Dan Ayling Director / Stage Manager
"Ayling is a director with a very clear vision."
Dan features in an article in The Stage that assesses the impact of Brexit on UK theatremakers.
He was interviewed on Times Radio about the visa issues faced by UK creative workers trying to work in the EU and he was invited to speak to Labour MPs including Harriet Harman, Kevin Brennan and Jack Dromey at a creative industries roundtable about his experience of this issue.
He was also a co-signatory to letters sent to Boris Johnson by Equity UK, and the set/costume designer Andrew Edwards, calling on the UK government to reopen negotiations with the EU for an EU-wide visa waiver system for creative workers.
In 2020Dan was sponsored by the Almeida Theatre to be one of their representatives on the Freelance TaskForce. The purpose of the task force over 13 weeks (June-September 2020) was to strengthen the influence of the self-employed theatre and performance community.
Dan is mentioned in a Guardian feature about Katie Mitchell, written by Charlotte Higgins.
He also features in an article about young directors in The Stage
"amongst the most thought-provoking [productions] in London."
THE ELIXIR OF LOVE (2021)
"Ayling's rewarding production seldom put a foot wrong ... I flat-out loved it."
Mark Valencia, Opera Magazine
"Ayling's imaginative, highly active staging was engagingly involving."
"A fabulous production delivered with energy, fun and inventiveness."
"...much fun was had by all ... and – with a rare use of the word by me – it was brilliantly staged by Dan Ayling."
"Ayling’s ‘choreography’ demanded wonderfully timed movement onto and around the set ... and the unflagging, energetic cast were exceptional - as good as anything I have ever watched from somebody other than a flagship opera company."
Jim Pritchard, Seen & Heard: International
"The whole experience was original, inventive and thoroughly enjoyable – and a fantastic example of opera as a modern medium for storytelling, no matter how old the tale."
Lucy Jollow, dailyinfo.co.uk
WHO DID I THINK SHE WAS? (2019)
"...a well-constructed, well-told and thoroughly engaging story, whose resonance and
relevance is amplified by such a personal telling. An unusual show, part stand-up and
part theatre, but 100% worth watching and engaging with."
TO SEE THE INVISIBLE (2018)
"Dan Ayling’s impeccable white-plastic staging..."
"Dan Ayling's production feels intensely poised... strong and vibrant..."
"Directed by Dan Ayling with slick efficiency."
"Dan Ayling's surreal, dreamlike and occasionally nightmarish production [is] a confident staging."
"...intriguing and effective, largely thanks to the superb performances in combination with the highly contrasting staging."
**** Rhinegold, Opera Now
"...a step into the future... gets under the skin..."
DESERT DUST AT THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM (2017)
"Dan Ayling brings sensitivity and deftness to the darker themes of the show,
while also bringing a requisite charm and magic to proceedings."
**** Breaking the Fourth Wall
"A heart-warmingly loving tale for the whole family to enjoy."
**** The Spy in the Stalls
THE TRAP (2017)
"Dan Ayling's zippy direction makes this a sparkling comedy ... smart, quick and full of high interest."
**** The Reviews Hub
"Flourishing under Dan Ayling's agile direction, this is exhilarating comedy."
**** Everything Theatre
"A sharp, insightful play, enjoyable and acerbic in equal measure."
**** London Theatre 1
"Immensely witty [and] entertaining - a great evening out."
**** West End Wilma
"Fine comedy theatre ... crammed full of ideas, sharp writing, charismatic performances and evocative set design.
**** London City Nights
"A stylish production."
Tom Hickox, chairman of St Endellion Festival
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2015/16)
"A surprising, quirky production. There's a mischievous twinkle about everything the company get up to."
* * * * The Telegraph
"Jim Broadbent is a genius Scrooge."
* * * * The Times
"Real theatrical magic."
* * * * The Stage
VAST WHITE STILLNESS (2015)
"An atmospheric act of ghosting. A fascinating delicate thing - like a skeletal winter leaf."
"A perfect site-specific creation and a wonderful journey through the nether world of the mind."
* * * * The Argus
"Ayling's direction has a fresh, utterly engaging vitality."
* * * * The Herald
COSÌ FAN TUTTE (2014)
"A sparkling new production."
* * * * WhatsOnStage
"Joyfully liberated. Fresh and spontaneous."
* * * * The Independent
"A superb and imaginative take on a classic operatic comedy"
* * * * The Arts Desk
"Immersive and captivating. Stunning work."
"An elegant yet powerful performance. A definite must-see."
"Mesmerising. Physically and emotionally rewarding."
WRITTEN ON SKIN (2012)
"Nothing short of a triumph. A musical masterpiece."
* * * * * The Guardian
"Here is a new opera that is palpably a serious and important work of art, both exquisitely crafted
and deeply resonant."
* * * * * The Telegraph
REMEMBER ME (2012)
"Captivating. An exquisitely beautiful meditation on memory."
* * * * * The Scotsman
"Ayling delivered Clemency as the short, sharp operatic shock it is."
* * * * The Scotsman
FEWER EMERGENCIES (2011)
"Ayling's brave revival makes this staging among the cream of fringe theatre in London."
On The Fringe
"Ayling has managed to make what could easily be a wordy half hour something sharp and absorbing.
CITY OF LOST ANGELS (2010)
"Unusual and memorable, full of intrigue and immediacy."
* * * * Financial Times
SHOOT / GET TRESAURE / REPEAT & ESCHARA (2009)
"Ayling recaptures the supercharged intensity he brought to Howard Brenton's Christie in Love last year
and confirms that he is a director to watch."
"Ayling's poignant and sensitive direction."
* * * * Broadway Baby
"This ensemble of talented actors, strong direction and effectual design delivers a powerful message
about the world we live in today. Well worth watching!"
* * * * * Remote Goat
CHRISTIE IN LOVE (2008)
"Gripping theatre, directed by Dan Ayling with a sure eye for organised chaos."
* * * * * WhatsOnStage
"Stunningly revived by Dan Ayling. A succession of theatrical surprises executed with skill.
Deserves much more exposure."
British Theatre Guide
"Ayling puts a clear focus on gestural honesty. He is bold and passionate in his presentational choices
and captures a real sense of danger."
* * * * Remote Goat
CAN'T STAND UP FOR FALLING DOWN (2006)
"Ayling has provided a production of great value with meticulous direction. A classy piece that stimulates
* * * * TheatreNET
THE KISS (2006)
"A remarkable debut of this talented young director."
David Gothard, former Artistic Director of Riverside Studios