fanSHEN’s lead artists are Dan Barnard and Rachel Briscoe. We have an unorthodox family of awesome associate artists with whom we collaborate regularly. We are always open to working with new people who share our passion for hopefully idealistic, playful theatre-ish type activities.
For fanSHEN, Dan and Rachel have co-directed all the Ministry of Remoldability projects, Invisible Treasure, Tooting Field Days, The Apple Cart (tour), Cheese (Floor One, 29-31 Oxford St), GreenandPleasantLand (tour), Same Same (Ovalhouse Upstairs), Fixer (Ovalhouse Downstairs), Blowing (national tour), Moshing Lying Down (Shunt, PULSE, festivals tour) and Shooting Rats (Lilian Baylis site). Dan directed Meetings (Arcola) and Rachel directed Full Circle (Ovalhouse Upstairs).
Dan Barnard is a director who specialises in helping actors create outstanding naturalistic performances. He trained in psychological approaches to directing with Katie Mitchell, Ian Rickson, Declan Donnellan, Bella Merlin and Elen Bowman before conducting practical research into the application of Stanislavsky’s teachings at the Young Vic and elsewhere. Dan read English at Cambridge University and began his career in theatre by working in theatre administration, as an administrative assistant at the Gate Theatre and then as assistant producer at the Arcola Theatre. Dan’s freelance directing work includes Three Way by Yusra Warsama (Birmingham Rep), Colors by Peca Stefan (co-directed with Rachel Briscoe) and Begin Again by Elinor Cook (Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays). Dan’s work as assistant director includes Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth (Apollo Theatre), directed by Ian Rickson, Oedipus the King by Sophocles (Cambridge Arts Theatre), directed by Annie Castledine and A Dulditch Angel by Steven Canny (Eastern Angles Tour), directed by Orla O’Loughlin.
Rachel studied history at Cambridge University, writing her dissertation on theatre created in response to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Since graduating, she has studied with Cheek By Jowl, Told by an Idiot, Teatr Piesn Kozla and on the National Theatre Studio Directors’ Course. Freelance directing includes Colors by Peca Stefan (Tristan Bates Theatre), Inches Apart (Winner of the Old Vic New Voices Theatre 503 Award), As Vingadoras (a clown version of The Avengers with Galician company Maquinaria Pesada). As a writer, she is a graduate of the Royal Court Invitation programme and Soho Theatre Young Writers. In 2014, she completed the Clore Short Course for Cultural Leaders and in 2015, she qualified as a Feldenkrais practitioner. In addition to her work for fanSHEN, she freelances as a director and dramaturg. From 2010 to 2-15, she worked as Director of Theatre (jobshare) at Ovalhouse; the Guardian credited her with ‘restoring order to Ovalhouse with bold, experimental programming.’
fanSHEN is a Registered Charity and a company limited by guarantee. Our Trustees are Nadeem Azhar (Secretary), Christina Elliot, Alex Ferris, Richard Malacrida, Susannah Ross, Christine Twite (Chair), Jennifer Wallace. Our patron is Mark Rylance.