BA Directing - Drama Centre London Alumni

Jonathan Humphreys

After leaving Drama Centre London I worked in various jobs before persuading the Arcola Theatre to co-produce a production called Mojo Mickybo in early 2007.

We played at the Arcola and got very good reviews so an independent producer transferred it to the Trafalgar Studios in the West End, which allegedly made me the youngest director in the history of the West End.  After this I worked for a period at the Royal Court as director on attachment to the casting department before being invited to Portugal where I directed a play for Teatro Oficina at CCVF, Guimaraes.

Since then I have directed a number of other projects, and for the past year have been a staff director at the National Theatre working on Gethsemane, The Pitmen Painters and All's Well that Ends Well, as well as developing my own work at the NT Studio.

Why did you decide to study at Drama Centre?

I was impatient and knew I wanted to direct and this seemed like the only course worth doing. I had heard of the school and liked the idea of being immersed in work with like-minded people. I didn't want to do amateur dramatics at university.

What was the best bit about living and studying n London?

Parties, parks and cooked breakfasts. Studying theatre in London is great because there are so many people actually doing it who you can meet so it doesn't feel like a fantasy.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Get as much out of the course as you can but don't lose track of the outside world because that is where you're going to end up. No course can, or should, make you decide what sort of person you want to be.

And for students about to graduate?

Take yourself seriously - people want you to be on the level with them - and don't get bitter - it's not a fair world, there's nothing you can do about that. The world owes you nothing for having trained.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

I am coming to the end of a period of time at the National Theatre. They offer young directors a job working as assistant on a show in each auditorium as well as having time to develop their own work. My relationship with the NT begun while at Drama Centre, observing Peter Gill directing The Voysey Inheritance. Since then I kept in contact with the building, inviting them to see work etc and did some work for NT Connections. These various strands led to me being offered a job.

How has Drama Centre helped in your chosen career path?

It gave me so many skills which I now take for granted and enabled me to think about theatre and to make it in a serious fashion. It gave me knowledge and experience that allowed me to begin to find my own way.

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