scene from Waiting for Godot

Waiting for Godot, directed by Em, Helmsley Arts Centre, Feb 2004


Having directed my first play at the age of 13, (Shaw’s Arms and the Man) I have worked over the years with a variety of professional and amateur groups in many styles – straight drama,  dance theatre,  cabaret and all stops in between, with casts of all sizes. My approach  is physical, ensemble-based, direct and participant-led;   I encourage the creation of an ‘open space’ in which performers can play and explore, finding the straightest route to the essence of the work.


Emanuel Brierley and Dominic Goodwin in Frankenstein Live. Photo by Marcus Brierley

Past productions include:

  • Frankenstein Live by BAFTA nominated, writer  Tom Needham for Angus & Ross Theatre Companyearllier this year, which  was supported by Arts Council England and enjoyed a successful 50-date national tour, and we are currently planning a new project for 2012/13.”This is a well-crafted production, born of intelligent, measured acting and a collective artistic belief. That the Georgian Theatre Royal, a small theatre in a Yorkshire market town, feels able to be involved in a co-production on a national tour is a cause for rejoicing.”    Kevin Berry, The Stage  “This first-class two-hander is created in partnership with Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, under the thoughtful direction of Em Whitfield Brooks. It’s home grown, organic, brave and unmissable.” Helen Brown, Northern Echo
  • Crucifixion by Timothy Craig Harrison, a sung dance theatre piece, staged as part of Durham Mysteries, May 2010, described by The Observer as “compelling


Crucifixion by Timothy Craig Harrison, directed by Em, designed by Simon Pell, Durham Mysteries 2010

Emanuel Brierley & Dominic Goodwin in The Mystery of Irma Vep, directed by Em. Photo: Marcus Brierley

  • The Mystery of Irma Vep, a 54-date UK tour, autumn 2009, Angus & Ross Theatre Company featuring Dominic Goodwin and Emanuel Brierley.  “A vivid and hilarious two-man tour do force” Richard Hunt, Thornton Weekly

  • The Sea for 1812 Theatre Company, Helmsley Arts Centre, 2009
  • Waiting for Godot for 1812 Theatre Company, Helmsley Arts Centre, 2004.  Described by David Denton in York Evening Press: “a performance that you would expect in the most celebrated theatres…nothing short of amazing…sheer brilliance.”
  • Union City Co-director of young people’s street dance theatre project in Middlesbrough, jointly with The Sage Gateshead and Middlesbrough Arts Development 2005
  • The Extraordinary Plan of Angelina Dork by Brian Higginson. York Theatre Royal young people’s production. MD. Sept 2000
  • The Last Wave by Peter Spafford & Stephen Keeling for Made in Sheffield Theatre Company Summer 1998. “Under Em Whitfield’s bold, vibrant direction they all display great strength.” Sheffield Star