Claire French (she/her) is a documentary theatre and performance-maker whose work mobilises communities to explore the art of new perspective through storytelling.
She carves out processes of making performance that privilege the storyteller in their unique social, epistemological and interactional context – to unearth new truths, new connections and new cultural literacies. As a writer-facilitator and dramaturg, Claire has bolstered the stories of intergenerational community groups (The Old Vic, London), elders (Visible Theatre, London) and refugees (Evelyn Oldfield Foundation, London). She has had the pleasure of working with artists including Mike Alfreds, Sonja Linden, Micia de Wet and Matthew Lutton. Her practice-based research investigates the ethics of making performance with intercultural groups and autobiographical materials, creating the impetus to train facilitators in multilingual approaches to devising performance with Indigenous African communities (University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg) and intercultural diasporic and British migrant communities (Creative Multilingualism, University of Oxford). Claire comes from a migrant Irish Australian heritage and has lived and made work in Germany, the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia.
Her work is anchored by a photograph of the tent that her father’s family pitched as their first home in Australia, reminding her to notice courage, revere resilience and distrust ceilings.
Photo: Monica French, Claire’s grandmother, pregnant with her father upon her first arrival in Perth, Western Australia.
Video: Who Do We Think We Are? by Sonja Linden, Southwark Playhouse London.