On 18th March 2019, Equity YMC and The Mono Box joined in conversation at the Old Vic Rehearsal Rooms with Jeremy Herrin, Artistic Director of Headlong Theatre.
When you first meet Jeremy, you feel you are getting a glimpse into his work ethic just by the energy in the room. Currently in rehearsals for All My Sons, the Old Vic Rehearsal Studio walls are dressed with images, scribbles, portraits and politics. “I want this to be a collaborative session”, he begins. You sense a quietly assured leadership, a palpable wealth of experience, an inclusive warmth and as many questions about art as there are answers.
We are an eclectic bunch of attendees: Directors eager to learn more about the Director-Designer / Director-Writer partnership, people wishing to transition into Assistant Directing, Actors, Movement Directors, Cabaret Artists, Producers, Writers - all with a common intention - to be a part of work that speaks to an audience.
Jeremy has no need or desire to impose power and reel off his CV we jump right in:
Q: What do you consider your job to be?
Jeremy: “I’m in the position of guiding a project from conception to realisation. It’s a bit like being a parent. You want it [the child/play] to take on its own agency and surprise you. Be its own being. It’s a dynamic process. It changes and shifts”
It is evident from that of Jeremy’s work I’ve seen this is so. There is immense care for the subject at hand, saturated in detail, yet there is space for it to live out a wild unpredictability and aliveness.
Jeremy: “Are you trying to create a piece of theatre that stays the same every night; he nature of it, the pace? Trying to trap something down? Or collectively learn how to be in the middle of this multidimensional thing?”<