Emily Blacksell is a freelance Producer, Script Editor and Project Manager with over 16 years' experience working in the theatre, music and film industries.
She studied English and Drama at the University of Birmingham and Violin and Voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, junior Department. She began her career in Paris as an assistant director on a French language production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Théâtre Gérard Philippe. Upon her return to the UK in early 1999, she was appointed Assistant to John Barton at the Royal Shakespeare Company to work specifically on his ten-play epic, Tantalus, directed by Sir Peter Hall and Edward Hall at the Denver Center for Performing Arts and on international tour. During this time, she also worked on The Shakespeare Sessions, a US version of John Barton’s acclaimed Playing Shakespeare series, broadcast by PBS and featuring American stars of the stage and screen. Between 2001 and 2006, Emily worked as an Assistant to Sir Paul McCartney, a period that covered 5 album releases, 4 world tours and 6 book publications.
Whilst working for Sir Paul, he generously agreed to a sabbatical in order that she could accept two assistant director positions: Opera Holland Park for Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West and the Benjamin Britten International Opera School at the Royal College of Music for Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia. In 2006, Emily was appointed Assistant (and later promoted to Project Advisor) to Sally Greene, Chief Executive of the Old Vic Theatre Group, OVP PLC, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and co-producer worldwide of the multi-award winning musical Billy Elliot (with international openings of the show in Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and on Broadway.) Emily’s time at the Old Vic spanned 8 seasons of Kevin Spacey’s tenure as Artistic Director and included the 3-year BAM/Old Vic/Sam Mendes Bridge Project collaborations. In 2007, Emily co-founded and helped create Sally’s film company, Greene Light Films, with the aim of nurturing young filmmaking talent at the start of their careers. Also in 2007, Emily joined the Board of the HighTide Festival Theatre – a position she held until 2012. For Greene Light Films, Emily was an Associate Producer for Richard Raymond’s directorial debut, Desert Dancer starring Freida Pinto, Reece Ritchie and Tom Cullen, choreographed by Akram Khan, which opened the Santa Barbara Film Festival in January 2015. She was Executive Producer on two award winning short films: Double Take (directed by Sam Hodges for Channel 4/Big Shorts in association with BAFTA) and Mary Nighy’s debut short, Player, starring the late Pete Postlethwaite. In 2014, following a move to Bath, Emily became a Freelance Producer.
Since this time she has Project Managed and Produced the Memorial of legendary actor Peter O’Toole, directed by Tom Morris at the Old Vic Theatre in London, which featured performances by, among others, Kevin Spacey, Benedict Cumberbatch, Albert Finney, Sinead Cusack and Trevor Eve. She is the Producer and Script Editor for Short Form Film Company’s WillShake Henry V, a unique live action short film version of the play, acted by children and featuring narration by Tom Hiddleston, which launched on DTP in 2015. She is Consultant Dramaturg for acclaimed US singer Carleen Anderson’s forthcoming solo music theatre project, Cage Street Memorial. Emily is currently producing the Bristol Old Vic Theatre’s 250th anniversary show to mark this important event in the theatre’s history, directed by John Caird. Emily lives in Bath with her young family.