2008-2009 Season

A Conversation with Director: Jamie Lloyd


Ted Sod, Education Dramaturg, spoke to director Jamie Lloyd about his thoughts on Cyrano de Bergerac.

Ted Sod: Could you tell us where you were born and how you decided to become a theatre director?

Jamie Lloyd: I was born in Poole in Dorset, which is on the south coast of England. We moved further along the coast when my mother remarried, to Hastings. But we always lived in quaint towns by the sea. My father is a truck driver. My mum was once a cleaner. We were a very working class family. I’ve got two brothers and two sisters, and they have vastly different occupations. I’ve been trying to figure out how I got into all of this theatre madness.

TS: Are you in the middle?

JL: I’m the youngest. Even though I didn’t grow up in a theatre family per se, there was a kind of bizarre theatricality. My mum went on to run a fancy dress shop. I used to dress up with my cousins as Michael Jackson and perform shows. We used to stage “Thriller” and make graveyards out of polystyrene blocks. My dad was a talented drummer in a local band and ended up managing a Cliff Richard and the Shadows tribute band. You probably don’t know who Cliff Richard is here in the States, but in London, you would be saying, “That’s hilarious!” There were entertainers in my family. My granddad used to play the spoons and did it incredibly well and intricately. We had all sorts of characters stay with us. One of our lodgers was a snake charmer. I used to play with the snakes in the paddling pool at the back. When my mum remarried, my stepfather did children’s entertainment. He used to dress up as a clown called Uncle Funny who was the most unfunny clown. He was also a kiss-a-gram, which is like a stripper. But instead of being Mr. Universe- a big muscle man- he was “Mr. Puny-verse.” He was this unpleasant tiny, skinny man in his fifties and he would take his clothes off! He used to keep the dwarf rabbits that he used in magic tricks in the living room, and they would poo all over the floor. My mother married yet again (unsurprisingly), and my new stepfather was a guitarist in local bands. It was the most extraordinary childhood you could have conceived!

TS: It sounds like a terrific plot for a movie. When did you get bitten by the bug?

JL: I ended up being in local shows, Pantomimes and things like that. They would always take kids from the local dance and drama school, and I was doing that. I got into a school on a drama scholarship. It was then that I started to act a lot and started going to the theatre on school trips. My parents were very supportive.

TS: Were you very familiar with the play Cyrano de Bergerac when you agreed to direct it?

JL: I’d never read it before and I’ve never seen it. Of course, I knew the story. Everybody forgets that it’s a classic French play because it has become so much a part of everyone’s culture. Some people about the Steve Martin movie, Roxanne, others about the swashbuckling hero played by Jose Ferrer. The play has often been dismissed as a two-dimensional action-rom-com. The work that I have been doing with Soutra Gilmour, who is designing sets and costumes, is as detailed as possible. These are based on real people. Cyrano actually walked the streets of 17th Century Paris. If you consider that, you can’t dress him with a kind of flamboyant, phony theatricality. He’s got to wear real clothes. You’ve got to give him a costume that is worn in. You have to populate the society around him with real people, with thorough back stories. There’s a real texture and grime to their lives. There is a sweaty underbelly to the world that we’re creating.

... Read More →

Related Categories:
2008-2009 Season, 2012-2013 Season, A Conversation with, Cyrano de Bergerac

1 Comment

About: Terence Rattigan


Terence Rattigan is Born
London, 1911

Vera Rattigan gave birth to Man & Boy playwright Terence Rattigan in June of 1911. Frank Rattigan, Terence’s father, was a well-known rich diplomat and provided Terence with an upper class lifestyle that would influence the characters in his plays. Frank and Vera Rattigan often traveled to fulfill their diplomatic duties in the first years of his life, Terence accompanied them. As he got older, Terence stayed behind with his brother, under the care of his grandmother, several nannies and servants. By 1916, five-year-old Terence had only spent a few months in the presence of his father.

... Read More →

Related Categories:
2008-2009 Season

No Comments

Education @ Roundabout: Setting the Stage


Roundabout’s school partner, Bronx Theatre High School, a school which Roundabout co-founded in 2003, has started a new Theatre Business/Production Management class to support the 11th grade productions at their school. In 11th grade the students collaborate on a full-scale production in their black box theatre; this year’s production being Dracula.     

In order to prepare for their respective roles in the production, students are offered classes in performance, costume design, set design, and, this year, a theatre business/production management class where students are responsible for all marketing of the show, overseeing the  lighting, sound, stage management, props and the overall coordination of the production through general management. As part of our school partnership program, Roundabout offers its resources to enhance the educational experience of the students. These resources include tickets, visits from artists, design sketches and, now, Roundabout staff!   

The class met with Rachel Ayers, General Manager of the Laura Pels Theatre and the Black Box Theatre. “We covered the basics of my job. What does a General Manager do?” says Rachel of the information covered in the meeting. The students asked specifics about the job and its duties but were also interested in how she was able to obtain the position she is in today.  “I stressed that it took a lot of hard work and dedication and – most importantly – always asking for more responsibility when I felt I was ready to move up… and then living up to the responsibility I was given” says Ayers.   

Rachel Ayers speaking with students from Bronx Theatre High School, co-founded by Roundabout

Students then met with Shannon Marcotte, Senior Marketing Manager, to hear about the various marketing efforts they used for Brief Encounter. The students saw the production a week prior to meeting with Shannon and were able to contribute to the conversation by connecting the artwork with themes in the show. "We walked through the process of developing artwork – from initial conversations with the artistic team to weeding out the various concepts and landing on a strong image for our audience.  We also talked about how you can change the 'take-away' by with good tag lines and copy, as well as defining clear objectives for sales." says Marcotte. 

"Regardless if they choose to pursue a career in arts management (which I hope they do – we could use more young people like them in the field) or not, they are learning skills that can be transferred into any career.   They each have a job in the class and even with just spending an hour with them, it was very clear that they are working together very well and are supporting their classmates in their efforts."  

The students, led by their teacher Serafina Rotondi, left Roundabout’s offices with many ideas and strategies for their production of Dracula that they will perform at their school February 1 - 4.   

For more information about Education @ Roundabut, please click here.  

Poster designed by the Theatre Management/Production Design class at the Bronx Theatre High School

Related Categories:
2008-2009 Season

No Comments