Stories remind us of childhood. They help to tell us who we are and shape how we see the world. They link us to other people; bedtime stories, stories that our grandparents told us, true stories, made up stories, stories heard down the pub. There are a myriad different ways to tell a story but everyone has a memory of a beautiful story that made them cry or a funny story that made them laugh or a scary story that made them hide behind the sofa or go to sleep with the lights on. Long before humans could read there were folk tales, stories that were spoken, passed on, handed down from father to son and mother to daughter, from one generation to the next. Stories influence the way we think and feel about our own lives.
For me, theatre is storytelling in its purest form, happening in real time and unfolding in front of you as you watch; a group of actors and an audience sharing and experiencing together in an act of communal imagination. Theatre offer us the potential to transcend the moment we chance to live in and to imagine what it’s like to be in someone else’s time and space. It can provide a window for us to see how other people live, how they react in different situations and maybe in turn help us to imagine how we would feel and what we would do.
I strive to make theatre that is at once personal and universal, theatre that shapes how we see the world and celebrates, revels in and relishes the theatricality of telling stories. Shakespeare said in Hamlet that the purpose of a play was to 'hold as 'twere a mirror up to nature’; I hope that the work I create might offer you a chance to catch a glimpse of your own reflections.
After studying for a degree in English Language and Literature at Christ Church, Oxford, Eliot trained as an actor at the Guildford School of Acting. Over the past 30 years he has worked as an actor in Theatre, Film, T.V. and Opera while also creating his own work, devising and developing projects as a Theatre-maker and working as a freelance Theatre Director. As Artistic Director of Dragonboy Productions, he brings this experience together to focus on creating and developing new work for the theatre.
Recent work for Dragonboy Productions includes Tales from a Thousand and One Nights which he wrote and directed and which toured nationally and In and Out of Chekhov’s Shorts, adapted from some of the best of Anton Chekhov’s short stories which he wrote, performed in and directed. The show toured to 27 theatres across the country playing to great acclaim from critics and audiences alike. Eliot also played the role of Prospero in The Tempest - which he adapted and created with the Spanish company, Le Tendre Amour. The show opened the International Festival of Theatre in Malaga and subsequently played in France at the Théâtre de L'Oulle, Avignon and the Palace of Versailles as part of Festival Mois Moliere. It was performed at the Abbaye de Neumünster in Luxembourg as part of the British Council's Shakespeare Lives programme and at the International festival of theatre in Alaca, Madrid, the Teatro Real Coliseium Carlos III in El Escorial, the Auditori l´Atlàntida in Vic and at the Auditori Sant Cugat in Barcelona. The production was subsequently nominated for the Gran Premio de España de Artes Escénicas.
Other acting credits include William Hawkins in The Hamlet Voyage (Bristol Harbour Festival/Bridewell Theatre), Witness for the Prosecution (London County Hall), the Priest in Melly Still’s production of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, penned for the stage by Rona Munro (Harold Pinter Theatre, West End and National tour), playing the title role in The Beekeeper (Blackeyed Theatre/Waterloo East) for which he received a Best Actor nomination in the Off West End awards, Alice in Wonderland (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Alarms and Excursions (Chipping Norton), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Liverpool Playhouse Nottingham Playhouse), Il Turco In Italia (Royal Opera House); Measure for Measure (Thelma Holt Productions); A Small Family Business (Watford Palace Theatre); Don’t Look Now (Lyric Hammersmith); The Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's Globe); Twelfth Night (Royal Exchange Manchester); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Horse and Carriage (West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Black Dahlia, Buried Alive, The Cherry Orchard, Demons and Dybbuks (Method & Madness); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Nuffield Theatre Southampton); The Government Inspector (Salisbury Playhouse); Man for Hire (Stephen Joseph Theatre Scarborough); The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe (Library Theatre Manchester); Oxygen (Tricycle Theatre).
T.V. work : Mind Games (ITV) and Egypt (S4C).
Film work : Nine (Lucamar/ Weinstein); Night Swimming (Tri-Star); DIY Hard (British Film Foundation); Cake (Subrosa Films); The Security Control Room (Pukka Films)
Eliot's freelance directing work includes productions of Frankenstein, The Great Gatsby, Dracula and Not About Heroes for Blackeyed Theatre all of which toured nationally. For Armonico Consort he directed Baroque Around the Block and Monteverdi's Flying Circus as well as a production of West Side Story that played at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. Other directing credits include The Imperfect Pearl for Latimer Productions about the life of the Baroque composer Domenico Zipoli, the world premier of Knackerman by Rosanna Negrotti (White Bear Theatre) and Stephen Sharkey’s minaturist piece Retrospective (Arcola Theatre).
View my C.V.
Samantha read law at Cambridge and completed her masters degree in law at Victoria University of Wellington. She also has a Postgraduate Certificate in History from Oxford.
Qualifying as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand, she worked for international accounting firm Ernst & Young as a tax consultant and then practiced corporate law with Russell McVeagh, specialising in all aspects of business law and advice. She also founded South Pacific Trademarks, specialising in international trademark registration and advice and has worked as a director and advisor to a number of start-up businesses in industries as diverse as technology and cosmetic manufacturing. She is Head of Product and Legal Content for Arken Legal.
Samantha was also a trustee and legal advisor to the Kokomai Arts Festival in New Zealand, a ten-day biannual festival that sources world-class touring performances from around the world.
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