JMK & Bristol Old Vic Assistant Director Bursary

Assistant Directing Opportunity – Touching the Void

The JMK Trust in partnership with Bristol Old Vic is offering an Assistant Director Bursary to a participant of the JMK & Bristol Old Vic Directors’ Group. The bursary is an arts scholarship, funded by the Leverhulme Trust that will provide a learning and training opportunity for a talented emerging director based in the Bristol area who has demonstrated a commitment to directing and a passion for theatre making. The recipient will become a Leverhulme Arts Scholar.

The role

We are looking for an assistant director for Tom Morris’ upcoming production of Touching the Void. This production of Touching the Void is a co-production between Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Royal & Derngate Northampton and Fuel and is the first stage adaptation of Joe Simpson’s nail-biting memoir, adapted by the award-winning Artistic Director of the Lyceum, David Greig.  The successful candidate will be responsible for opening the show in the partner venues.

Touching the Void was an international bestselling book and BAFTA-winning film sensation, and charts the struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. The heart of the story is Joe Simpson's mental battle as he teeters on the very brink of death and despair in a crevasse from which he can't possibly climb to safety. Also unforgettable is the appalling dilemma of Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, battered by freezing winds and desperate to rescue the injured Simpson, who hangs from a rope below him. Knowing that they will both ultimately fall into the void, he makes the critical decision to cut the rope, forever changing the lives of both of them.

Further information on the show can be found on the Bristol Old Vic website.

The assistant director will need to be available for:

  • Friday 6th July 2018, 1-4pm - Interviews
  • Rehearsals from 30th July 2018


  • Bristol Old Vic dates:

Technical rehearsal from 3rd September 2018

First Preview: 8th September 2018

Technical lock-off: 14th September 2018

Press: 18th September 2018

Closes in Bristol: 6th October 2018


  • Royal & Derngate, Northampton:

Fit up: 8th/9th October 2018

Preview: 9th October 2018

Local Press: 10th October 2018

Closes: 20th October 2018


  • Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh:

Tech from 21st January 2019

Preview: 24th January 2019

Local Press: 25th January 2019

Closes: 16th February 2019


  • National/international touring dates to be confirmed – the contract would include an 8 week option period immediately following the Edinburgh run, to be confirmed by the end of September 2018.


As Assistant Director, your duties would include:

To provide general assistance to the Director.

  • As agreed with the Director, to carry out any research that will inform and benefit the production.
  • To observe rehearsals and have input in discussions and production meetings.
  • To assist the company in documenting the rehearsal process for the purposes of marketing, archiving and evaluating the project through blogs, social media and other forms as agreed.
  • To observe and assist the Director in the Bristol production week as required.
  • To attend and participate in post-show discussions by mutual agreement with the Producer.
  • To attend and manage the opening of the production at all venues after Bristol in the Director’s stead, leading technical and dress rehearsals, watching and noting previews and liaising with the producing and production teams as necessary regarding any re-staging or other issues.
  • To support the company whilst the play is in performance as agreed with the Director and Stage Manager, including attending and noting the production at all venues.
  • Any further duties as required by the Director.

The bursary recipient will demonstrate a commitment to living and making theatre in the Bristol area and will also be or become a participant of the JMK Bristol Old Vic Directors’ Group and as part of the bursary will also be responsible for working with JMK and Bristol Old Vic to support and facilitate the group until next year’s bursary recipient is chosen.



The Leverhulme Bursary consists of £2,350, which covers all work up to and including the technical rehearsal period at Bristol Old Vic.

This will be supplemented by a fee of £500 to cover attendance through previews in Bristol, and £500 per co-production venue to cover attendance for opening and noting the production at each venue.

Fees for attendance on tour to be confirmed by mutual agreement.

Travel (standard class rail or flights subject to mutual agreement) and accommodation will be covered where required for any dates outside of Bristol, including during rehearsal if required. No per diems or other expenses are payable. Expense provision for any international touring dates to be confirmed subject to mutual agreement.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to Lucy Hunt,, by 2 July.

Please detail:

  • Why you are interested in working with Tom Morris on this production of Touching the Void
  • Your relevant experience and what you can bring to the role
  • How this assisting opportunity and involvement in the Bristol Old Vic / JMK Trust Directors’ Group will contribute to your professional development
  • Your commitment to living and making theatre in Bristol

If you have any questions please contact