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Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

The play was the first in a supposed millennium trilogy.  The play evolved around an election campaign and a series of violent murders.  The main protagonist was a journalist who had run out of words to describe the horrors he had seen and receded into silence.

It was Changeinspeak’s most successful production, receiving universally excellent reviews and being Critics Choice in Time Out, The Independent, The Guardian and City Limits.

Critic Reviews

“The shrewdly chosen vehicle for Changeinspeak’s apocalyptic fin de siecle drama is the serial killer thriller….Simon Blake’s script and production have a faint, rootless unreality, this gives a sense of society on the brink of self destruction. Aside from the performances the main strength is the atmosphere, Blake’s script asks real, incisive questions about trust. Brave and remarkable.”  THE INDEPENDENT

“Changeinspeak have fashioned a striking theatrical pastiche of the journalistic and jingoistic: Set in 1999 as “sterilised as a military past” they invigorate the familiar cry that war and entertainment have become indivisible. A company that continue to forge, a fresh enquiring language from their fountain of talent. You should tune into them now” CITY LIMITS

“Blake’s story is gripping and well performed by the entire cast…. What is salvaged is only a version of the truth and no more absolute than either the politician’s or the journalist’s truth.  A very thoughtful drama”  TIME OUT

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

A stark thriller documenting the violent disintegration of a forty something man.  A chance and seemingly unimportant confrontation between the man and a fifteen year old boy brings his life and responsibilities into stark and alarming focus.

Lazarus Man proved a successful production amongst critics and audiences alike and was adapted for the screen as Simon’s first feature STILL.

Critics Choice in Time Out.

Critic Reviews

“A brutally cogent picture of a life tumbling inexorably and surprisingly into the abyss…a compelling and sincere drama with scenes of enormous insight and warmth…A devastating account of a gang rape and Joseph Swash brilliantly conveys a terror struck boy’s belligerence in the climax. These scenes in particular reveals Blake to be a writer of discernment and an infinitely sensitive director” TIME OUT

“Loss of one kind or another – respect, control and ultimately life is at the heart of this remarkable production…Lazarus Man is both bleak and lively using every second to explain the giant and deep themes with sureness and sensitivity. An intelligent and moving performance from everyone involved.” METRO

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Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

Molotov was Changeinspeak’s last play, performed at The Old Red Lion and with only one of the core cast members left, its premise was a love story in unsettling times and an attempted rebuttal to the relentless ladism of its time.  It started in typical Changeinspeak style but quickly ran out of juice and marked the end of the company.

Critic Reviews

“Blake’s dark, directionless thirty something world hovers somewhere between Nick Hornby and Douglas Coupland.  His dialogue – confident, poetic, plausible London life stuff – raises knowing laughs.  His intriguing characters and animated staging make for a seductive exposition”



“CHANGEINSPEAK’S trademark filmic technique means that this play is highly visual, cutting rapidly from scene to scene with snappy dialogue.  Defining moments in this play are bathed in a supernatural white light like a flash that accompanies a blast or an apparition.  MOLOTOV is a love story, an explosive cocktail that will leave you sitting on the edge of your seats, mouth agape as the meaning of life - and a steady job - becomes apparent again.”   METRO


A traditional heist thriller with a sexually subversive subtext. The play drew influences from Raymond Chandler, Barry Adamson, Grifters, Mamet and Magritte.  Nothing was ever as it seemed.

Wretched Grooms was performed twice by the company firstly in 1995 at BAC and The Edinburgh Fringe where it was Critics Choice in The Scotsman and again at The Old Red Lion in 1999.

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director
Critic Reviews

“Blake writes beautifully, marshalling the poetic and the demotic, the passionate and the humorous. The patterns of behaviour enacted and the revelations of the personalities involved are fascinating. Four strong and physical performances under the direction of the author complement the energy of the writing”  THE SCOTSMAN

“Fine passages of writing from comic patter to poetic soliloquies….Blake’s direction is inspired. Clarrisa on a swing, smiles alluringly or perhaps insanely at the audience; suspended picture frames lurch like imbalanced pendulums”  THE TIMES

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

An attempt to investigate the political process in both Britain and America using Machiavelli’s treatise on statesmanship as a starting point.  The piece came out just eight weeks after the landslide election of New Labour.

The Prince received a mix set of reviews, some good and some bad and felt like a missed opportunity and one of the least successful Changeinspeak productions.

Critic Reviews

“Simon Blake certainly knows a beautiful turned phrase when he sees one. The writing is sharp and well observed and the dialogue comes at us like a runaway train…The company uses physical and musical elements to enhance the story…Blake and his company must be applauded for their bravery in tackling such a huge and complex set of subjects with such verve and energy.” THE FINANCIAL TIMES

“Simon Blake’s production has flourishes of a more baroque and fantastic theatrical language…. The Prince is a considerable effort to remind us that nothing really gets any better. TIME OUT

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

Set in the opulence of the thirties, the beginning of talking pictures and the rise of Nazism.  Prospero’s trip included wardrobe from Bella Freud, Red or Dead, Vivienne Westwood & Hussein Chalayan.

The play was a success with audiences and some critics, but the extreme re-telling proved less successful with purists.  It probably looked better than it sounded!

Critic Reviews

“A radical presentation , heavy on pop culture, cinematic references, Bolivian marching powder, accessibility and laughter. Blake’s vision of Shakespeare’s world of magic and cruelty is admirably invoked….For mood, style and innovation and sheer entertainment. A snort above the rest.” THE TIMES

“Stunning costumes, brilliant acting, startlingly original interpretations are just a few elements of this outstanding production.  Add an incredible set – like a junk shop devoted to film memorabilia and a stinging injection of social comment and what you have is an exceptional production.” THE GUARDIAN

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director
Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

A play about the nature of fame and personal and artistic responsibility within the framework of a thriller concerning the assassination of the governor elect and a terrorist group attacking artistic establishments.  The characters tapped into recognisable artists including Buchowski, Nico, Marvin Gaye and Sallinger.

Critic Reviews

“Determinedly mined themes such as addiction, politics and religious extremism…the casts ability in animating the ethical void is impressive…Blakes assertive style makes the play an eloquent and provoking case for Millenium circumspection”  TIME OUT

“Blake’s script is bleakly poetic….His great strength is in creating a genuinely uncomfortable sense of paranoia, each character superficially sympathetic but each having the possibility of betrayal – violence is always imminent…The whole thing is like the theatrical equivalent of a Leonard Cohen album and I for one am a fan.  STAGE & TELEVISION TODAY

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director
Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

Pop was the play missing from your record collection, a series of short pieces pulled together by the DJ, The World’s Last Great Lover.  Each piece a love story inspired by different genres of music from Jazz to Country.

POP was a big success at The Edinburgh Fringe selling out for the bulk of its run prior to UK tour.

Critics Choice in Time Out and City Limits.

Critic Reviews
Critic Reviews

“One of City Limits highly rated and fave companies…full of the snap and crackle of popular culture, a proustian collection of histories triggered by classic songs. Changeinspeak are doing their bit to preserve the “Our Tune” tradition” CITY LIMITS

“A series of slick and clever vignettes inspired by classic pop songs….An outstanding play imaginatively written and directed by Simon Blake” 

“CHANGEINSPEAK is one of the few really fresh companies to have emerged from the early nineties and the team has earned itself a deserved reputation for developing and sustaining a unique style of theatre – a dynamic fusion of music, narrative and the visual….. Blake and his CHANGEINSPEAK crew are clearly a group with enormous potential and have constructed an unusual but thoroughly entertaining show…..this POP has got to be a hit.”  TIME OUT

“Visually. Pop strives to give expression to the music. with seductive choreography enhancing the Blues mood. Nothing looks laboured or contrived and the performances shine.  But the theme is overstretched by the end of the play”  THE LIST

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

A highly choreographed and cartoon style saw Jimmy Jazz take a journey through Thatcher’s England in this Faustian romp.

It was nominated for a Fringe First at The Edinburgh Festival and was Critics Choice in City Limits and Pick of The Fringe in The Scotsman and The List  as well as enjoying a very successful UK tour and is probably the company's favourite production.

Critic Reviews

“The definitive biography of the 1980’s. A potent phantasmagoria of mime, racy dialogue, piped music and killing wit, develops into a frighteningly funny black comedy. Wonderfully effective parable for our times, it achieves the seemingly impossible. It shocks, informs, enlivens and entertains. It is an exceptional play performed with bravura by an exceptional young company. It really must be seen.”  WHATS ON IN LONDON

“A fast and furious rampage through the eighties exploding with potent mix of anger and humour…Completely original. The message never worthy , always worthwhile. The muscular style uses cartoon exaggeration, extreme physicality and music, plus a very sharp script. This is tough, comic, addictive theatre.”  THE SCOTSMAN

“A fitting epitaph to the entrepreneurial eighties…. major events of the decade depicted by fascinating choreography and a contemporary soundtrack.  CHANGEINSPEAK have a powerful, visual style utilising hilarious caricature and poetry.  Theatre at its most entertaining from an energetic young company.” THE LIST

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

An epic drama depicting contemporary British anti-Semitism and Jewish militancy as an analogy for the state of Israel.

Critics Choice in City Limits.

Critic Reviews

“Sustains its author’s traditional fondness for a finely wrought turn of phrase. Blake’s graphic direction never ceases to surprise and all eight unpretentious performances are deliciously spunky; Yet the aphoristic set pieces give the piece an entirely new gravity. Blake and Changeinspeak have finally come of age.” CITY LIMITS

“The young cast give committed performances and there is plenty to admire and enjoy in Blake’s chic production.”  THE INDEPENDENT

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

The play dealt with a relationship between a young boxer and his girlfriend during a nine month period while the boxer trained for the big fight and his lover carried their baby.

Critic Reviews

“Simon Blake is a bold director. Brilliantly displaying a variety of theatrical styles – a soap operaish story about a girl who falls for a boxer; wonderful spoofs on Bogart clips highlighting the daft misogyny, the thrillingly choreographed sequences of the grotesque rituals youths go through as they prepare for a night on the tiles. This production manages to keep an ambitious script whizzing along” CITY LIMITS

Changeinspeak - Writer & Director

A disturbing and claustrophobic thriller sees a young black London lad escape the Brixton riots to take up the role of driver for an assassin preparing for a job in Rotterdam.

Critic Reviews

“Blake’s masterly control of time and pace is sure to leave a lasting impression, while bleak and disturbing , the play never strays from the charged descent into the darkness. Blake’s poetry and Max Rademacher’s haunting guitar/vocal accompaniment add the final sheen to this razor sharp direction of the phenomenon we call society” REVIEW 91

“The immensely talented London company has plenty of meat on their bones. Beauty follows the growing awareness of Billy, an ebullient Tom Jones for the 1980’s in Simon Blake’s well-tempered drama” THE LIST

Common Eight Theatre Company - Writer & Director

The play followed the two very different lives of a sixth form public school boy and a working class lad in Balham who both share a love of language.

Critics Choice in The Observer and end of year “One to Watch” in ID Magazine.

Critic Reviews

“The talented young company produce a piece that no one can hear without sympathy and unease” THE OBSERVER

“This ambitious first play is angry and vital – its poetry just abrasive enough to keep it from romantic idealism. These maybe dreamboys “whose rhymes have no reason” but the young company have created a piece full of sound and fury which signifies something deep felt in the frustrations of today’s youth” TIME OUT

And Those Who Thought Differently......

“Go and see the real thing at the Barbican and avoid this.”  TIME OUT, The Tempest

“Blake obviously fancies himself as a new man in this boy scout’s guide to the feminist perspective.”  WHAT’S ON IN LONDON , Coloured Sands


“So bad it’s good……If only”   THE INDEPENDENT , The Prince

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