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Following several years as an actor Marie retrained gaining an MA in Theatre Directing (Birkbeck, University of London) where she won the Sir Peter Cheeseman award for achievement and innovation.


She is a founder member of Lightning Ensemble Theatre Company and registered charity was created in 1995 to provide a platform for writers, directors and actors to develop new writing and explore collaborative cross art form practice. It was re-launched as a producing company in 2006 under the artistic directorship of Marie McCarthy, creating site responsive theatre in a variety of locations and responding to the challenges of the individual space.  


The company is project funded and has been supported by a range of trusts, foundations, local authorities and corporate organisations including: Arts Council, England, Carillion PME, Yorkshire Transformations Ltd, Yorkshire Forward, Publico Arts@Leeds, Celebrate Leeds 07, Leeds City Council, South East Leeds Homes, ArtForms, East Leeds Well Being Fund, Coutts & Co Charitable Foundation Charity of Thomas Wade, D'oyly Carte , Carlsberg, Highstone Group, Capital Community Foundation Land Securities, Better Bankside, Native Land, Financial Times, Wandsworth Arts, Camden Arts.

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