CLUB PEOPLE • October 2019
When he’s not seeking out vegan food and talented tattooists around the globe, acclaimed British director Jamie Lloyd is all about making the theatre more inclusive. Talking to The Club, he reveals why Melbourne is his all-time favourite city, how Buenos Aires inspires him and why Japan is so fascinating
Where’s the most exciting destination you've visited?
Buenos Aires is an extraordinary city. Each barrio is incredibly different, from the cool bars, restaurants and galleries in Palermo Soho to the rough-and-ready rustic charm of San Telmo. They are real party animals over there, and so open with their emotions that it’s wild and passionate and thrilling. Hopefully we captured some of that in our production of Evita at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre (pictured above) – a musical that is, of course, set in Argentina.
What has been your favourite travel experience?
Melbourne is my favourite city in the world. It’s a creative, dynamic town. There’s a coffee shop on every corner, a bookshop on every block, loads of street art (pictured below), the river runs through it, the people are great fun, and it’s packed full of culture. They say there are always four seasons in one day – it’s raining one moment, glaring sun the next – but that just keeps it surprising and unpredictable. I plan to get on a Harley Davidson and ride across Australia one day.
Where is the best place for vegan food?
Fitzroy in Melbourne is a vegan mecca. You’ll find the best vegan food in every other restaurant on Brunswick Street, from Smith and Daughters to Yong Green Food, where the tofu skewers are addictive. There’s an exciting counter-culture in Fitzroy – it’s alive with possibility.
Where’s on your bucket list?
I’d love to visit Japan. I’m a tattoo obsessive – I collect them – and I’m fascinated by the Japanese tradition of irezumi. Tattoo culture is becoming increasingly mainstream in Britain, but it’s still dangerously taboo in Japan because it’s associated with the criminal underbelly. Japanese food is amazing (pictured below) and I want to try the real thing, ideally while reading Murakami and listening to Sakamoto for the full immersive experience.
What’s the most exciting piece of theatre you’ve seen recently?
I’m a big fan of Australian director Simon Stone. Medea at London’s Barbican was extraordinary, and his production of Yerma a few years ago featured a harrowingly brilliant performance by Billie Piper. Stone works well with actors, eliciting raw and honest performances, and has a unique way of stripping back and distilling the plays he adapts.
Where are your favourite London hangouts?
I get tattooed regularly at Modern Classic, the UK’s best tattoo shop. Stewart Robson is one of the most talented tattooists in the world. You feel that he truly loves what he does – he’s a master of his craft – and the shop is a great place to hang out in, chatting about fatherhood, music, cinema, the origins of tattoo culture, while getting the coolest and most impressive tats you’ve ever seen.
What are your in-flight essentials?
I walk onto the plane with as few things as possible, but usually board with a copy of Rolling Stone, a Kermode on Film podcast downloaded and ready to go, and a big bottle of water to stay hydrated.
Who would be your dream travelling companion?
I wish I’d had the chance to travel with the late, great theatre director Harold Prince (pictured above). Hal had a hand in some of the most iconic musicals in history – Cabaret, Company, West Side Story, Evita and more. He changed the course of popular theatre with big, bold, brave thinking. He was a radical and one of a kind. Just think of the stories and advice he would impart on a trip to NYC. He was the king of Broadway.
What do you like about flying with British Airways?
The staff are so friendly and always interested in what you do and why you’re travelling. You get the sense that they think of passengers as individuals.
British Airways is supporting a new West End season of work by The Jamie Lloyd Company - the partnership between the UK's leading theatre company, Ambassador Theatre Group and Jamie Lloyd.