Katharine Armitage is a London based writer and director working in both comedy and drama.
She directed her first show aged 13 when she set up a community theatre company with a group of local kids and friends: The Blue Hutch Theatre Company. The company ran for 10 years during which time Katharine directed five Christmas shows and then mentored younger members as they tried their hand at directing. She set up the summer production arm of the company in 2008 which introduced local adults into the cast and went on to direct four outdoor Shakespeare productions.
Katharine attended Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls where she was Drama prefect and was awarded the Veronica Castang prize for drama. During her time there she acted in and directed a number of productions including directing a sixth form production of Much Ado About Nothing which was a new project for the school and involved over a third of the sixth form. She went on to study English Literature at the University of Manchester and graduated in 2010 with a 2.1 BA (Hons) and having won three academic prizes for her work whilst studying. During her time at University Katharine was Head Of Speech for student radio station Fuse FM and ran the radio drama competition PlayTime in conjunction with the BBC. She wrote three radio plays during this time: Past Birmingham, Imaginary Cinema and Exit, pursued by conviction as well as writing and recording a number of on-going comedy parody shows. In theatre she directed Noises Off and The Pillowman and produced Hangover Square.
On graduating Katharine went to work for the Jill Freud Company as an ASM on their production of Abigail's Party which had runs in both Southwold and Aldeburgh Theatres. Returning to London she worked as Assistant Director at the Arcola Theatre on The Cradle Will Rock. The theatre asked her to return to be assistant direct The Painter, a new play by Rebecca Lenkiewicz starring Toby Jones as Turner. This show opened the new Arcola Theatre and was directed by Artistic Director Mehmet Ergen. Katharine then went on to assist Helena Kaut-Howson on UnceleVanya and was assistant director on The Bible at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
In 2012 Katharine set up her theatre company Tea Break Theatre (www.teabreaktheatre.com) and took their first show Punch & Judy to the Pleasance Theatre at Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The show went on to a London transfer at Arcola theatre. Later that same year she wrote and directed The Mortals in the House, an adaptation of Elizabeth's Gaskell's ghost stories performed at her Manchester home. In 2013 the company extended to include a producer and created outdoor promenade show Five Children and It which sold out and went on to a further two runs the following year.
Also in 2013 Katharine directed NewsRevue and, with the cast from this show, set up parallel universe comedy group zazU (www.zazucomedy.com). The group have performed at Canal Cafe, Leicester Square and St James Theatres.
2014 saw the re-runs of Five Children and It, two Edinburgh shows: zazU at Underbelly and Somebody I Used to Know at Assembly, and her first full length London directorial debut in the form of new play The Love and Devotion of Ridley Smith at the Old Red Lion Theatre. She also wrote her play After Party about the composer Franz Schubert which was performed by Re:Sound as part of the Oxford Lieder Festival.
In 2015 Katharine brought back shows Somebody I Used to Know and After Party, the latter of which won the Buxton Fringe New Writing Award. She wrote the libretto for opera Thousand Furs and has started development on various TV projects. With her comedy group zazU she spent a second year at the Ed Fringe with their new show which is going on to Brighton and London shows. She signed with agent Stephanie Moore at United Agents.
2016 saw the creation of a new zazU show which previewed at Museum of Comedy before running at Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe. Re:Sound commissioned her to write Duet about the lives and music of Robert and Clara Schumann. She was a finalist for the Red Planet Prize. New puppetry show Bobbin! toured over the Spring and Summer.
In 2017 Katharine turned her focus to screenwriting. She was one of the writers for the BBC's Holby City New Writer's Scheme. She is currently developing two comedy projects with her comedy group zazU and is developing her own drama and sitcoms.