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Interview: director Nick Renton on working with The Telling

We managed to pin down the exceedingly busy director Nick Renton (BBC, ITV) for a brief insight into working with The Telling.

After working on big-budget dramas, what challenges do you face when working on a minuscule budget with The Telling?

It doesn't really matter if you have a budget of several £1000 or a few hundred, it's what you do with it. Certainly, money itself never made a better show, it's always been how the co-creators - the actors, the writer, the musicians, the staging and lighting - bring it about. To entertain, yes, and to stimulate, yes, that too: if people leave one of our evenings feeling they have to immerse themselves in Hildegard of Bingen, or Sephardic song, or the music of Troubadours, it's a great start.

What do you think involving music adds to the drama?

Blending the voices of singers with an actor's words - not always the easiest task for a director - has become a hallmark of the Telling's work, and it's proved intimate, moving and finally..... well, telling!

What do you find enjoyable about working on The Telling's half-concert half-plays?

Testimony is at its most powerful when it reminds us what other people aspired to, what overwhelmed them, what let them fly. The lives of women, famed or forgotten, but pioneers in their time, are often simply lost in the wash of history. Reclaiming their music, their existence can be inspiring. And comforting. We're not alone, others were there before us. That counts, I think ... and it's a lot of fun.

See Unsung Heroine directed by Nick Renton on Sunday 13th October, 6.15pm at St Paul's Worthing.


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