The Diary of a Nobody has been a joy to work on. Mary’s script is full of vim and vitality, and the cast’s immense skill conveys its rich mix of brimming wit and subtle irony. This is not the first realization of Diary. Several of the cast have previously worked on it, and Mary has adapted her adaptation slightly each time. As Assistant Director, I have had the responsibility of casting a fresh eye over the show, attempting to be as objective as possible (which has often been difficult in a room of such talent!). I hope this has helped keep it tight, fresh and well-paced, things particularly important for a farce.
Working with Director Mary Franklin has taught me a lot about striking the right balance between decisive directing and allowing the cast room to invent and act on impulse. She is not afraid to let things evolve, thus everyone’s creativity is excited. Rather than just focusing on their own individual performances, the whole cast is invested in the shape of the show.
This is the first show I have assistant directed at the King’s Head Theatre as part of their Trainee Director’s Scheme. I am very glad it has been my first project, not least because the team are purely good-natured, but because I have had a desire to explore comedy for some time. Diary has provided the perfect setting for that, and I feel very fortunate to have been thrown into the deep end, with the supportive hands of Mary and the cast.
The Diary of a Nobody is much more than two hours of japes. Beneath its evenly humdrum mundanity bubbles the classism, thinly-veiled hypocrisy and petticoat-clad resentment of Victorian English society. This production captures the essential humorous spirit of the Grossmith brothers’ novel by exploding it into post-modern absurdism. As a huge advocate of music in theatre, I think the show’s manipulation of sound and song into the web of the piece brings out its nuance and hidden depths, revealing more complex laughter. If we weren’t uproariously laughing, perhaps we’d be crying into our handkerchiefs. I’m sure you’ll muster a snort, or several!
Eloїse has recently relocated to London from Brighton to train as a theatre director at the King’s Head Theatre. She graduated from Cambridge in June 2017 with a BA Hons in English. Whilst at Cambridge, she was involved with over fifteen productions, predominantly as a director and writer. Eloїse is currently on the Young Vic Directors Program. She is a member of the Barbican’s Creative Youth Panel, and the Young Advisor on the Youth Manifesto Project with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Eloїse is writing a play exploring the modern-day epidemic of loneliness, and working on a revival of an Ann Jellicoe play for next year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In her spare time, Eloїse sings in the Bach Choir and loves running and swimming.
Mirror, Mirror OFF THE WALL (Greenside Royal Terrace, Edinburgh Fringe Festival); Writer, Director
Are You Sitting Comfortably? (Corpus Playroom); Writer, Director
Twelfth Night and Bell, Book and Candle (touring production with Go People); Assistant Director for Tom Attenborough
Metamorphosis (Corpus Playroom); Director
Blood Wedding (Sidney Sussex Arts Festival); Translator, Director
Imago (Glyndebourne); Chorus, directed by Susannah Waters