Interview with MA Director Anna Clart

Graduating MA Directing student Anna Clart will direct This is Living, by Liam Borrett, running in The Linbury Studio on Thursday 29 and Friday 30 August. Book your tickets here.

Read our interview with Anna below, where she tells us more about the production and training at LAMDA. Book tickets here.

Tell us a bit more about your play. What appealed to you about this story?

The first time I read it I cried. To be fair, it was the middle of the night and I was tipsy, but I still took that as a good sign. I then re-read it sober, and in broad daylight, and loved it just as much. “This Is Living” tackles grief, one of the hardest subjects to portray well, and it does so in a way that is heart-breaking, yes, but also surreal, blunt and very funny. Having something tragic happen to us doesn’t turn us into tragic heroes, and the protagonists of this story are just as flawed and frustrating as the rest of us. They are two completely real people in a very strange situation, and for me, that is the tension that makes the play.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“If you love it, do it properly” – my parents, ca. 3 years ago. I should have listened to them earlier.

Why did you want to become a Director?

My friend and I wrote a play, and the only way we were going to see it staged was by directing it ourselves. So we did. During that project, I experienced just how addicting making a story come to life before your eyes is. In everyday life, the weird, beautiful images we daydream up stay in our heads – when you direct, you have a team of people to share those visions with, and who will pour their souls into making them tangible. That feeling you get at the end of a really, really good rehearsal? I wanted that in my life full-time.

What have you learnt during your time at LAMDA?

1. You haven’t fully explored a character until you can survive a 30-minute hot-seating session by Jenny Lipman or Penny Cherns.
2. Trust and release.
3. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is hold a room.
4. Love the people you’re working with, and the rest will be ok.

How would you describe your rehearsal process?

The magpie approach: I steal what I can, invent what seems useful and check in with the actors to see what’s working.

What has been your biggest influence?

Trial and error. And the amazingly talented people I’ve had the privilege of working with.