After last week’s mind blowing Young Directors Festival ‘Play.ground’, two plays were selected to be developed further and taken to CWCS (Canada Water Culture Space) in a couple of weeks as a double bill entitled ‘Play.ground 2’!
After all the excitement, we took some time to have a chat with the two young directors selected, Hattie Coupe and Eleanor Chadwick, to see how they were feeling about this exciting transfer!
Stephanie: So how are you two feeling about your show going to CWCS?
Hattie: Excited, nervous and very, very grateful. It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to give this beautiful short play a bigger audience and stage space to really let it breathe and come alive.
Eleanor: I am really excited about taking ‘The Man Who’ to CWCS. It is a fantastic chance to develop the piece further with a new space ( a larger venue) and audience in mind. It’ll be interesting to find something new in the piece in such a short space of time – a challenge which myself and the cast are looking forward to embracing.
Stephanie: What was going though your mind when the plays that you directed were on stage last week at The Albany?
Hattie: My head was roaring with adrenaline throughout the whole show – and for about 12 hours afterwards! I felt proud of my actors who have taken direction so well and worked so hard with me to put this show together in just 5 days of rehearsal time. It was amazing to have a generous crowd come down to Deptford to support the Young Directors, so I was also very conscious of the audience and their response to my play. Being only 22 years old and having my “debut” put on stage, I felt very exposed and nervous at the time; the support and love for this play has since given me a sense of validity and confidence in my directing ambition, which is invaluable at such an early stage in my career.”
Eleanor: I was hooked by what the actors were doing and the spectator responses. Productions always take on new levels when they are put in front of an audience for the first time, and it was fascinating for me to watch our storytelling unfold and see what worked well, what was gained and what was lost. There were more laughs and audible reactions (even gasps and sighs of sympathy) than I wasn’t expecting, which was great! I hope that in the larger venue we can still create this feeling of intimate engagement with the characters.
Stephanie: Are there any aspects of the show you would like to change and/or develop for CWCS?
Eleanor: We will be welcoming a couple of new cast members for the transfer which will undoubtedly bring different nuances to the performance and the characters. I am excited to explore the piece with them and see what new facets arise. I am also keen to
experiment further with technical aspects such as lighting, as we will be given more freedom and a longer technical rehearsal than for the initial Scratch performance, which is a great opportunity. I would like to keep pushing the physical and stylistic elements of the piece, continuing to mature the characters in this way and seeing how we can translate and develop the physical elements for a different, larger space.
Hattie: I am keen to explore the social, political and economic framing of the play as I feel the Great Depression has many echoes within today’s society and families recovering after a devastating recession. I am going to be brave and use this valuable time to push the performance to its next level – you will have to come and see the show to see what that is! Overall, I aim to use the next 5 days of rehearsal time to give the play even more depth, fluidity and confidence as a performance.
Stephanie: Sounds like there will be some exciting changes to both of your pieces now that you have a much bigger space and more time for rehearsals. I can’t wait to see it!
For more information and/or to book tickets for ‘Play.ground 2’ at Canada Water Culture Space on the 20th and 21st March, click here