Louise May Alcott described in the book how the world looked dreary in its winding sheet of snow... we however found ourselves battling the weather elements gleefully to get to rehearsals this week on the first snow fall of the winter season. We contemplated Stanislavski’s “Method” Technique where we could have a snowball fight outside to really put ourselves into the characters shoes within the play, but then we decided it was too cold so best just pop the kettle on, use our imagination and stick to the props.
We were awed over the array of glamorous chaise lounges (try saying those two words three times) that the fabulous Tracey Lindsay (Set Designer) brought into the room for various settings and years within the script. We saw multiple baby dolls, some you swore were looking straight into your soul, and we workshopped how you would hold them at different stages of life. A great tip was also given on how you swaddle with a blanket. Gillian Lennox (Costume Designer) and her wonderful gang are seriously bringing us into their magnificent costuming era as we have custom makes including dresses, outdoor wear, bonnets, shoes gradually being brought through the rehearsal room doors. The importance of costume is to help establish the tone and style of a piece, gives necessary character information and hints of a time period and/or place. There is also an awareness when it comes to the performer and aiding them in their comforts and movements whilst coordinating with the director and other designer’s concepts.
“FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!” The chants were in full flow like a WWE match as we had our first cast scrap... wee jokes. Philip Rafferty (Fight Director) arrived to teach some of the cast positions and combat sequences that occur within scenes. The safety concepts, the practical applications and the biomechanics of how the body works are all part of making certain physical moments and the use of weapons seem realistic whilst adhering to the priority of keeping the performers safe as well as other cast, crew and audiences. It was great having Philip’s eye on details and us all learning some basic stage combat skills, watch out Tom Cruise!
I had the pleasure of representing The Lyric Theatre on The Culture Café at BBC Radio Ulster with Marie-Louise Kerr and got to talk all things Little Women with our wonderful Lead Scenic Carpender Aidan Pagne who is bringing all of Tracey’s gorgeous designs to life. The two of us were welcomed on the show along with the recent Emmey Award Winner singer songwriter Foy Vance (I was all bizz). I got to tell him how one of his songs She Burns made it onto our wee women playlist as I felt it represented the complexities of human connection and consuming nature of emotions all which are very much present and true within our beloved characters. It really does encapsulate universal emotions just like the classic itself.
“FINAL CURTAIN” ... and as the week drew to a close, we celebrated getting to stage the last line of the play. The team were able to stagger through the entire story from start to finish, which leads us into an incredible position heading into Week 4 where Emily Foran (Director) can afford the time to flesh out specific moments, revise scene by scene to discover new findings within and be able to keep the sense of play alive. This cast are beautifully connected, and the sense of care is really apparent. The energy and craic is electric, it really is just pure joy!
Read Little Women multiple times throughout your life; guarantee you find something new each time. The story of sisterhood is one that is mirrored within our production. From the females in the play to the females working in the cast and crew, we are surrounded by such brilliance. This all-in-house Lyric production has the heart of the building running through it. If you too love this story and fancy reading more like it, I recommend these books that I too got from a fascinating fan, that bring many similar themes including that irresistible sisterhood: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells / The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juilette Fay / The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine / Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung / Practical Magicby Alice Hoffman
Debra Hill – Assistant to the Director Little Women
Enjoy some of the wee women crew getting so much tea break delight from their wee fizzy drink tins