Elaine Paton
  • Female
  • Wales
  • United Kingdom
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Profile Information

What I do:
Conceptual Theatre Director, Performer, Writer, Trainer/Teacher
A little more about me:
Elaine Paton is a Welsh conceptual theatre director, performer and writer, based in Cardiff, whose artistic practice constantly challenges the stigma and shame that still surrounds being mentally unwell.

Elaine’s process of working as a conceptual director is that of collaboration, preferring to work in a collective, drawing in practitioners from all aspects of the arts and working alongside community groups.

Research is crucial to the back bone of her work and from this she teases out the themes to be explored. This leads her and her co-operators into adventurous investigations, highlighting the microscopic of place, people and permutations of performance.

The most important participant in her productions is the viewer. “I believe in a simple, non-academic approach to artistic creations that are digestible, engaging and inclusive. I want audiences to easily access the subterranean currents of the stories we are telling. The more uncomfortable the subject, the more we focus on how to serve up the ingredients.”

Recently, her work is spilling out of the theatre and into the arena of installation, sometimes bringing in live performance with her and sometimes not.

‘Moment(o)s, Chapter June 2017 Arts Council Wales Funded


Director: Elaine Paton
Producer: Catherine Paskell
Designer: Caroline Jones
Performers: Gareth Clark and Marega Pulser, Elaine Paton
Dramaturge: Gilly Adams
Creative team: Tic Ashfield (sound) Simon Clode (film)

ACW Research & Development Residency Moment(o)s of Leaving
Working out of g39 during their Tu Fewn “does that include us” programme supported by DASH arts. Working with designer Caroline Jones, and members of the original MoL creative team, on how to ‘take the site out of the site’. Using various aspects of Whitchurch Hospital we experimented with the concept of designing a portable installation space which also serves as a performance platform, sourcing abandoned objects and materials from the hospital. Gareth Clark and Marega Palser also joined me, experimenting with different ways styles of performance including Cabaret.

Performing at Mental Health Conference, organised by Brigid Bowen. http://compassionatementalhealth.co.uk/

University of South Wales Performing Arts
Teaching 2nd Year students acting technique on Towards Performance Module and 2nd year students on Site, Space and Place module working out of the Glamorgan Archives on the legendary life of Jim Driscoll, the famous Welsh boxer.

Moment(o)s of Leaving March. (Funded by ACW and Cardiff and Vale Health Charity Trust)
A site specific, immersive, multi-media, performance based production, within the grounds and wards of the Whitchurch Mental hospital. It was both a representation of the history of Whitchurch and mental illness itself. https://vimeo.com/166558984

Welsh Mental Health Arts Festival: http://mhaf.wales/en/about/
Working closely with Disability Arts Cymru

Hearth Gallery Llandough.
Installation featuring the work of Cath Lewis, Caroline Jones created during the R&D and loaned objects from the Whitchurch Hospital Historical Society, curated by myself.

Festival Launch: Speaking at the launch on Monday 3rd October 2016.

Welsh Millennium Centre:
Installation: elements of the R&D creations installed in a constructed space, provided by WMC, in the foyer, 21-25th November 2016

Performance: ‘Dad and I’ , performed by myself. 24th November in the Weston Studio before Tim Rhys Evans. Tim and Elaine facilitated a Q & A during the evening.

November 2016: Speaking and Performing at Mental Health Conference., organised by Brigid Bowen. http://compassionatementalhealth.co.uk/

November 2016: 10 November Cardiff Festival of Social Science 2016, speaking and contributing to installation


Whitchurch Mental Hospital, ACW Research & Development Residency

Collaborating with Julia Thomas, hospital staff, ex patients and the Whitchurch Hospital HIstorical Society, marking the ‘End of An Era’ of caring for the mentally unwell since 1908. Both my parents had been patients at Whitchurch and I was a regular visitor. I said goodbye to my Mother in the hospital, when I first left for Australia.
Projects I’m working on:
Presenting/performing at:

Working towards workshop in January:

Presenting 'Moment(o)s of Leaving) at study day.

Hijinx Theatre http://www.hijinx.org.uk/the-academy/
Working with Academy 2 students on vocal and physical techniques with a performance of Shakespeare Love quotes at the end of 2016. This year we are developing techniques based on the work of Pina Bausch towards performance.

Elaine Paton's Blog

You won't regret Watching Over this!

Someone to Watch Over Me, Frank McGuinness

Opens Tonight Thursday, Friday and Saturday 16th, 17th and 18th April at 8pm Level 1, St Davids Hall Tickets only £5 when you quote NTWSOMEONE (Special offer for Members of the NTW community!) https://www.facebook.com/events/704599732968753/

We are bombarded by horrific headlines of innocent people being taken hostage by Jhadist supporters in the Middle East…


Posted on April 16, 2015 at 0:57

TEAM Workout Saturday 17th January 2015

Hi Everyone, Really looking forward to this Saturday's TEAM Workout in Newport. For anyone who hasn't yet come along to these days, I thought I would share my experience.   Arriving back to live in Cardiff last year, after a very long time living in Australia, one of the first NTW events I attended was a workout day in the WMC.   I am a writer/director/performer.   I am also an elder of the theatrical tribe!  I might be experienced but I knew absolutely no one in the Welsh theatre community.…


Posted on January 13, 2015 at 5:15 — 2 Comments

Pub Soap Opera born out of NTW Workout! Come to The Roath Tavern tonight and tomorrow night at 6pm

Shane Anderson ignited our curiosity of performing a live, improvised Pub Soap Opera, at the recent NTW Workout days.  It was suggested that Shane and his merry band try this idea out during the Made In Roath Festival.  And so, City Road was born!   Watch the continuing saga of the crazy O'Driscoll family in Episode 4 tonight.   


Each episode of ’City Road’ is totally unscripted and built upon rehearsed improvisations. Each character is the creation of the actor…


Posted on October 21, 2014 at 1:54 — 1 Comment

The Gathering 12 - 14 September Snowdonia

Is anyone driving  from Cardiff to Snowdonia for The Gathering who I could car share with?   I am looking at places to stay in Bedgellert, which seems to be the nearest village.  It looks as if this will be an amazing experience.  Please contact Elaine on 0798 529 6956 or elainepaton16@gmail.com.  Let's hit the road!!

Posted on September 1, 2014 at 4:16 — 3 Comments

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At 4:18 on February 4, 2015, Luke Bevan said…

Hi Elaine 

What a fascinating bio! My name is Luke Bevan and I'm a theatre director working in Cardiff and Bridgend. I saw you at the Scratch that Itch night in Bridgend last week. I wonder if you would be interested in meeting up for a chat - I would love the chance to pick your brains? Drop me an email if this is good for you; luke-bevan@hotmail.co.uk. 

At 23:12 on January 16, 2015, Louisa Marie Lorey said…
Hi Elaine! Great to hear from you ... There was lots of running indeed! Haha hope your well :) xx
At 0:53 on January 15, 2015, Michaela Nutt said…

HI Elaine! Lovely to meet you the other day too! Yes let's get together and mourn Australian Summer soon xx

At 23:48 on October 5, 2014, Catherine Paskell said…

Hi Elaine, I'm really sorry but we have had to withdraw the offer of surgeries with John McGrath during Dirty, Gifted & Welsh. Would you be interested in meeting Lisa Maguire instead? She is a brilliantly inspiring woman, who was also Producer with Frantic Assembly before joining NTW. I'm sure she could answer any questions you may have had for John? Let me know and sorry again. Catherine x

At 5:40 on April 8, 2014, Shane Anderson said…

Bloody hell Elaine.... Is that you? Has to be. Drama Centre Group 15?  Never knew you were from Cardiff. Never thought I'd end up anywhere close to Cardiff. No room to rent alas or pet/house to sit just wanted to say hello and wish you the best.

Shane (grp 16) 


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