Friday, 21 November 2014

Friday Five: Opening Night

Edith (Yanina Clifton) and Elvira (Anita Davenport) on our beautiful Blithe Spirit set (Andrew Kay)
Tonight is opening night of Blithe Spirit and there are so many people to thank for helping me bring this fantastic show to the stage. Naturally I am thrilled that Noel Coward wrote this play in the first place, and that Canberra Repertory accepted my submission to direct it. When the curtains open tonight, I'll be thinking of all these folk:

5 things that make our Blithe Spirit great:
  1. The set - the team who designed and built this set are phenomenal. What we do looks great on it; and then we wreck it every night and do it all over again the next. Special thanks to Andrew Kay, Russell Brown and everyone involved.
  2. The costumes - Anna Senior has designed a range of sublime and ridiculous outfits to bring our characters to life (or death, as it were), more than ably assisted by a team including Jeanette Brown, Anne Kay and a whole band of others. As someone who can barely sew a button back onto a shirt, I am enormously grateful.
  3. The technical crew - Jon Pearson on sound and Stephen Still on lights have been brilliant to work with. I said 'Can I have this?' and they said 'How loud/bright do you want it?'. Their designs are subtle and superb, allowing a perfect background to the action without ever threatening to overwhelm it.
  4. The stage crew - they're very busy; they have a lot to do, and they do it efficiently, quietly and seamlessly. From putting books in and out of bookcases to making cucumber sandwiches, they do jobs every night, which make the front of stage look as good as it does. And they are overseen by our stage manager Dot Russell, who is one of the calmest, most thorough and delightful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.
  5. The actors - The best part of being a director is dealing with this wonderful production without ever having to learn the words. The worst is never being able to perform the play myself. I am honoured to have such fabulous people to do it instead, that I don't regret not being up there for an instant. We have all worked so hard to bring this vision to the stage and I know these actors will ensure it is executed exactly as we wanted.

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