5 Questions with Giles Gartrell-Mills and Bishanyia Vincent

Giles Gartrell-Mills

Giles Gartrell-Mills

Bishanyia Vincent: What can Sydney audiences expect from you as a director?
Giles Gartrell-Mills: As much as possible I like to put story first. My favourite thing about theatre is that we ask the audience to endow the world they are seeing. We need them to create it for them-selves. I generally like to keep my production simple in terms of design and fit them to the space I’m working in. One of the best things about the late shows at the Old Fitz is that you need to work with what you have. It inspires creativity, which is why we do it in the first place.

What do you love most about Where Do Little Birds Go?
Cheesy as it sounds, I love Lucy! She’s a wonderful character. She sees the best in bad situations and manages to remain somewhat sweet through a very tough and brutal world. I think audiences will love her too.

I’ve heard you really love to know your stuff. Is Wikipedia your greatest addiction?
Possibly. Wikipedia, Jiu Jitsu and coffee are my greatest addictions. I love to learn and these days if I come across something I don’t know or a person I’ve not heard of from any field, I often jump on Wikipedia or Google to get any information I can about them. It’s not work… I just get interested in things I’ve never heard of.

What would you like to see change in the Sydney theatre scene and would you like to keep the same?
The scene in Sydney is great. If anything I would like to see a bit more confidence in it. Since moving here I’ve found everyone to be very open and welcoming. I think there is opportunity for more site specific work too. Last year I saw a show produced by the Kings Collective in an unused floor of a shopping centre. It creates new challenges and is a welcome change for a loyal theatre audience.

Ok so lastly and most importantly, how do you find directing your other half in a one woman show? Is she much of a diva?
Haha! Luckily enough because we trained at the same school we have a lot of common language when it comes to approaching the work. A one woman show is a big undertaking and a bit of that diva confidence can be very helpful sometimes too.

Bishanyia Vincent

Bishanyia Vincent

Giles Gartrell-Mills: As a relative newcomer to the Sydney theatre scene, what do you think makes it different to other cities you have visited?
Bishanyia Vincent: I think the biggest difference I have noticed between here and London is the sense of community within the independent theatre scene. London is such a big city and often you can feel like your tube stop is an island and there’s a giant gulf between you and your creative friends.. In Sydney you can bump into numerous creative souls on jaunts about town and feel a huge sense of belonging and support for one another. I feel very grateful to be a part of it.

What is the biggest difference preparing for a one woman show than preparing for a show with other performers?
Lines…SO MANY BLOODY LINES. Also creating the show with your own energy and sustaining that for an hour with the audience’s attention. We’ll see how that goes next week! Although I do have a lovely handsome pianist on stage with me playing so he’s definitely a reason to come along! *wink*

Who are your greatest influences as a performer and why?
The people around me everyday in my life who are battling the same demons and still get up and try again anyway. Life. Love. Stories. Human beings. People I bump into, happen across and experience in my day to day life. Because that’s where it all begins. Storytelling wouldn’t be storytelling without people and their stories.

Why do you think Sydney should meet Lucy Fuller (from Where Do Little Birds Go?)
Because it’s a true story. Because the real Lucy (Lisa Prescott) never got to share her story and Camilla Whitehill read a little bit about her in a novel about the Kray’s and took the time to write her story and give her a voice and that is a beautiful gift to give to the world.

If you could travel to any time in history when would it be and what would you want to do when you got there?
I can barely even decide what to choose on a dinner menu without getting FOMO when I order the wrong thing and someone else’s looks better and you ask me THIS? No comment. I plead the fifth.

God there are so many amazing time periods. I can only hope to be lucky enough throughout my career I get to experience ALL OF THEM in some capacity.

Giles Gartrell-Mills and Bishanyia Vincent are working on Where Do Little Birds Go by Camilla Whitehill.
Dates: 30 August – 10 September, 2016
Venue: Old Fitz Theatre