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Profile On: Muriel Romanes

Artistic Director with award-winning company Stellar Quines

Muriel Romanes; photo:  Ian Rutherford  Muriel has had over 30 years experience in theatre both as an actress and director. She has been with Stellar Quines since 1993 and since 1996 has been the Artistic Director.  Stellar Quines focuses on the creative work of women in Scottish Theatre.

She has directed for Stellar Quines, The Clearing, The Reel of the Hanged Man by Jean-Mance Delisle, Sweet Fanny Adams in Eden, The Memory of Water and Three Thousand Troubled Threads as part of the Edinburgh International Festival 2005.  Most recently she directed The Unconquered by Torben Betts, which toured throughout Scotland and the UK.  This production won the Critics Award for Theatre in Scotland -  Best New Play and was nominated for Best Design.

Before working with Stellar Quines, Muriel was an Associate Director at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh where she has directed several acclaimed productions, including The Deep Blue Sea, A Listening Heaven, Lavender Blue, Streetcar Named Desire, the highly successful The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and most recently Anna Karenina.

The Unconquered

The Unconquered was a departure in style for Stellar Quines, as a surrealist tragi-comedy by an English male writer, Torben Betts.  However, the main attraction for Muriel was the strong leading part for a woman.     The Unconquered, courtesy Stellar Quines; photo:  Marc Marnie 

The plot, inspired by a short story by Somerset Maugham, follows the fate of the 'unconquered' Girl of the title, whose bourgeois world of rebellion against her parents is thrown upside down when the home of her family is invaded by a solider of the revolution. 

'Cheery stuff it is not; an exhilarating roller-coaster of powerful emotional turmoil and trenchant social and political analysis it is.' - Robert Dawson Scott, The Times

The Unconquered, courtesy Stellar Quines; photo:  Marc Marnie  The production deisgn by artist Keith McIntyre had a cartoon-like, two-dimensional feel, and was entirely in black and white.  McIntyre worked with the actors during rehearsals, lending the production a strongly cohesive visual aesthetic.   

'There is a touch of the Lewis Carroll to Torben Betts’ new play. Nothing is quite what it seems and what is said spins giddily between the surreal, the mundane and a ghastly graphic reality. Like Keith McIntyre’s brilliantly simple but striking set - a skeletal house - it is a contorted, skewed world we are sucked into.'  - The Stage

For more information on Muriel, visit the Stellar Quines website.

Related links
* Stellar Quines
* Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland
* Torben Betts
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