About Stuffed Horse

Stuffed Horse Theatre

Stuffed Horse is a theatre company based in the North of England. We are currently developing a newly commissioned performance: ‘Three Post Apocalyptic Comedians Walk Into A Bar…’ for Rebuild Festival on 26th October 2017.

We presented our first show: In a Forest Dark and Deep by Neil LaBute as part of Greater Manchester Fringe 5-10 July 2016 at Salford Arts Theatre.

In a Forest Dark and Deep

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Who we are…

Stuffed Horse was founded in 2016 by Melanie Crawley and Simon Atherton. Melanie continues to operate the company and has several projects in development.

Melanie Crawley


Melanie is an actor, voiceover artist, writer, producer and set designer, based in the North of England. She appeared as Betty in ‘In A Forest, Dark and Deep’. She also produced and designed the show.

More information about Melanie

Simon Atherton (Bobby, In a Forest Dark and Deep)

Simon Atherton

Simon is an actor and storyteller, based in Sheffield.

As an actor his theatre credits include: Sheffield Mysteries; Alice; Enemy of the People; Confessions of a City – all at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; Confusions; Kick in the Baubles; Gasping; Christmas Carol; Dumb Waiter; Much Ado About Nothing – all at the Lantern Theatre, Sheffield.  His film credits include: We’re Here For A Good Time, Not a Long Time; The Leopard; Stonecraven.

As a storyteller, Simon has appeared three times at the Buxton Festival Fringe with Freefall Theatre, with performances of A Certain Small Hotel, The Devil Take the Hindmost and A Curse at the Gates of the Wind. He hosts and performs stories regularly at the National Trust’s ‘Tales & Tunes’ events at the Penny Pot Cafe, Edale, in the Peak District.

David Chafer (Director, In a Forest Dark and Deep)

David Chafer

David is an actor, producer and director from Sheffield.

In 2015 he co-founded The Melting Shop theatre company which won Arts Council support to tour a new play Striking Dilemmas – three stories marking 30 years since the end of the Miners Strike – to studio and community venues across the North of England. Other directing credits include: Gasping, The Counsellor – Lantern Theatre, Sheffield.

As an actor his theatre credits include: Striking Dilemmas for The Melting Shop; All Things Considered, Esk Valley Theatre; The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Importance of Being Earnest, Theatre Mill, York; September in the Rain, national tour; The Daughter-in-Law, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield; Opus Hatch He Wants to Friend You, Open Minds/tour; Bill, Front Door/Lantern Theatre, Sheffield. TV: Hollyoaks, Emmerdale; Scott & Bailey; Film: Nowhere From Here, In Debt, Wasted Words, Waiting for the Man. Corporate: John Fretwell, Experience Barnsley Museum. Radio: On Stage with Shirley Bassey, Cornucopia Radio.

About ‘In a Forest, Dark and Deep’ and its author.

In a Forest Dark and Deep had its world premiere on March 14, 2011 at the Vaudeville Theatre, London, produced by Anna Waterhouse, Nica Burns, Max Weitzenhoffer, Jay Harris, Josephine Genetay, Charles Diamond.

The 2016 revival at GM Fringe was the first professional production of the play in the UK since its West End premiere.

LaBute’s plays have been Tony and Olivier Award nominated and staged throughout the world.  They include bash: latter-day plays, The Shape of Things, The Mercy Seat, The Distance From Here, Autobahn, Fat Pig, Some Girl(s), This Is How It Goes, Wrecks, Filthy Talk for Troubled Times, In a Dark Dark House, reasons to be pretty (Tony Award nominated for Best Play), The Break of Noon, In A Forest, Dark And Deep, Reasons to Be Happy and MCC’s 2014 premiere The Money Shot. In spring 2015, another new work, The Way We Get By, premiered at the Second Stage Theatre. LaBute is also the author of Seconds of Pleasure, a collection of short fiction which was published by Grove Atlantic.

Reasons to be Happy premiered March 17 – April 23 at The Hampstead Theatre, London

Neil LaBute burst onto the filmmaking scene at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival with his feature debut, In the Company of Men.  The film went on to win the Filmmaker Trophy at the festival, as well as the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best First Feature.  In addition to Sundance, it screened at the Cannes, Edinburgh, and Deauville Film Festivals and won two Independent Spirit Awards.

Following on the success of In the Company of Men, LaBute continued to push boundaries on screen and stage and has established himself as a leading playwright and film & television writer/director.  Among his films are Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, The Shape of Things, Lakeview Terrace, Some Velvet Morning, and Dirty Weekend.  In television, he has created two series for DirecTV, ten x ten, a collection of monologues, and  Billy & Billie, a half-hour comedy starring Adam Brody.  LaBute is currently serving as showrunner on the new SyFy series Van Helsing, scheduled to debut in late 2016.