I'm rarely interested in plays set in a living room. I'm drawn to theatre which is difficult to stage. I like to be presented with challenges and solve them through exploration and invention. I like to be told that something cannot be done. Jacques Lecoq's gift to his students was an understanding of how in theatre, anything and everything is possible. This, in fact, is the very purpose of theatre; to transcend the limits of reality and to transport an audience to the realms of the imagination.


The nature of devising theatre is organic. It begins with the seed of an idea and grows in the rehearsal room and then continues to grow in performance. A devised production is unique to the group of people who collaborated to create it; it is made out of their passions, their experiences and the chemistry of their combined imagination. Recasting an existing show automatically means embracing another new version of that show. With over 15 years' experience of making theatre collaboratively, as a director, I have come to learn that this organic process leaves a project rarely feeling ‘finished'. I find I generally want to return to projects and to ideas in my work, and I believe that this is because their origins are organic.  I make things that continually grow and evolve with the artists I work with. I have learnt that great things come from actors who feel a sense of creative ownership and have an investment in the work.


Theatre-Making involves a fair bit of theft. I am constantly inspired by theatre-makers, directors and companies that I admire. I call stealing creative ideas from other artists "influence" when it is done without realising; a consequence of absorbing what I expose myself to. On the rare occasion when I blatantly steal an idea from something I have seen, I count that as “research”. If I steal an idea from one of my own previous pieces of work and put it into a new piece, I call that part of the continuing evolution of a style and the crafting of an artistic identity. I steal from myself a lot. Theatre is constantly evolving, changing and moving and to make theatre isn't to own ideas, but to steal them, play with them and to pass them on.




20030829_fringe_0171 IMG_3952 The Fumidor-12 20030829_fringe_0116 kopro_oink (74) kopro_oink (38)

The Tale of Rancor, USA  2003

Oink!, Germany  2007

The Fumidor, London  2011

I took an idea from Labyrinthine, Pants on Fire’s previous show based on the Minotaur myth, developed it further and distilled it into a short fragment, which appeared later in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. A decade earlier I explored the story of Narcissus and Echo (in Performance and Film) another tale also explored in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Lucy Egger's songs originally written for Labyrinthine were the starting point for creating Ovid's Metamorphoses and are the backbone of the show. Lucy and I have collaborated on 5 productions over the last 12 years. The moving black and white flats in Ovid's Metamorphoses were built on a convention used in SPLICE, and further explored in Tossed! and Labyrinthine. The Tale of Rancor, OINK! and The Fumidor, were 3 productions with their own distinct identities as pieces of theatre, brought to life by 3 very different creative collectives in 3 different countries, but each were part of an 8 year organic evolution from one single idea. Puppetry, the odd false limb, projections of film, live music and song have all evolved into distinct aspects of my work, which I draw upon, use, re-use and develop in order to tell stories. Rather than feeling 'finished' with any of these creative ideas, I am fascinated with discovering their endless possibilities.

OINK!, Germany, 2007

The Fumidor, London 2011

The Tale of Rancor, USA  2003