persever (verb.) old form: to continue making an effort to do or achieve something, even when this is difficult or takes a long time

Bringing together actors at all stages of their careers, we work and learn from each other in a true apprenticeship-style ensemble, and  provide mentoring and  training to artists to enable them to produce public works of a higher standard

We are committed to paying creatives members equally, whilst investing in the company’s future. 


Dame Vanessa Redgrave                               Adrian Dunbar                                               Joanna Gosling                                                  Miriam-Teak Lee      


“the productions & acting I have seen from Persever astonish and enthral me. En Avant! “

Called ‘the greatest actress of our time’ by the playwright Tennessee Williams, Dame Vanessa Redgrave throughout a career spanning over six decades,  has garnered numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a Tony Award and two Primetime Emmy Awards, making her one of the few performers to achieve the ‘Triple Crown of Acting’.


“I have been watching the wonderful work Charlie Barker and Persever Productions have been engaged in for some time and so to be asked to be a Patron was such an exciting  opportunity I immediately said yes. It’s a great company and I’m delighted to be of some service to them in the future”.

Adrian Dunbar  is an Irish actor, director and singer, known for his television and his theatre work. He co-wrote and starred in the 1991 film Hear My Song, nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the BAFTA awards. He has played Superintendent Ted Hastings in all six series of BBC Television’s Line of Duty.

Joanna Gosling


“I am  proud to be a patron of this dynamic theatre company, which I believe is a force for good through its egalitarian creative model, combining brand new talent and experience, delivering original, powerful productions.”

Joanna Gosling is an English broadcaster and presenter currently presenting a weekly programme on Classic FM. Joanna is a newsreader and presenter for the BBC News and has anchoreed a number of major political and royal events.


“I’m very excited to become a patron of Persever Productions. Charlie Barker taught me at ArtsEd, and I have always admired her love of creating individual actors not carbon copies.I’m so excited to see Charlie starting a company of her own now, she will truly nurture these graduates further and allow them to work alongside actors of all ages in a way that provides truthful honest acting, through techniques that are  perfect for the individual.”

Miriam-Teak Lee is an Oliver Award winning actress, best known for her role as Juliet Capulet in & Juliet, for which she won the 2020 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.


Persever works with two models, both of which are designed to bring diverse and experiential theatre to the public, whilst at the same time giving drama school graduates a helping hand, enabling them to move seemlessly from training to the profession. Both models include mentoring schemes, as Persever are passionate about providing mentoring to all creatives. The mentoring scheme has previously  included designers, directors, actors & stage management


Persever Productions has linked with drama schools to create a unique model. Persever casts professional actors who have been in the industry for many years alongside final year students at a vocational and globally recognised drama school and produce a professional-level performance. The older and more experienced actors mentor the younger students and each learn from each other. Previous productions have been open air 60-minute versions of Shakespeare comedies and have been well received by audiences and the performers alike,

Persever are in the process of expanding this model to other drama schools and other genre.


Recent graduates are employed alongside more experienced creatives and in a similar way to the graduate model, each young artist is guided and mentored by a more experienced creative and all the creatives are paid a professional wage.

Persever’s professional productions have been extremely well received, the last receiving three Offie award nominations.


The objective of both models is to work with, train and mentor actors at all stages of their careers with the focus being the public benefit of promoting, maintaining and improving the advanced education and appreciation of the arts, through the provision of affordable and accessible public performances.

Testimonials from actors who've worked with Persever

“Knowing companies like this exist really does bring a smile to my face, as it gives opportunities to groups that aren’t always necessarily the best represented”

“Persever Productions have just got this show right from every angle…. on a personal level, I was surprised how many of the vignettes … hit home with me personally. These were not just people I recognised but, at times, people who were a major part of my life.”

“I am forever grateful for Charlie’s support and having me work with such a brilliant company!”

“The company has given me the reassurance that I am ready for the profession. All of this whilst having the most fun!”

“Persever Productions is such a wonderful company! I feel so grateful to everyone on the team for believing in me…”


Charlie Barker – Director and Founder of Persever Productions

Persever Productions was formed  in 2019. I’d been toying with the idea of starting a professional theatre company for many years, spurred on by my love of theatre and my work with Annie Castledine who was my mentor and friend and one of the finest directors of her generation.

We had a dream of creating a repertory company where the same actors worked together and played a variety of roles. Not just for the delight  of audiences who would be able to see the same person in many parts, but also to enable the actors to short-cut the ‘getting to know you’ process that takes up so much time. There are actors that I’ve worked with many, many times over the years and the working relationship and the ability to play and trust one another is vital to the producing of truly great ensemble work. This ensemble model provides a safe environment for the actors to enable them to make theatre that will inspire, engage and benefit the public, especially those audiences who have little experience  or understanding of live theatre.

In 2019 I produced “Tokens of Affection”, a play I’d done with Annie in the late 80’s. I never really felt that my journey with that play was finished, so as an homage to my great mentor it was an obvious choice when I decided I wanted to start the company and put on a play. It was during the rehearsals for that production (see here for more details) that I realised how much I enjoyed working with actors at all stages of their careers. In that cast we had actors that ranged from those who had just graduated to those who had been in the industry for over 30 years. We all learned so much from each other that it became my mission to continue this journey of learning by concentrating on work that served actors of all experiences.

 I learnt so much from working with Annie Castledine as a young actor that in honour of her and her extraordinary love of the English language and it’s archaic usage, the company  “Persever” was born.

In November of 2022 we finally became a registered charity.

Charlie Barker 

for more information on Charlie’s Directing and Teaching experience