Struan's Work

Struan has been creating movement-based theatre and performance for more than 30 years in over 300 productions as well as teaching and training at the highest level. This includes plays from ancient, early modern and contemporary periods, circus, oratorios, operas as well as his own devised productions and dance works.

 

He was the founding Head of Movement at The Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2013, creating movement and choreography and supporting on over 100 productions.

 

Whether as the leading, conceiving artist on a project or as part of a team creating work, Struan’s work is identified by its ‘trans-disciplinary’ and collaborative nature. There is also, through all areas of his work, a common thread in the principles of choric and ensemble work.  These processes bring together his wide experience and knowledge in all areas of performance. These elements of theatre production combine with other disciplines, such as music and visual arts, to create work that is specific, in both devised work and in response to extant repertoire.

 

He has collaborated extensively with many directors. Over a 15 year period he was movement director and choreographer on some 35 productions directed by Katie Mitchell including seminal productions of Ancient Greek plays at the National Theatre as well as Operas and Oratorios at Welsh National Opera.  Additionally he has collaborated with directors including Neil Bartlett, Roxanna Silbert, Michael Boyd, Gregory Doran, Nicholas Hytner, James Dacre, Dominic Hill and Phillip Howard.

 

During the last 30 years Struan has consistently been devising and creating new work from self-performed solos to large scale events in theatre and site-specific projects.  Integral to his practice is his work as an artist-teacher leading workshops and master-classes for performers, actors, dancers and musicians in the UK and all around the world.

 

Struan is Artistic Director of 21CC – Twenty-First Century Chorus, which he formed in 2014 on leaving the RSC.  Twenty-First Century Chorus is a contemporary devising theatre company based on the praxis of the Ancient Greek Chorus, drawing on extended theatre practices of the 21st Century, and explored through the prism of historical context.

Recent Project Examples

Edinburgh Hogmanay '18

Director and Deviser

Struan conceived and directed the Street Party for the new-look New Year's Eve animation of the Centre of Edinburgh - a 6 hour party for 65,000 people.  This included collaborating with Aerial Performers, an all female Pipes and Drums, Puppeteers, and with composers and musicians to create a soundtrack for the iconic Midnight Fireworks display.

Illuminations

Aldeburgh Festival, Snape Maltings 2016

Conceived and Directed

BBC Proms, Aurora Orchestra

 

Beethoven Symphony No.2 from Memory
Royal Albert Hall, 2017

 

  • Movement Director and coach for the Orchestral Players for this BBC Prom and presentation broadcast on BBC Television.

  • Conductor/presenter Nicholas Colon and Presenter Tom Service

Royal Shakespeare Company

Founding Head of Movement Department
2008 to 2013

Projects as movement director/choreographer (Royal Shakespeare Theatre/Swan Theatre):

  • As You Like It (Lincoln Centre Festival 2011)

  • Morte D’Arthur

  • Julius Caesar (Noel Coward Theatre, London)

  • City Madam

  • MacBeth

  • Opening of Royal Shakespeare Theatre 2011

  • Life of Galileo.
     

As director:

  • Song of Songs, (Swan Theatre King James Bible 400 year Celebrations)

  • FlashMob Romeo and Juliet (RSC Newcastle Residency).

As Head of Movement:

  • Movement Support, 100 plus productions Shakespeare and new writing

  • Teaching Workshops Education department, Drama UK Programme

  • Nationwide Open Stages Programme

  • Mentoring and training emerging Directors, Movement Directors and Actors

National Centre for Circus Arts

Director and creative adviser

2013: 

  • Conceived and Devised media launch for the transition from Circus Space to National Centre for Circus Arts.

  • Conceived and devised the Silver Anniversary Gala Event

2014:

  • Devised and Directed ensemble show ‘Hop(E)’ (Spiegeltent, SouthBank, London)

21CC - Raon Piobaireachd/ Pibroch Field (2016)

R&D, Director and Deviser,
Twenty-First Century Chorus

Glasgow Life, Citizens Theatre, Glagsow:

  • A two week R&D exploring with an actor, dance and piper the ‘landscape’ of the Big Music of the Highland Bagpipes.

  • Working in both English and Gaelic.


 

21CC - My Case is  Altered: Tales of a Twenty-first Century Roaring Girl (2013-16)

Director and Deviser,
Twenty-First Century Chorus

At The Performing Garage (NYC), Christopher Newport University (Virginia USA), Illinois Theatre (University of  Illinois, Urbana-Champaign USA), Willamette University (Salem, Oregon USA).

  • A solo show for Actor Lisa Gaye Dixon.

  • Created in collaboration with 5 artists including the performer.

  • An exploration of what is it to be a contemporary African-American woman refracted through the prism of writing, music and images from the 16th century to the present day.

21CC - From Noting 1 – Chip Paper (2016)

R&D self-authored solo and exploration of a new creative and training process,
Twenty-First Century Chorus

Albany Theatre, Deptford, London:

  • A week long exploration of making a performance and installation work from the newspapers published on the Monday of the residency week leading to a 'scratch’ presentation.


 

21CC - From Noting 2 – COYOTE (2017)

R&D Directed and Devised new work,
Twenty-First Century Chorus

University of Illinois Department of Theatre MFA candidates:

  • R&D directed and taught ‘Embodied Practices and Devising Processes’.


 

English Skies: A staged Song Cycle

Conceived and Directed

Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London:

  • Theatrical realisation of ESKA’s debut album, “English Skies” with a singing movement chorus of 85.


 

Paul Smith – A Suit To Travel In

Conceived and Directed

For Paul Smith new product launch:

  • Concept to demonstrate the versatility of a new fabric and suits using acrobats, circus performers and Olympic Gymnast Max Whitlock.

  • Launch event at London Menswear 2014.

  • Tour to Paris, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, India, Russia, UAE.

© 2019 Struan Leslie