Mina's Reckoning Portfolio
I am a director with a longstanding interest in reinterpreting the gothic, especially drawing on my own experience as a mixed-race creative. I particularly enjoy collaboratively building worlds and shows, and drawing out the intricacies of texts.
I have experience with new work, as an assistant director supporting someone else's vision, and ensuring shows move seamlessly between different venues. I am also excellent at research for academic and performance contexts, am comfortable leading work using movement techniques from Laban to noh to 19th century gesture, and supporting production work in an efficient and flexible way.
Please find below images, reviews, and videos from three recent productions I directed.
Come Bargain With Uncanny Things (2021-2022)
Come Bargain With Uncanny Things was an interactive immersive opera in which the audience were members of a local community, coming together to solve their problems through a supernatural ritual. I created the overall structure and world, and then the company came together to devise and develop characters, rituals, and a musical and gestural language for the ritual.
After its 2021 run at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, it was developed during a Britten Pears Creative Retreat, and transferred to the COLAB Tavern for a two-week run in 2022. This involved substantial adjustment between the two venues. The run sold out, and the production will return in 2023.
“an original, atmospheric, immersive role-play opera with real promise.” ★★★★ - The Stage
"The kind of experimental project that really could reach new audiences and communities... a strange, slow-burn, potential sleeper hit of a show." - Opera Magazine
"Every decision has an effect on the script: all praise to the cast who react in real time..." - NoProscenium
“the best time I've had in YEARS at an interactive show... easy to follow but incredibly reactive” ★★★★★ - Tom Black, co-creator, Crisis? What Crisis?
Below, you can find a film from our work in progress sharing.
If you don't have time to watch the whole film, start at 54:24 to see an important part of the show: the audience voting on what to do next by humming (from options based on their previous choices).
Then skip to 57:07, when the audience have created an offering to the Uncanny Thing, to see how unexpected audience choices can be, and hear some of the music. I promise, we did not remotely expect what they did, but hope it shows how invested the in-person audience felt.
Narrative context: having saved a local teacher who had gone missing, the audience owed a favour to the black-clad bargainer Mars. Mars asked to either experience life as an Uncanny Thing, or to free the creature bound in the middle of the room. Graham, the other bargainer, warns that it is dangerous.
This was a world strange bargains and vast forces beyond mortal understanding. Drawing on cyberpunk and cosmic horror, it showed its characters in an uncertain world, desperately seeking something to fill the void of moral certainty left by the increasingly nihilistic Macbeth. I worked closely with the community company to build versions of each character that were larger-than-life, fitted into the world, and reflected each person and the company's unique interpretation.
I am particularly proud of how Emma Scott's Macbeth moved from being terribly vulnerable and uncertain humanity into a certain but isolated monster, embracing their corruption and no longer able to care, freed from a world that signified nothing. You can hear some of her text work below.
I was also pleased by how we surrounded the audience with the world of the show, as you can see in the images below.
"a dystopian, dizzying future.” - Charles Hutchinson Press, York
Don Jo! (2019)
Don Jo! was a cabaret 'cover version' of Mozart's Don Giovanni, made with the Arcola Queer Collective for the 2019 Grimeborn Opera Festival. Drawing on a mixed group of professionals and amateurs from a range of performance traditions, it sought to reinterpret Mozart's show about a serial sexual predator through a queer lens. The end result, mixing Mozart, Britney Spears, and a whole range of other styles, showed the benefits of a devising approach to classic texts in an operatic context.
"Never less than entertaining" - Evening Standard
Longlisted for the 2019 Offie Award for Best Opera.