The directors: 6; Phyllida Lloyd
A weekly guide to British theatre's big players
Wednesday 26 July 1995
Training: Birmingham University in the late Seventies where she met and has often since worked with designer Mark Thompson and playwright Terry Johnson.
First job: Floor assistant at the BBC drama department. Escaped after five years to direct Sylvia Plath's Letters Home at the Swan Theatre, Worcester.
Early days: Gained a considerable reputation for sprucing up classics at the Cheltenham Everyman, Bristol Old Vic and Manchester Royal Exchange where she held associate directorships.
Strengths: Teamwork. Designer Anthony Ward, composer Gary Yershon and lighting designer Rick Fisher are nearly always on her productions.
Political manoeuvres: None. Like the other major female directors of her generation, she is resolutely disinterested in politicking. One of the few good directors of whom it can be said she will not be succeeding Richard Eyre at the National .
Career: An almost unique balance between classics and new writing with a particular commitment to Terry Johnson (Insignificance, Hysteria). Other hits include The Virtuoso at the RSC and Six Degrees of Separation at the Royal Court.
Choice of play: Unfashionable in the best sense. Those with an eye on the main chance are unlikely to be seen directing comedy (her speciality), which tends to reflect better on the writer than the director. They certainly steer clear of farce, whereas Lloyd has staged Orton's What the Butler Saw twice. Strong on Shakespearean comedy, including a striking Comedy of Errors at Bristol.
Critical opinion: Divided. The opera press love her. L'Etoile, La Boheme and Gloriana were rapturously received. Some theatre critics are less convinced, although words like cool, deft and intelligent crop up regularly in her reviews.
Manner: Articulate yet shy and reserved, can appear rather aloof. Her "softly, softly" approach can lead to panic when actors more used to director-
driven rehearsals feel unguided. Decision making is often left to the last minute with mixed results: a disastrous Pericles at the RNT; a fine multi-media The Threepenny Opera at the Donmar.
Now showing: What the Butler Saw (RNT). Plans include The Way of the World with Fiona Shaw and Medea with Josephine Barstow. Hysteria returns to the West End later this year
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Games of Thrones actor Lena Headey makes emotional promise to her unborn daughter
- 2 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 3 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
- 5 16-year-old girl beaten and burned alive by lynch mob in Rio Bravo, Guatemala
Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
Eurovision 2015: The best moments from Australia's random entry to Lithuania's gay kiss
Clarkson, Hammond and May Live: Top Gear trio returns with a blend of fireworks, AC/DC and 'automotive pornography'
Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
Eurovision 2015: Estonia seemingly enters Louis Tomlinson from One Direction
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland