top of page
Poster design by Emily George

The Halfway House

The Halfway House was a site-specific, immersive theatre piece that was devised and staged by Persona Collective in the Old Central Saint Martins campus on Southampton Row, Holborn. The Koppel Project kindly invited Persona Collective – to develop and stage a theatre show at their Koppel Project Campus, which was conceived as an experimental, cross-disciplinary education and arts facility in the former Saint Martins. It has been vacant for many years and is eventually due to be redeveloped as a high-end hotel. The live show took place from 21st September to 4th October 2020.

The narrative revolved around three storylines, each unfolding in ‘The Halfway House’ - a fictional hotel. The building and its residents are stuck between two worlds, paralysed by nostalgia and slipping into real and fabricated versions of their past, but equally seduced by and drawn into this absurdly ill-fitting new reality of a ‘luxury’ hotel, which is in the process of being constructed but already feels extremely makeshift, seedy and tired.


The feature length film version of the performance is currently in film competitions and soon available online, which will open it up to a much bigger audience and also allow those who did attend, to see the show from the perspective of the other characters.

Link: Gallery 'The Halfway House'

The Labyrinth Cameron Lee-Allen and Michael Hall
Blue Room.jpeg
By Karolina Burlicowska - Cameron Lee-Allen in the boxes corridor, 70's Tower

"I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it. Snatches and glimpses still drift through my mind: a porter pulling a man to shore; clandestine talks in bedrooms and on doorsteps; a cardigan pulled on and off; flirtations and aggravations across space; an impressive thunderstorm..."

Click here to read the full review

"The experience was something between watching a fragmented movie, being in a haunted house, and being in touch with your memories all at once, as the story that was being told was not in chronological order. The interactive way that we walked through the building added an extra element of voyeurism..."

Click here to read the full review

Breakfast at The Halfway House
areal shot maids.jpeg

"Persona Collective immersive theatre shows, are the most prolific and ambitious projects I have come across in the past two years. 'The Candidate' and 'The Halfway House', are undeniably pushing the boundaries of experimentation, constantly questioning what live performance means today. Their scenarios are visually and conceptually curated to the minimum detail, and yet they leave space to the audiences to be part of it. I truly believe Persona Collective artistic research will have a big impact on the theatre community and beyond."​        - Marcela Iriarte Villa Lobos

Documentation The Halfway House

Video 1 -  'Storm Room' installation by Jack Wates at The Lethaby building.


Video 2 - 'Blue Room' soundtrack by Finn Boxer with stills from The Halfway House.

Video 3 - Trailer Film 'The Halfway House'  

Design by Emma LD

"While working in the The Halfway House we were constantly responding and revealing alternative layers to the reality of the landscape, but making sure the particular environment of the building remains as part of the final show. The show’s narrative and scenography emerged from the place"  Satu Streatfield, Lighting Design director. 

by Karolina Burlicowska
By Karolina Burlicowska - Cochrane Theatre
Lighting test ground floor corridor W.Lethaby

We invited two artists to work in the their
own art installations as part of the
'The Halfway House' show.  Jack Wates created '
The Storm Room'inside the spectaular dome exhibition room at the listed W.Lethaby building and Charly Blackburn built 'The Lab' in the textiles room at the 1970's Tower Block.

Interrogation rooms from film sets at the bridge in the CSM campus
Design by Emma LD - Open Call cast
Box corridor at 70's Tower - Cameron Lee - Allen

Persona Collective seeks to involve local communities, including both amateur and professional performers, in
co-creating its shows, while also using buildings and spaces that are either overlooked or at risk of slipping from living memory. 
Shows and performances are developed using ‘devised theatre’ techniques. We run months of dance, improvisation, role-play workshops and theatre games
with performers in situ to gradually develop their characters and the narratives.

Cast warming up before the show
Charly Blackburn - The Lab

"Research into the history of the site, its urban context and past uses and users heavily influences the role-plays and the narratives"      - Satu Streatfield, Lighting Design director. 


"A team of scenographers worked together to transform some of the spaces into hotel rooms, a reception and a restaurant while some of the other rooms and corridors would remain original. We wanted to show to the audience what was really happening inside the building at that time. The space was already a building site and the iconic art school was in the process of being transformed into a high-end hotel"      - Rocio Ayllon, Artistic Director. 

Cast & Creators

Jean-Charles Wadja

Mélanie Gautier

Michael Hall

Emily George

Olga Lagun

Tom Kim

Francesca Costa

Georgia Leefe

Anna Fil

Valia Katsis

Cameron Lee-Allen

Charly Monreal

Sally Plowman

Daniel Seifu

Michael Sookhan


Host & Collaborator - The Koppel Project

Venue - The Old Central St. Martins 

Special Thanks to - 

Abigail Adams

Marcela Iriarte Villalobos



Rocío Ayllón - Artistic Director & Producer

Elina Akhmetova - Movement Director & Choreographer

Karolina Burlikowska - Photographer & Art Director

Satu Streatfield - Lighting Design Director

Finn Boxer - Sound Designer & Cinematographer

Sami Sabik - Creative Technologist ​

Assistant Directors
Elina Akhmetova 

Michael Hall 

Production Team

Alice Wilson

Clare McAndrew

Rocío Ayllón

Elina Akhmetova

Emma LD

Tom Kim

Tom Wheeler

Lighting Technicians

& programmers

Steve Lowe

Thomas Blackburn 

Lighting Designers

Technicians & Operators

Laura Arroyo

Gaia Crocella

Steve Lowe

Luciana Martinez

Tom Wheeler

Alice Wilson

Art installations & Collaborations

Jack Wates - Storm Room

Charly Blackburn - The Lab

Will Langstone - Cello

Set Designers

Emma Wilson

Emily George

Clary Montero

Alice Wilson

Emma LD

Graphic Designers

Emily George

Emma LD

Sound Assistants 

Waris Albakri

Femi Oriogun- Williams


Finn Boxer

Olga Lagun

Hamish Nichols

Film Edition

Sinan Kinch - Film Editor

Junho Lee (Postino) -  Colourist

Emma LD - Credits design

Location Sound Recordist

Florence Woolley

Alice Wilson


Satu Streatfield, Emma LD, Karolina Burlicowska, 

Clare McAndrew, Rocío Ayllón


Abigail Adams

Juan Sanchez Plaza

Rocio Chacon

Clary Montero

Femi Oriogun – Williams,

Anna Chiarin


Holborn Association

Dragon Hall

Show - Preview Mentors  

Jo Danzig

Vanya Gostev

Florence Greensmith

Sponsors Lighting & second hand equipment

White Light 
Enliten Architectural Lighting
Mike Stoane Lighting
iGuzzini illuminazione

Lighting, Effects &

Logistics Equipment

Shakespeare’s Globe

Audio Equipment

Orbital Sound

Shakespeare’s Globe

Film Equipment

Direct Digital


Putney Theatre 


Phoebe BP

Lobster Records 


Duplikat Press


duplikat press.png
Lobster Records_.png
koppel logo.png
Enliten Architectural Lighting.png
putney arts theatre.png
Dragon Hall logo.png
Direct Digital.png
bottom of page