In memory of Paul Cobley

For Mr. Cobley.

I write this from the dark, for my brightest light is out.

Today I was meant to see my friend to say goodbye forever, but he’d gone before I got there.

I know grief. I know that if you catch it in the right moment, it can be love, not loss. I hope to do that here.

I loved Paul Cobley on sight. I wasn’t able to articulate why as an eleven year old, but as a grown-up, I recognise it as this: I thought he was cool as shit.

Paul Cobley was my drama teacher.

A benevolent, complicated, tower of a man, with a rich, effortless growl that made Alan Rickman sound like Orvil. A man who could switch from warm smile to terrifying glare in a heartbeat. A man that kept you on your toes. A romantic fool who’s laugh would make you high, who’s disappointment could break you, who’s passion, love and dedication would fuel you for a lifetime.

I wonder. Did he know how much he meant to us all?

I feel like I’m speaking for a sea of faces from my old school, a school which embraced pupils who were refused education elsewhere, a school with problems. I can see his followers now, his players, a magnet for the troubled and the weird. Many teachers floundered amongst such variety of characters but Paul held us in the palm of his hand. He did that by earning our respect, and rewarded us with friendship.

He was the best teacher I could have ever hoped for. He changed my life. He met me as a serious, worried child. I worried until my head hurt and I was having brain scans, counseling and pills the size of saucers. Paul thought this wonderful.

Because that’s what Paul did. He grabbed you by your flaws and made you love them. He took what had been holding me back and directed it where it would be put to use. He taught me about empathy, building characters, story telling.

The stuff I’ve made as an adult, the stuff I’m most proud of; Can We Talk, Panic Stations, Good Grief, they’re all drenched in him, his melancholy, his barely suppressed darkness, his wonky warmth. He believed in me, sculpted my passion for making films and made me really really love acting.

Paul Cobley, my teacher, my compass, my friend. Did you know what you meant to us all?

You are the best thing that ever happened to me. I was going to thank you for that today.

Sleep well, dear man.


HOW TO DO ACTING with Rachel Stubbings

BA Hons Theatre | A-Level Drama – B (fucked it on the theory) | GCSE Drama – A*

Acting, by Rachel Stubbings

This is part 1, me acting furious:

How To Do An Actors Showreel with Rachel Stubbings part 1 from Rachel Stubbings on Vimeo.

This is me acting frightened or, scared:

How To Do An Actors Showreel with Rachel Stubbings part 2 from Rachel Stubbings on Vimeo.

And finally, doing sad:

How To Do An Actors Showreel with Rachel Stubbings part 3 from Rachel Stubbings on Vimeo.

Shooting The Breeze November 26th now on sale

Tickets are now available here:

Next Shooting The Breeze is Sep 17th

This will be the 4th Shooting The Breeze at Shortwave Cinema and with it comes a plethora of brilliant new shorts, clips and guests.

Shooting The Breeze came about from being a filmmaker myself and feeling heartbroken when the fruits of mine and my friends, whom are usually all working round the clock in their personal time to create such things, are only viewed on the tiniest of tiny screens.

Often the shorts I love are the mini cinematic masterpieces, made to the same spec as my most loved, high budget features. So Shooting The Breeze gets em’ up on a big(ish) screen, where we can all enjoy them for what they are; really brilliant.

Thrilled to announce a film by Michael Spicer and Ben Mallaby, featuring Alice Lowe and Richard Herring will get its first outing and a lovely film featuring Catherine Tate and Alex Macqueen, directed by Matt Holt too.

The Blaine brothers, recently back from SXSW with their first feature Nina Forever, will screen some bits and take any questions you may have.

Got some lovely daft bits from Diane Morgan and Alistair Green, directed by STB fave, Jim Owen.

Looking forward to introducing you to my two new discoveries from across the pond, Andrew Laurich and MP Cunningham. They make stuff that’s beautiful like a painting, but sick like a bad dream.

Steve Oram, nailing the film world right now has offered us a masterclass in trailers and Mark O’Sullivan and Miles Chapman bring their latest bleakly brilliant work.

I too have something awful to show you, maybe my saddest work to date? It features the wonderful Mike Wozniak and Tom Meeten, who I both owe big time, you’ll see why.

I’ll be hosting it, in my usual manner. High on passion, low on facts.


Sep 17th – doors at 7pm – show starts at 7.15pm – you’ll be out of there by 8.16pm.

Shortwave Cinema – 10 Bermondsey Square – SE1 3UN

Rachel Stubbings IS Shooting The Breeze