Author Archive

Our Town: Mime Over Matter

September 30, 2014
Anna Francolini in rehearsals for Our Town. Photo: Marc Brenner

Anna Francolini in rehearsals for Our Town. Photo: Marc Brenner

Miming is traditionally associated with painted faces, striped t-shirts and a lot of boxes to get trapped in, but the mime in Our Town isn’t quite that style. Assistant Director Rebecca Hill explains:

Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town is considered to be a modernist or minimalist play in style, as many of his stage directions dictate that aspects of the world be mimed. This presents a challenge to the actors – they need to physically depict imaginary objects (and animals!) using just their bodies in reference to them, in a way that is accurate and recognisable to the audience.
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Our Town: The Facts About Everybody

September 24, 2014

 

David Walmsley and Laura Elsworthy recreate the iconic lift from Dirty Dancing. Photo: Rebecca Hill

David Walmsley (George Gibbs) and Laura Elsworthy (Emily Webb) recreate the iconic lift from Dirty Dancing. Photo: Rebecca Hill

“In our town we like to know the facts about everybody,” says the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder’s iconic American play. Now that you know the facts about Our Town, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill has had a go at finding some facts about the cast for David Cromer’s upcoming production:

We have an incredible cast for Our Town. Among them they have been in 57 feature films and countless musicals, television programmes and plays–but their talents aren’t limited to acting.

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Five Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Our Town’

September 22, 2014

To kick off our creative investigation of David Cromer’s upcoming production of Our Town, here are five essential facts that Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill unearthed during the first week of rehearsals for Thornton Wilder’s classic American play:

1. It defies geography.

Grover’s Corners, the town where the play is set, is described as being situated at latitude 42 degrees 40 minutes; longitude 70 degrees 37 minutes. When we looked it up, this is what we found:

Grover's Corners

from findlatitudelongitude.com

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Little Revolution: Trailer

September 12, 2014

Little Revolution is “an absolutely compelling 90 minutes” (Daily Telegraph) – watch the trailer for Alecky Blythe’s new verbatim play, inspired by the 2011 London riots:

Little Revolution plays at the Almeida until 4 October 2014. For more information, or to book tickets, click here.

Little Revolution: From the Streets to the Stage

September 9, 2014

Alecky Blythe teaches the Community Chorus about verbatim theatre. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Alecky Blythe shares her verbatim theatre techniques with Little Revolution‘s Community Chorus. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Chris Lawson, Community Chorus Assistant Director, speaks with playwright Alecky Blythe about the process of taking Little Revolution from the streets to the stage. [This interview is also available to listen to in podcast form.]

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Little Revolution: First Impressions

September 2, 2014
Rehearsal script

A script-in-progress from the Little Revolution rehearsal room. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Little Revolution is now in previews. Alecky Blythe’s new play, inspired by one community’s experiences of the 2011 London riots, has continued to develop throughout the rehearsal and preview periods. Ahead of the official opening, we decided to revisit the cast’s first impressions of the play, which they shared with us at the start of rehearsals:

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Little Revolution: A Technical Extravaganza

August 29, 2014

 

by Manuel Harlan

The technical tools for Little Revolution include a laptop with audio recordings, a Dictaphone and countless radio packs. Photo: Manuel Harlan

This week’s rehearsal diary comes from an Associate Director who is sleep-deprived and full of biscuits, which can only mean the week of technical rehearsals for Little Revolution has finished. Rebecca Hill has the highlights:

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Little Revolution: The Word on Verbatim

August 22, 2014

A verbatim play is one that uses words that real people have spoken as the script for a performance: nothing in the play is written, but is repeated as it was originally said to the playwright. Little Revolution, Alecky Blythe’s new verbatim play based on one North London community’s experience during the 2011 riots, has its first preview performance on Tuesday. We asked the cast if they’ve had any previous experience with the genre:

Lucian Msamati, Ronni Ancona and Bayo Gbadamosi in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Lucian Msamati, Ronni Ancona and Bayo Gbadamosi in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

“I have seen a few pieces and used the technique in R+D workshops. It’s always interesting
and ‘anti-acting’! You have to listen and engage as opposed to reflect and invent.”
Lucian Msamati

“This is my first experience of verbatim theatre but I find it a fascinating genre.”
Ronni Ancona

“This was my first time being in a verbatim play, so it’s a whole new experience for me as an actor.
Before this I had been to see Alecky’s play The Girlfriend Experience at the Young Vic on a
sixth form school trip. I thought it was a very interesting yet challenging way to tell stories.”
Bayo Gbadamosi

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Little Revolution: A New Space

August 21, 2014
Melanie Ash and Rez Kempton in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Melanie Ash and Rez Kempton in rehearsals for Little Revolution. Photo: Manuel Harlan

In her fourth update from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill gives us the view on technical rehearsals from a new perspective in our reconfigured theatre space.

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Little Revolution: Order Changes and Rehearsed Frisking

August 12, 2014
scene order

Order of scenes for Little Revolution rehearsals. Photo: Rebecca Hill

In her third installment of weekly updates from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill lets us in on why some scenes are changing order and how they discovered that one cast member is especially ticklish.
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