Faynia Williams (nee Jefferey), Class of 1957

1. When you were at Brighton & Hove High School, and what is your fondest memory of school?
1947 – 1956
The friends I made, some of whom ( one in particular) I still know.

2. Who was your favourite teacher and why?
My favourite teacher Miss Reilly who taught English. She gave me a love of reading.

3. What were the benefits of being in an all-girls school?
The main benefit of an all girls school, even if I didn’t think it at the time, was the lack of male distraction.

4. What did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I always wanted to be an actress.

5. What do you do now, and what are the most rewarding and challenging parts of your job?
I am a professional Artistic Director, mainly of live theatre & BBC Radio. I run our company Brighton Theatre. The most rewarding part of the job is Full Houses and appreciative critiques for the company. The most challenging part of my work is persuading audiences to come to premieres of new productions that they may not have heard of. Also, as we are not a building based company ( our choice), finding exciting and appropriate new spaces in which to perform works. My special creative interest is the use of space. And, of course, making people realise the extraordinary power of radio. And, above all, I want people to see that however famous an actor I work with may be, it is the team working together on stage and back stage that will transform the creative process?

6. What are you most proud of so far?
Aside from winning a record number of Awards for my productions, I am most proud of the fact that, whilst working the long hours my profession entails, I have been able to raise four healthy stable children.

7. What was the best piece of advice you were given whilst at Brighton?
The best piece of advice given me whilst at school: Believe in the impossible dream.

8. What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?
Advice to my 18 year old self: Remember those who didn’t have the chances you did, and always think of the team beyond yourself.

9. What book, film or piece of music would you recommend to your younger self and to your fellow alumnae?
Bach, Bach and more Bach. And don’t forget the Rolling Stones! (The latter because I had the privilege to work briefly with Mick Jagger!)

10. How would you like to be remembered?
Hardest question because it assumes I would like to be remembered! I work in theatre because it’s of the moment. When it’s gone it’s gone. When it’s happening it’s electric and very much alive.