“Better direction I’ve not seen. A vision pure, authentic and revolutionary. The intellect, the detail and the relevance in her work is nothing short of revelatory. Whether helming the greatest of classics or grappling with experimental and physical theatre, her aesthetic alone is awe inspiring, creating theatrical pictures that sit with her audience long after curtain call. A visionary of the highest echelon who elevates all that she touches to its best self.” - Keith Merrill
Edinburgh Fringe First Winner 2019
"Helen Tennison rips up the book and darts between the stories with fierce energy." - Libby Purves, The Times
"Director Helen Tennison excels at combining text and movement, and the show’s beauty lies in how the movement mirrors, contrasts and accentuates the emotional struggles of its characters." - Stav Meisher, Circus Diaries
"...a playful, fluid approach to the staging: characters emerge from cupboards, out of the fireplace, even from under the floorboards, while background figures twirl in slow motion." - Critics Choice, Time Out, Breakfast With Emma
Helen Tennison is a multi-award winning director and writer. Her work spans classics, new writing, devised and site-specific theatre. What unites her work is the mix of beauty andhumour, innovative visual aesthetics and a radical empathy for what it means to be human.
In association with Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud and Rosemary Branch Theatre Helen produced and directed three Offie nominated mid-scale tours, Wuthering Heights, Sense and Sensibility and Breakfast With Emma (Madam Bovary).
For Creation Theatre she has directed numerous site-specific productions including Dracula at the London Library, Much Ado About Nothing at South Oxford Adventure Playground and festive family shows, Cinderella and ALICE.
A lover of Shakespeare Helen directed four seasons at Midsummer Scene, Croatia. Her production of Twelfth Night toured Croatia, Bermuda, Austria. She assisted Giles Block at Shakespeare's Globe and lectured in Shakespeare at Goldsmiths University. Favourite productions include Loves Labours Lost (Cambridge Shakespeare), Titus Andronicus (USF Tampa), Anthony and Cleopatra (Creation Theatre) and directing the first female Hamlet
produced in the Balkans.
New writing experience includes developing new scripts to production with Sarah Sigal, Matthew Roberts and Kate Kerrow. Helen has devised numerous shows including the award winning Dirty Corset from Bang Average Theatre (Pleasance Theatre and tour) and Everything I See I Swallow, examining intergenerational feminism and featuring aerial rope and shibari.
As a writer Helen has adapted Wuthering Heights, mainstage Guildford's Yvonne Arnaud and tour, Orlando, USF Tampa, Hecuba's Women an adaptation of Women of Troy and Hecuba produced at Speilraum, Vienna. Her original script, Navigating Margaret, a playful and impactful story about living with Dementia, was commissioned and produced by Arts Uplift. Helen directed this production with a cast of professional and community actors.
Other experience includes work for Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Theatre Royal Winchester, Theatre Severn Shrewsbury, The Old Vic, The Arcola, Soho Theatre, The New Diorama, Camden People's Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, BAC and Belgrade Theatre, Coventry.
Recent work includes directing Shirley Valentine, Teatret de Sorte Hest, winning the Copenhagen Culture Best Actress Award for the performer and directing/devising Forgive Me, The Lowry, a show about autism featuring pole dance and live gaming.