Monday, June 15, 2015

My cast are amazing. A delight. A joy. Nothing but a pleasure (so far) to work with. I can scarcely believe my good fortune.

I'm doing - we're doing - Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman. Thanks to Paulina, we're using the punchier, marginally less ambiguous - or maybe slightly more ambiguous - 1994 edition of the text. He wrote it, it was performed a lot, he noticed some of the lines were unnecessarily lumpen, or could be made more pointed, and was in the happy position of having the revisions published too. 

We began two and a little bit weeks ago with a very kindly hosted viewing of the Roman Polanski film. Which was an unconstructive exercise beyond neatly demonstrating mostly how we don't want to do it. And giving much fodder for discussion. (Why does Ben Kingsley only begin to act approx 4 minutes before the end?) 

We did a couple of sessions of getting to know the story and the characters. And now we've barrelled into blocking. And they're doing wonderfully. 

Some cast despise the making it up as you go along approach. Admittedly, it's easier when you have a fixed collection of items of furniture and doors attached to different portions of the house. But still, they sometimes turn their empty vessel faces to you as if they have never had a thought about how and when to put one leg in front of the other in real life.

Not this lot. Oh ho, no. They frolic and frisk about the stage, to the manor born. Their eyes briefly flash with ridicule if I suggest something that seems impractical and stupid but they windscreen wipe that aside in an instant to be replaced with a heart-warming rage to please-ness. And I LOVE THEM for that. For probably when they do it, it does look stupid and we can switch it back to something better but at least I know. 

They suggest things. They think this or that would work better if. And this I love too for what is this weird old game if not a collective effort to tell a story in the best way that we, using all of our heads and years of watching life, can?

Man oh man. I seem to remember I'm almost always fond of a cast in the early days. I shall be interested to see if this love lasts. Or succumbs all too soon to the more usual convenient camaraderie. 

Then again, they're three. My favourite casts have (almost) always been small. It may be that this is a love that will last. 


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