Shaun Nolan is a writer, actor, director and producer of theatre, audio and film based in London, United Kingdom.
From a very young age, I found myself being driven towards anything even remotely theatrical or artistic. At age 7, my love for the theatre started to grow properly and I began to write, sing, act and more on a daily basis. This led to me writing short stories, short plays, making short films and more with whoever I could convince to do it with me and it was marvellous (I even made a habit out of planning whole seasons worth of my own television shows, just because I found the planning process fun). And being an only child, it meant I pretty much had to learn how to do all of it on my own. At about 11, my parents got me into the local amateur dramatics scene – something that is very accessible for young people in my area – and I performed in shows until I was 15. I clearly enjoyed it a lot as, when I was 15 and in a production of Fiddler on the Roof, I was awarded the NODA London Flame Award from Inspiration Contribution to the Pursuit of Excellence in Theatre, an award I was honoured to receive at such a young age.
Also in my early teens, I found myself taking my fondness for the Arts to the digital screen as I became a theatre blogger; after several failed attempts of becoming a YouTuber, I finally found my Blogger calling. Through this major exposure to the theatrical world, I studied and honed my talents as I observed some of the greatest artists of the stage working on a very regular basis. My work on my own theatre blog ultimately led me to collaborating with other published arts media, like London Theatre Direct, Theatre & Performance Magazine, and TodayTix.
My work in the blogging sector led me to making many new friends as well, a community of people that I now hold in as high regard as the friends that I made through school. Eventually, blogging led me into the realm of podcasting, an artistic medium that I’d loved for many years prior. I made my first podcast in the Summer of 2016 entitled Opening Doors, a documentary podcast that tackled different sociological issues. The show returned for a third and final season in Summer 2018. In Autumn 2017, I added Home or Away? to my roster of shows and in Spring 2018, I added Our Noughties Diary to that ever-growing list, too. In the Autumn of 2019, I showcased my passion for film analysis with my new fortnightly podcast Nobody Puts Movies In An Order, co-hosted with my friend Verity Bennett.
Also in the Autumn of 2017, I finally started on my journey as a screenwriter and as an actor when I created, wrote, assistant directed, executive produced and starred in my own web series Pickle about a homosexual teenage boy trying to figure out what he wants from life. The first season launched on YouTube in September 2017 to great acclaim and helped me to develop my passion for television and film in a practical way. The show returned for a second season in September 2018 and concluded in September 2019 with a two-part finale. Also in September 2018, I directed and co-produced my own production of Scott McPherson’s Marvin’s Room, which was performed at the Limelight Theatre in Aylesbury.
That isn’t the biggest thing that happened for me in 2018, though. August saw my debut one-act play Paper Dolls receive its world premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Focusing on the intersection between political policies and social justice, Paper Dolls tells the story of a boy named Billy who dreams of becoming an independent MP in his constituency, but to win votes from his like-minded piers, he tries to introduce a unisex changing room into one of London’s biggest department stores. The one-man play was written, directed, produced and performed by Your’s Truly. The play returned to the stage for one night only in April 2019 as part of Paper Dolls & Other Shorts, a charity gala night of one-act plays by me at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre. The night raised money for Sense, a charity that supports deafblind children and their families, with whom I ran the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon.
Rounding off 2019, I made my first step into the world of audio plays with my Christmas story The Sugar Plum, which premiered on YouTube just before Christmas 2019. The story featured a brilliant full cast of actors, as well as an original Christmas song from my frequent musical collaborator Emma Thorpe.
To kick-start 2020, I put my producing hat on and assistant produced Everything Is Absolutely Fine (a new musical from theatre company House of Blakewell), and I, Incel (a one-man show from Attila Theatre). Working alongside producer Hannah Elsy of Hannah Elsy Productions, it was a fun experience to work solely as a producer on a project.
And alongside all of this, I’m constantly working on much smaller things that couldn’t really call themselves ‘projects’ in their own rights. I’m the theatre columnist for Aylesbury Vale’s Vale Life Magazine and I also keep a regular column on film and television for Miro Magazine. In addition to that, I infrequently write columns and features for several other publications, which you can find out about on my ‘other work’ page. And I also do a lot of work for charity, making it a priority of mine to do at least one self-organised fundraising event per year.
I am always hard at work on something new and regularly have about five different projects in the works at once. A lot of them take months (and in some cases, years) to manifest themselves into the final product. It’s a lengthy process, but for me, that’s the beauty of being an artist.
To find out more about my work or to get in touch with any questions that you may have, you can reach me through one of the means on my contact page.