Although they are less than a ten minute walk away from one another, New Theatre’s move to the Lakeside Theatre with their production of ‘Bed’ this week is a big step forward for this new partnership. After a successful run at the New Theatre last term, director James McAndrew and cast members Amy Brough-Aikin, Ellie Cawthorne and James Townend talk to Impact about their debut at Lakeside, bed in tow.
How did the move from the New Theatre to Lakeside come about?
Director: Well several New Theatre presidents have tried to draw up a partnership between the two theatres and Lakeside had a space in their schedule this season. It was between three of the plays that had been performed at the New Theatre recently and a couple of weeks before the end of last semester, they asked us if we’d like to fill the slot.
Describe the play.
Ellie: There are moments of surrealism and realism so it’s a good mix. It’s not too bizarre that you can’t relate to the characters.
Director: Sometimes there are pages in the script that are just stage directions so we’ve played around with that, especially with music. We use four pieces in particular, all written by Chris Walters, who is part of the New Theatre so it’s quite original.
James: It’s Inception meets Last of the Summer Wine. That’s the best description for it.
Tell me about your characters.
Amy: I play ‘Woman’ and my scenes mostly double up with Jono Lake, who plays ‘Man’ and I’d say they were quite a cute old couple but they sometimes question whether they really love each other or not. Compared to the others, we directly interact and interestingly we are the only characters to leave the bed.
Ellie: Well I would say ‘Marjorie’, my character, is kind, good hearted but there is more to her than meets the eye, something darker and that’s all I’m going to give away.
James: ‘Charles’ is a bit of a grumpy old man, much like me, but I think he’s nice. He’s quite passionate about his country and I think he misses the past, well he misses a lot of things.
Does this play appeal to a big age range?
Director: I think so. Even though it is about old people, there is a lot of focus on the past and there are a lot of universal themes that everyone relates to so I think it can have audiences ranging from children to elderly people themselves.
How does each character’s monologue factor into the performance?
Amy: My character has a duologue because it is very much about her relationship with Jono’s character but every character does get their own monologue.
Director: And they are quite different as well. One monologue might be hilarious and uplifting and then you’re thrown into a depressing account, concentrated so closely on one of the characters.
James: You do get quite an insight into each character and learn more about their past.
Ellie: There is interaction as well but then everyone gets to come out and open up to the audience.
Director: They play quite well against each other and it helps the pace, the audience not really let to dwell because we’re onto the next thing.
Were you tempted to or have you made any changes?
Amy: We’ve changed a few things and the set is bigger than before. After last time we’ve looked at a couple of things and decided that it works better to do it a bit differently, tweaked it.
Director: In essence it’s the same, we’re working with the same script, cast and set but it can even be little things like the delivery of a line, so playing around with it has been a fun process again. Some bits are bound to come out different.
Opening night is on Wednesday (2nd May). Are you feeling any pressure of being the first production to transfer from the New Theatre to Lakeside?
James: Not really. It’s more that we think it will be an interesting experience, doing it at Lakeside it does bring in a different clientele, not just mainly students.
Amy: Because we’ve done it before, I think we have a good idea of how an audience are going to react to specific bits but we’ll see how different it is. We feel quite comfortable with our characters and it’ll be nice to do it in a different space.
Director: Everything’s going to schedule. I’d say we were well prepared.
You can see New Theatre’s performance of ‘Bed’ at the Lakeside Theatre from Wednesday 2nd – Saturday 5th May.