8 Duncan Street, Suite 185 | Islington N1 8BW | (07500) 753673 | email

About Bards on Boats


Rose Tobias-Shaw and Maxwell Shaw, wedding day 1960.

Bards on Boats was created with a generous gift from the estate of Rose Tobias-Shaw (1919-2015), recipient of a BAFTA lifetime achievement award for casting in British television and film.  Her husband, Maxwell Shaw managed Joan Littlewood’s ground-breaking Theatre Workshop, and headed the department of acting and management at Rose Bruford College until his untimely death in 1985. Bards on Boats continues Rose and Max’s shared legacy of identifying, cultivating and promoting fresh acting talent by providing actors with flexible employment and a unique venue for their performances.


Eric Ellman owns and operates Bards on Boats. The American nephew of Rose and Max, Mr. Ellman discovered London’s canals in the course of multiple visits with Rose in her Islington home.  Previous to Bards on Boats, he was the Communications Director for the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, and spent 20 years in community development on the U.S.-Mexico Border, including programs that united artists and athletes from both sides of the Rio Grande. He continues to write about travel, energy and climate change, and the ever-perplexing U.S.-Mexico border.