In 2016, having just graduated from drama school, Octavia created Biting Block Theatre with fellow ArtsEd graduate Emily Schofield. They co-wrote a play called Catching Up and performed it at the Edinburgh Fringe where they received a great response.
In 2018 Octavia and Emily re-worked and developed the script. In May they performed the new version of Catching Up at Theatre N16. They were also selected to perform in the Stockwell Playhouse One Act Festival that summer.
London Theatre 1 ****
'A work worth checking out from a young and talented new company.'
Last Minute Theatre Tickets ****
'Catching Up is a well acted, emotional piece and is well worth going to see.'
‘The skillfully written script provides a strong realism and flow to the speech. Also to be commended are the two actors themselves for pulling off a demanding piece of work with flare… Catching Up is a gripping piece of new theatre’
Beginner’s to the Stage
‘The emotionally charged performance led by ArtsEd graduates Emily Schofield and Octavia Gilmore was gripping from start to finish. The dramatic plot included new twists and turns which could never be expected, which left the audience enthralled to see what would happen next. The piece is not short of heartbreaking drama, as the plot unravels, the audience and actors are pushed into an emotional realm as morals and human nature are tested.’
The F Word
‘Gilmore and Schofield draw the audience into an intense drama which starts off as an innocent catch up between friends and then unfolds with shocking revelations, unsolicited advice and a sinister ultimatum. The play touches on some feminist themes such as motherhood, abortion and the frequently discussed question of whether women can ‘have it all’ when it comes to career and family. Amid the tension, there are a few welcome moments of unexpected humour and just when I think I know where the plot is going, another twist surprises me. Gilmore and Schofield are accomplished performers and I find myself hooked by the powerful simplicity of this piece of theatre.’
They’ve held each other’s hair back in club toilets, squeezed each other’s back spots and shared their deepest secrets. Becka and Flo know everything about each other… at least they think they do. When their catch up takes an unexpected turn, they discover that their lives are more entangled than they could have ever imagined. Shocking revelations spark betrayal, manipulation and sinister revenge. Through the unravelling of this friendship, Catching Up explores what it means to be female in the 21st century and asks: can a woman ever have it all?
Assistant Director to Donnacadh O'Briain on David Lewis' Mother Christmas at the Hampstead Theatre. The play starred Diana Quick, Alexandra Gilbreath, Jamie Ballard, Joseph Mydell and Ritu Arya.
Assistant Director to Donnacadh O'Briain on the rehearsed reading of Charlie Ward's Lightning at Park Theatre.
Octavia and three friends organised a week long drama workshop for children in Dorset. They created a promenade devised performance which they performed to the community at the end of the week.
Review: Symondsbury Notes, Jenifer Roddy
‘The audience was brought into the story by moving the cast around to different locations in and outside the barn, which had also given the children the opportunity to be more creative in building their own sets. The promenade show was slick and funny, full of movement with some nice ensemble moments. It was very entertaining and well received by an enthusiastic audience of parents and local people.’