Davey Anderson - one to watch

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Davey Anderson

Davey Anderson graduated from Glasgow University in 2002. His play Snuff won the 2005 Arches Award for Stage Directors and he was subsequently appointed the first Director in Residence for the National Theatre of Scotland. His latest production, Rupture, opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in September

I went back to Glasgow Uni to do a talk recently. They asked me to give the students career advice, and I just thought: ‘Are you kidding? Become a doctor!’ Against my better judgement, I studied music, film and TV. It was a great time; you meet like-minded people at university in a way that you don’t necessarily at school. We’d go: ‘Let’s put on a show. And we’ll put it on in a couple of weeks’ time. And we’re going to take over this disused building, and we’ll play them live music – hang on, let’s ask this DJ if he wants to come in . . .’ And people just agree to things! I don’t think folk realise just what an excellent pool of resources they’ve got at their fingertips at university. You should absolutely take advantage of it. Theatre is the most accessible art form you can get involved with in this country, if you’re young.

After uni you really do need to get out there, make contacts and generate work for yourself. I began scraping together money so I could put my own shows on, formed my own theatre company, joined the Traverse Young Writers Group, and eventually a proposal I’d made was picked up by the Arches for their award – one of the only opportunities I know where an established company will take a risk on an emergent director. Then I heard about a training position coming up at the National Theatre of Scotland, working with a fresh, exciting team and learning from some brilliant directors, and I went for it. Rupture is the culmination of that two-year placement.

I got the chance to go over to New York and work with [highly acclaimed young American company] TEAM. The best work that’s happening over there is based around devised collaborations rather than new writing, and I’ve been trying to learn from that, working with the actors and designer from the start. Rupture is a dark thriller, full of the kind of humour people aren’t sure if they’re allowed to laugh at. Maybe they’ll wet themselves trying to keep the laughter in. That’d be good. ‘

Rupture, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Sat 22 Sep–Sat 6 Oct.

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