Dermot Daly – Associate Director’s Blog – Part Three

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We asked Dermot Daly, our Associate Director on BD Stories, a few questions to round off his brilliant blog posts for us. Read on to find out what keeps him in Bradford and his top tip to building a career in the arts…

What do you think makes Bradford special? And what is it that keeps you in Yorkshire?

Bradford is a special place mainly because of the people who live in it and make it what it is. There’s something wonderful about working in place which is so full of vibrancy and life, as well as tradition and history.

Looking around the city you can still see the physical majesty of palatial buildings, rubbing up against the 21st century, and both sitting in harmony with each other spurring on and keeping each other alive. The same can be said of the people!

There’s something in the ideas that Bradford was once the richest city in the world, the place where the Independent Labour party was born, the (once) Wool capital of the world, now a UNESCO city of film and, hopefully, city of culture in 2025 – all of these things can only happen if people work together and the arts scene in Bradford – as well as the wider city – are doing the same thing; working together, making something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

By extension I see that around Yorkshire and that’s one of the many reasons what I love living and working in this part of the world: a wonderful interconnectedness, which constantly challenges, and nurtures me as a creative.

As you know we have a youth theatre (who you work with!) If you could give one piece of advice to your younger teenage self on how to build a career in the arts, what would it be?

The one piece of advice that would give is “don’t ‘want to’, do” – the only way to become something is to do it and if you don’t feel as though the opportunities that you crave already exist, create them, there will always be someone else moving in your direction.

Can you tell us about one of your all time favourite theatre productions and what made it special?

I’ve been really lucky to have seen lots of theatre in lots of places but, if you were to put me on the spot now, I would be cheeky and pick two…

Firstly, ‘Matilda’ in the West End. I have never, before, or since, been so struck by a set. It was almost like an art installation. And as for the show itself – peerless, it did things with words and movement and songs that were just perfect. Anyone who’s listened to the song ‘When I Grow Up’ will know what I mean. At the other end of the spectrum, ‘Woke’ by Testament is a one man show exploring masculinity, fatherhood and music, and was deeply affecting – a piece that stays with you because of its truth, honesty and resonance.

Ask me tomorrow and I’ll change my mind!

What is next on the horizon for you? Do you have any projects lined up, or future ambitions?

There are a few things on the horizon; more theatre, working on and with new writing; some short film projects and maybe some more performing – who knows, watch this space!

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