Its 8.38 on Thursday morning and another e mail pings into the in box. Here it is declares the header. Attached is something rather special (pure gold as one of the performers refers to it later). Its the first draft of Murray Lachlan Young’s new play tentatively entitled Burlesque.
Back in January director Paul Jepson and two actors had started out on a journey which would result in this morning. Then they had a story line, a fragment of text and some ideas.
(Mary Woodvine and Rory Wilton in rehearsal at Beaford)
Those two days of experimentation, improvisation and hard graft at Beaford Arts have clearly done their job because the document I’m printing out is a whacking great 81 pages long. And over 80% of it is in verse.
Fast forward to 10am and we’re in the rehearsal room (studio 33 at Dartington SPACE)– our home for the next two days. Despite the friendly atmosphere there still is a tension – will it work?
‘A large rural kitchen complete with Aga’ reads Paul (Jepson – the shows director and dramaturg) and we’re off.
The two hours fly by. Theres much guffawing (a good sign), a touch of confusion and the occasional incredulous look. Two hours later though our four characters – Celia (Mary Woodvine), Gordon (Rory Wilton), Julia (Kirsty Osmon) and Zac (Jerome Wright) – have been on quite a journey. Theres been speeding cars, a meteor shower, a fine dinner, quite a bit of cocaine, a 40k bottle of wine, some roaring quickly followed by some slap and tickle and then…. Well that would give it away wouldn’t it. Needless to say the whole thing is – in a strange way – a burlesque. A tease where nothing is quite as it seems. (for a sense of the plot see here)[insert blog post])
Ladies and Gentlemen – declares Paul – we have a play.
We do indeed – and its very definitely a play by Murray Lachlan Young
The development process of Burlesque is supported by Arts Council South West and partners Beaford Arts, Dartington and the Works.