Congratulations on your new role as Trinity’s Artistic Director. What has surprised you most about the organisation?
What I have found most moving is the absolute love and commitment our community have for the space. We are incredibly lucky to have such good feeling surrounding the organisation, and it is a rare and wonderful thing to discover about a venue. I hope it is a feeling that I can build on over the coming years.
Tell us a little bit about your professional background to date
I come from a visual theatre background, and have run my own company for many years now. I have worked as a director and producer, creating work for theatres and also in unusual settings – from derelict houses to the Tower of London! I am passionate about creating work which engages audiences in new and exciting ways, and finding methods to co-create work with audiences rather than simply presenting work for them.
Why have you chosen The Snow Queen as your first production?
It is a story I have loved ever since I had a beautifully illustrated version by Errol Le Cain as a child. I love that The Snow Queen centres around a heroine who adventures through the wide world to rescue her friend. This adaptation for the stage by Theresa Heskins is just so joyful, exciting and just a little bit scary so I think it has everything you could want from a family Christmas show – silliness, adventure and maybe, just maybe, a little bit of snow.
What are the challenges in bringing this story to the stage?
There are a few! The story is on quite an epic scale with Gerda travelling from her small village across the world, through the Garden of Forgetfulness, to a palace to meet a very clever princess. She then goes into the woods where the band of robbers live and of course then on to the palace of the Ice Queen. One of the main challenges is to bring all these spaces to life and to create a distinct atmosphere for each new place.
What can audiences expect from this production?
A magical adventure story of friendship, love and how we can overcome the odds – with quite a lot of puppetry and some silliness thrown in!
Can you tell us about your vision for Trinity?
My vision for Trinity is to build on the wonderful community that we already have and to create a cultural space where we offer more opportunities for people to create, make and experience art.
‘What I have found most moving is the absolute love and commitment that our community have for the space’
Cultural spaces should be at the heart of a community and offer somewhere people can express themselves, be heard, be inspired and be creative.
What kind of productions do you want to stage there in the future?
I will be looking at how we can move Trinity out into our community, staging more outdoor work and seeing how we can develop work around the town.
There are some truly great touring companies which I think our audiences would love. We have Paines Plough coming at the beginning of November, who are one of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies.
How will this work alongside the rest of Trinity’s offering, e.g. visual arts, youth theatre etc?
For me, they are not separate offers. We are a cultural space where people come to share experiences, all of our programme is inextricably linked. Bringing together all the work we make is central to my vision for Trinity.
Tell us three exciting things you want to make happen at Trinity…
Lots of outdoor art which goes through the whole town. A fun palace where our volunteers or youth theatre take over our building and turn it into what they want it to be for the weekend. And a magical summer performance in our wonderful gardens.
Why I love Tunbridge Wells – Kezia Cole
What is your favourite place to shop?
II love the Support Local pop-ups, I am always amazed by people’s seemingly endless talent to create beautiful things. It’s very inspiring!
And to eat out?
I am usually running around so my favourite place is Souper Juice on Monson Road – their vegan toastie with avocado and refried beans is utterly divine, not to mention their Hey Jude smoothie.
And for coffee?
The best oat milk flat white I have had thus far has definitely been in Superfoods on Mount Pleasant, they really care about their coffee and it is so gorgeously silky and indulgent.
Where’s the best place to go locally in order to get away from it all?
I love being near, in or on water, and love paddle-boarding to reset the mind and calm everything down. The Medway is a beautiful river to explore on a paddle board. There are some totally gorgeous sections of the river all the way along, and it’s a wonderful way to spend even a gloomy autumn day!