Show and Tell #13 - Paula Redway
Graduating with an MA in Critical and Cultural Theory in 1999, Paula is the Director of Salisbury Arts Centre. Previously, she was the Director of Narberth A Cappella Festival 2015-2016, the Director of Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon, Wales, from 2011-2015, the Director of Ludlow Assembly Rooms arts centre and cinema in Shropshire, UK from 2003-2011 and the co-ordinator of South Shropshire Green Festival. Her career prior to theatre management includes 6 years as a staff member at the Royal Northern College of Music, 4 years as a consultant for Youth Music, 6 years as a freelance travel writer, 2 years working at Moss Side Social Services in the Children and Families division and 5 years as a LGBT rights activist. Paula is a passionate and experienced arts project manager and the founder Director of Streets Alive! peripatetic street theatre festival which she initiated in 2004. As well as being a board member for the Oracle network for 3 years, she is also a member of the jury for the Wales Music Prize and, until recently, was the Chair of the Circuit network of theatres in mid Wales.
Outside of work, Paula takes every opportunity to sing – including as part of Salisbury Festival opening and closing ceremonies, on BBC Radio 4, with Russell Watson, as part of North West Opera and Mid Wales Opera companies, with Tanya Walker at Hay Festival, with Nikki Lamborn in London and with her own band. She also loves travelling and exploring the great outdoors – especially walking, sailing and horse-riding.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Steering a yacht through scenic and fast but safe waters in brilliant sunshine with close friends.
What lies at the heart of your own desire to do your creative work?
The desire to tell stories and express feelings which touch human hearts and drive social change.
What are the first things you do in developing an idea in response to a subject?
Improvise and record my improvisations. I then develop the most interesting parts later on.
What’s your favourite film and why?
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café because it sends you on a roller coaster of emotions and we all need a good laugh and a good cry from time to time.
Choose 1, 2 or 3 of your all-time favourite music tracks.
Jessye Norman singing Stauss’ Four Last Songs
Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water
Jonathan Dove’s Flight – an opera with gorgeous harmonies based on the true-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who lived at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, for several years, unable to exit the airport terminal
From your favourite poem – could you give us a few lines that mean something to you?
I love landmark poetry because everyone can enjoy it. My favourite is the lines (in Welsh and English) CREU GWIR FEL GWYDR O FFWRNAIS AWEN ('Creating Truth Like Glass From Inspiration's Furnace) IN THESE STONES HORIZONS SING on the Wales Millennium Centre.
If you were to die and come back as a person, animal or a thing, what would it be?
Prime Minister so I can help ensure funding is directed into the arts and other places where it is needed.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Having a baby. Each of our children will add to the world’s carbon footprint.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
The beautiful world we live in – trees, skies, rivers, oceans, animals, insects, sea creatures and human beings when they are being kind, creative and making me laugh.
Which artwork/film/book has most inspired you?
Fritz Lang’s Metropolis – an amazing film for its time and its messages about class sadly remain relevant today.
Facebook as it helps me keep up with the people I love.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Trust your instincts.
Piece of equipment you can’t live without?
My musical instruments.
Best recent read?
Born Under a Million Shadows by my friend Andrea Busfield. It is about post-Taliban life in Kabul as experienced through the eyes of an eleven year old boy.
What is your final word?