I am a director, dramaturg and educator. My work focuses on giving a platform to those under-represented in the theatre and in society. It spans professional theatre work and large-scale participatory projects. My theatre work, whether devised or scripted, combines gritty realism and heightened performance – often moving fluidly between comedy and tragedy. It is poetic and political. I always start with the needs of the script and I’m equally happy deconstructing a classic text or working to breathe life into new writing.
As a facilitator, a dramaturg, a mentor or a teacher I pride myself in being able to access others imagination and support them in making the work that is uniquely their own.
My process differs for each project but is underpinned by a philosophy which I apply whether working with professionals or students, on scripts or devising, with small groups or large groups, as a director, dramaturg or teacher: To ensure that everyone involved is equal and safe, to work with both the people and the things we have in the room, to encourage a collective imagination from which the work is wrought.
My practice is influenced by Joan Littlewood, Bijan Sheibani, debbie tucker green, Michael Chekov, Emma Rice, Claire Hodgson, Tony Fegan, Fabio Santos.
My directorial work includes The Woman Who Cooked her Husband by Debbie Isitt starring Alison Steadman in The West End, Izimbadada made with 200 participants in a scout hut in South Africa, The Strongbox by Stephanie Jacob performed underground in a damp archway for The Vault Festival, and Heart Speak by Zawe Aston made by offenders and women at risk of offending for Clean Break Theatre. The Strongbox by Stephanie Jacob won The Origins Award for Outstanding New Work at Vault 2018. Bare Knuckle – a one man show about bare knuckle fighting in the traveller community – was selected to be showcased at the United Solo Festival in New York. Mid Life, a show about the menopause, at Bristol Old Vic, High Tide Festival and the Barbican – was nominated for an OFFIE.
I was a reader for the Royal Court Theatre.
I have worked extensively with the following writers as dramaturg, often running R and D workshops on their new plays: Debbie Isitt, Stephanie Jacob, Polly Teale, Philip Osment, Hugo Plowden, Sean Garner, Ian Summers, Sheila Chapman, Sam Quinn. I have developed devised work with companies including Panta Rei, Goat and Monkey, Playing On, Project Phakama.
I was Associate Director of Project Phakama for many years making large scale, immersive, participatory performance in South Africa, Argentina, India, Lesotho and UK. I am author of Phakama: Making Participatory Performance published by Methuen Bloomsbury 2018. I am a Senior Fellow of the HEA and have taught full time in Higher Education for 20 years. I have directed over 30 productions in Drama Schools and Universities and was Artistic Director for Lewisham Youth Theatre for 10 years.
© 2020 by Lucy Richardson