Script in hand performances

Persever’s Script-In-Hand Performances bring together recent graduates, young actors and those whove been doing it for years !

We started these montly events in order to raise the profile of the company to attract sponsorship, but also to give out of work actors a bit of a creative boost.

Our patron, Dame Vanessa Redgrave, has been known to attend !


Terence Rattigan’s Harlequinade

NF Simpson’s Was He Anyone

A Misdummer Night’s Dream


Alice in Wonderland

and we’re just about to present

two evenings of readings and poems for  Armistice Day and the Festive Season

‘Remembrance’ 12th November @7.30pm

and ‘A Festive Frolic’ 21st December @7.3opm

Both of these will take place at our new home in Chiswick:

Catholice Centre, 2 Dukes Avenue London W4 2AE

with great thanks to Canon Michael Dunne and Caroline Doyle


book tickets HERE


in 2021 Persever joined forces with Drama Studio London in an unique collaboration.

We bring together students from DSL with professional actors of many years experience to work together and learn from each other. The students go through a  professional audition process and if successful are then part of the Persever family forever.

We perform a 60 minute version of a Shakespeare favourite and the rehearsal process is exactly the same as any professional rehearsal and the performances are of a fully professional standard.

This model gives students a professional credit on their CV’s, sometimes before they’ve even left drama school, and they are able to invite agents and casting directors to any of the 8 performances we give over four days.

They also get the chancee to work with professional actors and get a taster of what it’ll be like for them once they graduate.

So far we have done:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream –  (Walpole Park, Ealing. August 2021)

Comedy of Errors – (Walpole Park, Ealing. August 2022)

and this year:

As You Like It (Walpole Park, Ealing. August 2023)




 in collaboration with Drama Studio London – August 2022




Eleemosynary- the UK premiere of Lee Blessings astonishing play. (Waterloo East Theatre May 2022)


Tokens of Affection – the London premiere of Maureen Lawrence’s shocking play. (Waterloo East Theatre February 2019)


Persever Productions boought you the UK premiere of Eleemosynary by Lee Blessing at Waterloo East Theatre from 4th -22nd May 2022

“Eleemosynary: relating to or dependent on charity; charitable.”

This award-winning play focuses on the lives of three generations of  women: Dorothea; her daughter, Artie; and Artie’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Echo.

Through fragmented vignettes we see the lives of the three women as they struggle to define themselves both as individuals and as part of a family unit. In this poignant study of familial relationships, Eleemosynary highlights the human need for connection and forgiveness.

Directed by Charlie Barker


Dorothea: Jennifer Wiltsie
Artie: Kathryn Crosby
Echo: Georgia Dixon
Co-Designers: Charlie Barker &  Emily Barker
Lighting: Jonathan Simpson
Stage Manager: Jaimie Wakefield
Producer: Becky Armes


Meet the Cast: 

Jennifer Wiltsie as Dorothea.

Jennifer is a Persever Productions regular with ‘Eleemosynary’ marking her third production with the company, having previously played Annette in Tokens of Affection and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Jennifer returned to acting recently after more than a twenty year hiatus, and is thrilled to be a part of the team once again. In the past Jennifer appeared in The West End, on Broadway, film and television. She is an award winning audio book narrator and voice over artist and has taught and coached voice for nearly a decade.

Kathryn Crosby as Artie
A recent graduate of Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts where Kathryn’s credits include; Jem Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Hedvig in The Wild Duck and Karen in August Osage County. She has also starred in numerous short films and rehearsed readings. Making her off west-end debut, she is excited to play the role of Artie!
Georgia Dixon as Echo

Georgia is delighted to be making her professional debut in Eleemosynary at The Waterloo East Theatre.  Previous credits include: In The Wings- Series Three, The Jude Taylor Showcase- The Curve Theatre, Leicester. 

Creative Team:

Charlie Barker – Director

Charlie worked as an actor for over 25 years before falling in love with teaching acting at vocational drama schools. In 2019 she started Persever Productions in order to work with actors at all stages of their careers.
Charlie is delighted to be back at Waterloo East with this terrific play.

Jaimie Wakefield – Stage Manager

Jaimie recently graduated from RADA with a degree in Technical Theatre and Stage Management, specialising in Stage Management. Jaimie is currently working full time at Drama Studio London as Stage Manager; his professional credits include SM on Small Change (Omnibus Theatre), SM on Rachel (Zoom Production), ASM Props on La Cenerentola (Peacock Theatre), Technical SM on various productions (Chapel Playhouse Theatre), ASM on International Opera Awards 2019 (Sadler’s Wells Theatre) and 2018 (English National Opera).



A 60 minute open-air production  in Walpole Park W5 5EQ from 27th-30th August 2021

Audience response:

Production Photos


TOKENS OF AFFECTION by Maureen Lawrence

February 5th - 24th 2019 at Waterloo

East Theatre, London
Brad St. London SE1 8TN, UK



Director Charlie Barker talks about the play Tokens of Affection


The Cast

Debbie – Grace Clarke

 Andrea – Didi Cederstrom

 Annette – Jennifer Wiltsie

 Kelly – Eliza Glock

 Nancy – Anna Kirke

Liane – Elise Carman

Gillian – Lindsey Scott


Designer – Hugo Aguirre

Assistant Director – Liz Leemann

Stage Manager – Pip Snow

Director – Charlie Barker

About the play

The play was first commissioned in 1985 by Northern Studio Theatre, under the direction of Annie Castledine who had a commitment to supporting new work by women writers. With the generous backing of Yorkshire Arts, Northern Studio work-shopped the play, and subsequently rehearsed and toured an initial version in the north of England. A year later a re-write was commissioned by Hampstead Theatre but not produced. In 1990 this new published version  was produced at Derby Playhouse, brilliantly directed once again by Annie Castledine, whose faith in the play was unwavering.

I first worked with Annie Castledine in a final year production at the Guildhall School of Music and drama in 1893 and from that moment up until her death, she remained both a close friend and a mentor. I was fortunate enough to be cast as Debbie in the first professional version of Tokens of Affection in its published form at Derby Playhouse. It was an extraordinary production and one that remains very close to my heart. I always believed my ‘relationship’ with this play wasn’t over on the closing night at Derby and presumed that maybe in the future I might get the chance to play one of the older characters. However, 10 years ago I discovered vocational teaching and directing and gave up acting entirely, as I was finding much more creative freedom and expression in my new found career. When I left my full time position as Head of Acting at ArtsEd, a post I held for six years, I completed my Masters degree in Text & Performance from RADA/Birkbeck and decided to go freelance, and one of the first things I did was contact Maureen Lawrence, as the holder of the rights, and asked whether she would be happy for me to mount a production of her play, she was more than happy to give me permission, and as soon as I got that permission I began in earnest to start the financial planning for a small scale production.

Charlie Barker – director Persever Productions Ltd


Upcoming Workshops:

Please contact us for information on upcoming workshops


Students gaining places on:

  • Mountview’s MA acting course.
  • GSA’s  Musical Theatre MA Course.
  • Drama Studio London’s 1 year diploma in acting.
  • Oxford School of Drama’s Foundation course.
  • Manchester University’s 3 year BA in Acting 

Subscribe to the newsletter to hear about upcoming workshops.

For 1-2-1 tutoring for professional theatre or Film auditions, self-taping or drama school auditions

contact me here

1-2-1 online tutoring

£50 per hour.

discount for a package of 5 hours £45 per hour

Online Courses (limited to 10 people)
2.5 hours per week for five weeks: £110

In person workshops coming back soon !


“Just wanted to say a massive thank you for today, it was an excellent workshop!”

 “What a great joy was this workshop! There are no words for the amount of knowledge you passed to me in only 5 weeks, which gives me such more clarified view of what it is to be an actor and also what made me fall for this art.”

“I had such a good time in class. It was so, so wonderful to get to play again! Hope to work with you again soon ♥️ “

 “I feel like I’ve gained so much throughout these weeks and my confidence has grown massively! I’m throwing myself into things so much more and TAKING CREATIVE RISKS FINALLY!!!”

“Thank you so much Charlie for a fabulous workshop!”

Taster Session for Scene Study workshop.

Including 5 free acting tips on  working with text.

Taster session for self-taping and audition workshop 

including 5 free tips


Persever Productions offers writers the chance to have their draft scripts read by professional actors. 

Professional actors will perform a rehearsed reading of your script and a recording of this reading will be sent to you.

We are happy to read either theatre or film/TV scripts

We can also provide actors’ feedback on your script if you want.

For more information contact Charlie


Persever Productions are looking for new  plays.

Do you have a play that fits our criteria that you could send us?

Must be:

  • full-length
  • between 1-4 characters


  • inter-generational


  • women-centric

If so please contact Charlie

Stories from Recent Ensemble Members


“Coming from a non-artistic background before drama school there were aspects of it that felt intimidating, but being fortunate enough in my first professional production to find such a strong sense of warmth, support and family, foundationally stemming from the director Charlie Barker through to every member of the cast is something I am immensely grateful for.  

Every member of the team I interacted with was kind, and provided insight and mentorship to aid with my growth as a professional. Which in that unique period post graduation is beyond invaluable, and has in-turn opened up other opportunities, as I have been asked about MSND in audition rooms, including for jobs I have landed, so it has undeniably assisted me on my professional journey, it is also a joy to have worked with a company that does so much for outreach locally with its productions, introducing a whole new demographic of people to this work, I do remember after a show talking to a mother who said their child now wanted to go and watch other Shakespeare plays because they’d enjoyed themselves so thoroughly. 

Beyond all of this it also gave me a great functional understanding of what a working rehearsal room is like, and the standards that need to be upheld professionally, creatively and collaboratively, which has made the transition into other rehearsal rooms much smoother as I’ve understood what is expected because of the insight I received during MSND. 

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, and it works so well to make sure the environment you’re in is one of fun, creative freedom and ultimately providing an entertaining show for people to enjoy.”

Didi’s Story 

I was fresh out of Drama School (Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts) when Charlie gave me the wonderful opportunity to audition for the role of Andrea in Tokens of Affection. The audition felt more like a workshop, which really gave us actors the chance to try out different things and also to get inspired by each other.   

I was so happy when I got the part. The character (Andrea) was also a challenge. Even though Andrea is on stage almost all the time, she does not speak. Charlie was incredible when it comes to finding Andrea’s physicality and what’s going on inside her. 


Today I work mostly in Film and TV and I have taken with me so much from this production, and the inner vibration we found in Andrea. The character had a danger, a strength to her, but at the same time a deep vulnerability. 

Nowadays, I always start working from a physical point of view, even on screen. What’s going on beyond the words is really interesting, watching a character’s behaviour which could tell a whole story on its own.  

It was also such a great opportunity to work with a full female cast, in different stages of their lives and careers. This is something I’ve brought with me and I have just directed my first short film, which centres around two female characters from different generations. 

I’m also in awe of Charlie’s way of directing. In Tokens of Affection and also in her other play Eleemosynary that I saw recently, there is such a poignant combination of conflict and love.   

I really hope I get to work with Charlie many times in the future; she is a mentor and a director that has supported and formed me, both in my career and personally. 


Persever Productions is such a wonderful company! I feel so grateful to everyone on the team for believing in me for their production of Eleemosynary. 


I find it hard to put into words how special and transformative this production was for me. I graduated in 2018 from a leading drama school with an agent and was getting a few auditions here and there but nothing came from any of them. In January 2020, just before the pandemic began, I was dropped by my agent without explanation. From then on I have been acting as my own agent, booking a few short films and play readings. I was really struggling with my confidence surrounding acting and whether I was even ‘good enough’ to be pursuing this as a career. I met Becky in the winter of 2021 at our part-time job. We got to talking about the incredible team at Persever and how special Charlie was. She mentioned that they would be casting for their project in 2022 and told me to apply once the casting was out. A few months went by before I saw on Instagram that they were casting. I put myself forward for the role. I had gone years putting myself up for things without an agent and not getting any response, so I was confident that this would be no different. 


Luckily, I got an invite to audition and immediately fell in love with the material. Persever’s choice of plays is immaculate. They are challenging, relevant and sensationally written pieces of drama. I was so happy that they asked me to audition despite not having an agent, it means that they really care about nurturing new and emerging talent. The audition process was a dream, I felt so comfortable when in the room, despite obviously being very nervous. Jenny put me at ease immediately and I loved Charlie’s direction from the start. I knew I was in very safe hands. 


Needless to say I got the part and it really was a dream come true. One of the most amazing things was that they paid us! It meant that I was able to quit my part-time job and focus solely on this project. Throughout the rehearsals I felt so safe and looked after. I felt honoured to be able to learn from some of the best creatives I think I will ever meet. Charlie and Jenny are sensational. I could talk to them about anything. I learnt so much about myself from being in a room with them – what sort of actor I was and wanted to be. My confidence grew and they helped me to believe in myself again. 


During performances Jaimie and Becky were so supportive, we really had the best team! I also met some incredible industry professionals that I may not have come into contact with otherwise. 


Persever Productions gave me an incredible opportunity and I thank them every day for showing me that I am worthy of doing this! “


Acting was something I knew I always wanted to do, even when I was a young girl. I fell in love with it, and the minute I knew I could make it into a career for myself, I became determined to succeed in the field. I got into Drama Studio London in 2019 to study BA(Hons) in Professional Acting and now I’ve just graduated a few months ago with a first.


I first met Charlie Barker in my 3rd year at Drama Studio London, where she directed Blood and Ice by Liz Lochead. Charlie brought a sense of play, fun, and a collaborative environment to the room. She made me trust my gut, listen to myself and ensured that I gave every idea a go. She also made me think for myself which gave me a sense of independence, all of which were vital to grasp in my final year right before heading out into the industry.


Upon leaving Drama Studio London I was given the opportunity to audition for Comedy of Errors with Persever Productions, directed by the wonderful Charlie! This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass! I’ve always had the most fun with Charlie and have learnt a valuable amount with her. Therefore the idea to work with her again on my first professional debut, I felt I was in the safest of hands.


Persever Productions provide work for actors in training alongside professionals. Leaving Drama School I thought this would be the perfect way to feel safe with my fellow cohorts as well as learning from the professionals who have had very extensive careers.

I had a blast during this period performing Shakespeare in the park. It challenged me physically and vocally but Charlie and Persever Productions were both huge supporters throughout the rehearsal and performing process.


As I am heading out into the industry, I feel I have now had experience working with professionals, have more of an understanding of myself in a rehearsal process,and what I need to work on when doing multiple shows. The company has given me the reassurance that I am ready for the profession. All of this whilst having the most fun!


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