Catching Comets: Directors Assemble

Earth’s mightiest heroes must work together to direct a play for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This time it’s personal.

With less than two weeks until we present Catching Comets, we are ready to introduce the heroes behind the masks, starting with the directing team.


Piers Black, Director

Piers Black, Director

 
My on-screen hero is Homer Simpson because even when he gets it wrong we root for him; he’s an everyman.
— Piers Black

When he’s not fighting the forces of evil, Piers is a co-founder and director of Ransack Theatre.

He directed Ransack’s previous works The Dumb Waiter and MOTH, which won a Manchester Theatre Award for Best Fringe Production in 2018. He has also been the recipient of John Fernald Directing Award and the JMK Regional Director Award.

Piers trained on the National Theatre Directors’ Course, where he was recently Staff Director on Nina Raine’s new production of Stories. Last year he was Resident Director at the Almeida Theatre where he assisted Blanche McIntyre on Ella Hickson’s production of The Writer. His additional Assistant / Associate Director work includes productions at Lyric Hammersmith, HighTide, Royal Exchange and HOME.

The play is about vulnerability really. What are the moments in real life that ask us to be brave? And how can we be heroes and vulnerable at the same time?
— Piers Black

Heather Carroll, Assistant Director

Heather Carroll, Assistant Director

 
Catching Comets is about finding your confidence and voice, about escapism and about falling in love for the first time.
— Heather Carroll

Heather is co-founder of troublehouse theatre and Actors Workshop Manchester. She is also an Associate Artist and Director for Actors for Human Rights.  Her directing credits include Fragmented (TakeBack Theatre), The Egoist (53Two) which was nominated at the GMF Awards, Purge (53Two), Something Quite Different (troublehouse theatre), This is Who I Am and The Asylum Monologues (Ice & Fire) and Ten Takes on Shelter (TakeBack Theatre). 

Her Assistant credits include Alice in Sunderland (National Theatre R&D), Approaching Empty (Tamasha/Kiln Theatre/Live Theatre), Future Bodies (RashDash/Unlimited Theatre) for which she was the JMK Bursary funded Assistant Director, The Kidnapping (Hope Mill Theatre) and Remains (troublehouse theatre/Bolton Octagon).

My on screen hero is cat woman because she’s a badass hero but also because she wants women to be able to defend themselves and be their own heroes!
— Heather Carroll

 
Chi-San Howard, Movement Director

Chi-San Howard, Movement Director

My current on screen hero is Agent May in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She’s a bangin secret agent, beats up evil alien invaders with her bare hands and is played by the brilliant Ming-Na Wen. She exists above and beyond any East Asian stereotypes and seeing someone like that on screen is so important to me.
— Chi-San Howard

Chi-San is a Movement Director and Choreographer, who specialises in creating clear and coherent movement languages for performance on both stage and screen. She trained in Movement Directing at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (2014 - 16).  

Chi-San began movement directing as part of the ensemble for award-winning immersive and physical theatre company, Belt Up Theatre where she was company choreographer. She then went on to co-found theatre company, Youaremine. with long term collaborator, Francesca Murray-Fuentes, creating visceral, physical, cross disciplinary work. The company is currently supported by Theatre Delicatessen. 

Previous credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oxford Playhouse) Variations (NT Connections, Dorfman Theatre)Let Kilburn Shake (Kiln Youth Theatre) Skellig (Nottingham Playhouse) Under the Umbrella (Belgrade Theatre Coventry) American Idiot (Mountview) Carmen the Gypsy (Arcola Theatre) Bury the Dead; Homos or Everyone in America, Adding Machine: A Musical (Finborough Theatre) Describe the Night (Hampstead Theatre) Parade (Mountview) NeverLand (Guild of Misrule/Site specific) Love and Money, Pornography (ALRA) In Event of Moone Disaster (Theatre 503) Tenderly (New Wimbledon Theatre Studio) Cosmic Scallies (Royal Exchange Manchester/Graeae), Children of the Night (Oxford Playhouse/Oxford Arts Festival), These Trees Are Made of Blood (Arcola Theatre) Deposit (Associate, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs) Occupational Hazards (Associate, Hampstead Theatre) Moth (Hope Mill Theatre) Every You Every Me(Oxford Playhouse) The Tempest (Southwark Playhouse)

The play is about how we recognise and redefine what being a hero is today. Many of us have lost faith in those we once looked up to and are having to rethink what it is that we admire and look up to in others.

Not only that but I also think it’s about how we find heroes in the most unlikely of places and how most heroes tend not to view their actions as heroic in the moment. Nobody feels like a hero, few people identify themselves as such and so we discount our own small acts of heroism, whether that’s just getting out of bed and getting dressed in the morning or giving up your seat on the bus. No act is too small when it comes to changing the world.
— Chi-San Howard

Catching Comets will preview at Waterside Arts in Sale on 21st & 22nd July 2019 as part of RE:FRACT Festival, before performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at Pleasance Courtyard between 31st July - 25th August 2019.

Catching Comets Poster.jpg