Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Marianne Elliott: ‘I’ve thought about giving up because I don’t find directing easy’

Marianne Elliott. Photo: Helen Maybanks Marianne Elliott. Photo: Helen Maybanks
by -

Marianne Elliott has admitted she has considered giving up being a director, because she does not “find it easy”.

Elliott, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs programme, said she had contemplated “chucking it in” many times.

“Because I don’t find it easy, it’s not an easy thing. And I think maybe it costs me more than most because I was that ‘quiet girl under the table’ [growing up]. I don’t find it easy to throw myself into a big room full of people and say ‘I know how to do this’ and then get hundreds of people to come and see it and then get critics to say publicly how they feel about it,” she said.

However she added: “But there is something in the process I really enjoy and I think it’s very important for me and the art form is very important. But it does cost.”

Elliott, soon to direct a new production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company in the West End, said she had started directing while studying drama at the University of Hull.

But she said she did not consider it as a career because of how male-dominated it is.

“I started directing then and really enjoyed it, but I still didn’t think I would do it as I thought you had to be a man – it’s awful isn’t it? I thought you had to be a man because they are all male – so therefore it’s clearly not something I could do,” she said.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.