Amy chats to Emily, the director of Omnibus Theatre’s upcoming production – The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree.
Hi Emily, how are you feeling ahead of opening night?
Really excited! It’s one of those stories that I desperately want to share with an audience – and one of those productions that I can’t wait to see on a stage after lots of weeks of rehearsals and periods of R+D since September 2021.
What attracted you to the production?
My producer friend Camilla Gürtler sent me the play in summer 2021, and I had immediately a very strong reaction to it. I found the character so engaging (and so unapologetically weird). And then I watched Love & Anarchy on Netflix, the series our writer has written and directed, and absolutely adored it. The protagonist in Love & Anarchy is a version of the protagonist in The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree, so watching both seasons of the Netflix series made me fall in love with the character’s weirdness and wildness!
Tell us about The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree. What are the main themes / messages of the show?
The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree tells the story of Daphne, a young woman who tries too hard to re-invent herself in order to tick all the boxes she thinks she must tick in order to be successful, and happy! We follow her as she suffers from anxiety attacks and obsessive outbursts, and ultimately see her finding her way towards self-acceptance. It’s also a show with talking trees and lots of magical realism!
What’s your vision for this show?
Fusing original music with live sound and movement, I’d like for this show to be a timely tale about isolation, identity, and destructive obsession with the opinions of others.
We are rooting the design elements of the production in a dystopian and dream-like world: as if the main character is trapped in an internal web of thoughts and constant judgment. I envision for our production to have a real sense of magic, to make you laugh, gasp, and admire a woman’s quest to go against all odds and create the path that fulfils her.
Do you have any advice for budding directors?
A piece of advice I keep thinking about is the reminder that a career in directing is not a race! I know it often feels like other peers/directors are doing lots more than you, but we all work in different timelines and things happen in a different pace for everyone. And the second piece of advice is: make friends not enemies. It’s often hard to make director friends, but given that directing can be so lonely, I couldn’t recommend enough having director friends to talk to about projects or ask advice from – as well as to invite to your previews and get feedback from!
And finally, why should people book a ticket to The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree?
Because of the two wonderful performers on stage, who will be speaking/singing/sweating/moving/and doing all sorts of amazing things: Bathsheba Piepe and Ioli Filippakopoulou. As well as an even more exciting team backstage who have supported this production with so much inspiration and talent! If in doubt, check out Love & Anarchy on Netflix. Come see what this secret about trees is all about!
ABOUT THE SHOW
The Woman Who Turned Into A Tree runs at Omnibus Theatre from the 4th – 22nd April
Tickets are from £10! Find out more info here