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Directing Summer School

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance and The Stanislavski Centre

Lamorbey Park, Sidcup

Monday 3rd – Fri 7th July

(10 am – evenings each day)

This week-long intensive directing exploration and training event offers a rare combination of linked tutor-led workshops (mornings), supervised participant directing practice with actors (afternoons) and discussions and video showings (evenings), leading to a showing and discussion of student-prepared work on the final afternoon

  • Master-classes each morning from a range of practitioners
  • Afternoon individual participant-directed scene rehearsals with professional actors and acting students
  • Final-day showing of work and debrief
  • Evening discussions and related video showings (optional)

Feedback from participants in previous CD training and research events (2016/17):

  • ‘Thanks so much, as in all good things, I was left wanting more. So engaging and informative and fun’
  • ‘Just a note to say how much I enjoyed and got from the directing workshop I attended. I’ve been returning to my own notes from the day again and again. It was so fab to be working on the subtlety of questions around form and the matter of the pieces, as well having a shared psychophysical vocab underpinning’.
  • ‘I do think these sessions are very valuable and interesting, and I very much enjoy attending them’.
  • ‘I look forward to more workshops in 2017’

The course is led by practitioners with extensive combined experience in a wide range of directing practices and trainings: Simon Usher (RSC; National Theatre; Royal Court), Colin Ellwood [Rose Bruford, Guildhall, Central] and Matthieu Bellon (Rose Bruford, Bred in the Bone and Song of the Goat). We will be joined for the final day by Ramin Gray (Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company and former Associate Director Royal Court) who will also participate in feedback on student work. The course is intended to establish (for both practitioners and scholars) a workable grammar of contemporary directing; a foundation in basic directing practice and a contribution to the consolidation of more advanced skills.

The course aims also to offer participants in earlier Contemporary Directions workshops such as The Performance of Directing sequence an opportunity to further develop their practice

Contemporary Directions is a Rose Bruford Stanislavski Centre research project and website drawing on the college’s extraordinary history of successful director training to explore, contextualize and celebrate the practice of contemporary theatre directing and directing training.


Deposit – £100

Course fee – £600

Early booking before 1 May 2017 – £500

Accommodation – £250

Key: EB = Early Bird Accomm = Accommodation

Online booking

For more information contact

Tutor Biographies

Simon Usher

Currently Joint Artistic Director of Presence Theatre, Simon has staged major productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal Court Theatre, the National Theatre, Chichester Festival Theatre and in London’s West End. He has been Artistic Director at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry and Associate Director of the Leicester Haymarket. Further credits include The World’s Biggest Diamond, Herons, Mother Teresa is Dead and Black Milk (Royal Court), King Baby and Tamar’s Revenge (Royal Shakespeare Company), Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads (National Theatre), Timon of Athens, The Broken Heart, Pericles and The Winter’s Tale (Leicester Haymarket), Pond Life, Not Fade Away, The Mortal Ash and Card Boys (The Bush), Burning Everest and Exquisite Sister (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Mr Puntilla and His Man Matti and Holes in the Skin (Chichester Festival Theatre), Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Waiting for Godot, Hamlet and Whole Lotta Shakin’ (Coventry Belgrade), Great Balls of Fire (Cambridge Theatre, West End), No Man’s Land (English Touring Theatre) and The Wolves (Paines Plough).

Colin Ellwood

Has taught and directed at most of the UK’s leading drama schools and was Programme Director for the Rose Bruford Directing BA, of which recent graduates include the three current youngest building–based Artistic Directors in the UK as well as multiple winners of the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme and of many other awards including recent/current winners of the Young Vic Genesis Futures Award [2016], the James Menzies Kitchen Young Director Award [2016]; Royal Court and Orange Tree Trainee Directorships and Associate Director appointments at the RSC, Lyric Hammersmith, Donmar, Edinburgh Lyceum and elsewhere, as well as of the Off-West-End Best Director and WhatsOnStage Best Production awards, and of several London Evening Standard Theatre Award nominations, an Edinburgh Fringe First and both a BAFTA and a Royal Television Society Award.

Matthieu Leloup-Bellon

Is Senior Lecturer in Acting and Directing, notably at Rose Bruford College where he was Module Year Co-ordinator on the Directing BA (2007-2011) He is a former core member of award winning Song of the Goat Theatre Company from Poland (2002-2009), and Co-founder and Artistic Director of Bred In The Bone Theatre Company. He has performed internationally and given workshops and master-classes in continental Europe, Iceland, Indonesia and Brasil. He has developed his own approach to actor training based on the practice of “Emotion-Actions” with Bred In The Bone since 2009.

Friday Guest

Ramin Gray

Is the Artistic Director of Actors Touring Company. His current production, THE EVENTS, written by David Greig, won a Fringe First at Edinburgh last summer and transferred to the Young Vic in October. Earlier last year he directed THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, a new operatic adaptation by Gerald Barry of Oscar Wilde’s classic play, for the Royal Opera House. In 1990 he won a place on the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. At London’s Gate Theatre, he directed the British premiere of Jon Fosse’s THE CHILD, as well as new plays by Paul Godfrey and Gregory Motton. From 2000-09 Ramin was at the Royal Court, latterly as Associate Director. In the Theatre Downstairs he directed the world premiere of Simon Stephens’ MOTORTOWN, Max Frisch’s THE ARSONISTS, Martin Crimp’s ADVICE TO IRAQI WOMEN, two plays by Marius von Mayenburg, THE UGLY ONE and THE STONE and OVER THERE by Mark Ravenhill, which transferred to the Schaubűhne in Berlin. Freelance theatre work in the UK includes for the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as Alistair Beaton’s KING OF HEARTS, which he co-directed with Max Stafford-Clark for Hampstead Theatre and Out of Joint. Internationally he has directed two plays by Simon Stephens, the German language premiere of Simon Stephens’ HARPER REAGAN at the Salzburg Festival and ON THE SHORE OF THE WIDE WORLD at the Volkstheater Wien, where it won the Karl-Skraup Prize. Future plans include Mark Ravenhill’s SHOOT/GET TREASURE/REPEAT in Budapest, the Austrian premiere of Dennis Kelly’s ORPHANS at Schauspielhaus Wien and the British premiere of Simon Stephens’ THE TRIAL OF UBU. In 2009 Ramin directed Benjamin Britten’s DEATH IN VENICE at the Hamburg State Opera, conducted by Simone Young. The production then transferred to Theater an der Wien, conducted by Donald Runnicles. Ramin recently directed the European premiere of Brett Dean’s new adaptation of the Peter Carey novel, BLISS, which ran in September at the Hamburg State Opera.

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