Designer Sue Mayes

"Makes me want to learn more, get more engrossed in theatre and work with more people in theatre"
Parveen Ghir, Taster workshop participant

Design Direct

Design Direct is Tamasha’s pioneering training initiative for eight emerging designers and directors, interested in intracultural theatre practice, who are keen to pursue a career in theatre.
Applications have now closed for the current course. For information on upcoming workshops, please email 

For biographies of the 8 participants in the 2012 course click here>

This opportunity is open to artists from all cultural backgrounds.

Led by Tamasha’s Artistic Director, Kristine Landon-Smith and Designer Sue Mayes, this two-week, full time course examines in detail the collaborative relationship between Director and Designer. Through practical shared exercises, mentored conversations, lectures by visiting tutors on specialist areas, a theatre visit and reflection, work with actors on draft sets designed whilst on the course, the directors and designers will grow their knowledge and practical experience of this crucial collaboration. The course culminates in a presentation to industry professionals showcasing the collaborative relationships and practical work that has taken place.

Both Kristine and Sue will offer tailored training to each individual working with each participant’s particular strengths and grow participants’ confidence in areas where support is needed.

Kristine and Sue have worked together on all of Tamasha’s productions. For more details on Tamasha and Kristine’s practice visit and

Sue Mayes: Sue has a long and varied career as a designer and a teacher. Her work stretches from Pantomime and Young Peoples Theatre to Film and Corporate Work. After obtaining an Honors Degree from the Central School of Art and Design under Ralph Koltai she began her professional career in traditional British repertory Theatre in Ipswich, then moved into devised theatre at The Belgrade Theatre in Education Company. Since then Sue has worked with many different theatre groups such as Talawa, Nitro, Graeae and especially Tamasha, having designed all their major productions. She particularly enjoys designing for new writing.  As well as designing in conventional theatres spaces such as the Theatre Royal Stratford East, she has designed theatre in prisons and schools. Her last design for Tamasha was The House of Bilquis Bibi. Since then she has worked on “School for Scandal” for the Comedians Theatre Company at the Edinburgh Festival, “Good Companions” for Bristol Old Vic School and “A Capital Affair “for Vienna’s English Theatre.

Course participants will benefit from:
* Professional actors to work with directors in developing scenes
* Guest Lecturers, who will share their own approach to directing and design
* Theatre trip to a production
* Platform discussion around the director - designer collaboration
* Networking opportunities with industry guests at a presentation event at the end of the course

How to apply:
 No formal qualifications are necessary to apply for this course, however:
* Applicants must demonstrate a proven and strong interest in culturally specific work.
* Designer applicants will have a design background and be able to demonstrate a strong visual sense and an interest in theatre.
* Director applicants will have some experience or a strong interest in directing and be particularly keen on exploring how the director works with the actor.
* Tamasha heavily subsidises the course but there is a small participant fee.

< Back

“This course is so important to people like me who need a stepping stone into the theatre”
Samina Baig, director participant on Design Direct