Friday, 14 March 2014

stage by stage

Both my favourite cities in one wonderful theatrical weekend . . .

We've now come to the end of our amazing Brian Friel season at the Crucible in Sheffield.
Three very different but stunning plays - Afterplay, Translations and Wonderful Tennessee and the best ever play readings in the studio of 'LIving Quarters', 'The Communication Cord' and 'Fathers and Sons'.  All read sublimely by the actors from the three main plays.  The Communication Cord, in particular, was a totally hilarious farce set in Donegal and I have rarely laughed out loud so much.  The readings have been a brilliant experience - only downside is just getting the first Act of each play and gagging for more!

The stage sets have been incredible - but cos you're not allowed to take pictures in the theatre I can only describe them, but for Afterplay in the Studio, the set consisted of loads of old fashioned huge mirrors, so evocotive of the old cafes of Europe.  Translations, in the main auditorium at the Crucible, had a beautiful reconstrucion of an old Irish farmhouse in Ballybeg - loads of detail and great stone steps up the side of the barn.  Wonderful Tennessee is set entirely on a quayside in Donegal, as the boat to take them to the island doesn't turn up - and the huge stone quay was brilliantly built, jutting into the auditorium of the Lyceum at a jaunty angle, taking up the first 3 rows of seating.  The bright daylight reflections felt like you really were at the seaside on the wonderful west coast of Donegal with the cast basking in that light you only get near the sea. 


So next day it was over the Pennines to Liverpool for the "Lights Up" parade and opening day of the wonderful new Everyman Theatre.  And if you click on that link just now "Everyman Lights Up" you don't even have to plough through all my photos really - cos the video clip on that webpage is a marvellous 5 minute encapsulation of an amazing two days.  Take a few minutes to see it!!!!

The excitement started in Williamson Square, outside the Playhouse . . .

Drizzle didn't deter anyone and the fantastic buzz and thrum of our march from the Playhouse up along Church Street was just incredible.
OFF WE GO . . . .
and Bold Street
past the bombed out church
up Leece Street, Rodney Street and finally Mount Pleasant to the edge of Hope Street and our first glimpse in the dark of the new theatre.
The music and the beat of the many drums in the dark was so like our carnival experience round the dark streets of Ouro Preto all those years ago
There was a big screen and it was wonderful to see a recorded video of past and present actors singing the praises of the Everyman.  A group of children sang sweetly and the crowd miraculously hushed as a one for them. 
The Everyman and Playhouse huge characters twirled, the band played, a fabulous technicolour light and firework show flashed and danced all around the theatre, the lovely familiar EVERYMAN sign lit up once more and the crowd were led in a chorus of All You Need is Love, across the dark, happy Liverpool night along Hope Street.
as the key touched the front of the theatre the firework and light display just exploded into colour and sound - and such a fantastic atmosphere in the crowd
Some videos at the end so you can get a real flavour of the sounds and atmosphere.  But for now, what about the next day, Sunday, when we were lucky to be one of the first groups to tour backstage and see for ourselves the wonderful product of Haworth Tompkins Architects . . . 
So there you have it.

This is the 'Dear Everyman' video featuring actors old and new and very moving - you can see it on the Dear Everyman webpage or below

Hope you watched the Everyman video - short, sweet and with a soundtrack

That was the best theatre to theatre, city to city weekend ever!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment