Catalyst 2024

Catalyst is the cornerstone of our commitment to new writing for the theatre. This project offers in-depth professional development to early-career writers and directors. To those selected, we offer the chance to work with an ensemble of professional actors, and highly experienced writing and directing mentors in a safe and supportive space, to hone their craft, develop and showcase their new scripts. Places are strictly limited, and the work is intensive, challenging and exciting.

Catalyst 2024 took place from Monday 25 March – Saturday 6 April 2024. Writers were mentored by Marika McKennell and Sam Potter and directors by Grace Duggan and Ria Parry.

Catalyst Performance | Sat 6 April 2024

Two Tribes

by Simon Castle, directed by Costi Levy

Yes Chef

by Laurie Ogden. directed by Costi Levy

Parvati and Padma

by Misha Graham-Patel, directed by Costi Levy

A Bit Salty

by Mwansa Phiri, directed by Emelia Hutchinson

Lilith Before Eve

by Maya Pillay, directed by Hetty Hodgson

True Cry

by Chloë Lawrence-Taylor, directed by Emelia Hutchinson

Download the Catalyst 2024 programme


“The North Wall and this initiative encourages a sort of magic and becomes my creative anchor in the year. Being able to explore new writing and concepts at an early stage of development both as an actor and writer is such a wonderful way to hone our craft. Catalyst somehow manages to bring together a wonderful company year after year, many of whom are the first people I go to with new ideas or when looking for a team on a project. It really is special.”

Maya Pillay, Catalyst Participant

“I’m so lucky to have taken part in Catalyst twice, as a writer in 2022, and as an actor in 2024. Both times it has come as an absolutely perfectly-timed gift with its one of a kind offering of community, mentorship and development. Creativity is fizzing in every corner, and this work continues outside of the rehearsals rooms into lunch breaks and late night cuppas – the nurturing of imagination is infectious. I’ve made long lasting friendships and I hope long lasting collaborations at The North Wall. I recommend it to every writer and director I meet, and hope to be lucky enough to come back as an actor again. It’s sadly an incredibly rare opportunity in the arts nowadays, and has been a vital part of mine and so many other artist’s development.”

Laurie Ogden, Catalyst Participant

“I arrived at The North Wall with twenty minutes of a rough idea, and I’m leaving with a full play, along with a whole heap of insightful notes to implement. Catalyst has given me the creative space and confidence to push through and finish something, which is usually a real struggle for me. Having a room full of people who are willing to read your play, brilliantly, and then to feed back on it, is such an invaluable experience, especially at such an early stage of development.”

Misha Graham-Patel, Catalyst Participant

With thanks St Edward’s School for their generous support.

Catalyst has been supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

Photographs by Elina Medley


Catalyst Ensemble

Aaron Gordon
Zoe Goriely
Laurie Ogden
Andy Owens
Nikki Patel
Anish Roy
Grace Saif

Catalyst Writers
Simon Castle
Misha Graham-Patel
Laurie Ogden
Mwansa Phiri
Maya Pillay
Chloë Lawrence-Taylor

Catalyst Directors
Hetty Hodgson
Emelia Hutchinson
Costi Levy

Project Team

Writing Mentors
Marika Mckennell
Sam Potter

Directing Mentors
Grace Duggan
Ria Parry

Programme Leads
Ria Parry
Amelia Thornber

Company Stage Manager Alex Lonsdale
Production Manager Clive Stevenson
Sound Design James Bailey
Lighting Design Edmond Lee

Production Assistant Harry Lindfield

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