Box of Tricks co-founder Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder talks about their new production, In Doggerland

Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder

Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder - Credit: Archant

Box of Tricks is a Manchester based new writing company dedicated to developing and producing the best new Theatre work around. Rob Gemmell spoke to co-founder Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder.

In Doggerland

In Doggerland - Credit: Archant

Hannah has always had a passion for the theatre from a young age and it was when she first started secondary school that she developed her love for theatre. She was excited by the sheer presence of the stage and although she tried her hand at acting she felt that, although she was doing the best job that she could do, she couldn’t control what other people were doing and it was here that a new path was beginning to form.

Hannah studied English at the University of York and still yearned for theatre so also took an assistant director’s placement at the Theatre Royal in York which confirmed what she really wanted to do. During her third year, Hannah started to apply to drama schools for director courses and was fortunate enough to be accepted into Mountview in London where she studied for a year learning everything she could about directing, about how actor’s work, learning how to speak to actor’s and also to the backstage crew and designers. Dealing with different personalities and understanding their perceptions which ultimately work in favour of a play.

It was during her time at Mountview that Hannah met Adam Quayle, the other co-founder of Box of Tricks. She attended a Young Directors Workshop during her time in London which gave her the opportunity to speak to other directors and to understand what they look for in a play and from the actors and it allowed her to develop new ideas.

Between 2005 and 2006 Hannah left drama school and the foundations of Box of Tricks were slowly coming together. “We were in a Catch 22 situation where we were not getting jobs through lack of experience and we were not able to gain experience because we weren’t getting any jobs. So we decided to make the work happen for ourselves.” They wanted to create a company that allowed freedom of collaboration with new writers and building relations with creatives. Both Hannah and Adam did one Production each in 2006 which were well received. During the process they learnt a lot about not only how to put on a show, but also how to promote it. It was from this point the company started to grow into its own entity.

Hannah is a very enthusiastic and exciting young director with real passion for her work and for theatre in general. Her approach to directing is focussed, but she allows opportunities for actors to express their own feelings and opinions about a character. She enjoys the audition process of casting a play and working with Rebecca Jenner (Casting Director for Box of Tricks) to unearth new acting talent.

“In Doggerland”

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“In Doggerland” tells the funny and heartfelt story of four people struggling to move forward under the weight of past trauma. The play explores the themes of organ donation and transplantation; loss and grief; family and home; and what makes up the essence of an individual.

Hannah was very excited to work with writer Tom Morton-Smith after seeing his work in London and was attracted to his unique style of writing and the way he mixed big ideas with ordinary people and ordinary emotions. She read the script and fell in love with the characters and the brilliant way he showcased family relationships in difficult situations and encapsulated the occasional frustrations we can all experience with family life.

I asked Hannah what she wanted an audience to take away from the play. “I want the audience to enjoy the show and feel entertained. To make them think differently about different things portrayed throughout the play and the themes it tackles. To look after those around you and look after yourself.”

“In Doggerland” begins its run at the Lowry Studio in Salford on November 7th at 8pm. The full list of tour dates are as follows.

7th-9th November at 8pm - Lowry Studio, Salford

10th-11th November at 7.30pm New Diorama, London

14th November at 7.30pm -Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

15th November at 8pm - Derby Theatre Studio

19th November at 7.30pm -Mill at the Pier, Wigan

20th November at 7.45pm -York Theatre Royal Studio

21st November at 7.50pm -The Continental, Preston

22nd-23rd November -Lantern Theatre, Liverpool

26th November at 8pm -Exeter Phoenix

27th November at 8pm -Square Chapel, Halifax

28th-30th November at 7.45pm -Theatr Clwyd, Mold

Although occasionally tours can be long and strenuous it also allows the opportunity to build new relationships and to also work in new venues.

So what is the future for Box of Tricks?

“World Domination!” Hannah jokes, but within the joke there is the reflection of the true passion and determination she has for the company. She wants the company to get bigger and better, but to also learn much more along the way. To keep finding the next generation of new writers and to also encourage emerging writers.

With projects already lined up for 2014 and 2015, maybe world domination is an option…

For further information regarding Box of Tricks you can visit their website - or follow them on Twitter - @bottc @RobGemmell1