Absolutely delighted to welcome the warm, witty and wonderful Jenny Stephens to The Good Listening To 'Clearing' as part of a happy experiment to help amplify the reputation of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, where I too trained as an Actor, using the happy vehicle of the Podcast.
Any minute now, Jenny Stephens is about to complete 10 glorious years as Artistic Director of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Sounds quite highbrow? Jenny Stephens reveals herself here to be delightfully highbrow, middlebrow and lowbrow. One example illustrates this perfectly: she gives herself the Clearing choice of the Grand Canal in Venice or the Yorkshire Dales and Moors. On reflection, Jenny Stephens opts for the rural emptiness of Yorkshire.
Her family of origin is based in Bradford. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She never met anyone who’d been to Boarding School until she went to University in Birmingham. If Jenny’s rough and ready Yorkshire childhood was formative, her University education was transformative. It “filled her soul” and made her aware of the connectedness of everything.
Jenny draws enthusiastically on sources from everywhere with her own personal brand of magnetic optimism. Born in the ‘Year of the Pig’ in Chinese astrology, Jenny Stephens manifests the typical characteristics of frank positivity and kindhearted openness.
While she may feel she was born without a roadmap, she has navigated her life with shining sincerity and style. Her ‘long-suffering’ husband and now grownup children remain a primary source of joy. She can lose herself watching "Midsomer Murders" with them or playing "Tomb Raider"!
She can find inspiration in one 19th century American orator or in all kinds of contemporary colleagues and students.
Her hair may have gone from brown to grey but her heart still sings in the magic of the rehearsal room. She is looking forward to directing the Archers again in 2023, renewing old relationships and developing new ones in the BBC’s most famous radio series.
Jenny Stephens is a diamond. If she was born a little rough around the edges, she now has many facets, all dazzling!