This unique and exclusive documentary opens the door to life at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, west London, during summer and autumn 2017. DT+ goes behind the scenes to access all areas of the company, from their extensive young people’s programme to the key planning stages for their main house production of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull.
Moira Buffini explores how she works with the past to write about the present, with particular reference to her World War II play Gabriel, which emerged out of a desire to write about the lives of women during the war.
Actor Ray Fearon brings the character of Othello to life by combining readings from Shakespeare’s text with intimate insights into his own experience of playing the Moor. He considers how Othello swings like a pendulum between love and hatred, and how the opposing use of verse and prose consolidates this effect.
In forensic detail, and by unpacking the layers of disguise embedded within the play, actor Zoe Waites analyses the language and rhythms of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and considers how these tools help bring the character of Viola to life.
In this inspiring and extraordinary exchange of ideas, Professor Carol Chillington Rutter, editor of Clamorous Voices: Shakespeare’s Women Today, revisits the seminal book with one of its most celebrated interviewees, Harriet Walter. With reference to Walter’s subsequent career and, more recently, her foray into playing male roles, the two explore Shakespeare’s characters and plays in fascinating detail.
Professor Kate McLuskie, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute, leads two directors – Lucy Bailey and Phillip Breen – and two actors – Ray Fearon and Zoe Waites – in an in–depth discussion of gender with reference to Julius Caesar and As You Like It.
Professor Kate McLuskie, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute, leads two directors – Lucy Bailey and Phillip Breen – and two actors – Ray Fearon and Zoe Waites – in an in–depth discussion of love and sex with reference to Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Professor Kate McLuskie, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute, leads two directors – Lucy Bailey and Phillip Breen – and two actors – Ray Fearon and Zoe Waites – in an in–depth discussion of family with reference to Macbeth, King Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Professor Kate McLuskie, former Director of the Shakespeare Institute, leads two directors – Lucy Bailey and Phillip Breen – and two actors – Ray Fearon and Zoe Waites – in an in–depth discussion of conflict with reference to Titus Andronicus, King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The actors who bring to life Mrs and Mr Price in Things I Know To Be True discuss the complexities of portraying the laughter and fault lines, mapped out over the course of a 30 year marriage, in a single production. They discuss the similarities between themselves and their characters, the unique experience of crafting a show with Frantic Assembly and the particularities of the on and off stage family that developed through that process.
Kirsty Oswald discusses playing the youngest Price child, Rosie, in Frantic Assembly’s Things I Know To Be True. Kirsty talks about the family that developed through rehearsing the play, the physical and emotional exhaustion that the production provokes, and describes the movement of the piece as loving familial support made manifest.
Matthew Barker plays Mark and Mia in Frantic Assembly’s production of Andrew Bovell’s Thing I Know To Be True. Matthew discusses the extensive research into, sincere approach towards and delicate examination of gender dysphoria that characterised the play’s and the company’s storytelling, from first read-through, to audience response.
Natalie Casey discusses playing the eldest female Price sibling, Pip, in Frantic Assembly’s acclaimed production of Things I Know To Be True. She discusses the collaborative development of character, the gravitas of the subject matter, and the metaphors of familial trust being played out through the physicality of the piece.
Richard talks about playing ‘Mummy’s boy’ Ben Price in Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know To Be True. He discusses how an actor’s ‘track’ is as much physical as mental, why hitting peak energy can be easier in the throws of performance than rehearsal, and his conviction that experiencing the Frantic Assembly method would better any performer.
“The writer is the thing. Sometimes I feel that I haven’t really earned the accolades – I didn’t write it, I’m only saying it out loud really. But when those big parts come along you do have a huge responsibility, and I will rise to that because I am my worst critic... So it's exhausting doing theatre, but wonderful.”
"We're attracted to the weaker and darker sides of ourselves, because that's what we are trying to solve all the time, I think - our vulnerabilities and our fears. That's why it's great to play them, to share them. You're sharing your own puzzles and people are watching because they want to solve the conundrum."
"I think everything I have experienced in my life is both things. When you give birth to your first child, it's the most extraordinary event you will ever have encountered; but of course giving birth is the most ordinary thing. The same is true of death, presumably. All the great events in our lives are both ordinary and extraordinary."
George shares why he credits Berkoff with inventing physical theatre, the distance between the suspension of disbelief and belief itself, and the physics of playing a beetle.
Talking About Plays
Meera Syal is one of the UK's best-known performing arts polymaths, having turned her hand to acting, writing, singing and producing across both stage and screen. She is currently playing the role of Nurse in Kenneth Branagh's all-star Romeo and Juliet at The Garrick Theatre.
In this interview, Meera explores the origins of her stage-adapted novel Anita and Me and reflects upon the joy of collaborative work and why it's important for a writer to invest in the small characters.
Tarek Merchant discusses the technicalities of Musical Direction and explains how his role is a constant conversation with the composer, director, sound designer, musicians and cast. He expounds on the necessity to form a robust and shared musical vocabulary with the wider creative team, and explores the symbiotic relationship between the architecture of a production’s design and that of its music.
How do you take a 40,000 word classic novel and transform it into a piece for the stage? Join the director, writer, composer and actors as they reveal how they took Thomas Hardy's classic Far from the Madding Crowd and made it work on the stage.
Leila Benn Harris played Emily in Aaron Lee Lambert's musical From Up Here, developed by Perfect Pitch.
Leila reflects on the experience of originating a role, being filmed in performance on stage, and what she considers to be her favourite moments of working on the production.
Filmed by Perfect Pitch.
In this unique insight into the secret world of backstage, Digital Theatre go behind the scenes at the Clapham Community Project during the RSC and Told by an Idiot’s young people’s production of The Comedy of Errors.
This short film explores the development of Craig Adams and Ian Watson's new musical LIFT, as it happened.
From the first morning meet and greet to devising movement sequences, join the cast and creative team in the rehearsal room.
Created by Perfect Pitch. Filmed and edited by Wayne Eagles.
Julia Ford took to the Liverpool Everyman to play opposite David Morrissey in Gemma Bodinetz’s post-apocalyptic Macbeth. Ford considers how Lady Macbeth was able to persuade her husband to commit murder, and explains how she, as an actor, interprets Shakespeare’s words – and silences.