Directing : Reviews

Without A Trace 2002


The Memorandum 2006

Press responses to Directorial work for theatre


BRACE POSITION, by Rona Munro.

“A formidably well-crafted 30 minutes of theatre...Wendy Seager and Simon Tait give thoroughly enjoyable, high energy performances in Gerda Stevenson's well-pitched production...the result is a surprisingly moving show that cuts straight to the heart of the politics of every family.”           Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, September, 2006.

“Taut, fast-moving...Maggie and Mark remain in their seats, with their seatbelts securely fastened, for the whole play. However, director Gerda Stevenson ensures that this is a dynamic show, with character development, emotional journeys and return trips taking the place of physical movement.”             Stephen Gray, Evening News, October 2006.

“Set in a plane's cabin on two aircraft seats it could have been a very static piece, but the excellent cast, Gerda Stevenson's intelligent direction and Rona Munro's well packed text have us flying with this brother and sister and re-examining our own relationships and our fears.”             , October, 2006.

THE MEMORANDUM, by Vaclav Havel.
“Director Gerda Stevenson allows her cast to have some serious fun.”  
The Herald, February, 2006.

“Richer than a gag about bureaucracy and language – the further we get into Havel's world of office politics, buck-passing and sackings, the deeper it resonates with us. Stevenson makes it clear that the victor is neither the level-headed Gross, nor his callous rival Ballas, but the system itself.”  The Guardian, February, 2006.

"A stylish and assured production...considered, skilful performances. The comedy is well played - good timing and physicality, without overpowering an intelligent text which explores deep issues of power, language and control...wonderful moments of surrealism and great humour. Paul Morrow and Graham Crammond as the scheming deputy and his silent side kick are a masterful comic partnership.", February, 2006

THE PENTLANDS AT WAR, by the Pentlands Writers' Group.
“Triumphant...beautifully co-ordinated, directed and co-written by Gerda Stevenson...the stories' deep local roots give a fine edge of unpredictable detail. The quality of the staging was at least as impressive as the writing and structuring of the script.”
The Scotsman, January 2006.

THE PRICE OF A FISH SUPPER, by Catherine Lucy Czerkawska.
“Gerda Stevenson's taught production...a powerful insight into post-industrial turmoil. The best in this season (at Oran Mor) to date.” The Herald, March, 2005.

“Blisteringly eloquent, full of passion, this is a show that reminds us that for generations of men, the long ritual of letting go of Scotland's macho economic past is still far from complete.”  The Scotsman, March 2005.

WITHOUT A TRACE, by Carol K. Mack, for Sounds Of Progress.
“It takes something fairly large to dwarf a grand piano. But the massive optician’s instrument with a large circular mirror in Richard Aylwin’s set establishes beyond doubt the hierarchy of science and art in Carol K Mack’s fact-based drama, in its European premiere by the Sounds Of Progress integrated theatre company, under the direction of Gerda Stevenson.  From beginning to end, this is a lucid and poetic production, full of humanity and honesty, opening our eyes to the on-going conflict between art and science, and becoming a philosophical debate on the value of sight. Peter Kelly, as the doctor caught between art and science, understanding and respecting both, is as genuine and gently human as Karina Jones’ Maria is fragile and vulnerable. The sincerity of their performances makes even more cogent the mutual trust of their characters’ relationship. “What stirs us most profoundly is invisible,” Mesmer says, a concept the competitive and pursuant doctors cannot grasp. Believe it. See it.”
The List, October, 2002.

“One of the real strengths of the drama is that it does not rely simply upon our fascination with the big historical players.  Mack’s Mozart, for example has a lesser role than Maria’s desperate father, and exhibits an even greater capacity for eccentricity than we see in Peter Shaffer’s play Amadeus…Director Gerda Stevenson has brought all this together in a beautifully atmospheric production.  Richard Aylwin’s appropriately simple set, complete with a fabulous movable two-way mirror, is enveloped constantly in Gerry Jenkinson’s subtle and responsive light.  The performances, too, are never less than strong.  Karina Jones’s Maria is brilliantly taut yet exuberant, while Peter Kelly’s superb playing of Mesmer only adds to our sympathy with the character.” 
Scotland on Sunday, September 2002.

“Stevenson’s staging is the highlight of this production.  At first, the setting’s singular combination of mirror, tree and musical ensemble seems not just peculiar, but overtly complicated.  But since the subject matter is a pianist who gains her sight but loses her talent, this surreal triptych proves very quickly to be a highly original way of creating visual depth and adding layers of meaning.”  Sunday Herald, September 2002.


“Here was an unusual and entertaining show, fluently directed by Gerda Stevenson.  It also contained some wonderful music, including a beautiful performance by pianist Joseph Delaney and cellist Robin Mason, of Maria Theresa Paradies’s composition Sicilienne.  It was, mesmerising.”
Kenneth Speirs, The Mail on Sunday,  September 2002.


THE GREEN LADY OF BALCONIE, a multimedia community drama, Fearainn Domhnuill Arts.
“The Green Lady’s a winner!...queues of people in the street desperate for tickets.....personality and sense of fun bursting sequences which were cleverly used not only to provide atmosphere, but in places became part of the set itself, drawing both actors and audience into the play.”      Ross-shire Journal.


AN TURUS, an opera by William Sweeney, Paragon Ensemble.
“ opera brilliantly of its time. With a minimal set - three panels and a series of ramps, well devised lighting and a wonderfully restrained amount of “business” - Gerda Stevenson’s direction is extremely sure. Transitions (house to moor to wedding to urban mess) happen, as they should, more by inflection in behaviour than by imposed visual cleverness. The characters are well defined and believable.”  The Scotsman.

“A genuine opera in scope, form, emotional power and dramatic presentation.” 
The Herald.

THE CRUCIBLE, by Arthur Miller, R.S.A.M.D.
“Gerda Stevenson’s production is directed with a sure and confident hand...many moments of real tension and heartbreaking emotion.”   The Herald.


REFUGE, by Janet Paisley (1996 Peggy Ramsay Award.) Stellar Quines Theatre Co.
“Downright funny…performances of blazing conviction are matched with unfussy, confident direction.” The Guardian.

“Director Gerda Stevenson stages the play with raw emotion and down-to-earth humour. One to catch.” The Big Issue.

The most sobering play of the year, produced with no-nonsense honesty by Stellar Quines under the direction of Gerda Stevenson.” The Sunday Times.

“Comedy, reality, and a real psychological and moral thriller.”   
Critic’s Choice, Scotland On Sunday.

THE SEAL WIFE, by Sue Glover, Stellar Quines Theatre Co.

“Linguistic beauty and sensitivity…vivid and tantalising…Gerda Stevenson’s production is impeccable, played out imaginatively on Karen Tennent’s ramshackle set by a vintage, primarily female cast, which brings a rare weight to the proceedings.”     The List.

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