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Effort Productions was founded in 2016 by James Kemp and Sophie Angelson. We are a London-based theatre, film, and television production company.
All our work is devoted to the art of storytelling in all its forms. At the heart of our ethos is the work of Yat Malmgren: Movement Psychology/Character Anaylsis. As such, the focus of our work is on clear, elaborately drawn, physically realized characters with strong objectives. Our productions are inherently linked to the way our actors, writers, and directors are trained and nurtured in our Training programme. James Kemp, sole inheritor of the work of Yat Malmgren, acts as both Artistic Director and Training Director of Effort Productions.
Our company celebrates the perpetual student, the artist hungry to know more, to explore, to create, and transform themselves and their audience, the human being who longs to express his or herself as fully as possible.
We produce and develop work by established and non-established writers, giving platforms for diverse voices in our industry, welcoming adaptations and reimagined stories, and exciting interdisciplinary collaborations.
JAMES KEMP - Co-Founder, Artistic Director and Training Director
James trained at Drama Centre London, subsequently pursued an acting career which encompassed a number of long running West End shows. In 1998 James was invited back to Drama Centre to work alongside and assist Dr. Yat Malmgren in the teaching of Movement Psychology (inspired by the pioneering work of Rudolf Laban), and upon the retirement of Dr. Malmgren in 2001 he inherited his work and further developed this field of study and practise through workshops for Stage Centre, Israel; the International Workshop Festival; Caravanserai Acting Studio; Beit Zvi School of Performing Arts; Beit Lessin Theatre, Tel Aviv; Schott Acting Studio, Berlin, Actors Center, New York; Theatro Del Mundo/Centro Cultural Helénico , Mexico City; and as 'Laban Consultant' on Katie Mitchell's production of 'The Maids' at the Young Vic. He currently teaches at LAMDA.
His many succesful students include: Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Emilia Clarke, Santiago Cabrera, Stephen Wight, Jamie Murray, Gwendoline Christie, Damien Molony, Tamla Kari, Jodie McNee, Lucy Briggs-Owen, Bradley James, Ruta Gedmintas, Rolan Bell, John Dagleish, Howard Charles, Ryan Gage, Lily Cole and many others.
His directing credits include: The American Wife (Park Theatre), Del Valle (Leicester Square Theatre); Greenwich Village Above the Arts (Arts Theatre); Character Solos (St. James Theatre); i do it to break (Soho Theatre); The Great Nebula in Orion and Home Free! (The Nursery); Promise (Rosemary Branch Theatre); Live Like Pigs (Italia Conti Academy); A Love Story (Roundhouse); Much Ado About Nothing, The Hot L Baltimore, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Possessed, The Last Days of Don Juan, The Learned Ladies, Mephisto, Anything For A Quiet Life, Twelfth Night (Drama Centre London); Home Free!, Enigma (EFF); The Secret Death of Salvador Dali (Old Red Lion); Watership Down (Riverside Studios).
He also worked as Acting Supervisor on the award-winning Czech film ‘Hany’ in 2014.
SOPHIE ANGELSON - Co-Founder, Development Director and Creative Producer
Sophie is a native New Yorker. She moved to Chicago to study at Northwestern University where she graduated with a BA in Performance Studies. Whilst at Northwestern she studied acting, playwriting, creative drama, storytelling, and the adaptation of literature for the stage. When she graduated she moved to London to train at Drama Centre where she achieved her MA in Acting. Since then she has pursued her career as both an actress and a playwright and is proud to call London her home.
In 2012 she wrote, produced, and acted in her adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters called Promise, which played to sold out houses at The Rosemary Branch Theatre. She has also written several pieces that have appeared in Character Solos at the St. James Theatre, and co-produced with James Kemp Greenwich Village Above the Arts, a month-long interdisciplinary season of work inspired by the vibrant era in New York's artistic community of the 1960s and 70s. Her play Quicksand: Lost Voices and Prejudicial Patriotism was a finalist in the Agnes Nixon Playwriting Festival at Northwestern University.
Her acting credits include: City Stories (Wilton's Music Hall/Oxford Playhouse), The American Wife (Park Theatre), Character Solos (St. James Theatre), Ludlow Fair (Arts Theatre), All My Sons (Farnham Rep), Sonnet Walks (Shakespeare's Globe), Promise (Rosemary Branch Theatre), Flahooley (Lilian Baylis Studio), Mexican Hayride (Lilian Baylis Studio), and My Name is Rachel Corrie (Rosemary Branch Theatre).