Although only thirty, the Australian actor, director and writer Simon Stone is one of the most acclaimed theatre-makers on the international circuit.
Born in Basel and educated at Cambridge, Stone returned to Australia in 2007 to found The Hayloft Project. The company’s first production, Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening (Frühlings Erwachen) established its reputation at a stroke. Stone quickly became known as an inspiring director with a unique style. He likes to take pieces from the standard repertoire which, with the help of his cast, he reworks into intimate, almost cinematic performances. Stone has previously applied this approach to Chekhov’s Platonov and Seneca’s Thyestes. In 2011 he was invited to become resident director of Sydney’s Belvoir theatre company.
He often works on the basis of improvisation and characterizations suggested by a play, creating an entirely new script through which the original nevertheless shines. His version of Ibsen’s The Wild Duck was enthusiastically received during the 2013 Holland Festival. More recently, Stone has reworked The Oresteia to become an emotional and thought-provoking contemporary family drama. German critics were unanimous in their praise for the passion he shows: 'The retelling of the Classics reaches a completely new radicalism. Stone does not re-interpret as such, but rewrites the piece for our times.' Stone frequently returns to the classics and mythology because he believes that they raise all the essential questions about the human condition. 'You cannot make theatre based on fear or compromises; without polemics there is no art.'