To celebrate the achievements and hard work of this summer's Masterclass Apprentices, they presented Airswimming by Charlotte Jones at the Theatre Royal Haymarket!

Masterclass placed three apprentices on Breakfast At Tiffany's in directing, stage management and design. Siobhán Cannon-Brownlie worked alongside Nikolai Foster as our apprentice director, Stephanie Hammersley was chosen as our stage management apprentice and Caitlin Abbot worked alongside Matthew Wright as our apprentice designer. 

The piece was directed by Siobhán, designed by Caitlin and stage managed by Stephanie.

About the Play

Charlotte Jones’s Airswimming is a tender and comic piece about endurance, injustice and above all, female friendship. Set in the early 1920s, Persephone arrives at St Dymphna’s institution for the criminally insane. Here she meets Dora, who has been incarcerated for two years. Persephone and Dora learn to live with themselves and each other, away from the society that shunned them. They create a fantasy world in order to survive their bleak existence, becoming Porph and Dorph; adopting the persona of Doris Day and deviant historical women respectively.

Through this snapshot of two women living out their days with only each other for company, we are offered a poignant observation of what it is to be a woman who has stepped outside of society’s narrow idea of femininity. Airswimming is due a revival; it is a beautiful piece of writing that highlights the mistreatment of women, and whilst we no longer imprison mothers of illegitimate children or women who wish to live as men, we have a long way to come before we live in an equal society.


Persephone - Peta Cornish
Dora - Kate Cavendish

The Masterclass Apprentice Scheme is generously supported by the Mackintosh Foundation, D'oyly Carte Trust and Vernon Charitable Trust.