SPACEMAKER…THEATRE DIRECTOR & WRITER CLARE PRENTON
In our regular Spacemaker slot we speak to individuals or groups who work with space for a living or have a passion for space. The space they talk about could be physical space, mental space, small space or a special space…
This time we talk to Clare Prenton, a Scottish Borders-based freelance theatre director and writer whose artistic credits include Associate Director for playwright Alan Ayckbourn since 2008, English Touring Opera, Regents Park Open Air Theatre Company as well as writing and devising stage adaptations. Clare is currently working on a new family dance/ theatre show ‘Shadowthief’ for the 2014 Edinburgh Festival.
Why is the space you work with important to you?
Space is always at a premium and in my work as a theatre director it is my job to create spaces for other people, both the actors and the audience.
How do you think the space you work with impacts on other people?
Space has impact on atmosphere, emotion, culture and mood.
What attracted you to becoming a theatre director?
I like creating atmospheres and shared experience. I am both academic and practical and so it’s an ideal career choice for someone wanting to flex both sides of themselves. I’m attracted to the music and magic of theatre and enjoy thinking about how people interact with space.
What are your thoughts on small spaces? Do they impact on the kind of work you do?
Theatres vary in size but more often than not I find myself working in small spaces. Some theatre stages are tiny and that comes with its own set of challenges but a small space can definitely have impact. For example you’re much closer to the audience so it’s easier for them to scrutinise props or facial expressions more closely.
In a living capacity I actually prefer small spaces to large spaces. It’s cosier.
What are your thoughts on sofabeds?
I’m a big fan of sofabeds. We bought our sofa bed years ago when we lived in London and it has travelled with us first to Edinburgh and more recently to Peebles. We have a large network of family and friends and living in the beautiful Borders means we’re always having people to stay. Our sofabed has been put to good use over the years. Our futon lives in my son’s bedroom and it’s a place for bedtime stories. It’s a thing of beauty. Clean and simple. I love my sofabed!