Category Archives: Design Direct

Day 6 on the Design Direct Course

‘It is the actor, not the character that is the medium to creating good theatre..’

Today’s journey was around continuing to shape our designs, and working closely with Kristine on deepening our directing approaches.  It’s enlightening to be in an environment where we are all treated as independent artists, on a journey…and a breath of fresh air for someone (Kris) to acknowledge this, and continue to hold us to our highest potential in each moment!

So liberating not to rely on a script when directing. Several times during my process, I found myself trying to justify, and make work the stage directions in the script, despite my instinct telling me, very loudly, that this stage direction doesn’t fit with the aesthetic we are creating!

And such a freeing feeling to surrender the need to ‘prepare‘ – a novel concept for me!  And actually my biggest revelation on the course so far…! In fact, I am so excited, I can’t wait to explore, and play with this new freedom…I just need to turn up, be open and ‘trust’…  Trust trust trust. Once the actors are happy, and activated, there is far less to do, than I often think…incredible…

Once I understand the aesthetic I’m working within, the actors can and will shape the scene. I simply need to be open and allow myself to respond to what’s in front of me. It’s far easier to be open once I relinquish the need to have the ‘right’ answer…and actually what I found was that within that openness there is a real sense of authenticity, where the ‘real’ work can happen. It’s not weakness not to know, rather there is great courage, strength/sincerity/honesty, and ultimately growth to be found in this journey (of openness/honesty.)

A wonderful, timely, and such an essential reminder, that the actor is the medium to creating good theatre, and the director is the channel for allowing the creativity to come through.

As Elizabeth Glibert says ‘the person acts as a channel for something greater to be born through their wok’.’

Such a joy to be in the presence of other artists collaborating so freely… I am inspired.

Renu Arora – Director

Day 8 on the Design Direct Course


Yesterday we kicked off with erecting our designs and working with the actors in the space. As per usual it was an exposing, but incredibly fruitful experience for the directors. My anxiety in having to perform these exercises over the years has lessened dramatically and has been fundamental to my learning. It is really difficult to allow your instincts and natural creativity to flow through when your congested with so much fear. So to those next taking the course, work on loosing that first before you apply! It was a real eye opener however, and probably why so many directors (myself guilty of) cannot be entirely honest in the space and prefer to skirt over certain issues in the rehearsal room rather than address it. It’s actually been liberating to be able to say to myself, this part is a bit tricky, I don’t have the answer yet! Having had the chance to observe the process three times also has proved very useful in terms of filtering out the vast amount of information over the last few days. Sound’s weird, but I never knew you could be so honest in a rehearsal room, and more importantly how imperative it was. The last few days have dawned on me hugely, and I realized that regardless of how much admiration I had for the artists that came in to speak with us, including Kristine, it was up to me to find my own voice within it all, and that if I started from this place I can achieve what I think is great work. Continue reading

Day 5 on the Design Direct Course


Friday 23rd March. The day that I found both space and light.

The last few days have been an intensive experience and my mind has felt overcrowded since day one, incorporating a mass of new information, developing an idea of the text and trying to explore the Venn diagram intersection necessary for a successful collaboration with someone I have only just met. Although Renu and I quite quickly established a shared view of the world of the play, feeling the salon as a fragile, protected space set against a circling, exterior threat, and had agreed on the use of rangoli pattern as an expression of this and the basis of our set, each day bought new considerations to be incorporated into the design. As a result, I could not hold it as a distinct structure in my imagination. The rangoli was encircling me and I could not lift my mind from an endless preoccupation with the ground. Continue reading

Day 4 on the Design Direct Course

I keep finding myself all day writing, in my notebook, notes like:

There is no one answer!
“there are NO RULES”

Whilst at the same time madly looking for the right way to approach this design, the one answer, the internal rules to govern this production.

At the end of yesterday’s session, I felt like we’d solved it; I’d had some great poetic conversations with Anna [the director I’m working with], and we’d made a fascinating breakdown of the layers of the world of the play. I’d sketched and imagined how all these ingredients would be set neatly against each other, and in my mind I was ready to build the set. But after our tutorial this morning, everything dissolved again. I love that moment, when I’ve built a whole world in sketches and notes, almost solidified it, when an alternative approach is suggested which releases everything I thought I’d fixed from their positions, and everything goes fluid. Continue reading

Day 3 on the Design Direct Course

It is the first day of Spring! Following two days of feeling thrown in at the deep end and completely overwhelmed about what would unfold over the next two weeks, today was the perfect day for creative inspiration. It came in the form of a talk and discussion with Rachana Jadhav and Dominic Hingorani about how they set up their theatre company Brolly Productions.

I found it enlightening to hear how their relationship as director (Dominic) and designer (Rachana) has developed over a period of 7 – 8 years since they first worked together. I realised how impatient I am in my expectations of the relationship I want to have with my partner director (in the space of 2 weeks!). I particularly identified with Rachana’s path of development, also having initially trained as an architect, and of the continuous challenge in valuing my creative skills and the work I could do ‘out in the real world’. To design and work in theatre practice, make a living, and do something I love to do is dawning as a real possibility. How exciting!

Fariyal Wallez – Designer

Day 2 on the Design Direct Course

It was the second day of Tamasha’s Design Direct course today. It was great meeting everyone yesterday, and the work we did together really got us all to open up and get to know each other, whilst raising really interesting issues surrounding how different people perceive visual stimuli. It was good to plunge straight into discussions today about ‘Snookered’ by Ishy Din – the Tamasha show we had all seen the night before at the Bush. I hadn’t realised the extent to which all our opinions would be so different, and I learnt a lot from what the others had to say.
Sue then talked us through some of her research methods, and helped to set us on the right track so we could spend the afternoon out in our pairs doing research for ‘Lotus Beauty’, the play we are using throughout the course. We then all went out to get started, with many of us heading straight for Southall which is perfect for researching beauty salons that cater for the Asian community – the location of the play. My partner, Emma and I, had a good afternoon and managed to get lots of photos from our trip, although we were not always successful in all the salons. Looking forward to continuing tomorrow morning and hoping to try out a new area and maybe some museums too!

Kady Howey Nunn – Designer

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