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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

20 questions with Ellie King

Meet Vancouver theatre professional Ellie King.

King next directs a production of Balderston & Deane’s Dracula for the Royal Canadian Theatre in which she gives the classic thriller and 1927 Broadway hit an update, set in a steampunk universe in which the Count’s arch-nemesis, Van Helsing, is a woman. Dracula plays the Surrey Arts Centre (Oct 8-10), Vancouver’s Metro Theatre (Oct 14-24) and The ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge (Oct 27-31). Visit for tickets and information.

Meet Ellie King

Ellie King is an award winning theatre professional who was born and raised in England where she studied dance and drama. She is also a writer, actor, director, dramaturge, producer, choreographer, set-designer, graphic artist and teacher.

Immigrating to Canada in 1982 she has built a wide-ranging theatrical and film resume while at the same time teaching, mentoring and working as a consultant. She serves as a director on the Board of the Arts Council of Surrey, is Artist in Residence, Theatre at the Newton Cultural Centre, and serves on the Surrey Board of Trade Tourism, Arts and Culture Team. King was the Founding Artistic Director of the Raymond Burr Performing Arts Centre and now serves as Managing Artistic Director of the Royal Canadian Theatre Company.

In addition to the stage, she also works in television and film. Her directing credits are many and she is also known as the ‘Queen of Panto’ where she works to preserve the theatrical genre in its authentic form.

King is married with two sons and two grandchildren. Together with rescue dog Lula, rescue cat Alice and African Grey parrot Thomas she makes her home in Langley, pursuing her passion for gardening, albeit with her enthusiasm tempered by a deep hatred of creeping buttercup.

20 Questions with Ellie King

1. Your first job.

Sweeping floors in a hairdresser’s salon.

2. The job you always wanted as a child.

‘Lady’ (!) archaeologist.

3. Your pet peeve.

Lack of enough arts education in the school system. Oh and injustice. BIG time peeve for injustice.

4. Your hero.

Isaac Asimov.

5. Your biggest indulgence.


6. One thing no one knows about you (and you’re willing to share).

I’m actually quite shy.

7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.

Magnifying glass. Desalination unit. Geoff.

8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.


9. If you were not a theatre artist, what would you be doing right now?

Science. Or maybe writing. Maybe writing about science?

10. Hero or villain.

What? Am I one or do I like one or the other? If myself, neither. Hopefully I qualify as a human being.

11. Your life’s motto/mantra.

Respect. And never do anything you would be ashamed to have known by the world.

12. Your favourite playwright.

Alan Ayckbourn.

13. The last book you read.

Terry Pratchett’s ‘Going Postal’.

14. If you were a cartoon character what cartoon character would you be and why?

Bugs Bunny. Because he has an advanced sense of comedic timing and he always wins! And he looks really good in drag.

15. What will it say on your grave marker?

She tried.

16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?

Neil De Grasse Tyson.

17. Your idea of happiness.

A book to read, a cup of tea to drink, sitting on my garden swing in the heat of the summer with all the weeding done and the air full of humming birds, butterflies, dragon flies and a myriad of other little lives around me and the fragrance of the roses and the honeysuckle transporting me to my own version of heaven.

18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty year old self?

Don’t be so stupidly honorable: take the offer.

19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.

My sons James and Simon.

20. To be, or not to be?

Always to be: to be true, to be honest, to be respectful, to be caring, to bedazzle, to become more than you think you can and then to bestride your world. But above all to BE – never to compromise.

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