Anna directed REVENGE and BRUISED for Tinderbox Theatre Company, BE MY BABY for the Lyric Theatre, co-directed TR>UBLE for TheatreofplucK (4 star review in the Irish Times) and directed REASSEMBLED, SLIGHTLY ASKEW, a unique sonic installation piece by Shannon Yee which received a 5 star review in The Stage and which was in residence in Battersea Arts Centre in 2016 as the only Northern Irish offering in their A Nation’s Theatre season. Nominated for 3 awards at the Dublin Tiger Fringe, winner of the Contra Guys Award for New Performance Text at Toronto's Summerworks Festival - and continuing to tour internationally through 2017 and 2018.
“A real-life ordeal, captured by a daring, disorientating artistic collaboration, which works brilliantly on so many levels" *****
The Stage on REASSEMBLED, SLIGHTLY ASKEW
"beautifully put together" ****
The Guardian on REASSEMBLED, SLIGHTLY ASKEW
"a quietly devastating example of uncategorisable art at its best" ****
Time Out London on REASSEMBLED, SLIGHTLY ASKEW
Anna was the Artistic Director of the Centre for Excellence for the Creative and Performing Arts at Queen’s University from 2005-2010, devising and delivering a pilot performer training programme and other innovative interdisciplinary practical arts programmes including devised dance theatre created with medical students – for which they got the same credit as their peers doing clinical electives. Also during this time, she created an interdisciplinary MA which involved collaboration with a range of external artists including Talking Birds, Pat Murphy, the Sonic Arts Research Centre and Forced Entertainment.
She also created two pieces of work with students from the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts, one for Bosnia’s International MESS Festival.
She ran the Lyric Theatre Belfast’s actor training programme for two years, during which time they produced the Presnyakov Brothers’ TERRORISM, Moira Buffini’s A VAMPIRE STORY and two performance installations.
Prior to moving to Belfast, she was Associate Director at Dundee Rep where she directed a number of large-scale pieces including Liz Lochhead’s DRACULA, Enda Walsh’s DISCO PIGS, Neil Duffield’s JUNGLE BOOK, Jim Cartwright’s RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE and Charlotte Keatley’s MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD. She directed large-scale community projects including Ariel Dorfmann’s WIDOWS and an original operetta by Michael Marra. She also co-directed community co-productions between Dundee Rep and the Playhouse on the Square, Memphis and the Royal Court and was a key player in the setting up of the Dundee Women’s Performing Arts Network.
Anna has directed for various companies in Scotland and England including Borderline Theatre Company, Pilot Theatre Company and Birds of Paradise as well as teaching at Queen Margaret University and undertaking tens of community projects diverse in scale and nature.
“an adventure beyond theatre”
official MES Festival reviewer on NIJE NAS STRAH, MES FESTIVAL, Sarajevo
“a production with extraordinary finesse”
The Times on REVENGE
“her production is of such great technical and almost cinematic visual flair as to render one breathless every time”
Scotland on Sunday on DRACULA
“full of attack and beautifully produced”
The Scotsman on THE RISE AND FALL OF LITTLE VOICE
“Extremely haunting and emotional…The finale is especially notable for its immense power: vocally, visually and emotionally”
The Edinburgh Guide - Theatre Review on WIDOWS
“Director Anna Newell has excelled herself with this high-voltage production..the roars of approval from the audience suggest that this is a show that Dundee will take to its heart”
The Scotsman on DISCO PIGS
“extracts every available ounce of humour, pathos and real, gritty bitterness from the dialogue”
The Scotsman on WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF HRT
“a nigh-on irresistible piece of comic theatre”
The Sunday Herald on PASSING PLACES
“the show addresses the audience with a lovely warm-hearted directness that is completely irresistible” The Scotsman on JUNGLE BOOK