Whether you are aged 9 or 90... you will find something to relate to within the story of Little Women.
It’s about people recognising their flaws and finding ways to overcome them. With women at the forefront, we are navigating life between adolescence and adulthood dealing with themes of love, family, morality and personal growth.
“Be careful when maneuvering around Aunt March as her hoop underskirt is quite large” ... one of the many hilarious yet valid comments of our rehearsal process. This week we saw the benefits of having vital parts of the set constructed, having actual and rehearsal style props in the room along with pieces of costume that gave us great indications of movement and spatial logistics early in this process.
My google search this week has had some very important questions. How did women use handheld fans in the 19th Century? How did men and women greet each other in that era? Did pencils exist in 1800s? Fun fact: early settlers depended on pencils from overseas until the war with England cut off imports. William Monroe, a Concord Massachusetts cabinet-maker, is credited with making America’s first wood pencils in 1812. That is the exact location where Little Women is set in 1862.
Strictly eat your heart out as we had Paula O’Reilly (Choreographer) back in the room teaching the Actors the workings of a “splendid polka” ... Polka Paula as she will now be referred to as. The formality of dances and balls in the early 1800s were the key social events and the highlight of the social calendar. Other dances would have included the Waltz, Mazurka, and the Galop, all high intensity and almost like an aerobic workout. If we think in a modern context, they were the TikToks of the 19th Century where everyone knew the moves and routines... Meghan Trainor Made You Look sort of vibe y’know.
Transitions from scene to scene have been a huge part of the schedule. Emily Foran (Director) has described the fluidity of movement and the manipulation of space as something she wishes to evolve with the progress of time and the responsibility of the characters as they age and develop throughout. Keeping the space alive is a necessary ingredient to her wee women recipe.
It has been so insightful to be sitting in on production meetings and listening to all the components that make a production. As an Actor, we aren’t always aware or privy to the mechanics behind a show and all the people involved in bringing it to its feet. It is easy to look at a production and what it visually portrays until you remember that under the designer comes builders and comes producers and finance who take charge of all these jobs and processes being fulfilled. As well as the crew on this wonderful show, it has been class getting to know the Lyric Theatre team also and gaining knowledge of their jobs within the building. Marketing and Development, Finance and HR, Production which includes Stage Managers, Technicians, Scenic Construction, Carpenters and all the assistants, Front of House and Box Office, Artistic and Admin including Producers, Creative Learning, the Board and Patron.
Healthier snacks were provided this week such as oranges, grapes and pears, however the Makro Haribo aisle was once again raided by Jo Donnelly (Marmee) to keep the energy and comforts alive in the room, to which we are all grateful for.
If you want to know what the team have been listening to, we have created a playlist for ourselves to enjoy on our routes to and from work, in the room and to fill the gaps at home before The Traitors comes on BBC One (our favourite cast-bonding programme) with our idol Claudia Winkleman. Here is some of our wee women tunes on Spotify for you to indulge in with us: Drink Before the War Sinéad O’Connor / The Walker Christine and the Queens / Heartbeats The Knife / Best Part Daniel Caesar feat H.E.R
Debra Hill – Assistant to the Director Little Women