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

Marianne Elliott. Photo: Helen Maybanks

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 [1] 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 [2], 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.