in a word
It's the two-year anniversary of Fiona’s son’s disappearance, and still nothing makes sense to her. Not her blasé husband, the incompetent detective, nor the neighbourhood kidnapper who keeps introducing himself in the checkout line.
Fiona delves back into her memories of that fateful day, to uncover that crucial missing piece, grief and comedy collide, and ordinary turns of phrase take on dangerous new meanings. Cast includes Karl Collins, Michael Elcock, Jill Halfpenny.
We asked director Dadiow Lin about her career and her Young Vic debut.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into directing?
I thought I wanted to be a performer, but in the process realised that as I really love organising stuff, perhaps directing suited me better. I also love solving puzzles and being a director involves this. If I had not been a director I would have wanted to be a detective.
2. Why did you want to direct in a word?
The story and relationships among the characters are earthy, human, and genuine. On top of that, Lauren Yee made the storytelling intriguingly theatrical on paper. Working on it is like playing a game or solving a puzzle. Finding the clues and pulling at the threads of ideas she has created engages me. I get drawn to this play more every time I read it.
3. What is the biggest challenge so far about bringing this script to life?
Transforming the theatricality on paper into real three-dimensional space. Great fun, but also needs a lot of drilling and grind by both me, the actors, and creatives.
4. Have you learned anything new from this experience?
I think what I’ve learned, or at least what became clearer to me, is that when you have people who really want to make good work together, you challenge each other but in a positive way.
5. How do you unwind after a day of rehearsals?
Watch endless recipes and food-making videos, oh and Great British Bake Off.
6. What advice would you give to upcoming directors?
I think we all have an idea in our head about what a director is when we are starting out. We see the interesting and glitzy parts of the job. Working with actors and being ‘artists’. However, a lot of the job is admin work - you are a HR person, you are an admin person you need to manage lots of people, send lots of emails (chase lots of emails…). This is all part of it and if you don’t put the effort into this then you make it much harder to do the fun stuff.
7. What has been your best career moment so far?
Before the beginning of the second-week rehearsal of a production, I met one of my mentors about strategies, approaches, as well as to get some emotional support. He gave me a big hug at the end of the meeting. It was the first hug he gave me and that meant so much to me. It was like getting a Paul Hollywood handshake. Someone whose directing approach I truly admire understood what I was trying to do and he was supporting me when I needed it.
8. What play have you seen recently that has had a lasting emotional effect on you and why?
Faith, Hope and Charity
The issue it tackles is urgent and crucial, however, that’s not the main thing which left me stunned at the end of the performance.
The work doesn’t try to give us a moral lesson or impose anything onto its spectators; it just is. It was one of the most powerful things I’ve ever seen on stage.
9. What is the most memorable moment you've had at the Young Vic?
I remembered one afternoon Sue interviewed me for one of the Jerwood Assistant roles, and that was the very first time I met Sue. I was so nervous going into the interview.
That evening, I got the press night filler ticket to see The Suppliant Women, and Sue sat next to me. I was aware she was sitting beside me for the whole play, I was more nervous probably than the actors on stage for that production. That was the day that started my involvement at the Young Vic and I will never forget it.
10. How would you describe in a word, in a word?
in a word runs at the Young Vic from 23 Oct until 2 Nov.
Director Dadiow Lin
Designer Naomi Kuyck-Cohen
Lighting Designer Josh Gadsby
Sound Design Max Perryment
Casting Director Isabella Odoffin
Movement Director Rachael Nanyonjo
Voice and Dialect Rebecca Cuthbertson
Boris Karloff Trainee Assistant Director Patrick Ellis