CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Somerset Life today CLICK HERE

A-Z of Somerset: D for director

PUBLISHED: 17:45 20 November 2016 | UPDATED: 17:45 20 November 2016

Director Sarah Fielding

Director Sarah Fielding

With one foot in tradition and one in innovation, how does Somerset inspire its workers? Over the coming months Vik Martin will take a stroll through the alphabet to find out

Scrap yards aren’t rare in the Somerset countryside, but there’s something odd here, as if the vehicles are mutating into weird mechanical creatures. That’s how I know I’m in the right place.

I’m here to meet freelance director Sarah Fielding. She’s an associate director with the Invisible Circus; a theatrical circus outfit, and also plays with their house band The Carnyvillains. She’s almost a celebrity to me, so I feel a bit nervous.

Luckily the real Sarah Fielding is friendly, playful and down to earth. She leads me up the steps of a large 1960s showman’s trailer; warm inside and full of rich colours. We drink tea and eat bananas while we talk.

Sarah develops and directs performances; sometimes from scratch, sometimes from someone else’s idea. I know she’s a director but what does she actually do all day?

“I spend a lot of time doing research; watching films, reading books, and then working physically with performers in rehearsal. I don’t usually write the stories, but we find and shape them, and collectively we will end up with something way beyond what I could imagine by myself at the start.”

How did she get here though? Was there ever a plan? Starting in Cornwall, she ran away with the circus from London to Sicily then Nevada and the Burning Man festival, and eventually ended up in Bristol, where the Invisible Circus finally landed.

“We arrived at a very exciting time,” she tells me. “The city council was full of forward thinking people who realised that their empty buildings were a great, unused artistic resource, which could be repurposed. We started taking on big buildings and creating big shows and it sparked this great wave of energy around that kind of DIY style performance. We lived at the circus in various parts of Bristol for seven years, and it was incredible but exhausting. All life outside the project ceased to exist, and eventually we decided to move out into the Somerset countryside in the Chew Valley area.

“This part of Somerset has loads of creative people in it, and we were excited to move into an artistic community doing interesting and exciting things. And we needed the headspace. Headspace is important in the arts.”

At this point she is talking to me through a megaphone whilst posing for photos. “Why did I really become a director?” she laughs. “Maybe I just like telling people what to do.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Somerset Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Somerset Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Somerset Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

The first woman to win a F3 class race at Brands Hatch, Bath-born Jamie Chadwick is on a new racing mission

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Musician Stewart Copeland relives his Somerset school memories with Bernard Bale

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Toby Buckland is hosting his second Harvest Festival event at Forde Abbey this month. Catherine Courtenay spoke to two of the gardening stars lined up for the speakers tent

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tinnitus sufferers are being invited to use a new online, sound matching tool to help better understand their type of tinnitus and the potential treatments available to them.

Read more
Friday, August 17, 2018

Tony Blackburn is enjoying one of the most enduring careers in music. To think that Somerset played such a part in the amazing story of one of Britain’s top radio DJs

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Britain has always been at the mercy of the sea and the Bristol Channel is particularly hazardous with fierce tides, shallow banks and dangerous low tide mudflats, as Andrea Cowan discovers

Read more
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Vanessa White is totally at home when she strolls through the centre of New York or Paris but the former Saturdays singing star still finds her place of birth quite breathtaking. After all – she was born in Somerset, says Bernard Bale

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

We know we love our coast, but what do the celebs make of it? We find out...

Read more
Friday, June 15, 2018

Somerset toasted the success of Jenson Button when he was crowned king of the F1 track for 2009, so stand by because there is a new budding driver revving up – and he is from our county too

Read more
Friday, May 25, 2018

One of the biggest British vloggers, three of the best UK comedians, a Formula One World Champion and an award-winning author – the towns and rural retreats of Somerset are a breeding ground for talent

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

We talked to chief audiologist at The Tinnitus Clinic, Mark Williams, who discussed causes, symptoms and treatments for tinnitus and hearing loss. Here’s what to do if you have ringing in your ears

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

The Sports Day, in aid of PCRF and open to the whole community, is taking place on April 28 from 10am to 4pm in and around the Boswells Café in the Quedam Shopping Centre

Read more
Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Kim Wilde is back – and Amy Noton discovers she hasn’t lost any zest for life

Read more
Monday, March 19, 2018

Bernard Bale talks to Hollywood A-lister Nicolas Cage about his decision to make our county his home

Read more
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

subscription ad

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search