Simon is currently developing Chekhov’s Platonov for Lucid and recently developed a project for the National Theatre of Wales.
Born and brought up in Swansea, Simon studied English at University College, London and originally trained as an actor at RADA. Until 2007, Simon was Artistic Director of the national company for new writing in Wales – the multi-award-winning Sgript Cymru. He followed this with participation on the prestigious Clore Leadership Programme. He is an Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales Award winner, an Associate at the Torch Theatre and founding Director of Lucid.
After graduating from RADA, Simon worked as an actor with many of the UK’s leading directors and companies. In 1992, he established Thin Language Theatre Company with Michael Sheen and Natasha Betteridge, where his directing credits included Forever Yours Marie Lou by Michel Tremblay (BAC) and Nothing to Pay, which he also adapted from the novel by Caradoc Evans (BAC and tour). He was also co-director with Michael Sheen on The Dresser (Plymouth Theatre Royal).
As a dramatist, Simon’s first original play, Badfinger, premiered at The Donmar Warehouse and was nominated in The Most Promising Playwright category of The Evening Standard Drama Awards. He then went on to write Wales>Alaska for The Royal National Theatre Studio, Garageland, which toured Wales and England with the Steel Wasps, and Milk and Honey for Soho Theatre Company. Badfinger was later revived under his direction at the Swansea Grand Theatre and on tour.
In 2000, Simon founded the national new writing company Sgript Cymru. As its Artistic Director, he was responsible for over twenty new productions and a rolling programme of writer development. His directing work for Sgript Cymru included Franco’s Bastard by Dic Edwards (Best New Play TiW Awards 2003), past away by Tracy Harris, Indian Country by Meic Povey (Best Actress and Best Newcomer TiW Awards 2004), Gary Owen’s Ghost City (Best New Play and Best Actress TiW Awards 2005), which took the company to New York for the first time, Crossings by Clare Duffy, which played in Wales, London and Edinburgh, and Meic Povey’s Life of Ryan… and Ronnie (Best Production and Best Actor TiW Awards 2006), which later became an S4C film. Acqua Nero, by Meredydd Barker, was his seventh and final production for the company before its successful merger in 2007 with The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff’s main producing theatre, now known as Sherman Cymru.
In 2005/06, Simon became the first ever Welsh Fellow on The Clore Leadership Programme, a development programme to encourage leaders in culture.
In 2008, Simon was commissioned by BBC Wales/Red Planet to work on Crash – a new series about junior doctors – working with Tony Jordan. In 2009, Simon won a highly-prized Creative Wales Award to enable him to develop new and innovative theatre projects. In 2010, he was made Associate Director at the Torch Theatre in Milford Haven.
Recently, among other work, Simon devised and directed Pea! with emerging theatre company Likely Story, devised, wrote and directed the Hamlet-inspired Elsinore Project for Volcano Theatre, directed Flowers From Tunisia for the Torch Theatre and worked with playwrights on Sherman Cymru’s Spread the Word programme.
In 2012, Simon became Director of Lucid “to inspire and produce theatre that is clear-sighted, revelatory and original.” As part of Lucid, he is developing a contemporary version of Chekhov’s early play Platonov, delivering an innovative artist development programme and working with Meredydd Barker on his new play Inconvenience. He is also developing a project for National Theatre Wales for 2013.