’s War

Backbone were thrilled to workshop the play Sarah’s War by Brian O’Connell. Sarah’s war is based on a true event, which happened on a boat in England during World War Two. It follows the life of Sarah, who is caught in the aftermath of the war, with a very interesting and fresh angle on an all too well known subject matter. The workshop was delivered by Elizabeth Mary Williams.

Bruises by Nadia Cavelle


Backbone is proud to support BRUISES by Nadia Cavelle

Performed in the Finborough basement, Wednesday 16th December 2014….

‘They have little in common but their unusual names – and yet, while she can’t seem to get over hers, he’s learned to live with his. This is what happens when they fall in love. Meanwhile, her best friend is trying to make a name for herself in the world – in a way that will affect them all beyond what they could have ever imagined.

THE CURRENCY OF RELATIONSHIPS was the working title of BRUISES which enjoyed a very successful run at the Tabbard Theatre Summer 2015

BRUISES explores what it is that defines us – where we came from, what we do or what we aspire to – and to what extent we actually get to choose in life.

Cast for Finborough:
Nathaniel Martello-White
Kirsty Rider
Eva-Jane Willis
Lily Knight


Backbone’s Back (alright!)

cropped-63e863_6b08bccbff48b2ff0c4fd01094fca651_mi.jpgAfter a year and a half of working on individual projects the team at Backbone is back.  We’re working on delivering a series of play readings whilst developing a specific kind of ensemble. The workshops will be from obscure classical theatre in non-performance spaces right through to new writing for film and theatre. Check out our Inaugural Play Readings page for details of our new R&D project and have a look at our Meet The Team page to see who is new. If you have any projects that Backbone can provide you with a Backbone for then do get in touch at and watch this space for more updates soon.



The story of “storytelling hospitality” by Backbone Theatre

Once upon a time the world was filled with wonderful spaces where people would get together to listen and share their stories.

These spaces took many shapes and forms, from theatres and living rooms, to buses, stadiums and phone boxes. There was even a snail’s shell too. Some of the stories told in this places were simple, others were complex. Some of them were short and others were long. Some of them were sweet, some of them were bitter, some of them were even litter. But the point is that all the stories told were worth more than gold and so everyone valued them like treasures. Back then people were not worried about the economy, fashion, work, filling up their cars with gas. They were not worried about mortgages or diets because they knew that as long as they could share experiences they would be fine; for sharing means caring and they knew that they had each other no matter what.

But somehow, we don’t know why this spaces began to close. Some stayed open that is for sure, but they began to fill with a different type of stories. They seemed to be pre-fabricated, unreal, strange… they even put them in grey boxes with buttons so that you could change if you were bored of them. But anyway, people seemed to enjoy these stories too but something was different. No longer they told their stories, someone was telling them stories that they should think of their own. By then the real, meaty stories had mainly moved to bars with large stacks of alcoholic beverages.

Like I say, some of the wonderful places survived like theatres and cafés, even some living rooms stayed open too (not sure about the snail’s shell though). It was mainly thanks to the theatres that each generation born was able to have a taste of real storytelling (although it must be said that some theatres were trying to become like the grey boxes with buttons). But the point is that because some of these spaces stayed open, some people were inspired by them to keep listening to stories. And some other people were double-inspired because they not only wanted to tell their stories, but also to open up new wonderful spaces that would travel the world telling stories.

And so, Backbone Theatre and their Storytelling Bistro was born.

Established in November 2012, Backbone Bistro has been serving up a variety of stories – always organic, always free range and always homegrown.  Its kitchen procures its stories from the Greatest Storyteller in the World – You.  Feel free to pop by the Bistro with a tale in mind, drop it off at the door, and who knows?  You may just find it on your plate!  If you haven’t got your own (although we’re sure you do), you can always tell us something your friend told you, or your granny, or the milkman, the postman, the crazy lady on the bus…

StoriesStoriesStoriesStories. Yum.


Freshly squeezed Run Through Thoughts (with a side of actual facts)

Ahhh. Well, that was tasty. We did our first proper run through today. Spaghetti headphones, tape noodles, salt and letter… we made a pretty cool meal (thanks Chef!)

We can’t show you any photos yet, because that would probably ruin the illusion before tomorrow, but how about a little insight into the Backbone Bistro facts:

Backbone Bistro is an interactive performance experimenting with diverse ways of storytelling. Six people at a time are invited to join us for dinner and experience our freshly made menu. It is nowhere near a final result. It is more like a trial, a teaser, a taster if you wish.

DISCLAIMER: If you are planning to see the show, have actual food before you come. We do not serve food, but stories. And we don’t want you to get cranky or disappointed because you didn’t get what you were expecting!

The menu consists of a series of stories that we have sourced from our friends. The topic that we decided to discuss was “inspirational heroes”. We asked them to tell a story about them and we even interviewed a hero of Andrea’s – Martyn Sibley. On top of this, we also wanted to do our own rendition to the storytelling concept, so we introduced an extract from Beckett’s Endgame as the starter. To us it is important to honor the great storytellers that came before us!

So, now the task was to set up an environment in which these stories could be told. We’re sure you can already tell that we love the concept behind cuppa tea conversations and this is where the idea of a restaurant came from. Natalie suggested “have a cup of tea with your hero” and from then onwards, we were on a mission to make people feel comfy and then began a Bistro! Why Bistro? Not sure if it’s the European thing or the fact that we love the letter B -BackBone, Bush, Bounce, Beckett…-

Anyway. The show runs for 15min and takes place inside the wonderful Bush Theatre library (fitting, huh?). Before choosing from our menu of stories, you are asked to pay for your bill in advance; we are running low on ingredients lately – since people don’t share that many stories any more – and sometimes we need a little kick starter.

After that, your are served a three course meal, each composed of a story. Basic, we know. Simple, we know. Easy, IT IS NOT.

The thingy about short, interactive performance is that everything has to be planned to the millimeter so as to be able to fit the wonderful fun that it is improvisation. We are also dealing with technology and this can sometimes be as tricky as it is powerful. Today for example, we had one mp3 player device that after finishing the story began to play the next one. Cheeky! They didn’t pay for two mains!!!

But it was simply wonderful for us to have six beautiful, talented people coming to see it. They all sat down with us afterwards to give us some incredibly constructive feedback and for that we THANK YOU. So now we are in the process of tightening things up so that it is as wonderful as it can possibly be for the next batch of customers coming. We cannot wait to meet you!

Oh go on! Just an old photo then…

See you at the Bistro!