It has been a very exciting first two weeks in rehearsal, with a multitude of new ideas and directions for this rich play being thrown into the creative cauldron from all angles by the cast. From the initial read through all the way to our last exercise on identifying units and events, the first few hours together have proven that we have managed to bring together a cast of young theatre-makers whom are greatly invested in the play and will work tirelessly in ensuring that this is a production to be immensely proud of!
One of the preparation tasks we have asked our company of actors to undertake in order to build their connection to their character(s) is to compose their own Desert Island Discs inspired 8 song playlist. For those not aware of this long-standing Radio 4 show, the format of Desert Island Discs is quite simple: each week a guest is asked to choose 8 songs which they would take with them were they to be marooned on a desert island along with a book and one luxury item (they do also get given a religious/spiritual text of their choice plus the Complete Works of Shakespeare). As is nearly always the case, the songs chosen by the guests will hold sentimental value to them, often reminding them of a person, place or event in their lives. I find that this is an enjoyable exercise to encourage actors to undertake as it allows them to use their imagination when choosing the songs they deem fit for their playlist. It also encourages them to have interrogated the script so much that they have a thorough understanding of the given circumstances and facts about their character provided by the playwright, enabling them to imagine their life up until where we join them in the play.
Some of the songs chosen were:
“as Barry is a powerful guy in his microcosm”
“it’s about Cohen’s conflicted relationship with God, which is reflected in Charlie’s relationship to Mike.”
“Sophie identifies with the female referred to in the song who is full of mystery and intrigue”
You can find a full playlist of songs compiled from both the Desert Island Discs playlists of our actors, as well songs which link to the play as chosen by our directors and designers here:
Performances take place 10-12 January, 2019 in the NST City Studio! Click the button below for further details, or to book tickets: