“There has never been, now or at any other time, a single leader of men, a single scholar, an artist, a man of even the slightest eminence who might arouse envy or a passionate desire to be emulated. “
Playing the ill-fated Andrei in the UK Premiere of David Mamet’s Three Sisters was a dream come true. To also appear amongst an entirely Meisner trained company directed by my teacher and mentor, Tom Radcliffe (a student of Meisner’s)…this was going to be something special.
“This Russian setting is perfectly transposed to Chesters, in scenes where soldiers toast the old Borders family portraits on the walls with vodka, sprawl on soft sofas, and do energetic Russian dances dangerously close to antique furniture. ” The Scotsman
Rehearsed over the course of six months, the company met to analyse the text, and then create a series of improvisations to get into the core inner workings of this group of people. Throughout this period, I realised that my Andrei wanted nothing to do with anyone in the play; this led to a rather solitary experience for me as the actor. Luckily the cast were always on hand to warm my cockles after rehearsal in the pub afterwards.
“It’s only words… unless they’re true.” david mamet
Mamet, the master of the blunt statement, heavily toned down the text. The lengthy translations I’m used to working on with Chekhov, were not apparant in this version at all. It gave the production a vital feeling, these people still didn;t speak their intentions or feelings, but it left our performances open to express these in our behaviour.
Set in the magnificent house of Chesters, the promenade production took the audience through three beautifully dressed rooms. It fed our imaginations; an experience I’ll never forget.
“An absolutely brilliant evening: very fly on the wall.” Edinburgh Film Focus