Diana and Sidney
This week’s guest blogger Hannah Wright is directing the third section of LONDON SUITE – a bittersweet comedy that brings two old flames back together
When Chris Hawley, an established director with SUP Theatre Company, approached me with the prospect of directing for Neil Simon’s LONDON SUITE, I was thrilled.
Why? Well, the concept of London Suite is fresh and innovative, carefully allowing the audience an intimate view into the personal lives and stories of a vast array of characters.
I first met SUP members at the first reading of the play.
I was instantly surrounded by friendly and welcoming people, who all share a love for the Arts and who, most importantly, have a cracking sense of humour.
There is something different about SUP Theatre, in comparison to other companies alike. They are highly professional, inclusive, with high standards and expectations for those involved. Everybody is included, stretched and challenged to the best of their ability.
There are so many opportunities made available for all.
During the first play reading, I instantly connected with the story of Diana and Sidney.
I loved their relationships, their story, and how in just 20 minutes, I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. Their relationship is so honest, comical, and relatable. I was really excited to start exploring these characters with my cast.
As a new member for SUP, I was pleasantly surprised at how professional the audition process was. Every audition was held in the Lecture Theatre auditorium. Chris, Ali, Stephen and myself were able to meet everybody auditioning, discuss the characters they would like to audition for, and what skills set they could bring to the role. We were also able to audition people in pairs and groups, to better assess the dynamics of casting people, prior to the decisions being made.
During our first few rehearsals, I wanted the cast to get to know their characters.
We played around with different intonation and tone until it felt natural, and right.
We trialled different movements, different gestures and physicality, until eventually, a pattern started arising. The movement soon became second nature, and with regular yet small adjustments along the way, the characters flourished.
This was a collective project from the start for me, I wanted my actors to actively contribute and in doing so, we have bonded well along the way. The story and its characters now feels believable and incredibly honest for me, I’m emotional every time I see it.
Come and enjoy this evening of sparkling comedy at the Rose Theatre, Eastleigh, 18-19 October 2019 – book tickets here