Brain Food: We'd love that job - Theatre director

Tim Supple 'The Cosmonaut's Last Message', Donmar Warehouse, London

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

What do you do?

I create an event in the theatre, which means that I often choose the play, but not always. I conceive of the approach to putting it on stage with my colleagues: designers, choreographers and lighting designers.

I pick the actors and then I lead the team through rehearsals, where we work to bring the play alive - nothing beats rehearsals. After, we work in the theatre to apply the technical clothes to the production - the lighting, sound, staging. It's my job to make sure that everything works together, that the play lives and achieves its aim as we've understood it. Working with people towards a creative end is joyous.

How did you get the job?

I directed my first play at 17 and that was a revelation to me - an exhilaration. I went to Cambridge University, then was an assistant director at the York Theatre Royal before directing at the Royal National Theatre. I became artistic director of the Young Vic in 1993. I left in 2000 and I've since been directing plays, operas and films.

Does reality match the dream?

Not always - sometimes it's hard work and things go wrong, and people are horrible and it's not fun and doesn't feel creative. I've certainly had many, many moments of real joy and pleasure. It can be hard if the critics don't like your play.

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