Sian has just graduated from Oxford University where she studied English Literature.
What’s your favourite theme of your play?
I think the most important theme in my play is change. Sometimes change is brilliant, and at other times unwelcome. The play explores that even if we feel in control, sometimes our stability can be pulled right out from under our feet – and when we least expect it.
What does theatre mean to you?
Theatre, to me, is all encompassing – it’s stories, dynamics and relationships between people, set, music, movement and words. Ultimately, it can be whatever it wants and that’s why I love it.
Why did you want to become a director?
It was mainly curiosity. I wanted to experience the process of a play from script to stage. I think it’s really important, as a director, to also understand that putting on a production is a collaborative effort of everyone involved from designers to tech operators. I was also drawn to directing theatre as I like working with others and in a production/creative team everyone is working towards the same goal. I don’t think directing is easy and I wanted to challenge myself – I wanted to transport my vision of the play into a reality.
What’s your favourite play you’ve seen recently?
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time. Such a brilliant play – it’s everything I want from a West End Show – a gripping story and an imaginative design. The choreography was smart and slick and the show demonstrated that a big stage doesn’t need to be loaded with set and props to emulate time and place – this show definitely has the wow-factor.
What’s your favourite dinosaur?
T-Rex. His little arms were tragic.
Tell us about your play in 3 sentences.
Two writers – one established and the other an amateur – develop an unlikely friendship. As time unravels, rivalry rears its head, true intentions are revealed and betrayal is thrown into the mix.
How do you start with a text?
I read through the text a couple of times. The second or even third reading is always different to my first. I think it’s important as well, to try – as hard as it is – not to have favourite characters from the start. It’ll skew your perspective and give you a narrower reading of the play – so I try to start as as open minded as possible. Each time I read it I get closer to being clearer about what I want to do with the text and what I want to say.
How do you feel that your background influences your take on theatre?
I studied English Literature at university so I’ve read a heck of a lot of words. I think that this has made me really drawn to good dialogue. One word could work just as well in place of a lengthy monologue, or even a well timed silence. Less is most definitely more and I love the work of writers who are aware of this.
How did you find out about Stonecrabs?
In the summer I was on the Backstage Pass Programme at the Young Vic where I met Rebecca Frecknal who had directed a parallel production there – she told me about it – and I’m glad she did!
What are you up to at the minute?
I’m currently working at Almeida Theatre to create performance opportunities for the Young Friends of the Almeida. I’m working with an amazing group of people and we’ve spent the last few months organising a Scratch Night. It’s this Sunday – really looking forward to it!
Would you rather spend the rest of your life in one room but all the food you could ever eat, or be able to go anywhere but never eat again?
Food. Always the food.
What’s a current topic you feel very strongly about?
Ah there’s a few. Education. I think education is so vital for all generations. I think it should be encouraged from a young age to embrace learning and developing new skills. It really can alter your entire perspective on life.
Mental health awareness is particularly something I feel very strongly about. It’s great that more people are talking about Mental Health openly and I wholly support the need to get rid of any kind of stigma attached to it.
Jay Z or Beyonce?