"The fight between Angel and the bestial Ivan is amazingly gruesome and tense, for instance, and had this viewer alternately gasping and laughing nervous laughs, and, not wishing to spoiler anything, the film just doesn't let the tension go right up until the very end." The Seasoning House. 2012.
"If my enthusing about the fairy tale elements of the story is putting off those craving something more visceral, then fear not, as those elements are also here in spades. The abuse of the girls is not shot in an exploitative manner, but it is powerful and distressing, and when the vengeance finally starts the blood runs in rivers – the fight between Angel and the bestial Ivan is amazingly gruesome and tense, for instance, and had this viewer alternately gasping and laughing nervous laughs, and, not wishing to spoiler anything, the film just doesn't let the tension go right up until the very end." The Seasoning House. August 29, 2012. Brutal as Hell
"That's not to say the film shies away from the gore, in fact the reverse is the case, some of the violence (and there is a lot of it) is extreme and features one of the most realistic throat slittings you're going to witness outside of a Jihadi video and the rape scenes, when they are shown, are brutal." The Seasoning House, FrightFest The 13th, Sean Mowle. Filmjuice
"The Seasoning House is a never-ending splatter of action, blood, and anticipation—make no mistake about that; but it has just enough of a storyline to reel us in" Amanda Chen, August 25, 2012. Cinespect
"The violence in The Seasoning House will be harrowing and extremely real. With my extensive experience in prosthetics and visual effects we will be creating fight scenes and violence in a style not seen before". Paul hyett - Writer/Director
Working with Ruth and Rachel from RC Annie could only be described as an utter pleasure. Always professional, efficient and easy to get on with, we ploughed through all the stunts we needed to do safely and enjoyably. Not only are they great communicators and passionate about stunts looking real on screen, but they clearly love what they do and I believe are an essential element to any set requiring the services they provide. I look forward to working with them again." Seán Branigan, Writer/director of The Pride of Wade Ellison
"Our experience with RC Annie was simply excellent!..it was a joy to have Ruth, Rachel and their team on set… saving us precious time and ensuring our fight sequences looked great on screen". Ali Rumani, Producer of The Pride of Wade Ellison
"Ruth and Rachel are a highly dynamic and professional duo, proving invaluable. I would highly recommend them both and look forward to working with them again in the near future". Vicki Psarias, Director of Summer Holiday Music Video
“Particularly impressive is the main battle scene - there are hardly any of those awkward moments where enemies politely queue up to be slaughtered which one often sees in big budget productions. Instead we get something which, for all its limitations, feels visceral and real, the final one-on-one encounter being particularly ugly. This film delivers real thrills and real scares with special effects that stand up well alongside their professional counterparts” Hunt for Gollum reviewed by Jennie Kermode of Eye for film
“Thank you guys. It was great to have you along - the fight scenes look fantastic. It was great that they were so well choreographed as it meant we could shoot fewer takes and it allowed me to cram in all the extra shots I needed in my wildly overambitious shotlist”. Half Hearted director Max McGill
“I don't want to spoil it for the fans but I'm very excited about the incredible action sequence in the movie, when Strider is confronted by a hoard of Orcs. It's great to do months of training, learning techniques with the sword and running through fight choreography in the studio. You can't do a LOTR fan film without some bone-crunching Orc action and I'm glad to say we have it!" quote from lead actor Adrian Webster who played Strider in the Hunt for Gollum
“Thanks so much for your work on Sunday. You guys were amazing! It made such a huge difference to the performance (and how hard we had to work) working with experienced actors that knew what they were doing and could
turn it on and off like the two of you could”. Thanks so much, Chris Stones. London Film School.
The fight sequences…are a particular thrill: professional, convincing, replete with Jackson-esque moments of imaginative baddie slaying, and "Rewind that!" bits of weapon-play. Born of Hope review
"Possibly due to the all-female production team (headed by writer Cat Jones and director Elle White), there's also a refreshing abstinence from the bullish machismo associated with such pieces. Ray is undoubtedly dangerous, but the three incidents of violence in the play – two seen, one unseen – are handled with deliberate purpose. When Ray pushes Leanne in anger, he deflects Carla's shout of "she's a girl!" with the defensive protest "I've seen girls with guns"; when we discover why he's covered in blood, a twisted but heartfelt sense of honour is apparent in his actions; and when he apparently and seemingly inevitably flips out, the object lesson is to demonstrate how real fear actually works" Glory dazed, Edinburgh 2012.
"Kate Wasserberg's productions are often marked by atmospheric silences but here she proves she can handle rough-edged comedy and outbursts of shocking violence equally well. She also, by clever directorial sleight of hand, manages to disguise the other story going on within the apparently realistic domestic drama. This is a play that packs a powerful punch and would benefit from a second visit to pick up on those complexities so well disguised first time around."
(Victor Hallett, 16.05.12, The Stage)
"Bruised is the story of an unhappy family: dysfunctional, broken and patched up by bullying and the proceeds of crime. When a brother arrives home after six years of silence, the fragile carapace cracks with devastating consequences."
(Gail Cooper, 19.05.12, Wales online)
"The Tumbling of the actors deserved five stars too - they always falling from their feet to their knees and never a fault in sight. The stunts were very inventive; for the first time ever I have seen a stage fall: everyone had the fright of their life" for The Three Musketeers.
"Their sword-fights were completely convincing, emphasized with every tumble and trip" for The Three Musketeers.
This is the final production for the Unicorn's ensemble and more than ever is demanded of Samantha Adams, John Cockerill, Julie Hewlett, Liam Lane, Eric Nzaramba and Amaka Okafor, playing as many as four parts each, changes signified through different costumes and, of course, skilled acting. Their sword-fighting is utterly convincing, their comic lines timed to perfection and their scenes of love gained and lost powerful enough to provoke audible gasps in an audience - young and not so young - transfixed for two hours of drama that cumlinates three years' work characterised by a spirit of "All for one and one for all!"
Broadwayworld.com (April 2011)
Congratulations to fight directors, Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown for working visual wonders with all those fencing bouts, and to the cast for making them look so convincing in this entertaining show.
Susan Elkin, The Stage (8 April 2011)
Bouncy, boisterous and brutal, this is children’s theatre at its best. Rosamunde Hutt’s lively production is full of swash and buckle, without glossing over the darker side of the story which gives it its heart. If you can ignore the slight incongruity of people in high-vis vests suddenly drawing their rapiers – which is easy given the impressive energy displayed by the whole ensemble – the fight scenes steal the show: fight directors Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown have done a fine job. Up, down and every which way around Christopher Fauld’s split-level set, the fights gallop about which the requisite spectacular rescues and near misses.
Review by Eleanor Turney, A Younger Theatre (April 2011)
Rosamunde Hutt's The Three Musketeers is packed with swashbuckling. The many vigorous sword fights, arranged by Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper Brown, like the politics of the French court and the religious conflict that form the background to the plot, place it firmly in the seventeenth century but Christopher Fauld's multilayered scaffold set of shining metal provides a blank background.
Howard Loxton, The British theatre guide (April 2011)
The Cat Fight Scene between snotty Linda (Emily Pithon) and foghorn Bridget (Victoria John) erupts with female fury. It had to be arranged by a woman and it was, with Rachel Bown-Williams deserving credit. Review of A Chorus of Disapproval at Clwyd Theatr Cymru
“…Please give my regards to Ruth - they all really loved her” (as archery consultant)
Kristi Warwick stage manager for RSC production of Dunsinane
“…Gangster suits, throbbing motorbikes and a horribly realistic punch-up between Edward and Edga… But the comparison underlines effectively the thuggish brutality of the villains, notably in a painfully protracted eye-gouging scene and, under Jennifer Lunn’s lucid direction; this production achieves great clarity of meaning and direct emotional appeal…” King Lear review taken from The Stage
“Thank you!! And thank you lots for today, the scene looks wonderful and you were so inspiring and put a huge smile on all the cast's tired faces :-) xxx” Scarlett Plouviez Comnas the director of The Alchemist
“Act one sets off at a furious pace, with Millington and Tester at each others’ throats, duelling, very amusingly, with a whisk and a wooden spoon. Vane serves as the arbitrator, pulling them apart just in time before the first ‘client’ of the day arrives. The physical work (Ruth Cooper-Brown) is convincing and energetic without descending into farce.” The Alchemist review by James Richards for EXTRA! EXTRA! 2010
“Outside, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks…When they order an Indian takeaway; events take an unexpectedly shocking and violent turn… Hevey covers plenty of ground during the play's punchy 80 minutes - but this play is a stylish small explosion”. In My Name at the Trafalgar Studios, Review from The Times
“Sorry I did not have time to say more to you on Tuesday… - but just wanted to add a very big thank you for everything you did then and on the previous visit. You have made a very huge difference to the production - and the cast and I are very grateful - they are practicing daily now - and the scenes are so much the better for the work you have done with them. The actors are full of compliments for you both! Scrooge Kate Banister Brockley Jack Theatre
“I want to say thanks for all your work - I never tire of watching the swordfight and I think the fight captains are well-chosen, they're doing a very good job and are obviously passionate about the fight. Thanks again, I would certainly use RC-Annie again…” Daniel Wood, Creative Manager, Entertainments and Events Alton Towers.
”…three action moments raise the dramatic temperature, starting with a brilliantly staged fight between Lennie and Tom Lewis as the mean-spirited Curley. The key scene comes as Lennie cradles Curley’s young wife and accidentally breaks her neck as he tries to restrain her. Emma Barnett with pretty legs and a wrap-over scarlet gown is well cast as the girl whose foolish dreams are of Hollywood romance. Finally, the closing moments as George calms Lennie before shooting him in the back of the head - the litmus test for this play - offers both poignancy and resolution, while keeping sentimentality firmly at bay.” Of Mice and Men review taken from The Stage
“…There is violence in profusion with fists flying, knife battles, revolvers brandished and fired and bodies carried off stage. Plus, of course, the double deaths of the young couple. And not a doublet in sight….the deaths of the pair on a bare stage makes for a truly dramatic finale…” Romeo and Juliet review taken from The Stage
I have had the pleasure of working with R-C Annie on numerous occasions and have been consistently impressed by their organisational and artistic abilities.
I am certain that the proposed venue would be a tremendous boon for all levels of the British stage combat community. Sincerely, Tony Wolf
Cooper-Brown, and Rachel Bown-Williams, who compromise the brains behind this effort, are tirelessly talented, creative, honest, and have the ability to make their concept succeed." J Allen Suddeth
Rachel Bown-Williams came to America last fall to study with a number of stage combat fight directors throughout the country. I was one of those with whom she studied, and she contacted me about coming over for their industry intensive in June. She and Ruth Cooper-Brown were magnificent hosts, and very skilled themselves in combat training and instruction. Their students were quick learners and in general, quite skilled. It says a lot about their proficiency as instructors. It was good to see such stage fighters with such eagerness to learn historic styles, and their desire to learn every aspect of the styles taught, not just some "cool moves" they could use on stage. This is due to the philosophy instilled into them by Rachel and Ruth. John ‘Doc’ Lennox.
“A long overdue thanks to both of you for a quite fantastic and fulfilling week. Your hard work, generosity, planning, and good humor made my week's stay fly by. It was quite obvious that you had both worked overtime to fill the roster with high quality students. Especially hard these days, I know. It was much appreciated…Thanks again for stepping into the gaps, when students were late, had hit their heads, or had auditions. I'm certainly in your debt for having put this whole thing together, and offering me the opportunity to meet a new group of students, and teach what I hope was well received. I had the added plus of actually seeing you two in action, and the dynamic machine that together you make!
I'm only sorry that we didn't get a photo of the three of us. Cheers for now, and I hope that our blades cross again in the not too distant future. Best”
J. Allen Suddeth New York Fight Director
“Over the past five years I have had the pleasure of working with Ruth and Rachel during several of my London seminar tours. Both women combine a serious work ethic with a sincere enthusiasm for stage combat in all its forms - like their own teaming, this is a potent combination. I look forward to seeing what the future brings to RC-Annie."
Tony Wolf, New Zealand
“Dear RC's Can I just say - all your efforts seem to be paying off, I think the site, your emails, classes etc etc are looking spunky and hot. Thanks for doing what you are doing and keep up the amazing work.
love and respect SCOTT WITT, MFA. Australia. Artistic Director, Combat Circus
“Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ruth and Rachel frequently. I’ve known Rachel for six years now, and Ruth for five. It is always a joy when I can work with either of them. Skilled, kind, and considerate, they are both excellent teachers and collaborators. I love to work with truly creative people, especially people who have a sense of themselves and a sense of humor about themselves. Rachel and Ruth fit that description to a T. I highly recommend them to you.”
Dr Lloyd Caldwell USA Fight Director.
“Thank you for the opportunity to teach, it was fun and a great excuse to meet you both. Your students were very attentive, positive and easy to work with, which is a reflection on their instructors. I look forward to seeing you again in December.”
Take care, Jared Kirby. USA Fight Director
“Just wanted to say Thanks for the opportunity to work with you and Rachel at The Horde. I had a great time and enjoyed the chance to teach some new students. I hope they enjoyed and that we get the chance to do it again soon
Cheers Bret Yount” Master Teacher for the BASSC, Equity Fight Director and American Fight Director.
We had a fantastic time on Tuesday! The kids got so much out of it – one boy said that it was the best workshop he had ever done.
Ellie Brown from Fredrick Bremmer School
Thanks so much the students absolutely loved working with you! They were exhausted – they say they are scared now you are gone!!! They will perform 11th Feb 7pm & their exam is Fri 13th in the day – I know you busy but would be great if you wanted to come! Will be in touch again for more!
Carole Mcilwain Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College Trust
“Can I just say what outstanding teachers you have. The kids haven't stopped talking about it and wanted to know if it was happening today too. Both teachers had excellent relationships with students and were complete professionals. I am so pleased we found you! I will be in touch about next year as soon as I can twist a few arms. Thank you”
Zoe Shepherd, Head of Drama/ AST Beaumont School
“I have used Rc-Annie on a number of occasions to deliver workshops in schools across London. I have always been impressed with the organization of the company and their fight directors. They have proved to be a reliable and enthusiastic team who deliver workshops of a high standard in an understandable and thoroughly enjoyable way. Feedback from the schools is always very positive, and they are always left wanting more!”
Nicola Brookstein, Caboodle
“Just wanted to thank you for the workshop you ran here. The students have been full of it and are working hard to incorporate some of the ideas into their Wild West Unit. Both the sessions you ran were fun and informative and we shall certainly use you in the future”
With kind regards, Maureen
“Thanks for your email. Our production of Macbeth was a great success (5 trophies and awards at national competition). We will, no doubt, be needing your services again at some stage and I would not hesitate to call on your services again. It was a great success, Best wishes in your new venture”
“Thanks so much for the brilliant show on Saturday, really was hilarious! We've actually had a request for it to be filmed for a political documentary called Hand's Up Who's Bored? (see email below) I wonder if you think we could organise this?” Slyiva Harrison The Roundhouse
“I just wanted to drop you guys an email to say how much fun I had at Fight Club yesterday. You both (plus the boys of course) were fantastic teachers and even though I am black and blue this morning, I had an amazing day.
Alan from our Fight Club themed day
“Just to say a massive thank you. I thought you were brilliant. Thanks so much for last minute booking and your enthusiasm/ expertise. Wish we could have had a lot longer. Pls keep us posted with any emails as always a good reminder. Jan – Mar is normally our workshop term so would love to get some dates in then.” Laura Joyes BA QTS ISTD CDE Artistic Director lcn performing arts
Just another message to say thanks for the great session. Everyone had a really god day and they've been raving about it ever since!
“Just wanted to say thanks very much for Saturday - everyone really enjoyed it. Everyone said the mix of workshops worked really well. ..And the only injury of the day was caused by the inflatable parrot!” Matt from Pirate themed day
“Thanks so much. Yesterday was really great - interesting, clear and has given me the confidence to work with our guns but also to manage the handling of them, by the rest of my team!! Cheers!!” Meryl Couper, Company Stage Manager, Royal & Derngate.
“Thank you so much for running the workshop. The lads all enjoyed themselves and learnt a great deal too!!! Coming from a non-teaching background. I wanted to ensure that any workshops I arrange for the students are of industry standard, rather then a ‘workshop for schools’; so I was delighted with the level of quality you both provided. You both have a really positive and supportive style to your facilitating which was clearly evident in the way the boys responded to you and what they achieved in such a short time. Top stuff!!! Do let me know of any events/workshops in the future and, like I said, if I can’t organise a group I’ll certainly pass any details on to the individual lads. Thanks again. Keep smiling! Mark from Monmouth School
“ Just a quickie to say thank you for a fab day! The kids absolutely loved it! Speak to you soon about the next one!”> Rachel Griffiths, Stage Door School for Performing Arts
“After blocking a flurry of punches to the face, Morgan ducks his head and charges forward. He head butts Ruddick square in the stomach and follows up the surge with three quick blows to the midriff. Grunting in pain, Ruddick yanks Morgan's head upright and attempts to break his neck. But after a few seconds’ struggle, during which the air is filled with effortful grunts and groans, Morgan releases a devastating elbow jab just above Ruddick's hip, causing him to stagger away. As the fight goes on, the blows grow more savage. Ruddick gets slung spectacularly hard against the wall, arms splattering into the unforgiving brick. He manages to get away a couple of punches to Morgan's chest as his opponent presses in, but is finally decimated by a huge, arcing hammer-blow to the face after failing to recover from a jab to the belly. Beaten, he slumps slowly to the floor to a chorus of sympathetic moans from the gathered audience”. Men’s Health magazine 2009
“I was delighted when RC-Annie agreed to be facilitating directors for a session of the 16 hour all-improv Dramathon at the Roundhouse Studios this summer, and they exceeded my expectations, delivering a two and a half hour stage combat workshop with charm, massive commitment and consummate skill. They also had a great but completely unobtrusive responsibility to the sixty or so young people charging about safely under their tutelage. There was a moment when I looked down into the space and saw a rolling, kicking, laughing, punching, groaning and joyful totally controlled brawl going on, and knew that the young people were loving every second of it. (Comments book provided hard evidence later). I very much look forward to working with RC-Annie again.” Laline Paull, Artistic Director, ROUNDHOUSE STUDIOS DRAMATHON 2006
“I had a wonderful weekend with Independent Horse. The tuition was expert and patient, a great deal of fun and well worth every penny. The surroundings were beautiful, as were the horses and hospitality was warm and friendly. We were of course, at the mercy of the great British weather, but our spirits were not dampened even if we were. The weather did bring up the issue of increased down time, which could have been put to better use with theory, or ground combat in the barn perhaps, but when the weather did break, we had to move pretty quickly to get ready and mounted up, so it may not be practical to begin new disciplines just to fill in time. The team gave us a display of their new routine on Saturday evening which was thoroughly entertaining. Best wishes and many thanks for organising the course” Ian
“May I also take this opportunity to thank you once again for your time and patience in delivering the foundation course in July, I hope I expressed how much I enjoyed the course and how much I gained from it, all of which was down to your fantastic tuition. On that subject I still haven’t received my Gold Stared Certificate! I’ve left a couple of messages at Central but have had no response, do I need to keep chasing it up or is there anything you can do on my behalf? Once again a sincere thank you for sharing your expertise with me and I hope to work with you again at some point in the future. Cheers” Andrew Proctor HND Co-ordinator/Tutor Performing Arts at Central School of Speech and Drama
“On Friday evening I may have forgotten to fully express my sincere gratitude towards you and your team. I had a fantastic time over the two weeks we spent together, and was inspired not just by the subject-matter but also from working with people as committed and passionate as your selves. I would recommend these courses and the work you do to anyone. (I'm not trying to get a discount or anything I promise!). I really enjoyed the course we did and am determined to get more than just a pass on the next one! Cheers” David Pibworth, Theatre Producer and Director.
Member of The Guild Of British Directors and Equity.
“Just a quick note to thank you for a brilliant week! Really challenging and really worth while! Though I feel I need to sleep for a week now! You & Claire were a great team and I feel I learned a great deal in the short time we had!”
“Phoenix Festival a Massive May Day Hit! The Maypole dancing ‘have-a’go’ was a big hit, along with hobby-horse jousting and archery, making a trul traditional May Day festival. A packed playbill included the internationally renowned party performers the ‘Cosmic Sausages’ and the magical ‘Wild Hunt Bedlam’ Morris Dancers. Crowds were also entertained by the antics of strolling costumed characters, including madcap Jesters, merry maids and even a knight in shining armour from ‘RC-Annie’ the live action event specialists. Other activities include the ever-popular art and story tents, t-shirt painting, wacky bug races, Surrey Docks Farm animals, a climbing wall, rock carving, have-a-go at brick-laying, aerosol artwork, nail-art, face painting and balloon modelling too.” Ellen Doran, Interim Communications Coordinator. Phoenix Festival
“I feel compelled to write and let you know what an absolutely fantastic day out my little boy and I had yesterday. It was a spur of the moment decision and it far exceeded my expectations in fact it was bloody brilliant, the best day out we have had in ages. He is 3 and 3 months and very into pirates and your crew certainly delivered. It was well organised, interesting, age appropriate, exciting and most of all entertaining. The Pirates were fabulous and we did the whole thing, some bits twice, without losing interest.” Thank you very very much for a great experience at the Bank holiday aboard the golden Hinde” Steph and Finn May
“…you must have been absolutely freezing all weekend, although you were true professionals and we'd never have guessed that hypothermia was setting in! I thought the combat workshop was superb and thought the way you broke everything down into simple moves and ideas was easily understandable - even to the most sedentary of those present! I had some good feedback from people but have included a comment from our Tudor Gunner - Many thanks for the workshop last night, thought RC Annie were excellent both instructive and very enjoyable plus being thought provoking! If you do come back to Jersey let me know and I can arrange a trip for you out to Elizabeth Castle to see the Militia guys in action. Hope you have a good season and look forward to seeing you again.” Cassie Horton Jersey Heritage Trust
“This year's Bexleyheath School Arts Festival hosted the brand new production 'A Violent History', from the RC-Annie Company. The production was a complete hit with both pupils and staff. The audience was captured from beginning to end, and the pupil interaction was a pleasure to watch. The expert organization from the RC-Annie Company was as always superb.”