Smooth Faced Gentlemen was founded in April 2012, by Ashlea Kaye, Michael Grady-Hall, Yaz Al-Shaater, and Mariam Bell.
We create fresh, fast, and faithful productions of Shakespeare with entirely female casts.
Behind The Scenes
- Ashlea KayeArtistic Director / Co-Founder
- Mariam BellAssociate Director / Co-Founder
- Michael Grady-HallFounder / Associate Director
- Tom CrawshawAssociate Director
- Yaz Al-ShaaterDirector / Producer / Founder
- Anna BeecherAssociate Dramaturg
- Celia DuguaAssociate Technical Designer
- Ashlea Kaye – artistic director
- Leila Sykes – development
- Yaz Al-Shaater – director/producer
- Hannah Miller
casting director, Royal Shakespeare Company
- Mina Anwar
- James Haddrell
artistic and executive director, Greenwich Theatre
- David Byrne
artistic director, New Diorama
Gallery of Gentlemen
Smooth Faced Gentlemen are a theatre company with one purpose: to create fast, fun, fresh and faithful productions of Shakespeare using an entirely female cast.
We like our Shakespeare fast and fun. We see the audience at the centre of our work. We work with small, tight ensembles, involving lots of doubling. We aim to make the work accessible to new audiences, whilst still staying true its complexity. We love playing with conventions and preconceptions by experimenting with new interpretations of characters and events.
We use the single gender convention as a lens to cast a new light on these well know plays, challenging audiences to take a fresh look at Shakespeare’s wonderful stories.
As a company, we don’t set out to promote any overt political message, feminist or otherwise. We do all want to see equality in the arts, but we believe the individual preconceptions surrounding our company says more about the state of gender equality today than any mission statement.
Our audience come to our work expecting to be affected by the absence of male actors. Our audience leave affected by the story, the interpretation, the staging, the pace, and the fresh take on Shakespeare’s wonderful tales. That’s our aim.