Directing Reviews
Youth Productions:
“Tight direction from Bates allows this vivacious cast to shine” 
(Paper Moons – Union Theatre – Time Out 4-star review by Tamara Gausi)

''A few delicate performances, ably brought out by director Maria Bates, make for a highly moving spectacle.''

(Stay With Me – Greenwich Playhouse – Time Out review by Jonathan Gibbs)


''It is a drama that looks beyond the secret annexe and doesn’t shy away from the brutal truth of what Anne Frank may have experienced next. During the interval someone was in tears; a testament to the power of the play that speaks volumes and says more than any critical review''

(Stay With Me – Greenwich Playhouse –Indie London)


''The fluency of the delivery of the dialogue is astonishing, and the directors (Maria Bates and Stuart Draper) have brought a remarkable example of Youth Drama to the Playhouse.''

(Stay With Me – Greenwich Playhouse – Kentish Times review)


''Enjoyable is hardly a word to be used in conjunction with a play about a group of children in a Nazi concentration camp, just before they are finally liberated.  Moving is though.  Add intensely.  Intensely moving.''

(Stay With Me – Greenwich Playhouse Richard Woulfe  UK Theatre Network Review)


Adult Productions:


''Director Maria Bates' version of Dr Faustus sparkled and this was the best production I have seen this year.''

(Peter Steptoe - Croydon Advertiser)


''Dr Faustus was a sexy and scary magical treat that astonished, amused and entertained in equal measure. Unmissable.''

(Mark Campbell - Bromley Times)


“We had a brilliant time - shouting like idiots in all the right (and sometimes wrong) places, and I haven't laughed so much in months - I was a kid all over again! From the opening curtain (which took my breath away) to the closing bows, my only complaint was that it was too short.' (Audience member South London Theatre on Sleeping Beauty)








My Story

I am hugely passionate about the use of drama in education for all age groups and abilities.


I specialise in giving children and adults the opportunity to grow and develop their confidence, teamwork and communication skills through practical theatre training.


I have worked as a drama facilitator and director for over 25 years. Directed youth and adult productions, delivered performance arts scholarships, TIE shows and workshops, PPA cover and PSHE in dozens of schools, academies and theatres throughout London, the South East and Lincolnshire.




Youth Training Director and Child Protection Officer at South London Theatre for 3 years.

Directing large groups of children in shows, pantomimes and musical theatre including professional youth productions for Melmoth and South London Theatre at Greenwich Playhouse and the Union Theatre respectively.


Director of a Performance Arts Scholarship Programme for Red Onion Studios in Walthamstow which culminated in a production at Stratford Circus.


Currently a member of the board of trustees for Sleaford Little Theatre and one of the lead teachers at SLTA. (Sleaford Little Theatre Academy) 


Full DBS and Lincolnshire County Council Chaperone Licence held.


Other experience includes:


Working with children and teenagers who suffer from Asperger's, Dyspraxia and other special needs. 


Youth drama and communications workshops implementing advanced behaviour management skills.


Working extensively with New Youth Theatre, Caboodle, Bigfoot Theatre Company and L’Ouverture for Theatre In Education.


Drama workshops for adults and professional actors for DEM and Southwark Collage.


Specialist  Areas:


Drama, Directing, Organic Theatre, Anti-Bullying, Transition, History, WW1 & WW2, Story-telling and Team Values. Ways Into Text (including Shakespeare), Theatre Marketing and Graphic Design.          

What the teachers say

''We were delighted that the programme worked as well as we had hoped in every respect and we were extremely impressed by the students’ engagement and quality of work. Maria established a really good working relationship with all those involved and the project proved highly stimulating and challenging.''

(Roger Belton – Alford Grammar)


''I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Maria on behalf of year 6 for a fantastic workshop today. The children were completely engaged in the activity throughout the day and less academic children were able to access education through drama.''

(Evelyn Pope – Downfield School)


''Year 5 teachers did nothing but sing Maria's praises! They said the children loved the sessions, took part fully and had a wonderful time. Maria may not have realised, but there were some cases of children with 'extreme' behaviours in both classes, yet both teachers said the children were so engaged throughout that their problematic behaviour wasn't a remote issue!''

(Jamie Kelly - Chantry Primary Academy)