Today we launched the Mariam publicity-drive and Kerrian, Emily and I braved the weather to introduce the good people of the South Bank to our production. It was exciting to see people’s reactions to the play: many were surprised that they hadn’t heard of Cary before, given she occupies a unique position in English literary history, and were keen to hear more about our landmark production. The enthusiastic response that we received has made us more excited than ever about sharing this fascinating play with an audience. If you are one of the very lovely people who took a flyer from us today, thank you for sharing our excitement and we hope you enjoy the show…
Here we go with week two of rehearsal and already the dramatic sparks are flying. In the morning we looked some early scenes in the play; the internecine family quarrels of the Herod household are shaping up to be very tasty indeed. The afternoon’s work centred more on individual characters- We began to look at and choose items of costume. There were plenty of useful tips for a fashion illiterate like me (apparently burnt umber doesn’t go with anything). Slowly the characters are emerging and details like the right hang of a dress and the correct piece of Jewellery can be vital to the process.
So we’ve reached the end of the first week of rehearsals, and what a week it’s been! We rounded off the week with research presentations which looked at different aspects of the play’s context and there were some brilliantly creative approaches to presenting the research. We had Queen Elizabeth I in the psychiatrist’s chair, a time-travelling episode of Blind Date, and an instructive home economics lesson which taught us how to be the perfect 1950s wife. It was a hugely entertaining way to end the week, as well as a great opportunity to make discoveries about the play and its context. Plus, it gave us lots to discuss over the infamous Lazarus Friday night drinks… Only two weeks until we open at The Tristan Bates!
Day two of Rehearsal and we’ve begun edging into the cruel, unusual and seductive world of first century BC Judea. Today saw us begin the text work, the whole company pitching in
to analyse characters and their thought processes. Already the play is revealing itself to be extremely dynamic, fresh and moving. In the afternoon we continued to devise music and dance -some genuinely strange and compelling images and sounds emerging. It’s always astonishing to see what can be created with simplicity, imagination… and a lot of sweat.
It’s been an exciting (and exhausting!) first day of rehearsals. Today saw us come together as a complete company for the first time and the read-through was a very special occasion as the performers breathed life into Cary’s 400-year-old text. An ever-eclectic process, the afternoon’s movement work included the delights of Fleetwood Mac and the Viennese waltz. By the end of the day, with an afternoon of dancing combined with broken air-conditioning, we were well bonded as a company! We finished the day by recapping our research brief and I’m off to read up on Cary’s historical context now. I’ll report back from the research afternoon on Friday.
Work on Mariam is underway! We’ve spent the last two days workshopping the play: exploring our responses to the text and looking at its themes. It’s been an opportunity to ask some of the big questions about the drama (is Herod really a tyrant?) as well as some of the smaller ones (are Graphina and Pheroras more like Wills and Kate or Edward and Vivian in Pretty Woman?). It’s also been a great chance to get to know each other as a company. We’ve played a lot of games and some of the devising work to come out of them is looking good already. It’s fantastic to be working with such a talented and creative company, I think this is going to be a really exciting production. Can’t wait to get stuck into rehearsals next week…
Lazarus would like to welcome the Cast of The Tragedy of Mariam, at the Tristan Bates Theatre August 12th – 17th, 2013
We would like to welcome back:
Stephen MacNeice as Herod,
Melisa Ramadan as Doris,
Paula James as Salome, and
Kerrian Burton as Graphina
And we would like to welcome to the company:
Celine Abrahams as Mariam
Susannah Halley as Alexandra
Esme Lowe as Ananell
Rosanna Lambe as Sohema
Emily-Rose Hurdiss as Nuntio
Tara Cowley as Chorus
Get your tickets here now! Tickets are limited.