Brighton's Emma Brünjes has gone from starring in school plays to producing some of London's largest theatre shows. Reporter HENRY HOLLOWAY spoke to her about her new show and her life in the theatre industry.

EMMA Brünjes began her life in theatre by playing the Red Queen in her school’s production of Alice in Wonderland.

She remembers the nerves well as she stood backstage at Windlesham School in Brighton.

Now aged 33-years-old, she is revisiting the Lewis Carroll classic - this time as a London theatre producer.

Her show is an interactive performing arts adventure which sees the audience explore Wonderland as they choose.

They can share tea with the Mad Hatter or smoke a pipe with the Caterpillar - a far cry from her humble school play beginnings.

Having moved from small theatres to the bright lights of London, Miss Brünjes has traded the applause and glamour for spreadsheets and supervision with her very own production company, Emma Brünjes Productions.

Even as a child she was interested in the backstage side of the theatre, organising her siblings into a mini-theatre group to put on performances for their parents on their holidays.

Miss Brünjes said: “Professionally I started producing with my brother who was at university – but I realised years before that when we were on holiday I used to organise them into doing summer shows for my parents.

“We had an interval, we charged for admission and for refreshments – making our parents re-buy the orange juice they had already paid for. I guess it traces back to that.

“I used to make programmes, my brother was playing his trombone and I was playing the piano – they would go on for hours, it was our way of making pocket money.”

The summer holiday shows took Miss Brünjes’ further down the rabbit hole into the world of theatre and she gradually discovered her love of the magic of backstage.

Her Alice’s Adventure Underground, which is being staged with theatre company Les Enfants Terribles, is at The Vaults beneath Waterloo Station.

Miss Brünjes, who has also produced shows for the West End, has previously worked at Avalon Promotions with comedians such as Frank Skinner, Al Murray and Lee Mack.

She said: “I get the same buzz producing as did from the roar and thrill of the crowd.

"There is a huge sense of achievement and we always joke it is great to see your spreadsheet come alive and it is a huge sense of achievement. I am regularly found grinning behind the curtain.”

“This year the company has really taken off. I keep pinching myself - it has made me so proud.

“Day to day I grab food on the go, my exercise is running in between meetings and no two days are the same.

“I can be in and out of photoshoots thinking I am never going to go home. It is challenging but rewarding.”

She went to Windlesham School, Brighton before Brighton and Hove High School and then Lancing College.

She then left Sussex for the capital to study at the London School of Economics where she read Politics and History.

But soon after graduating, she entered the theatre industry.

She said: “It is in the blood. My mother is also a Brighton girl and ran a dancing school in Brighton where I danced and sung.

“I always wanted to be involved in theatre and when I first started producing I did not realise I was even doing it – it felt like a very natural direction combining an academic head with a love of theatre.

“This is my job, it pays for my lifestyle, but I get to do my hobby as a career.”

She added: “I suppose I am proud, but I do not think about it like that.

“I believe in what I do and I like to work to the standard we have achieved, I still have 'pinch me' moments and all this has come from a lot of hard work.”

Despite spending most of her time with work in London, she visits Brighton regularly to visit family.

She said: "I think Brighton is fantastic. The type of people, the opportunities it gave me, there is just something about the place."

Her next project will see her produce a show featuring her father Dr Henry Brünjes at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the end of the month.

Called Dial Medicine for Murder, it will tell the story of the two most notorious British physicians of the 20th Century, Dr Harold Shipman and Dr John Bodkin Adams.

Tickets are still available for Alice's Adventures Underground. Visit