Sinéad Rushe biog


Sinéad is a theatre director, teacher and performer. Born in Newry, Northern Ireland, she studied English and French at Trinity College, Dublin. She won a scholarship to do a D.E.A. (equivalent to a Masters) in Theatre and Choreography Studies at Ecole Normale Supérieure, rue d’Ulm, Paris and University of Paris VIII-St.Denis under the direction of Patrice Pavis. In 1997 she moved to London to train as an actor at Central School of Speech and Drama.

She has done extensive training in Meyerhold’s Theatrical Biomechanics with Nicolai Karpov (Paris), Kathleen Baum (O’Neill Theatre Centre, USA) and Gennadi Bodganov (Manchester, Perugia). She has also trained in the Michael Chekhov Technique with Sergei Issayev (GITIS, Moscow), Sarah Kane and Graham Dixon (Michael Chekhov Studio, London), Joanna Merlin and Fern Sloan (Galway, Ireland) and Lenard Petit (Michael Chekhov Studio, New York). These two techniques form the bedrock of her practice.

Sinéad is a former winner of the Ulster and All Ireland Irish Dance Championships and trained with Sheila Nolan in Northern Ireland. While living in Paris (1994-1996), she toured regularly as a dancer-percussionist with Franco-Irish music band, Dirty Linen, to FestivAlpe, (Chateau d’Oex, Switzerland), Le Chainon Manquant Festival (Cahors, France), Festival Interceltique (Lorient, France) and Grain de Celte Festival (St.Etienne, France). She features as a foot percussionist on their album Into The West.


Sinéad has created four full works for her company, Loaded, a dance theatre work about weight and gravity, Life in the Folds, adapted from the prose poems of Henri Michaux, An Evening with Sinéad Rushe, written by Sinéad with Sarah Hirschmuller and Night-Light, written by Stephen Sharkey, all funded by Arts Council England.

Freelance directing includes: Night just before the Forests, Macau Arts Festival, China; Concert, a dance-theatre show created with Colin Dunne and sound composer Mel Mercier at Centre National de la Danse (Paris), MA Scène Nationale Pays de Montbéliard, La Comète, Scène Nationale de Châlons-en-Champagne (France), Dublin Dance Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival (Ireland) – Winner of Gradam Comharcheoil TG4 2018 Award; Diary of a Madman, for Living Pictures, Sherman Cymru Theatre, Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff & tour); Out of Time, a dance-theatre show performed by Colin Dunne at Barbican Theatre (London), Baryshnikov Arts Centre (New York City), Glór Theatre (Ennis, Ireland), Project Arts Centre (Dublin International Dance Festival), Teatro Auditorio San Lorenzo De Escorial (Madrid International Dance Festival) – Nominated for an Olivier and Dance Critics’ Circle Award; Something or Nothing, a solo show by Guy Dartnell, commissioned by Sadler’s Wells Theatre (London), The Place Theatre (London), Lakeside Arts (Nottingham), Colchester Arts Centre and Merlin Theatre (Frome); Scene and Heard, one of nine original short plays written by inner city children aged 11-13, Theatro Technis (London); mentor for Off The Path, a site specific performance in Stanmer Park (Brighton) by Rachel Henson; Pronouncing Cinoc, devised from Species of Spaces by Georges Perec, selected for Hope and Glory Festival, Neumarkt Theatre (Zurich).

Sinéad directs every year at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London in her part-time role as Senior Lecturer on the three year BA Acting course (collaborative and devised theatre). To date, she has directed Loaded, a dance theatre work about weight and gravity, Jacksons Lane (a collaboration with out of Inc), There’s No Place Like Home, a devised piece of verbatim theatre about eviction in the USA, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar.

She is currently developing her new production of La nuit juste avant les forêts by French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès, in a new translation into English of her own, as well as remounting Concert for an international tour.


Sinéad’s performance work includes: Inward Out, a live participatory event, Dance4/Nottdance, Nottingham Contemporary & Chelsea Theatre (creator Guy Dartnell), On Air, a live commentary radio event, Whitechapel Gallery Festival, V&A Museum, Exhibition Road Show, Cultural Olympiad project (London, director Graeme Miller); Conjunction, a performance installation, Toynbee Studios & BAC (London, director Graeme Miller); Blast, Centre for Contemporary Arts and Dance House (Glasgow, director Liz Ranken); Lucrèce PTSD, Tron Theatre (Glasgow, director Gregory Thomson); Oogly Boogly, an improvised performance for infants, Centre National de la Danse (Paris), Lisbon and Melbourne International Festivals, Springdance Festival (Utrecht) and Sadler’s Wells Theatre (London, director Tom Morris, producer Emma Gladstone); Beauty and the Beast, Belgrade Theatre (Coventry, director John Wright); Aftermath, a performance installation, BAC (London, director Barnaby Stone & film-maker Rachel Davies, winner of Place Prize 2006); The Happy Prince, Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh, director Annie Wood); Calvino: an experiment, a live video installation with John Hegley, BAC, Life A User’s Manual, adapted from the novel by Georges Perec, Lyric Hammersmith (London), Four Seasons, Clore Studio, Royal Opera House (London), Centenary Knees Up, Purcell Room, South Bank Centre (London), The Possibilities, Théâtre de la Cité Internationale (Paris).

Voice-over work includes: Tweenies, voice of Judy, Tell Tale Productions (BBC TV); Muller Corners campaign, TWBA (ITV); The Unfinished Films of David G, narrator, Jackman Films (Independent); Looking after Doodles, narrator, storybook on tape (BBC Worldwide); Brand New Choo Choo, narrator, storybook on tape (BBC Worldwide); I’ll Huff and I’ll Puff, narrator, storybook on tape (BBC Worldwide).

Film and television work includes: Medea, directed by Fiona Shaw (BBC 1); The Mountain Lark (RTE 1); Glass Kiss, Foster Films (Independent).

Theatre translation and publications

Sinéad has published a book entitled, Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique: A Practitioner’s Guide (Bloomsbury Methuen, 2019) and two articles, ‘Diary of A Rehearsal Process: Rehearsing Diary of a Madman from the Michael Chekhov perspective’ and ‘The MCCUK Past, Present and Future: Interviews with Graham Dixon, Sarah Kane and Martin Sharp, conducted and edited by Tom Cornford, Cass Fleming and Sinéad Rushe in Journal of Dance, Theatre and Performance Training (2013), Pitches, J, Kirrillov, A (eds.), Michael Chekhov special issue, London: Routledge.

Sinéad is the co-translator into French, with Sarah Hirschmuller, of several works by English playwright Howard Barker, all published by Editions Théâtrales, Paris: The Possibilities (2001, the translation premiered at Théâtre de la Tempête, Paris, produced by Philippe Adrien); Wounds to the Face (2002); The Love of a Good Man (2003, commissioned by Jean-Paul Wenzel at Théâtre de Montluçon); Arguments for a Theatre (2006); Uncle Vanya (2006, commissioned by Agathe Alexis for the Festival of Avignon) and He Stumbled (2008).

She is the translator on Travels with my Virginity, a film written by Lee Simpson (Improbable Theatre) and Guy Dartnell currently in development for Film 4, The Film Council (UK), EM Media and Warp X. Sinéad has also written and translated an article for the National Theatre of Strasbourg’s journal, Outre-Scène, which includes an interview with Fiona Shaw.

Talks and Research Events

  • 2019: ‘Polyphonic Characterisation in Bernard Marie Koltès’s Night Just Before the Forests’. Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, School of Sound.
  • 2019: ‘Feeling Space, Making Space: Michael Chekhov and Theatre Design’. Pushkin House, London.
  • 2018: Q+A with Niels Lanz, sound designer. Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, London.
  • 2016: ‘Polyphonic Characterisation’: a performance talk on the stereophonic articulation of character. Part of Sticky Thick: Thinking through Practice, Hosted by University of Kent’s Music and Fine Art Practice Research Forum at Whitstable Biennale.
  • 2016: ‘Transforming traumatic experience into theatre performance’. Trauma Patient Public Involvement Group, National Institute for Health Research, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham.
  • 2016: ‘Thinking Through Practice’: Artist Lecture Series. Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2016: ‘Polyphonic Characterisation’: a performance talk on the stereophonic articulation of character. Part of Sticky Thick: Thinking through Practice, Hosted by University of Kent’s Music and Fine Art Practice Research Forum at Whitstable Biennale.
  • 2014: ‘Self and Loss of Self: the Actor and Characterisation.’ Contributing speaker at ‘Acting Naturally: a cross-disciplinary exploration of selfhood, persona and performance in training,’ convened by Amanda Stuart-Fisher at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
  • 2013: ‘Drama between Theatre and Dance: Reading New Work at Sadler’s Wells.’ A public talk commissioned by the Lilian Baylis Theatre on the interface between dance and post dramatic theatre. The talk included a close analysis of two works in the Sadler’s Wells programme: Study#3 by The Forsythe Company and Sideways Rain by Alias, and was followed by a discussion with Guilherme Botelho, artistic director of Alias Dance Company.
  • 2012: Research event, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. An analysis of Mats Ek’s dance film Smoke with choreographer and dance filmmaker Rosemary Lee.
  • 2011: Research event, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. An analysis of One Flat Thing, Reproduced by choreographer William Forsythe with Sadler’s Wells Producer and Head of Research, Emma Gladstone.