Simon is a dramatist and theatre director.
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 – one of only a small number of theatre directors to have been selected so far. He is an Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales Award winner and, in 2010, became Associate Director at the Torch Theatre.
After graduating from RADA, Simon worked as an actor for twelve years 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 in 1997. 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 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. As part of his Fellowship, he spent time at The Barbican Centre, the Young Vic, researched issues around freedom of speech in theatre and was mentored by Lord Kinnock of Islwyn.
His recent projects have included writing an episode of Crash – a series about junior doctors – for BBC Wales and Red Planet and he has taught at Sherman Cymru, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and The University of Glamorgan
In 2009, Simon won a highly-prized Creative Wales Award to enable him to develop new and innovative theatre projects. He recently devised and directed a new version of The Princess and The Pea called Pea! (2009/10) with emerging theatre company Likely Story, devised, wrote and directed The Elsinore Project (2010) for Volcano Theatre and directed Flowers From Tunisia (2011) by Laurence Allan for the Torch Theatre, where he became Associate Director in 2010.
In 2012, Simon launched his new company – Lucid – to create and inspire clear-sighted, revelatory and original theatre.
He is also a National Adviser to The Arts Council of Wales.