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  • Writer's pictureClaire Venus

Catch-up with Cambois based writer and creative Alex Oates

Updated: Jan 25, 2023

and his brand new short film - 'Mortal' produced in partnership with director, Andy Berriman


We really enjoy profiling a peak behind the scenes into cultural sector working and this is a real treat of a 'day in the life' of a writer and film director.


The film (Mortal) is a sad look at northern drinking culture and features acclaimed actor Trevor Fox who is well known on the Geordie stage and has also acted with National Theatre and Young Vic among many others, Trevor’s also the main role in Ken Loach’s upcoming feature.


Andy and Alex co-produced the film, with the only budget being spent on paying a local Cambois resident to be an extra and buying drinks at Cambois Club for the cast and crew. It was made in a day at the super accommodating Cambois Club with a brilliant team of filmmakers.


Creators Andy and Alex are really proud of the film and are working on further ideas to develop for the big screen.


Watch it here!


Film credits for mortal - Director of Photography ROSS MARSHALL/ Focus TIAN ABRIE

AC 1 NIC SIAN/ Edit ANDY BERRIMAN/ Colour MIKE LEE THOMAS/ Music IGNEOUS FLAME



The collaborators


Alex Oates grew up in Whitley Bay and moved to London to study theatre, he spent his 20’s mastering his craft in the capital alongside all sorts of day jobs.


He was chosen out of thousands for the prestigious old vic 24-hour plays, and his breakthrough play Silk Road was a massive success at the Fringe and later in London’s West End. Since then he’s had acclaimed runs at Hull Truck, Southwark playhouse among others as well as BBC radio dramas and TV projects in development. He moved back to the North East, and made a home in Cambois Northumberland in 2019 with his wife, Dance Artist Esther Huss. Together they took on the lease of Cambois Miners Welfare Institute, a local building where they run community arts activities.


Andy contacted Alex in 2022 looking for monologue ideas and Alex sent him a short story he’d written about a man from Cambois who loses a leg due to alcoholism. Andy loved it and decided to make it into a film.


Andy Berriman is a film and theatre director from Stockton on Tees. He co-founded an award winning theatre company at the age of 16 before attending film school. In 2015 he wrote and directed the BIFA long listed ‘A Six & Two Threes’ and in 2018 released ‘Elsewhere’ starring Molly Windsor and Mark Addy. In 2021 he directed a BBC Three Laugh Lesson and in 2022 he directed ‘MORTAL’ and was part of the Film Hub North and Fulwell73 Scratch Me cohort. He is a also an experienced director of commercials and music videos.



More about Alex Oates;

His work has also been long listed for the Bruntwood prize, in 2016 and 2022 . He was nominated for Most Promising Playwright at The Off West End Awards for his play ALL IN A ROW which will receive it’s European premier at Teatro Tarantana, Barcelona in 2024. His award winning webseries MATCH NOT FOUND was nominated for a C21 award. Alex took part in the BBC’s Jesting About scheme where he wrote a pilot sitcom THE TO DO LIST.


His radio play for BBC Radio 4 OUR LIAM OF LOURDES was pick of the week when it aired in 2019, his recent short film MORTAL was highly commended by Sunderland Film Festival 2022 and he is part of the BFI Network shortfilm screenlab 2022.


Alex’s most recent play THE FILLETING APP was among the final 39 of 1800 plays submitted to Papatango Prize 2022, final 30 of 1900 submitted to Bruntwood Prize and he hopes will be presented in the North East very soon .


Follow up -

Cambois Institute - https://theinstitute.uk/contact

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