Trainee Resident Directors - Where Are They Now?

October 18, 2019

I trained on the King’s Head Theatre Trainee Director course 2016/2017, working on a variety of musicals, operas and plays. Music onstage had always been one of the things I loved most about theatre, and being part of a scheme that allowed me to develop this passion and expertise was pretty special.


After accidentally pitching an opera to a member of staff in the pub one evening (oops) I was invited back after my training was finished to direct a version of Verdi’s La Traviata. This was the first time I had been specifically hired by a company to direct anything really, and it was a gorgeous chaotic whirlwind of pole-dancing, alcohol and some pretty damn fine singing. We were finalists at the OffWestEnd awards 2018 for Best Opera Production, which was a well-needed confidence boost for a slightly over-enthusiastic and yet rather nervy fledgling director.


Since then I’ve been working with my own company, Sleepless Theatre Company, and have started to take hesitant steps towards restructuring the whole thing as a charity (the amount of paperwork is unbelievable). I’ve had freelance jobs in places like the Royal Court, the Bush, the Lyric Hammersmith and the Scottish Opera, but it’s not all been plain sailing - as a director you do have to realize that sometimes the work you produce will be brilliant and gorgeous and sometimes you’ll get it wrong and it’ll be a bit crap. So taking the good with the bad and being able to put on a rhinoceros-like hide is a useful talent to have – so long as you also accept Every Single Damn Compliment On The Way. 


At the moment I’ve run away from Brexit and am Resident Director of the musical theatre arm (and under 12s outreach department) of a repertory theatre in Germany, Moenchengladbach – while frantically trying to keep up with a couple of projects still trundling along in England. The German company is around 80-90 strong and functions in two cities and across 7 different venues, always with multiple shows going on in each. This means musicals, gig theatre, opera – along with the occasional dance show - and so many covers and schedules and plans and lists and legalities that I’ve morphed into an organisational GODDESS beware ye who fuck up my spreadsheets. I’m going to stay here for a couple of years and then hopefully swan back to England when politics has stopped imploding, but who really knows. As long as there’s instant coffee me and me laptop should comfortable pretty much anywhere. 


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