I started directing plays for young people in 1974 at York Theatre Royal and have now forgotten the number of productions but last time I tried to count reached over 160. Mostly, I’ve directed for performances in schools but have also created work for community centres, youth clubs, studio spaces and main stage theatres. Many of those productions have been new commissions and I’m pleased to say that there are versions of those plays in the repertoire of various European theatres. Currently, A GIRL WITH A BOOK, the story of Malala Yousafzai which I created with Nick Wood two years ago, is scheduled for production in twelve different German theatres.
Since I left Nottingham Playhouse in 2012 I’ve directed as a freelance for Karen Simpson Productions (Twelve Miles From Nowhere), the Mercury Theatre in Colchester (You Can Always Hand Them Back), Lincoln Castle (four playlets about characters in the history of the prison) and for Nottingham Playhouse (JACK & RAPUNZEL both Christmas plays in the Neville Studio. Most recently in a co-production between AJTC and the Playhouse I directed THE UNDERGROUND MAN(adapted by Nick Wood from the novel by Mick Jackson) which had a sold-out run in the Neville Studio before touring to nearly forty venues nationwide. I’ve also been lucky enough to work with the Community Theatre students at East 15 Drama School in Southend creating participatory TIE productions. Each production has been a learning experience in a new context and it’s been a delight to focus just on the plays and production process.
Just before I left Nottingham Playhouse I really enjoyed directing Roots by Arnold Wesker with the ensemble company at Colchester Mercury and you can see some of their work from Day 2 of rehearsals by following this link.
We started working on Act 3 because that has almost all the company and is obviously the climax to the play. I thought we needed to know exactly what happened and why, in that act, before we could plot the journey of Acts 1 and 2. I thought it would also help to develop a flexible attitude from the company that they would need on tour to the different shaped stages. The public were very kind in their appreciation of the production, see their comments by following this link.