Lemon House Theatre

Meet The Team

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Meet the team

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Samia Djilli

Co-Artistic Director

Why did you start Lemon House Theatre? 

To put it simply, I want to make theatre!

As a woman of Algerian descent, theatre has felt elusive at times. Rather than waiting for a space to suddenly become available for voices like mine, Jennifer and myself wanted to create one instead.

In order for theatre to remain a viable art form, people from all walks of life need to feel included and that they’re stories are being told. I hope that our work through LHT can add to the collective voice of modern day British theatre by helping tell these stories.

What do you love about theatre?

I’ve always loved the immersive nature of theatre, from the way the stage can be transformed into anywhere in the world with just few simple props. I’ve never seen a show that hasn’t had an effect on me in one way or another, and I look forward to seeing how the landscape of theatre changes as more people get to tell their stories.  

How did you get into theatre?

My dad used to tell me old Arabian folk tales and I would spend endless hours transferring these to paper. Without really knowing it, I grew to have a strong interest in writing and storytelling.

After much deliberation, I took the plunge and got my BA in Creative Writing, paying particular attention to stage and screen.

I started sending my work off to companies that supported emerging artists and had my first short staged by Sonderlust in 2016. Since then I’ve had shorts staged at The Betsey Trotwood, Theatre503 and The Kings Head.

Alongside writing, I developed an interest in producing and through volunteering with University Women in the Arts, co-produced a night of new writing at The Royal Court by female graduates as part of International Women’s Day 2018.

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Jennifer Cerys

Co-Artistic Director

Why did you start Lemon House Theatre? 

Often being in the theatre industry feels like a lot of waiting! Just having your fingers crossed that someone will pick up your script and take a chance on you. But myself and Samia didn’t want to wait for permission. And we didn’t want other artists to feel like they had to wait for permission. We choose Lemon House Theatre as the name as we want the company to feel like a home for theatre makers to come, take risks and experiment with the work they’re making.

What do you love about theatre?

I love the endless possibilities it offers. Theatre can be everything from a big budget musical on the West End, to a one woman show in a black box theatre. Part of Lemon House Theatre is questioning what exactly theatre is and what it can be, as that’s what excites me so much about this industry.

How did you get into theatre?

I definitely thought theatre was an exclusive club you needed to be invited to be a member of. But I still loved going to see shows, and I’ve always written prose, so I just thought one day I’d try playwriting. I printed out play scripts to teach me the structure and started from there.

Writers Avenue staged one of my shorts at The Courtyard Theatre, and then I got the theatre bug! Since then, I’ve had shorts staged at theatres include The Bunker, Betsey Trotwood Theatre and the Etcetera Theatre; I co-wrote the one women show Double Infemnity (which ran at VAULT Festival 2018); and had my first full length show Dandelion staged at the Kings Head Theatre in Dec 2018. I was also recently part of Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab, which made me want to continue collaborating with, and learning from, other theatre makers.

Natalie Pulfer

Administrator & Marketing Assistant

Why did you join Lemon House Theatre?

When I started my MA in Arts Management at Birkbeck, I became more and more interested in the behind-the-scenes of theatre, and specifically marketing and PR. As soon as I saw the advert for the Lemon House Theatre and what it stood for, I was immediately excited! To be a small part of a new and growing theatre company was a dream. I am a strong believer in good conversation (especially one over coffee) and when I saw that the Lemon House Theatre is driven by conversation between artists and audiences, I wanted to be part of that conversation!

What do you love about theatre?

What’s not to love ! The drama, the excitement, the costume, the make up, I love it all. But more than that, it is the sense of community and voice, and that feeling of when you leave a performance you leave with a slightly larger community and a new voice.

How did you get into theatre?

When I was younger I would not keep still, was full of energy, and through myself into drama at school. I was part of school performances, and local theatre groups. This was a great foundation as I was part of the set creation, putting costumes together, the front of house, the programme design, as well as being on stage. I loved performing and felt very at home on the stage, and I was lucky enough to perform on the stage of the Royal Albert Hall. I learnt British Sign Language in my teens and early 20’s and very quickly became fascinated with the role of interpreting in theatre and met many British Sign Language interpreters who worked in the theatre. My professional life, when I hit my 20’s, took a (massive) detour, but in 2017 I took the plunge, sold my house, packed up my things (and the cat) and moved to London to start my MA in Arts Management. Coming back to the theatre feels like “coming home” and the Lemon House Theatre definitely feels like home.