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  • Writer's pictureleodoulton

The Old Directing Text

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Recently, I updated the website, and realised that the text on my directing page that said I struggled to define my style was no longer accurate. I'm starting to get a pretty good sense of at least some consistent elements, even if the rest is still evolving.

However, for the record, I wanted to leave this here. Mostly because I think it's an interesting record of where my directing was back in 2017, compared to where it is now. I recently discovered a list of 10 shows I wanted to direct back then - I'm pleased to say that almost all of them have now happened.


I have loved theatre and opera since I was a child, and started directing as soon as I had the chance, working on classic, new, and filmed operas, Shakespeare, new plays, drag fusion shows, sketch, improv, and standup comedy, and cabarets written by victims of the Holocaust.

I’ve had the pleasure of working on productions at the Bloomsbury Theatre, Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Grimeborn, as well as training at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. My work has been nominated for an Offie Award and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.

I always struggle to define my ‘style’ - I approach each piece differently, drawing on influences from my research into the history of opera and through-sung drama, my work in comedy and theatre, and my own musical experiences. I’m always particularly interested in directing contemporary work, Mozart, and comedy. But the subtext to this question is always ‘do you do, y’know, those weird productions?’

To which I have to answer ‘sometimes’. I always want the work to work for my audience today, not the composer’s centuries ago. Sometimes that does mean modernising and reworking a well-known piece, or doing abstract, conceptual work that will move them, even if they don’t understand why. But it can also mean doing a period production on a tight budget, or a slapstick comedy about a camel.

Every show's different, so my work’s always going to be different. Take a look at the productions below, and see what you think.


Behold, the youthful me who wrote that:



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