A little bit about us



Mad Alice is a not-for-profit professional Theatre Company created by actress Shelley O’Brien in 2003 and is based in Consett in Co. Durham – her home town.

Originally, our highly acclaimed unique adaptations of Shakespeare took place in Blackhill and Consett Heritage Park as a result of its restoration and contributed to the Park gaining both a Heritage Award and Green Flag status. 

Since then audiences have been enjoying our outdoor performances ( both of Shakespeare and other classics such as Aesop's Fables) throughout Northumberland (Hexham Park), Durham (Apollo Pavillion, Horden Park, Hardwick Park, Dalton Park, Chester le Street Market, Crimdon Dene, Prince Bishop's Park Bishop Auckland, The Bowes Museum Grounds, View Lane Park Stanley ),  Sunderland (Mowbray Park), Darlington (South Park), Blyth (Ridley Park) & Hartlepool (Ward Jackson Park). 

In addition these productions (as well as our productions of Hansel & Gretel, Yule Tide & Winter Tales, Nonsense and Stuff Poetry show, Cuddy & His Mates) have developed further for indoor touring, including as well as schools, regional & national venues such as The Sage Gateshead, The Customs House South Shields, Queens Hall Hexham, Alnwick Playhouse, Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Gateshead Flower Show, Salisbury Playhouse, Doncaster Arts Festival and Cumbria (Mintfest)  as well as touring to numerous schools, community venues, churches & cathedrals (Sunderland Minster, Newcastle Cathedral) throughout The North of England.

She Wins All The Races - A Tragicomedy with Biscuits has toured to major theatres regionally and nationally as well as many secondary schools and conferences (North Tyneside Health Trust).

Our most recent show Rose and Robin has toured to major theatres regionally and many schools and community venues in the region too.

We also have a strong following of young people and children who regularly attend our holiday drama projects !



Shelley O'Brien (Founding Director)

After studying Biochemistry at UCL, London University, Shelley trained as an actress at the Academy Of Live & Recorded Arts (3 yrs Actor's Course, ALRA London, NCDT, CDS). She has performed with numerous theatre companies in Britain and abroad playing a wide range of roles such as Juliet in Romeo & Juliet (Durham Theatre Company), Olivia in Twelfth Night (Mad Alice), the title role in Macbeth (Theatre Hullabaloo) & Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Mad Alice). As well as classical roles she has played roles in numerous modern interpretations of classic stories such as Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood and Cinders with Jack Drum Theatre Company & Princess Thousand Beauties in The Singing Ringing Tree (CTC Theatre/NTC) She has also been part of new writing including the role of Kate in Keep It Simple with Farnes Productions at Live Theatre Newcastle & Manchester 24:7 Festival. Physical theatre and devising also form a core part of her work such as" Bambino" a street theatre show with Jack Drum Arts directed by world famous clown, Angela De Castro. She has produced as well as acted in all of Mad Alice's productions.

Shelley is represented by HEATHER SIMPKIN, Theatrical Agent, English Repertory Theatre.  / [email protected] / 07710 238 481 / 01628 601 672

<img " title="">Click to view Shelley's full CV.

Pete Baynes (Director)

Pete is a highly established experienced Actor/Writer/Devisor/Musician/Theatre Practitioner/Community Artist/Workshop Leader with over 30 years professional experience. Trained with Monica Pagneux & Phillipe Gaulier in Paris, he excels in physical theatre and devising. A regular performer/director/devisor/actor/writer & workshop leader with the Company as well as working for other national & international companies. Specialising in drama, music and movement for 4yrs and under (including babies) and their families.

Click to view Pete's CV

Geof Keys (Director)

Until recently the Artistic Director Queen’s Hall Arts Geof has a wealth of

directing credits including for Mad Alice, Much Ado about Nothing , Twelfth Night and Aesop’s

Fables, as well as development and mentoring new writing credits for children’s



Sandra Mann (Director)

Sandra brings a wonderful refreshing quality to the company, great insight into the emotional, physical and mental health and well being of the people we deliver performances and workshops to, being a staff nurse with 30 years professional experience in the NHS.






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