The Company

Honest, human, affecting, revealing: we make plays about people and the places they’re from.

Alice Hamilton

Co-Artistic Director

[email protected].

Direction for Up in Arms includes Eventide (Arcola and tour, nominated for the Offie for Best Director, 2015), Visitors (Arcola, Bush Theatre and tour, nominated for the Offie Award for Best Director, 2014), Fear of Music (tour with Out of Joint) and At First Sight (tour and Latitude Festival). Other work includes Orson's Shadow (Southwark Playhouse), Belarus (Arcola for the Miniaturists), Extinct and Starcrossed (Bush for Courting Drama) and The Kingdom of Me (Park Theatre for Hatch). As Staff Director: Man And Superman (National Theatre).

Barney Norris

Co-Artistic Director

[email protected].

Barney won the Critics' Circle Award and the Offwestend Award for Most Promising Playwright for Visitors. His latest play Eventide has been nominated for five Offies. His short plays, collected as What You Wish For In Youth, are published by Oberon. His book To Bodies Gone: The Theatre of Peter Gill, is published by Seren, and his first novel, Five Rivers Met On A Wooded Plain, will be published in spring 2016. He is the Martin Esslin Playwright in Residence at Keble College, Oxford and was named by the Evening Standard as one of the 1000 Most Influential Londoners in 2015.

Charlie Young

Company Stage Manager

[email protected].

Charlie has worked around the UK and across the world at venues including Sydney Opera House and the Barbican as a stage manager for Tall Stories, Complicite, The Wrong Crowd, House, Arcola, Southwark Playhouse, The Point in Eastleigh, Trafalgar Studios and many others. For Up In Arms she has stage managed Fear Of Music, Visitors and Eventide.

Our Story

So Far...

Up In Arms is a multi award-winning touring theatre company from the south west of England. The company was founded in 2008 by Alice Hamilton and Barney Norris, who began working together as teenagers in their local youth theatre. Producer Chloe Courtney and company stage manager Charlie Young came on board in 2012, and we have been telling stories together ever since. We have performed above pubs, in classrooms, hospices, woods and village halls, and in many of the UK's leading theatres.

Advisory Board

Lauren Clancy, Iain Gillie, Peter Lawlor, John McGrath, Frances Macadam, Peter Tyas, Lucy Williams


German Skerries

by Robert Holman


by Barney Norris


by Barney Norris

Fear of Music

by Barney Norris

At First Sight

by Barney Norris


Raising Awareness

We make plays by collecting stories from the world around us and weaving them together into something new. As part of this process, we meet a lot of people whose expertise and experience feeds our work. We try in turn to provide a platform for the causes they care about through what we do.

We worked with a variety of charities during our production of Visitors to raise awareness of issues raised in the play. We were particularly proud to host several Dementia Friends sessions from the Alzheimer’s Society, helping audience members to help people living with dementia.

Enabling Audiences

Our work is made to inspire people into a greater engagement with the conditions of their lives, and we deliver a range of engagement initiatives alongside our productions to support that ambition.

During our run of Visitors, Barney, our writer and co-artistic director, ran a devising project with students at Hammersmith Academy and residents of Mary Seacole Nursing Home, who created a ten minute play about their lives and performed it on the Bush stage, replicating in miniature the process by which we make our plays.


We'd love you to get involved with our work.

Our plays are made possible by our Supporters, a group of people who believe in the importance of the stories we tell and the way we tell them.

By collaborating with our Supporters, we try to ensure what we do has the maximum possible impact in the communities we tour to.

Click here to find out more.



'A writer-chronicler to be cherished' (Evening Standard)


'An important act of reclamation' (Studies in Theatre and Performance)

What You wish For

Three short plays by Barney Norris: At First Sight, Fear Of Music and Every You Every Me

Visitors book

'Heartbreaking' (New York Times)