Whatley discovered his passion for theatre whilst at The Perse, and first turned his hand to directing during a school production of The Winter’s Tale. He enjoyed this experience so much that he withdrew his application to study history at Cambridge, instead enrolling on a drama degree at Royal Holloway & Bedford College.

He set up the Original Theatre Company in 2004, a venture which has gone from strength to strength. After spending the first few years producing Shakespeare plays on shoestring budgets, Whatley’s theatre company is now thriving and tours at least 3 plays across the country to over 150,000 people every year. His production of Birdsong completed its third tour in 2015, and has been seen by over 200,000 people across the country.

In 2020 WhatsOnStage deemed Original Theatre as “truly the connoisseurs of virtual theatre”. The company employed more than 100 freelances and reached over 30,000 households during the pandemic. Virtual productions include Barnes’ PeopleA Splinter of IceVIRALBeing Mr Wickham, A Cold Supper Behind Harrods, and The System.

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