Creative Artist – Vicky Featherstone
Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre, Vicky Featherstone visited our Upper School students to give an insight into her career working as a director in television, setting up the National Theatre of Scotland and as Artistic Director of London’s leading new writing theatre.
She was interviewed by the students who asked about her experience of dance. Vicky replied:
‘When I was a little girl, some of my first experiences of going to the theatre were the big ballets like Coppélia and Giselle. I became so overwhelmed by how beautiful they were but also the technique and mastery of it. I enjoyed that they were live events and was intrigued by the experience of being a passive audience member, watching these incredible feats of great beauty and storytelling onstage, and their creating the effect to make you feel more alive and active than when you are just on your own. It was very inspirational.’
She explained her role at the Royal Court Theatre:
‘The Royal Court is absolutely about the playwright, so my job is to try to create a safe environment for writers to be imaginative and to try and find new writers all the time. I always think about how to encourage people from all over the country to think about being a playwright, about what does that mean and what are the plays that we need in order to celebrate and question who we are.’
The students asked about her vision for a theatre and what her responsibility entails as Artistic Director. Vicky gave her opinion:
‘You should always question the balance between your own ambition and what’s the right thing for the company. They always have to work together.’
Over 120,000 people visit the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square, London, each year and many thousands more see work elsewhere through transfers to the West End and New York, UK and international tours, digital platforms, residencies across London, and site-specific work. Within the past sixty years, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Arnold Wesker, Ann Jellicoe, Howard Brenton, David Hare have started their careers at the Court.