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Bella Merlin trained as an actor both in Britain and at the State Institute of Cinematography in Moscow. She has worked extensively with director, Max Stafford-Clark, in The Permanent Way by David Hare (for which she was also one of the original researchers), She Stoops to Conquer, A Laughing Matter (all co-productions with Out of Joint and the National Theatre), and The Queen and I.
Bella's other theatre roles include Masha in The Seagull, The Governess in The Turn of the Screw, and Celia in As You Like It, with numerous performances on radio and television. She translated and adapted Ostrovsky’s Innocent as Charged and Wedekind’s Spring Awakening (both of which she directed at the University of Birmingham) and Chekhov’s Ivanov for Birmingham Rep. She is also a singer-songwriter.
Bella's many publications include: The Path of the Actor by Michael Chekhov (eds. Andrei Kirillov and Bella Merlin), Routledge, 2005; With the Rogue’s Company: Henry IV at the National Theatre, Oberon Books, 2005; Konstantin Stanislavsky, Routledge Performance Practitioners, Routledge, 2003; and Beyond Stanislavsky: The Psycho-Physical Approach to Actor-Training, Nick Hern Books, 2001. Bella's website is at [link].
Bella Merlin is Lecturer in Drama at the University of Exeter
On 21 June 2006, Bella conducted a workshop at Exeter for the Presence Project in collaboration with the actor Miles Anderson. From this page you can access the evolving documentation of this workshop and our subsequent discussion with Bella about her work. Please go to:
Photos courtesy of Bella Merlin