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Once in a House on Fire Creative Team

12th April 2011 by Martin Gibbons

Once in a House on Fire

by Monkeywood Theatre in development with The Lowry

This compelling story set across South Manchester in the 70s and 80s focuses on a family of four women living in the shadow of domestic violence and poverty. This is a touching, truthful and hopeful story of sisters, survival and growing up.

Writer – Sarah McDonald Hughes

Sarah’s writing credits for Monkeywood include: Last Orders, Maine Road and A Song For The Lovers. She has been commissioned by BBC Radio 4, Paines Plough and Action Transport Theatre and has had work produced at theatres including Contact, The Lowry and The Royal Exchange. Sarah has collectively written a number of plays for Action Transport Theatre including Night Train and Scratches in the Earth. Her short play The Tree was shortlisted for Theatre Centre’s Adrienne Benham Award 2009 and Maine Road was highly commended in the BBC’s Alfred Bradley Bursary Award 2009. She is currently part of North West Vision & Media’s DRAFTED scheme, writing her first screenplay.

Director – Martin Gibbons

Martin’s directing credits for Monkeywood include: Last Orders and Maine Road. Before moving to Manchester, Martin directed numerous productions including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and The Glass Menagerie in his native North East. He has also performed for Monkeywood in Last Orders, A Song for the Lovers, Coach G and Closer. Martin is also a Casting Director and has worked on hundreds of productions including commercials for Nike, Morrisons, VW and Vodafone, music videos and the acclaimed Chris Morris film Four Lions.


Thomas Aldersley – Peter, Mr Lee

Thomas graduated from The Arden School of Theatre. Monkeywood credits include: Maine Road and Last Orders. Other theatre credits include: Danny the Champion of the World, Hanged Man and Romeo and Juliet. Television credits include: The Royal, The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, Manhunt, I Shouldn’t be Alive, Coronation Street, Moving On, Eric and Ernie and currently Sky One’s new drama Mount Pleasant.

Rachel Austin – Mildred, Laurie, Wendy, Mrs Lee

Rachel trained at The Arden School of Theatre and is making her debut for Monkeywood. Other theatre credits include: Bo Jazz, JB Shorts 4, Verbally Challenged and Be My Baby. Radio credits include: Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster with Susan Roberts and Simon Armitage for BBC Radio 4. Rachel is soon to film Rose Gold, a feature by Simon Powell.

Ted Holden – Terry, Jamie

Ted trained at The University of Salford. Monkeywood credits include: Last Orders. Other theatre credits include: Lub You, Chips With Everything and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me. Television credits include: The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, Coronation Street, Life of Riley, Heartbeat, Early Doors, The Royal and Dead Clever.

Sarah McDonald Hughes – Andrea

Sarah’s Monkeywood credits include: Maine Road, Last Orders, A Song for the Lovers, Coach G and Closer. Other theatre credits include: Night Train, A Million Shades of Pink, Be My Baby, A Taste of Honey and Somebody’s Son. Radio credits include: Love Shaped Thing, Caligari, Maine Road, Elidor and The Silver Sword. Television credits include Hollyoaks and a number of commercials.

Francesca Waite – Lorraine, Sarah, Tamsyn

Francesca’s Monkeywood credits include: Maine Road, Last Orders, A Song for the Lovers and Coach G. Other theatre credits include: The National Express, Verbally Challenged, Don Quixote and several tours with Team Players TIE Company. Short film credits include: Dying To Be in Control, Nona Transvaal and Avril Tungsten. Francesca’s writing work includes co-writing The Artful Dodger which was produced for BBC2 Education, nominated for a Children’s BAFTA and selected for the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival 2010.

Lois Maskell – Set Design

Lois is a North West based designer for theatre and performance who trained at The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. She was shortlisted for the Linbury Prize for Stage Design in 2005 and was a finalist in the BBC Design Vision Competition 2007. Recent collaborations as a freelance designer include dreamthinkspeak, FUSE Theatre, Hope Street Ltd., National Museums Liverpool, Action Transport Theatre, The Royal Exchange, Royal Court Liverpool, Octagon Theatre Bolton, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Lakeland Opera and work on the BBC Comedy series The Mighty Boosh.

Video Design – Doug Saunders

Fight Director – Kenan Ally

Stage Manager – Miriam Ainsworth

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@AlisonCarr_ @WomensPlayPrize @painesplough Congratulations 🥳 ❤️

20 Jan 2022

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