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War With The Newts

A project by: Kazue Horimasu

pledged of £1,500 target
A classic of Czech literature is revived as a mirror of contemporary global society!


    Once upon a time, about six years ago in 2018, "War With The Newts", scripted and directed by Horimasu Kazue, graced the stages of Tokyo, Japan (as a paid performance). Back then, the Czech Embassy in Tokyo lent a helping hand in promoting our production, drawing in a bustling crowd. Our production was a hit, sparking new connections among attendees, some of whom were strangers before the performance. One notable instance was the translator striking up a collaboration with the flyer designer for his next project.

    Unlike video dissemination, the essence of live theatre lies in its power to gather people and foster connections. With Kazue’s dissertation project at East 15 MFA Theatre Directing, we aim to spread the magic of theatre. Hence, we reached out to the Czech Embassy in London for support in staging this endeavour. Set in the heart of London, neighbouring Kensington Palace, our free performance promises a convergence of diverse souls, each offering their unique take on the experience. Here's to hoping for new bonds to form among our audience and participants. Your support means the world to us!


     The original novel by Karel Čapek was published in 1936 (in Czech). Renowned for its eerie foresight into the Nazi regime and the Munich Agreement, it delves deeper into the essence of humanity and the pitfalls of capitalism. Our 2024 production explores capitalism's merits, drawbacks, and constraints in today's world. It’d be a playful yet poignant work, blending clowning, sketches, and situational humour. Please think of it as a thorough comedy with a satirical twist.

    With a cast of ten actors, a departure from the typical two or three in UK new productions, we're gearing up to deliver an extravagant free performance.

Who are we?

Kazue Horimasu

She is a scriptwriter and director of "War With The Newts" for the 2024 performance. She taught drama in Japanese high schools and actively managed the Nippon High School Drama Federation. Following that, she spent over 15 years as a stage director, specialising in adapting and directing plays, many of which were satirical comedies. With a keen awareness of the interplay between body and language, she also taught theatre at Japanese universities. In 2022, she relocated to the UK to pursue the MFA Theatre Directing Course at East 15, the University of Essex drama department. 

the Embassy of the Czech Republic in London

In September 2023, they gladly approved Kazue Horimasu's request to use the Embassy's hall. Typically, public spaces pose challenges for performances after 5 PM, but they graciously permitted us to perform on weekday evenings starting at 7:00 PM. Their assistance with securing the venue, the most challenging aspect of stage productions, was greatly appreciated.

the Czech Centre

The Czech Centre will announce our performances in their events calendar. They play an important role in gathering and connecting people.


    Since 2009, she's been crafting flyers for Kazue's plays. Despite the varying themes and styles of each performance, she adeptly tailored the designs to suit. Through discussions about flyer designs, Kazue clarified her vision for each play. She's been a crucial collaborator in shaping the direction of the productions from the outset.

Kristyna Havelkova

A Czech-born actor based in the UK, she graduated from the East15 MA Acting Course in 2023. Her insights on Czech topics have been invaluable to us. Since September 2023, she's been actively involved in our R&D project. She has taught us Czech, too.

East 15 students and teachers  

  We've reached this point thanks to the support of numerous individuals involved in the R&D project since September 2023. They provided feedback on our presentation, reviewed the script, attended play reading sessions in January and May, and helped spread the word about the sessions. Their input has refined the script, and our production concepts have evolved significantly.


    This performance is on the house, courtesy of the Czech Embassy. Following the staging of this timeless masterpiece, we'll host a brief discussion, offering a chance to exchange diverse perspectives. Your support is crucial in hiring theatre technicians for ample rehearsal time and ensuring this exciting opportunity reaches you. Additionally, we aim to compensate the ten actors who commit to over 20 days of rehearsals, or at the very least cover their travel expenses.

    Free performances serve as a gateway to enlighten those not accustomed to theatre, showcasing its societal relevance beyond a mere pastime. Your assistance and backing would be deeply appreciated.

Where will the money go?

    The money will go towards the overall budget of the dissertation show. 

     Below are the necessary expenses for this performance. The amount of money raised will determine the fee and the number of technicians, subsidised transport for the actors and the cost of props and costumes. Our minimum target is £1000, and our ideal target is over £1500.

    Stage manager: £150

    Lx Designer/Operator: £200

    Sound Designer/Operator: £200

    Designer(Set & Costume): £200

    DSM: £300

    Props, costume, and set: £500

    Travel Expenses of 10 actors: £1400

    Travel Expenses of a director: £140

    Travel Expenses of 5 techs (4 days): £200

    Press and Marketing: £400 

    Access&inclusion contingency : £500


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