Be Mine!

Be Mine was the piece from which the entire company was launched. It was created when we were given the opportunity to perform as part of the RESOLUTION festival hosted by The Place in London. It remains an incredibly special piece to us as it saw a collection of key dancers come together who have gone on to play major roles in the company’s development. Set to a suite of Judy Garland classics this piece was all heart and hope… and more than a little glitter. The show was later picked up by Cloud Dance Festival and invited to perform at Jackson Lane Theatre in Highgate. This launching piece was only ever performed twice by the company.

Fun fact: This is the piece that gave our Artistic Director his nickname… ‘Drewdy’ (shortened from ‘Drewdy Garland’!).




A year later and we were back at The Place, commissioned to present a new piece for the prestigious Place Prize (widely considered to be the Turner Prize for dance). We created SLAUGHTER which went on to win the Audience Choice Award. This piece feels like a perfect mission statement for the company as it took a Dream Ballet from a classic musical (On Your Toes) and held it up as a standalone piece of theatrical dance. Again this piece has only ever been performed twice.

Fun fact: One of the lead characters in SLAUGHTER was played by fresh graduate Tom Jackson Greaves, now a highly successful Choreographer.


McOnie Company: Good Morning Midnight

Good Morning Midnight

In 2012 the McOnie Company leapt into a collaboration with composer and recording artist Tasha Taylor Johnson for a new piece Good Morning Midnight. We were given the opportunity to premiere at Jermyn Street Theatre by its then Artistic Director Gene David Kirk, who offered the space at a reduced cost in order to help up develop an intimate piece for his theatre. We created what is perhaps the company’s most expressionistic piece, exploring the sensation of drifting into a weightless sleep. The show ran for just 5 performances and was rehearsed on sticky church hall carpets, in empty warehouses, corridors and a ‘borrowed’ badminton court. It sold at over 100% capacity with people standing along the back of the already small auditorium.

Fun Fact: The lighting rig at the Jermyn Street Theatre was so low that a lot of the staging was created around where it was possible to perform lifts without hitting the dancers’ legs or heads!


The buzz from the Jermyn Street Theatre run led to us being invited to restage Good Morning Midnight at Latitude Festival, where we performed alongside hit shows from Sadler’s Wells on the Waterfront Stage. We further developed the piece for this performance and added entirely new sections. We also had the thrilling opportunity to perform the piece with Tasha’s live vocals and band.

At Latitude Festival


The McOnie Company was heading towards becoming a more solid entity and with that came the need to start to create imagery that stood alone from our productions. We were lucky enough to  collaborate with photographer Pawel Niemczyk on starting to define what we as a company might look like.

Some of our dancers get physical during the photo shoot!



DRUNK is the longest running production the McOnie Company has ever performed and was initiated by Curve Theatre, Leicester, where the then Artistic Director Paul Kerryson offered us rehearsal space and the Studio Theatre to present a new dance-led piece. We quickly teamed up with the brilliant theatre composer Grant Olding and leapt into developing the ‘all-singing all-dancing drinks menu’, marking the company’s first exploration into using the vocal talents of the performers.

We secured funding from Arts Council England, and after just two sold out performances at Curve Theatre took the production to London’s Bridewell Theatre for a 4 week run. As a result of DRUNK, Drew was nominated for the Emerging Artist Award at the National Dance Awards that year.

Fun Fact: Len Goodman and Arlene Philips attended the closing night performance, and spontaneously jumped up on stage at the end. This was closely followed by the entire auditorium doing the same. The audience stayed and danced with the cast for as long as the live music continued. It was a thrilling moment in the company’s history.


After a few trial masterclasses held in the studios at RADA, the company officially launched its open Company Classes at the internationally renowned Pineapple Dance Studios. These weekly classes have gone on to become a staple for the Theatre Dance community, providing not only technical training but also an opportunity to be seen by the dance management of the McOnie Company. These classes have been key in making the company accessible and have introduced so much new talent to the company.

McOnie Company classes




Responding to the devastating loss of company dancer Jonny Ollivier, we made a piece in his memory called SHINE. Composed again by Tasha Taylor Johnson, the piece was performed at Sadler’s Wells alongside performances from other companies with whom Jonny had danced, including New Adventures and Northern Ballet. All funds raised were sent to Jonny’s two sons. He is sorely missed by us all.


Associate Artist - The Old Vic

A major moment in the development of the company was being given an Associate Artist position at London’s Old Vic Theatre. As part of Matthew Warchus’ new appointment as Artistic Director, we were given the opportunity to use the building’s resources to develop work, and play a part in reintroducing the theatre’s audiences to dance, which is such a rich part of the building’s history.


Jekyll and Hyde

Jekyll and Hyde was the company’s first full-length two act narrative dance drama. It was commissioned by the Old Vic Theatre and reunited the company with composer Grant Olding. The synopsis was a completely original creation by Drew McOnie, inspired by the classic Robert Louis Stephenson novella. This epic, none-stop production was brought together by the cast, crew and creatives in a terrifyingly short four-week rehearsal period which took place in an old school hall.

Star dancer Danny Collins, who played Jekyll, was nominated for Outstanding Performance in a Lead Role at the National Dance Awards, and the production won the Broadway World Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance.

Fun (For some) Fact: Tim Hodges, who played Hyde, had to miss the first few previews as his son was born just before our first performance. The company had to pull together and perform with four people playing roles they had never rehearsed before, including Associate Director Simon Hardwick who had to take to the stage with a moment’s notice. An amazing sense of commitment and talent was required to pull if off, and they did so masterfully.

Auditions for the new dance thriller


Photographic collaboration with Mark Senior

A new era for the company began in 2019 when Artistic Director, Drew McOnie returned from working in NYC, committed to relaunching the company. With that new wave of energy came the first of several collaborations with the theatrical photographer Mark Senior. We gathered together a group of talented artists to begin the rumblings of future creations. These images were used to advertise the weekly Company Class and to launch the company’s new Instagram page.


Associate Artist - The Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Sean Foley was appointed as new Artistic Director of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and brought with him a wave of new Associate Artists and Associate Companies. The McOnie Company was invited to join the group with a specific aim to create dance-led work for the audiences of Birmingham. Drew grew up in the West Midlands and this partnership is an incredibly exciting one for the future of the company. The goal is that we will deliver creative productions across all three of The REP’s auditoria, as well as workshops and valuable dance training to the students of the city.

Fun Fact: Drew began his performing career as the original ‘Little Boy’ in the now hugely successful stage production The Snowman, which was created at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. It was inside this building the idea to one day be a choreographer and run a company was born.


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the McOnie Company launched a Digital Dance Season to raise money for our ‘Fund For Freelance Dancers’ campaign. The digital season provided a range of online dance opportunities over a 12 week period.

The open Company Class at Pineapple moved online for free, reaching up to 250 dancers from all over the world each week. These Instagram Live tutorials provided the Theatre Dance community with a much-needed focus, and a space to virtually come together and learn company repertoire.

We also ran a Digital Dance Film Festival, where dance makers created intimate short dance films responding to the theme of self isolation. All films were hosted and promoted on Instagram TV for the three-day Festival.

We also launched the Micro Musical Lockdown, an initiative created for performers featuring original songs and practical tutorials from some of the industry’s leading creatives such as Marlow & Moss, Stiles & Drewe, Dan Gillespie Sells and Vikki Stone. This was an amazing gathering of industry professionals under the roof of the McOnie Company, all coming together to support the next generation of performers.

McOnie Digital Dance Season


McOnie and Playful Productions

2021 brings with it the exciting announcement that we have begun working with the incredible team at Playful Productions as both our general managers and as an associate company. After years of creating work independently, coming together with this world class team is a game changer for us and a much welcomed partnership. We are thrilled to now call Playful Productions part of the family.


Behind the scenes at the latest McOnie Company Photo Shoot with photographer Mark Senior

We have now launched our brand new website as a portal through which you can get a deeper understanding of the company’s history and our ambitions for the future. As part of the building of this site we have been collaborating with the brilliant design team at HdK as well as leaping into our second collaboration with photographer Mark Senior.

We are a company that has been built on the tireless goodwill of our collaborators and the energetic and passionate responses of our audiences. We hope you enjoy taking a look around our brand new site.