"Simon Usher is one of the most clear headed thinkers about theatre in this country. He taps onto a well of experience spanning four decades with grace and ferocious honesty. He writes with precision and wit and insight. There is no more essential book for anybody working in or hoping to work in theatre." Simon Stephens
‘Only direct if you can do nothing else.’
‘Directors: People with incurable cases of writer’s block.’
‘Direct plays whose authors know more than you do.’
Not so much a how-to-direct book but reflections on a long career directing plays. Presented in the form of aphorisms, apercu, questions, maxims, dialogues and miniature essays aimed at the vocational rather than the career director. Usher emphasizes the reality of life as a theatre director. Directing vocationally is a state of mind, an attitude to life, a philosophical adventure.
Directing: A Miscellany is about survival: how to remain creative in good times and bad; how to remain alive as a director in any circumstance. Commenting extensively on the process of acting, Shakespeare and the classics, working with writers and designers, directing techniques, the trials and tribulations of working with others, the book is an aid to reflection for readers.
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About the Author
Simon Usher has staged many productions including those for the RSC, the Royal Court, the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre. Credits include Mother Teresa is Dead (Royal Court); Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads (National Theatre); Great Balls of Fire (Cambridge Theatre, West End), Ivy and Joan (The Print Room) and The Wolves (Paines Plough). Simon is the joint Artistic Director of Presence Theatre.