Archive | June, 2012

observe / assist / do #blogpost #theatre

26 Jun


The job I do here as Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre has clearly been informed by my previous work. This came home to me at a recent meeting on our trip to Pilsen when a theatre company raised the spurious point that directors should only be allowed to direct once they reach the age of 35, as before that they couldn’t possibly have the right experience level… After hitting the roof and then coming back down to my chair I outlined my thoughts on this, and to what extent I disagreed with them.

For those of you who don’t know I have worked in theatre for quite some time. Only when I started out – when I said I am going into theatre it meant scrubbing up, wearing green and performing – only this time live operations. On people. In operating theatres… I trained as a dental surgeon and have worked and perfomed surgery in this way. During our training and subsequent working practice the schedule was – You Observe the first operation. You Assist on the second one, and on the third one You Do it yourself. Admittedly this was still in an environment with support and assistance should you need it. After all lives were at stake.

So as a result of this we entrust our lives into the hands of doctors, surgeons, and paramedics who are in their twenties. They are doing this now. How come many organisations don’t do this with their trainee directors? …Because this is what we still do at Pilot Theatre on our productions. Our Associates work as an observer, then assistant and the third show they make themselves. After all this is not a matter of life or death – and as we all know – the only way to learn.

Which is why in Pilsen, Tom Bellerby (23) made the show, he last assisted on Romeo and Juliet and prior to that he observed The Fever Chart in his final year at Central It is why he is directing Letter to the Man from the Boy at Edinburgh this year for Pilot Theatre too. He will also be staff director on tour for our Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner this autumn.

So I said this very calmly and then sat down.

Observe / Assist / Do …it doesn’t just work for theatre…

Back from the Czech Republic today

21 Jun

Lots to tell – lots to share – a good trip – things to do now – a new application for October for the network to continue – three shows seen – plans made – will post pictures on here tomorrow – in the meantime – catching up and gearing up for shift happens – and The Knife That Killed Me post production schedule – as well as post production for Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner –

So for now a picture of Heinz sauce from last night 🙂

The band for the start of platform11 final show #Plzen Czech Republic

18 Jun

A hot day – A premiere – soup and goulash for lunch – a band plays on – the first of three shows to see

We went to the opening that out Associate Tom Bellerby had directed with the Dutch Choreographer Lotte Lohrengel for Pilot Theatre

It was fabulous in a hot and steamy room with an audience of over 120 people we saw the ‘Time of Transition’ take place

Our Producer Mandy Smith and I watched the show whilst Sarah Seddon and Mark Beasley filmed the one hour performance. Go team Pilot!

The performers were Edward Wren for Pilot, from the UK, Eva Docolomanska from Slovakia, Giuditta Mingucci from Italy, Lies van der Wiel from Holland, and Peter Butkowsky from Slovakia.

Alongside designer Ilaria Ariemme also from Milan – the show was created in three weeks and worked across all the languages from the whole team.

The result was a captivating and enchanting piece of theatre – with very strong narrative and performances.

On the day when we also heard that Greece had voted to stay in the Euro and keep the union together – it was a joy to see this project reaffirm the strengths of collaboration, hard work and energy to make something that would have been impossible only a few years ago.

The fact that we are making work in this city and connecting with the other 11 countries who are part of this Platform 11 project – makes me feel proud as an artistic director of a company working in this way.

Seeing our young artists develop and grow as they make creative decisions with fellow artists is part of what we do,

Off to see more – more later


In a Galaxy not very far away (York) #shifthappens on July 5th @pilot_theatre – Episode iv – A new hope

14 Jun


It is never too late get on board and find out what the new digital opportunities have to offer you and your organisation.

Come and find out for yourself at Pilot Theatre’s Shift Happens Event  on July 5th 2012 at York Theatre Royal from 11am to 8pm

Hear inspiring TED style talks from the world’s leading thinkers, digital creators and artists.

Discover new ideas for facing the digital future –

Gain inspiration from fellow attenders and speakers about  how to navigate your way through the shifting digital landscape

great ideas / great food / great company / get involved…

tickets online

or call 01904 623568

An Audioboo #pilotlive tonight at 7pm Jun 12th

12 Jun

listen to ‘Update from @pilot_theatre #pilotlive #tktkm #ldr2012 #shifthappens’ on Audioboo