A piece of theatre of this calibre and size is always an incredible feat to take on. Teams of people working tirelessly behind the scenes to produce the best show possible. Tuesday saw individuals from each team watching our first read-through with actors; Kerri Quinn (Cheryl), Terrence Keeley (Michael), Caolan Byrne (Donny), Caroline Curran (PC McGoldrick) and Shannen McNiece (Lesley). Set and Costume designer Conor Murphy revealed his model box and costume designs, Neil O’Driscoll showed his initial AV design as well as a marketing presentation from Claire Murray.
Plays are teaming with unanswered questions. We only get the briefest of glimpses into the lives of our characters which means we need to clarify subtext and determine what is truth and what are the red herrings and non sequiturs spread through out each scene to keep an audience where the writer wants them. Actors enter the room questioning their characters motives, objectives, lines and directors attempt to answer them, but most of the time it becomes a collaboration around the table to find the most consistent through line for your particular production. Our first week of rehearsals was a little different. We had Burnt Out’s multi-award winning writer Gary Mitchell with us for the whole week, dramaturgically assisting us with every question we had, little or large, allowing us to delve into the text much quicker and in much finer detail.
The excitement around this show is palpable. The script is 6 years in the works and the writing, acting, and design concepts so far are inspired. Each department is collaborating tirelessly to offer the best show for the inaugural piece pf the 2023 Belfast International Arts Festival.