My first 10 years working in theatre...
I'm Eve Nicol (she/they), a Glaswegian theatre director and playwright passionate about creating vibrant and emotionally resonant productions that captivate and connect with audiences.
As a school kid, I was inspired by early visits to Glasgow's internationally celebrated Citizens Theatre. I skipped school to steep myself in the lushness of the greatest of European storytelling at midweek matinees. Theatre has always held an illicit allure, allowing me to articulate my thoughts, work through difficult emotions, and forge new connections.
I aim to create smart, stylish shows with panache - bold storytelling that resonates emotionally. Whether it's a brand-new play or a classic story, my work frequently explores themes of love and longing, often incorporating live rock and pop scores. Critics have described my writing as "powerful" with a "wild streak of poetry" (The Scotsman) and "strange and soulful" (The Skinny), with The Stage labelling it as "stylish" and "boundary-breaking".
My work is centred on actors and their characters. I strive to enable actors to create their best work through empathy, generosity, and a drive for excellence. I am guided by what scares and excites me, placing trust in my emotional response and human instincts. I’m inspired by classical art and popular culture, movies and songs that break your heart. I’ll often use collages when developing ideas or working with actors to get to the heart of a story through images and external references.
Mentorship has played a significant role in my journey. I hold a postgraduate Masters degree in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Glasgow, where I was championed and encouraged by playwright Douglas Maxwell and Citizens Theatre Artistic Director Dominic Hill. Additionally, I have been mentored by David Greig, Artistic Director of the Lyceum Theatre, and Stephen Greenhorn through the Traverse Theatre. Their mentorship has instilled an interest in creating ambitious, popular work that comes directly from the author's heart.
I staged my first production, 'The Pitchfork Disney' by Philip Ridley, at the Tron Theatre in 2013. The show was praised for displaying "deep artistry and a searing vividness of imagination" (The Scotsman).
Since then, a significant milestone in my career came with my first play commission with Middle Child Theatre. ‘One Life Stand’ toured the UK for sixteen weeks, making stops at Latitude Festival, Paines Plough Roundabout @ Summerhall and nightclubs across Hull. The Scotsman called the production "one of the most evocative reflections of life as a British twentysomething in 2018."
In 2019, I adapted Belle and Sebastian's iconic album 'If You're Feeling Sinister' for the stage with Avalon and BBC Arts. Ed Fest Mag praised it for its "eccentric energy on stage which will stay with audiences for days to come". The Skinny praised the show as "a funny, touching tale, sitting confidently between buddy comedy and romantic tragedy".
My 2022 Fringe play 'Svengali' won the prestigious Filipa Bragança Award for Chloe-Ann Tylor's central performance. It was longlisted for the Popcorn Award for New Writing, recognising it as one of the top 20 new plays of the festival. Fest called it "vital, funny and full of deft, poetic lines", while audience members described it as "intense and riveting" and "a masterclass of storytelling".
My experience includes serving as the first Digital Associate of the National Theatre of Scotland between 2011 and 2017. I was a Mentored Playwright through Playwrights Studio, Scotland in 2014, and a Resident Artist at the Tron Theatre in 2019. In addition to these roles, I received three Federation of Scottish Theatre Assistant Director Bursaries between 2016 and 2019.
I've directed new plays for brilliant institutions like the National Theatre of Scotland, Traverse and Tron Theatre throughout my career. I work alongside exceptional established artists and brilliant new talents. When collaborating, I value non-judgment, curiosity, and a taste for darkness. I enjoy working with experts in their fields and exploring niche passions and skills.
I appreciate variety and novelty in the work I take on. I’ve staged gig theatre, new writing, poetry, and classical adaptation and worked with musicians, community casts and a colony of 50,000 leaf-cutter ants. I’ve staged work in swimming pools, museums, forests and fields. I’ve told stories to select audiences of 5 and on Scotland’s grandest stages.
Whatever the form or topic, you’ll usually find a lost soul pouring their heart out - looking sensational as they do so.
As I enter the second decade of my career, I aspire to heal broken hearts on a grand scale. I want to make work for Scotland's main stages and build relationships across the UK and internationally. I want to foster a spirit of openness, forgiveness and celebration among the audiences I create for.
I am currently developing a new piece of music theatre with Finn Anderson from a script by David Greig, a sweepingly romantic ensemble drama adapted from a classic European novel supported by Creative Scotland and The Lyceum, and a sensational pairing of new plays with Douglas Maxwell. I am a Trustee of the Dewar Arts Awards and in receipt of a Peggy Ramsay Foundation grant.
My goal is to create theatre that lingers long in the hearts and minds of audiences and showcases Scotland on the world's stage.