I am a practising artist and theatre director, working in text-based, devised and dance-theatre performance. I am artistic director of out of Inc, an independent theatre company based in London with whom I have made five touring shows; I also collaborate with independent international artists across a variety of disciplines. My work privileges the actor and the craft of acting alongside an exploration of form and the live event. I combine two approaches: a detailed attention to text and character, as well as movement or choreography. This focus is born, in part, from the other pathway in my work – actor training. For many years, I’ve practised and taught two unusual and relatively unknown Russian methods for actors: Biomechanics and the Michael Chekhov technique, both ensemble-based methodologies. My book, Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique: A Practitioner's Guide was published by Bloomsbury Methuen in 2019.
I'm Irish and read English and French at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, before taking up a scholarship at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris and University of Paris 8 to study a DEA in Theatre and Choreography (under the direction of Patrice Pavis). I then moved to London to study theatre practice at The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. My work continues to straddle these three cities and intercultural enquiry is at the heart of my practice.
I began teaching acting and movement at Central in 2010. I also teach directors and continue to work internationally for Dirks Theatre, Macau, China, Regional Theatre Young Director's Scheme UK, National Theatre Studio and National Theatre of Wales Director's Programme, Academy of the Arts, Iceland, Actor's Centre, London, Living Pictures, Cardiff, Florida State University, Operaworks, English National Opera. I have presented keynote talks at Guildford School of Acting and Sadler’s Wells Theatre and Pushkin House, London.
I have received a Chisenhale Bursary, as well as six development and production awards from Arts Council of England to tour the work of out of Inc. I am a member of Equity, Michael Chekhov Association, USA, Michael Chekhov UK, and the Director's Guild of Great Britain.
2019. Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique: A Practitioner's Guide (London: Bloomsbury Methuen).
2013. 'Diary of A Rehearsal Process: Rehearsing Diary of a Madman from the Michael Chekhov perspective', Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4:2, pp. 304-315.
2013. 'The MCCUK Past, Present and Future: Interviews with Graham Dixon, Sarah Kane and Martin Sharp, conducted and edited by Tom Cornford, Cass Fleming and Sinéad Rushe, Theatre, Dance and Performance Training, 4:2, pp. 316-324.
2009. ‘Entretien avec Fiona Shaw,' Outre-Scène (Strasbourg: Editions du Théâtre National de Strasbourg).
2008. Faux Pas, co-translation into French (with Sarah Hirschmuller) of He Stumbled by Howard Barker, (Paris: Editions Théâtrales).
2006. Arguments pour un théâtre, co-translation into French (with Sarah Hirschmuller) of Arguments for a Theatre by Howard Barker (Paris: Les Solitaires Intempestifs).
2006. Oncle Vanya, co-translation into French (with Sarah Hirschmuller) of Uncle Vanya by Howard Barker, (Paris: Editions Théâtrales). Commissioned by Agathe Alexis, Festival of Avignon.
2003. L’Amour d’un brave type, co-translation into French (with Sarah Hirschmuller) of The Love of a Good Man by Howard Barker, (Paris: Editions Théâtrales). Commissioned by Jean-Paul Wenzel, Théâtre de Montluçon.
2002. Blessures au visage, co-translation into French (with Sarah Hirschmuller) of Wounds to the Face by Howard Barker, (Paris: Editions Théâtrales).
2001. Les Possibilités, co-translation into French (with Sarah Hirschmuller) of The Possibilities by Howard Barker, (Paris: Editions Théâtrales). Première at Théâtre de la Tempête, Paris, produced by Philippe Adrien.
Before focusing on directing, I worked for many years as an actor for BBC TV and performed at Sadler's Wells, BAC, Oval House, Nottdance, V&A Museum, Toynbee Studios, Lyric Hammersmith, Belgrade Coventry, Traverse Edinburgh, Clore Theatre Royal Opera House, Purcell Room South Bank Centre, CCA Glasgow, CND Paris and Melbourne International Festival, among others. I continue to work as a freelance performer on collaborative projects that investigate the nature of the live event.
As a director, my work has taken many forms. I’ve directed adaptations from contemporary European literature (novellas, short stories and poetry), devised shows from original verbatim material, worked with new writers, created dance-theatre and have directed Shakespeare with actors in training. My work ranges from intimate solo shows to casts of seventeen. It has incorporated the latest in video technology (using Hippotiser and catalyst software) as well as live interactive sound processing. I’m currently presenting several different projects: a new dance-theatre show, Concert, with Colin Dunne and sound designer/composer Mel Mercier, commissioned by Centre National de la Danse, Paris and Dublin Dance Festival. I am also developing a new performance paradigm, 'polyphonic characterisation', looking at how sound technology might be integrated into the actor's process of building a role. I am using Bernard-Marie Koltès's play, Night Just Before the Forests, as a springboard for this research and working with sound designer Niels Lanz, long term collaborator with William Forsythe. We presented a first version of this work at the Macau Arts Festival, China in 2018.
I have also received funding from Arts Council England, The Place Theatre, London, Ernest Cook Trust, Unity Theatre Trust and British Science Week Foundation to develop an innovative outreach programme alongside performances of Loaded at The Old Rep Theatre in Birmingham, October 2017. This project is supported by The Old Rep, The Place and Ormiston Academies Trust.
2017-2019. Director, dramaturg. Concert, with Colin Dunne and Mel Mercier. Commissioned and co-produced by CND, Centre National de la Danse, Paris, France; MA Scène Nationale Pays de Montbéliard, France; La Comète, Scène Nationale de Châlons-en-Champagne, France; Dublin Dance Festival, Ireland. Further performances at The Pit, Barbican, London, Tramway, Glasgow, Performing Arts Festival, Groningen, Holland.
2018. Director, translator. Night Just Before the Forests by Bernard-Marie Koltès. Macau Arts Festival, China. In collaboration with Dirks Theatre.
2017. Director, dramaturg. Loaded, with out of Inc, The Old Rep, Birmingham.
2016. (touring since 2010). Director, dramaturg. Out of Time, with Colin Dunne, The Kennedy Centre, Washington DC, Baryshnikov Arts Centre, New York, USA, The Pit, Barbican, London, La Cartoucherie, Paris, Grand Théâtre de la Ville Luxembourg, Project Arts Centre, Dublin and world tour (Nominated for an Olivier and Dance Critics Circle Award).
2014. Interviewee. Sculpting Space, a 3D film about Out of Time, NDN Productions Ltd, BSkyB 3D.
2014. Director, dramaturg. Loaded, with out of Inc, Jacksons Lane, London.
2013-2016. Director. Diary of a Madman, by Gogol, with Living Pictures, Sherman Cymru, Chapter Arts, Cardiff, Torch Theatre, Milford Haven, Hay Festival, Hay on Wye, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Riverfront, Newport, Pontardawe Arts Centre, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, British Council Showcase, High Fest International Performing Arts Festival, Yerevan, Armenia.
2012. Director, dramaturg. Something or Nothing with Guy Dartnell, The Place Theatre, Lilian Baylis Theatre at Sadler’s Wells, Bristol Old Vic, Oval House, London, Colchester Arts Centre, Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham and the Merlin Theatre, Frome.
2010. Director, dramaturg. Night-Light, with out of Inc, Oval House, Ustinov Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Bristol Old Vic, Reading South Street, Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast, The Gate, Cardiff, MAC, Birmingham.
2008. Director, adaptor, translator. Life in the Folds, by Henri Michaux, BAC, Bristol Old Vic, Ustinov Theatre Bath, Theatre in the Mill Bradford, Hill Street Edinburgh.
Nothing to declare.