Directing

Here’s a selection of some of our directing work (for full list see bottom of article):

Paul Merton (with Suki Webster, Richard Vranch, Lee Simpson)
I have worked with Paul twice – once on Out of My Head (alongside the performers above) prior to the show going into the Vaudeville Theatre, West End in (2013). Also on My Obsession – a play written by and co-starring Suki Webster. This premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014. Out of My Head included a series of sketches, drawing on experiences from Paul’s life. This was a very different (but no less fun) experience to working on My Obsession, which played in much smaller venues and was far more narrative driven. We stayed and rehearsed for a week at Suki and Paul’s house in Kent, so it was quite an intensive process!

Firebird Theatre in Faustus
Firebird Theatre is a company of 16 disabled actors, based at the Bristol Old Vic. I was helping them to devise and direct their own adaptation of Faustus. The approach was similar to any other devising process, working to the strengths and varying energies of individual cast members. We approached Kathryn Hunter to work with us in a workshop capacity and I’m very pleased that she is now one of the company’s patrons and recently performed with them. More info here

Nina Conti
Nina had acquired a selection of new ventriloquist puppets and wanted to explore/discover their characters with a director. I spent many hours interviewing the puppets, continually being reminded by Nina that they weren’t independent of her (we use this kind of ‘hot seating’ approach quite a lot to find characters in Peepolykus shows). We then began to write down the funny stuff and shape the material into a show – Dolly Mixtures, that ended up being structured around the idea of ‘’The 7 ages of man. The show begins with a nine-year old version of Nina herself who is contemplating how possible it is that she exists (originally the show contained a pre-recorded Skype call with professor Brian Cox) and ended with an old man puppet shredding himself in a tree shedder. Throughout the rehearsal period, Nina would try out bits of material in comedy clubs. The show then toured to mid-scale venues all over the UK and was recorded for DVD.’

Le Navet Bete Dick Tracey We’ve worked with Le Navet Bete (pictured right), directing, devising/writing on four shows. This has sometimes been about shaping existing material and sometimes working from scratch on a new show. They are very much an ensemble (4 guys) and the task is to maintain the energy and complicite which has earned them a loyal following but also to develop their style for bigger and more commercial shows. More info here

Natural Theatre Company in Astronomer
Sometimes we work on site specific/intervention shows. Astronomer was a community project, commissioned by Bath Fringe Festival alongside The Natural Theatre Company. It took place in central Bath (for one day) and revolved around the idea of a satellite (that had gathered information about the origins of our universe) falling to earth (which it did). We created a society called The Bath Astronomy Society who set up camp in central Bath on a busy Saturday morning and thereby fuelled speculation about what might happen towards the end of the day. The devising process involved creating characters and business that would look authentic to an unsuspecting public (but whom would gradually became aware of the fiction/theatre). Blurring the line between performance and reality is something that greatly interests Peepolykus.

Shaun the Sheep. The task was to work with Aardman and Dan Colman Productions to adapt the Shaun The Sheep brand into a live arena stage show.

We worked with a British team of actors to devise material that was then taught to a Serbian cast who then opened the show in Egypt. The show was wordless and the actors were in big costumes and masks.

There were huge challenges in the creation of this show, not least language and cultural barriers. However, Shaun the Sheep provides fantastic source material and a wonderful world to play in.

Footage opposite shows the performance in Qatar

Full list of directing projects:
2016 Partners in Crime (Queen’s Theatre) Hornchurch
2016 Dracula (Le Navet Bete) In production
2016 Hercules (West End In Schools) National
2015 The light Princess (Tobacco Factory) Bristol
2015 End of the World (Ramshacklicious) National
2015 Dick Tracey (Le Navet Bete) National
2014 Shaun the Sheep live (Aardman/M4 Ents) International
2014 My Obsession (Paul Merton) Edinburgh
2014 Coulrophobia (Pickled Image) International (see trailer below)

2014 Santa’s Little Trolls (Pickled Image) International
2013 Dolly Mixtures (Nina Conti) West End
2013 Paul Merton – Out Of His Head West End
2013 Voyager – (Bath Festival) Bath City Centre
2012 Nowhere Island opening ceremony (Situations) Weymouuth
2012 Voyager – community/site specific Bath Festival
2012 Western (Le Navet Bete) National
2012 Spymonkey’s Spookshow (Winter Gardens) Blackpool
2012 Mon Droit (Mike Mcshane) Edinburgh Festival
2011 Richard’s Rampage (Kevin Spacey) International
2011 Rik Mayall’s Bedside Tales BBC R4
2010 The First Thing That Ever Happened Lyric Hammersmith
2010 Everything Gets Eaten (Desperate Men) National
2010 Summer open day Lyric Hammersmith
2009 Sick Room (National Youth Theatre) Soho Theatre
2009 William Price (Big State Theatre) Wales
2008 Force 9 (National Youth Music Theatre) Edinburgh Festival
2008 Circus Space End of year show France
2007 The Rude Mechanicals (Peepolykus) National Theatre

As Movement Director

2015 The Secret Adversary (Newbury Watermill) National
2013 A Little Hotel On The Side Bath Theatre Royal
2013 Watson and Oliver – Series 2 BBC2

Contact

General Enquiries

Contact: Producer Eleanor Lloyd
Email: eleanor@elproductions.co.uk
Website: www.elproductions.co.uk

Education and Workshop Programme

Contact: Education Manager Kim Lawrence
Email: kim@peepolykus.co.uk
Tel: 07779 729644

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