LAMDA alumnus stars in Operation Crucible directed by Genesis Future Director, Bryony Shanahan

10 August 2016

From 7 – 24 September 2016, two Genesis partners cross paths as former Genesis LAMDA Scholar, Paul Tinto (class of 2010), stars in the play Operation Crucible directed by the current Genesis Future Director at the Young Vic, Bryony Shanahan. The widely acclaimed and award-winning play will finally make its homecoming at the Sheffield Crucible, before embarking on another tour. The Genesis Foundation caught up with Paul to talk about the play’s success and working with such a talented director as Bryony.

“Sheffield was on fire, it was glowin’ orange, like hell, like a furnace, like steel”

Set against the backdrop of WW2 Sheffield, Operation Crucible tells the story of four steel workers recalling the Sheffield blitz, reliving the night when single bomb destroyed the city’s Marples Hotel, leaving them trapped and helpless within the one withstanding basement cellar, with no hope of escape.

Operation Crucible started in 2012, with very humble beginnings – four LAMDA alums got together around a pub table with nothing more than a blank piece of paper and a desire to create something new.

First came the story, then the scripting process, an internet crowd funding campaign followed that, then our director, Bryony Shanahan, and finally 9 performances at London’s Finborough Theatre as a published play.

Since then, Op Crucible has toured, returned to London to critical acclaim, and been nominated for 3 off-West End awards, including Best Director for Bryony Shanahan.

Now, the play is finally going to its home city to play at the Sheffield Crucible, before embarking on another tour.

Genesis has always played a part in my career ever since LAMDA, not least in always teaching me to have full belief in what I’m doing, but I believe it’s the ethos of the Foundation that both inspired me, and resonates within the entire company.

I remember hearing John Studzinski give his analogy on philanthropy; talking about the difference between giving a fisherman a fish so that he can feed himself for a day, and helping him learn how to fish so he can feed himself for a lifetime.

From having nothing but a blank page, it’s amazing to think that we now have our own play on at the Crucible Theatre and a theatre company with a promising future and holding its own within the industry.

And in keeping with the Foundation’s ethos and the people it brings, the production would have never been possible without our director, Bryony Shanahan, who, with hardly any budget, brought the story and words to life from the page better than we could have ever imagined.

Bryony is one of the best directors I have ever had the pleasure of working with and her ability to harness both the actors and the audiences imagination is what makes her truly brilliant at her craft. She is a credit to Genesis family, I feel lucky and privileged to have worked with her, and am so glad that the Foundation has such connection to the show.

– Paul Tinto

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