Company shot Mar 15


About Us:

At Firebrand’s core are Janet Coulson and Ellie Zeegen, as Co-Artistic Directors and Producers, and our award-winning Director of Productions, Richard Baron.

Firebrand was formed after Ellie and Janet both relocated to the Scottish Borders.  Recognising the value and connection created by their shared history of training and performing with The Actors’ Temple (which Ellie founded) in London’s West End, they felt a serendipitous drive to create contemporary theatre together and export it nationally (and internationally) from their home in the Scottish Borders. This partnership was further strengthened by the involvement of award-winning director Richard Baron, and together this triumvirate — possessing a wealth of performing, directing and producing expertise — continue to enthuse, inspire and support each other as they develop Firebrand’s work. Joining us at the end of 2015, Isla Robertson, sharing our passion for high-quality theatre, is assisting Firebrand as it grows and spreads its wings, both learning more about the world of producing and adding a writer’s and researcher’s perspective to the mix.

Firebrand launched at The Wynd Theatre, Melrose in 2010, and after three successful productions,  transferred its base to state-of-the-art new Borders arts venue Heart of Hawick.  Since 2012 this award-winning regeneration project has become home; the place where we co-produce and create all our work.

Firebrand, in partnership with Heart of Hawick, has gone on to produce a series of highly successful national tours including the CATS Award-winning, sell-out tour of Iron by Rona Munro featuring the “world class” (The Scotsman) performance of Blythe Duff, and the critically acclaimed White Rose by Peter Arnott (“triumphant” Exeunt Magazine); Outlying Islands by David Grieg (“Richard Baron’s fine revival” ****The Times); the Scottish premiere of The Effect by Lucy Prebble (“compelling…lucid…superb” ****Guardian) and most recently a (“mesmerising” ****The Scotsman, ****The Times) production of the global phenomenon Grounded by George Brant.

Our Play, Pie and Pint “found space” productions include Being Norwegian by David Greig, 54% Acrylic and Blackbird (****The Scotsman, ****The Herald) by David Harrower,  a hugely popular and innovative staging of The Great Train Race by Robert Dawson Scott, heralding the arrival of the Borders Railway (“a celebration and a pleasure” ****The Scotsman) and most recently a site specific production of Letter of Last Resort by David Greig ‘a brilliant 40-minute exploration of the whole idea of deterrence theory’ ***The Scotsman) all of which highlight Firebrand’s additional immersive, interactive story-telling skills.

Please contact us if you would like to be kept up to date with our forthcoming shows….

Janet, Ellie, Richard and Isla

Heart of Hawick

Firebrand is delighted to be in partnership with Heart of Hawick. Once a derelict spinning mill, the flagship regeneration project is a multi award-winning, multi-agency arts and heritage initiative overseen by Operations Manager Susan Taylor.  Heart of Hawick has built a long standing partnership with Firebrand providing rehearsal space, technical support, administrative and marketing assistance and advice, and financial backing, as well as being our home performance venue (including within its catchment area the Border towns of Jedburgh and Selkirk).


“[Firebrand] helps to consolidate Heart of Hawick’s growing reputation as a venue of national significance where high quality, interesting and challenging work is created, produced and enjoyed by rural and urban audiences alike.  The Firebrand/Heart of Hawick partnership goes from strength to strength with each new production.” Susan Taylor

The Company

Janet Coulson (Joint Artistic Director) spent several years in film and TV as an assistant director working on programmes such as Armstrong and Miller and Nicholas Nickleby. Also an actress, Janet trained at The Poor School and The Actors’ Temple, and featured in Ellie’s acclaimed site-specific theatre production of Postman’s Park.  After moving to the Scottish Borders in 2010. she and Ellie decided to forge links and form Firebrand. In addition to her role as producer, she played the part of Carol in the company’s production of Oleanna, Marion in 54% Acrylic and most recently The Pilot in Grounded by George Brant (Spring 2016).
Ellie Zeegen (Joint Artistic Director) Ellie co-founded Firebrand in 2010 and has gone onto creatively steer the company and co-produce all touring and Play, Pie & A Pint productions.  She is also co-founder of The Actors’ Temple which has been training actors for over a decade in London’s West End. She has featured as an actress in their main productions, notably as Olga in The Three Sisters, Chesters and Ophelia in Hamlet, St Andrew Crypt, Holborn.   Ellie played Kinnaber in Firebrand’s production of The Great Train Race by Robert Dawson Scott and PM in Letter of Last Resort by David Greig (Winter 2016).
Richard Baron (Director of Productions) A graduate of St Andrews University, Richard is Firebrand’s Director of Productions and a former Scottish Arts Council Trainee Director at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh and associate director at the Perth, Dundee Rep, Pitlochry Festival and Nottingham Playhouse theatres. His productions have won Barclays TMA, Herald Angel and CATS Awards and have been nominated for 13 other major national awards. His Bath Theatre Royal production of Look Back in Anger won TMA and CATS Best Actor and Director awards and nominations for Richard and David Tennant. (
Isla Robertson (Assistant Producer) Isla joined Firebrand in 2015 assistant producing the Play, Pie & A Pint production of The Great Train Race by Robert Dawson Scott and Grounded by George Brant. She is also a writer who is currently developing a radio drama, The Coffin Race, a stage play, Immortal Mortality and a series of children’s novels, Mother’s Earth.