Continuing my series of short interviews with writers, choreographers, burlesque artists, poets, performers, and everything between… it’s with great delight I welcome director Mathilde Lopez to 20 questions….
Mathilde Lopez is August 012 Artistic Director. She trained at Central Saint Martins in Performance Design, has a Master in Theatre Directing from Birkbeck College and was a founding member of National Theatre Wales with whom she still regularly works. She also teaches at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Directing credits include: WISE (August 012/Cardiff University), CYRANO development (August 012), ROBERTO ZUCCO (August 012/Chapter), TONYPANDEMONIUM (National Theatre Wales) CALIGULA (August 012/Chapter), WHO KILLED THE ELEPHANT? (August 012/James Tyson), PORNOGRAPHY (Waking Exploits/Chapter and touring), MAN ON THE MOON (George Orange/Wales Millennium Centre and touring), DE GABAY development week I and II (National Theatre Wales/Gulbenkian Foundation), SERIOUS MONEY (Waking Exploits/Chapter), CROSSWIRED (East London Dance/Barbican Centre), CIEN AÑOS DE SOLEDAD (London/Prague), YVONNE, PRINCESS OF BURGUNDY (Hoxton Hall), HOTEL EUROPA and PROMETHEUS BOUND (Cochrane Theatre/Hoxton Hall) She previously worked as an assistant director and literary manager for Theatre Royal Stratford East, freelanced for ITV, BBC and BBC Wales as a production designer and with Carl Fillion on LA CELESTINA and 1984, both projects directed by Robert Lepage and produced by Ex Machina.
YURI, directed by Mathilde Lopez will be at Chapter Arts Centre 26th – 30th July and Edinburgh Fringe Festival Underbelly, Cowgate, Big Belly 4th – 28th August.
What first drew you to your particular practice (art/acting/writing, etc)?
The tacit agreement between the audience and the actors.
What was your big breakthrough?
I haven’t had any.
What is the most challenging aspect of your work/process?
The speed I think. That is really a question for my collaborators and audience. I am pretty sure it is the speed.
Is there a piece of art, or a book, or a play, which changed you? Many but probably the key ones were the one I read during my teenage years, Caligula, Albert Camus play, Friday by Michel Tournier and Juan Munoz sculptures, all of them.
What’s more important: form or content?
Content is always in a form. No? I wouldn’t try to separate them, will just gravitate and rearrange the different embodiments.
How do you know when a project is finished?
When I am not anymore needed in the room
Do you read your reviews?
Yes, sadly and what a slavery.
What advice would you give a young writer/practitioner?
Try not to damage yourself and the others too much en route. But work hard.
What work of art would you most like to own?
What’s the biggest myth about writing/the creative process?
I don’t know
What are you working on now? A site specific version of La Voix Humaine by Francis Poulenc.
What is the piece of art/novel/collection/ you wish you’d created? Juan Munoz sculptures, all of them.
What do you wish you’d known when you were starting out?
Not to loose time with doubts
What’s your greatest ambition?
To have a family and I have luckily done it
How do you tackle lack of confidence, doubt, or insecurity?
I wake up early and run
What is the worst thing anyone said/wrote about your work?
I can’t remember but there’s probably plenty out there.
And the best thing?
That I create meticulously organised chaos. My husband said that. Hopefully it was about my work.
If you were to create a conceit or metaphor about the creative process, what would it be?
I wouldn’t try, it will likely to be obsolete as I write it.
What is your philosophy or life motto?
I don’t have any
What is the single most important thing you’ve learned about the creative life?
About the creative life particularly I am not sure but about life, that it has an end. It’s true, we forget.
What is the answer to the question I should have – but didn’t – ask?
I am thank you.
Yuri directed by Mathilde Lopez will be at Chapter Arts Centre 26th – 30th July and Edinburgh Fringe Festival Underbelly, Cowgate, Big Belly 4th – 28th August. You can find out more about the project at the kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/august012/yuri-in-edinburgh