The Importance of Creating Good Relationships

Matthew Bosley

Matthew Bosley (MA Theatre & Performance by Research, 2014, Theatre Studies and English Literature, 2013, Bowland) talks about his freelance work since leaving Lancaster.

"Lancaster was host to some very formulating experiences for me, particularly with Lancaster University Theatre Group, the community through which I properly discovered my love for directing theatre. After staying for an extra year to do an AHRC funded Master's, I returned home having accumulated so much, and yet I wasn’t sure what to do or how to do it. From being a student and lover of theatre to entering the door of the industry as an artist is not an uncomplicated process.

Firstly, a supporting job is often necessary and nothing to be ashamed of. My first employment out of university was a front of house position at the British Museum and it has supported me very well. It has even been an occasional retreat from the barrage of theatre personalities!

As a freelancer, the importance of creating and maintaining good relationships cannot be overstated. My first professional directing job came through a friend-of-a-friend who was producing some plays at a small London fringe theatre, for which I very proudly earned a box-office split of around £70! After a few little projects, I then got a place on Mountview Academy’s one-year MA Theatre Directing course, which was a time of creative development and contact making and an important step in asserting to myself that directing was my ‘thing’. Since then it has been a process of making work of my own where possible, assisting industry-experienced directors, developing networks and hopefully gaining trust.

A significant breakthrough has been my work in opera, an incredible (and often little understood in the theatre world) artf orm which is joyfully sticking to me. I have just finished my second season as staff director with English Touring Opera, which has given me experience working on eight great operas in just two years. This summer I go to Weimar to assist on The Magic Flute and I have exciting and varied projects which see me through to the end of the year.

Working as a freelancer can be at once wonderfully stimulating and overwhelmingly anxiety-inducing, but as a rule, if you fully attend to what you do in the present, the future is infinitely more likely to take care of itself."

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