Rapture Theatre

Blanche Dubois and Stanley Kowalski just might be the most contrasting characters found in modern drama. Practically every aspect about them is a polar opposite, from their gender and background to their outlook towards life.

While every production takes a different approach to these two fascinating characters, playwright Tennessee Williams wanted Blanche and Stanley to be evenly matched, having ‘a balance of power’. The richness of A Streetcar Named Desire’s text is found not necessarily within the plot but within the power struggle between these two icons of modern theatre.

Romanticism versus Reality

They practically begin the play in opposition. Stanley enters first, dressed in blue denim and carrying a blood-stained pack of meat. He’s boisterous as he enters, and he happily tosses the meat to wife Stella—literally ‘bringing home the bacon’. Blanche enters soon after, ‘daintily dressed’ and looking like she’s ‘arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party’ with fine, white clothing. She has taste, but she’s fragile and seems lost. Famously, Williams compares her to a moth in these opening moments.

Much has been made of Stanley’s ‘animalistic’ nature which is in contrast to Blanche’s refined tastes, but practically every aspect of their being is a juxtaposition. Blanche believes in a warm romanticised past that should be preserved, while Stanley believes in a cold, stark realism. Blanche spends the entire play trying to conceal through illusion, whereas Stanley constantly attempts to uncover truth to show reality.

According to Elia Kazan, the original Broadway production’s director, Blanche believes ‘light and culture are dying in the barbaric modern world’, a world Stanley represents. This is highlighted in Blache’s exchange with Mitch, when she says: I’ll tell you what I want. Magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth. I tell them what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it!’

Even the characters’ background is in opposition. The play is about uncovering the truth about Blanche’s rather complicated past where little is ever known about Stanley’s history (other than his Polish roots and that he served in the US Army during WWII). Even the location of the play’s setting in the French Quarter of New Orleans is a contrast: Blanche comes from a privileged white background, a plantation that would have had an established racial divide, but the play is set in a community that was famously multi-racial—a rare place in America where different races lived, worked and socialised with each other.

Sexuality

While one can find rich contrasts throughout the play, Williams’ offers a rather colourful, complicated one through sex. Yes, the play can be seen as a ‘war of the sexes’ embodied between Blanche and Stanley, but in many ways that is too easy of a reading.

Williams offers something far more complicated here: Streetcar just might be the first major play to perform on Broadway where sexuality was a major theme. All of the major characters of the play have blunt sexual appetites—including the women. In speaking about Stanley, Gore Vidal said that the character ‘changed the concept of sex in America. Before him, no male was considered erotic’. His sexual charge was considered a form of masculine truth, and audiences were enthralled.

Blanche, however, became seen as a ‘nymphomaniac’ and even had the term ‘slut’ branded about. Her name of ‘blanche’, highlighting the concepts of purity and cleanliness, can be seen not as a truth but as irony on her sex life.

Contrasting intents

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these two characters is the fact that neither has evil intent. It is their contrasting natures that lead to inevitable conflict, perhaps brought upon due to their own limited perceptions.

Blanche might be a symbol of a lost elegant world of manners, but she also has moments of cruelty and can be blinded by desire. Stanley has moments of brutality and can lash out, but he also has moments of tenderness and continuously tries to be a good husband and friend by pursuing truth.

Through the dramatic conflict between Blanche and Stanley, theatre is given an explosive confrontation on the battle lines of class, gender and American ideals. Both also desire what the other has: Blanche is attracted to Stanley’s working-class masculinity which she also claims to hate; Stanley is fascinated by Blanche’s qualities of aristocratic arrogance and blatant sexuality, which he also comes to despise.

A Streetcar Named Desire is sparked not by a plot-driven narrative but through the explosive energy that is created through these characters’ constant struggle for supremacy over the other.

© Michael Cox

A Streetcar Named Desire
1st Sep to 7th Oct, 2017.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 18:14

Who’s your favourite character in Streetcar?

We asked a school pupil 'Who’s your favourite character in Streetcar?'. Here is what they said:

My favourite character is Mitch because I think he gets a bit of a raw deal in the play and I can’t help feeling sorry for him.

Mitch is a decent human being who is constantly trying to please his mother and is accused by Stanley of being a mummy’s boy because of it.  He maybe resents his mum because he’s been away in the army and travelled a lot, but now he’s stuck at home looking after her. If he does resent her though, he doesn’t really show it. He just does it because it’s his duty which makes me like him because he cares enough to put his own feelings to one side.

Mitch is kind and sensitive and falls in love with Blanche, even though she kind of looks down on him as being  “lesser”  than she is. She just tolerates him, and tries to use him as an escape route from her problems which is not fair. He is a gentleman but she is not a lady, even if she seems to act like one. She manipulates Mitch and toys with him to get what she wants. Mitch is not the hero Blanche thinks she deserves. He’s a bit awkward and worries about being “sweaty”, but that makes me like him even more – he puts himself down too much. He is polite and well liked by his friends and by Stella, but Blanche just takes advantage of his good nature. His interests, like playing poker and working out at the gym are rough and common to Blanche. He was a soldier and now does manual work and she thinks she is superior to him. However, he is really impressed by her glamorous good looks and her classiness.  

Cruelly, Blanche uses the fact that Mitch is in awe of her to play games with him – she tricks him into flattering her and insults his lack of education by teasing him in French. Again this makes me feel sorry for him.  He is the victim of her nastiness, but he is so decent that he continues to be impressed by her. His honest affection for her makes me like him even more. Blanche and Mitch are drawn together because they are both lonely and have both experienced the death of someone they loved. I think, because he has lost another girlfriend it makes Mitch’s affection for Blanche seem more honest and straight-forward, but Blanche is false with him.   She acts as if she is prim and proper trying to trick him into marrying her. She hides the truth about her many sexual partners from him and makes herself out to be more innocent than she is. In a way she makes Mitch feel like a fool but I don’t think he is. It’s not his fault that she is a fantasist. It’s because he is so nice that he can’t see through her.

Mitch’s reaction when Stanley tells him the truth about Blanche’s past is really sad. I can’t help feeling that Stanley was so determined to reveal the truth about Blanche that he doesn’t care at all about his “buddy”  Mitch’s feelings at all. It shows Stanley is much nastier than his friend. Mitch is really upset by what Stanley says and even cries showing that he must have really cared for Blanche. If only Blanche had appreciated that Mitch was a good and decent person,  he could have loved her with the devotion she was looking for. If she had given him a chance, she could have been happy. On the other hand, I’m glad Mitch finds out the truth because probably Blanche would not have been a reliable partner for him.  She didn’t see the goodness in him that I see and she didn’t appreciate his decency so, really,  he deserved better.  I hope he goes on to be happy in life.

© E.F. Lee

A Streetcar Named Desire
1st Sep to 7th Oct, 2017.

Friday, 08 September 2017 07:54

An interview with Gina Isaac

Michael Cox: What was your first experience with Streetcar?

Gina Isaac: It was watching the Elia Kazan film. I'm a huge Brando fan and absolutely loved the film when I first saw it about 20 years ago. It's an amazing film, and Brando and Vivien Leigh work so well together - the old style meeting the new. I've only ever seen one theatre production of
Streetcar, with a wonderful actress, Geraldine Alexander, playing Blanche. Years later I had the pleasure of working with her on the national tour of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. It was a lovely thing to be able to tell her that I'd seen her play Blanche.

MC: Let’s talk a little more about Blanche. When was the first time you thought of her as a viable character for yourself?

GI: I don't know really. There are always parts that you'd love to play as an actress, and of course Blanche Dubois is definitely 'up there' in terms of the biggies, but it wasn't a part that I felt I had to play. Once I started preparing for the audition though I became totally gripped by her. It's a great feeling when you read a part and something about them speaks to you. I guess that's when I realised I would love the chance to try and play her! Funnily enough, I have been watching a lot of southern and classic films as part of my research, and
Gone with the Wind (also starring Vivien Leigh) was the film that really 'clicked' for the concept of the 'Southern Belle'. It completely captures the old world of white privilege and vast plantations, the world from which both Blanche and Stella descend.

MC: I find that characters can surprise you in rehearsal. Was there a discovery about Blanche that you've made, either in rehearsal or in performance?

GI: Yes, Blanche is full of surprises and I am still in the midst of discovering them. I was struck in rehearsals by just how insightful and wise she is. I hadn't realised that about her before. Blanche sees everything - too clearly. That is why she indulges herself in fantasy and illusion, in order to cope with the pain of life. Blanche can see the turmoil of her sister's situation all too clearly. She has a real awareness of other people's pain.

MC: Has there been a favourite role or production in your career, and has it helped prepare you for taking Streetcar on?

GI: I played Marlene in
Top Girls and strangely I do see some similarities between her and Blanche. They are polar opposites in many ways: a hard-headed business woman and a privileged southern belle; one is running from her roots and the other is desperately clinging to them, but both self-medicate through alcohol and both are striving for something more. Perhaps most importantly, they are both the kind of women that I would love to hang out with...slightly irregular is always more fun.

MC: Is there a role in Streetcar that you yourself identify with? It could be male or female--and it doesn't have to be Blanche.

GI: The characters in 
Streetcar are all so rich and layered that you could identify with facets of all of them at some point. Tennessee Williams's plays are so eloquent and exciting to watch, and I think it's because he manages to capture the light and the dark in all of us. His plays tap into something which helps remind us of how complex we all really are.

MC: Final question: is there a moment within the play that you’re excited to perform before an audience?

GI: Y
es. All of it. I'm not joking...it's a gift of a part.

© Michael Cox

A Streetcar Named Desire
1st Sep to 7th Oct, 2017.

Friday, 01 September 2017 13:14

A Legacy Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire is often regarded as amongst the finest plays of the 20th century, if not of all time, and it is considered by many to be playwright Tennessee Williams' greatest. It is also one of those rare ‘Before/After’ events: the theatre world drastically changed after the play opened on Broadway.

In 1947, the year of Streetcar’s premiere, Broadway was mostly made up of comedies, revivals of classic texts and musicals. The rule of thumb was that audiences wanted to be entertained with flimsy plots and catchy tunes. Streetcar not only challenged that notion but also presented an original experience: a poetic script that teetered between the realistic and the symbolic.

It won numerous prestigious awards, including the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and the Pulitzer. Two years later, in 1949, Lawrence Olivier directed the UK premiere in London in a production that thrilled and challenged audiences and critics alike.

Both the Broadway and London runs would shape theatre, not only with its themes and language but also in its characters. Gore Vidal said that Stanley Kowalski ‘changed the concept of sex in America. Before him, no male was considered erotic.’ But Kenneth Tynan went further when writing about Olivier’s production, stating, ‘For the first time in its history, English theatre has been swayed and shaped by America.'

Both the Broadway and London productions enjoyed long, successful runs, and the US and UK would see tours of the production, bringing the play to larger audiences. But its appeal became far more widespread in 1951 when the film version was released.

Getting the iconic play before cinema camera proved difficult. The script had to trim some of the raw language, and the ending had to find a way to punish Stanley. And even when the film was complete, over five minutes worth of cuts had to be made to appease censors—cuts that would not be reinstated until 1993, over 40 years after its release.

But the film became acclaimed, and is now considered an important classic by audience, critics and academics. This is mostly down to the performances the film captures, many of whom were in either the Broadway or London cast. The film is considered to be the first demonstration of ‘method’ acting, depicting ultra-realistic performances and creating a style of acting that would become highly influential the world over. When the Oscars were awarded, the film would win three of the four acting awards, a feat rarely equalled (Brando would lose to Humphrey Bogart for his turn in
The African Queen).

But the film would prove to be the first of many incarnations of the play. Over the years, several ballet companies would depict it—including a recent acclaimed production by Scottish Ballet. An opera premiered in 1995 and would be performed around the world, almost always to acclaim. The story and characters would also serve as a stimulus for artists, many using the themes and characters for inspiration. Famously, Neil Simon would use it when crafting his most celebrated play,
The Odd Couple, pitting a brute versus an effeminate forced to live together, framing all of the action around poker games.

The play itself would have many revivals, attracting some of the best actors to take on some of theatre’s most difficult and challenging roles. And Stanley’s scream of ‘Hey Stella!’ would prove to be an often-repeated iconic moment within pop culture.

But the true legacy of the play is with the world that Williams made. He created flawed, complex characters who challenged the norm, and he presented female characters with sexual appetites. He also introduced a modern poetry spoken in a single voice that the stage hadn’t heard before.

In speaking about the importance of the play, Arthur Miller said that it planted ‘the flag of beauty on the shores of commercial theatre,’ ushering in what is universally considered a golden age of American theatre.

© Michael Cox

A Streetcar Named Desire
1st Sep to 7th Oct, 2017.

Michael Cox speaks with Rapture Theatre’s Michael Emans about their latest production: A Streetcar Named Desire:

Michael Cox: A Streetcar Named Desire is stooped in its New Orleans setting and post-WWII era. Do you think this might be a problem for a modern Scottish audience?

Michael Emans: I think that, although it’s very much set in its time, its themes and its characters and its ideas really resonate an awful lot today, with themes of mental health, with immigration, with race, with cultures, with even human relationships and gender roles. There’s just so much in it that I think it will chime with an audience today. I hope audiences don’t see it as a museum piece—I don’t think they will.

MC: What is it about the work of Tennessee Williams that attracts you as a Director? Is it the language, the plot, the characters…?

ME: Kind of everything, really. I think what’s tremendous is that he’s brought this blend of naturalism and poetry to his work. It’s that wonderful kind of Shakespeareanism with tremendous language and poetry, and it feels very theatrical and so very truthful. I think that’s the challenge of it, and it’s something we’re relishing.

MC: It might be decades old, but it’s still a rich play. It’s very good, but it isn’t easy.

ME: I think that it’s always really good to give the audience a bit of a challenge. It’s not a play that’s very black and white—it’s complex. Not everybody behaves honourably, but not everybody behaves badly. Even Stanley is treated quite badly in some cases within the play. It’s a very rich, complex play, and I think…hope it will challenge people a bit.

MC: This play is something that many people equate to one person: Marlon Brando. Do you find that you have Brando’s legacy hanging over you?

ME: I think given the way we’re going, it’s been easy to forego because we’re going in a different direction, both with the casting choices and concepts. The other thing to consider, I suppose, is the amount of people who are coming to the play fresh. They’ll be seeing our production as their first engagement with the play. So in a way, with more people than you’d think, you’ve got a blank page to work on.

MC: It’s one of those pieces that people think they know until they actually watch it. Right now we’re talking about Brando as Stanley, and yet it’s not his story but Blanche’s.

ME: Well, it is about Blanche. Blanche is the backbone of it—she’s pretty much in every scene. But there are other interesting stories in there too, and I think conveying the narrative and the story development for both Stella and Stanley helps for the narrative of Blanche. And there’s a lovely story with Mitch, too, that I think is quite poignant. The audience may be able to engage with one character more than another, but I think it’s important for every character to have a history and a story within the play. So whether that’s the young collector who comes on or if it’s Blanche, they’ve all got fully formed stories.

MC: You’ve certainly opened up the world of the play with your casting choices.

ME: Well, in the stage directions, Tennessee Williams talks about the mix of people in New Orleans. Different people with different ethnic backgrounds, all mixed together. So what we’ve done is increased that by casting a very eclectic, diverse cast, and it’s shown up some really interesting possibilities within the play.

MC: Were those specific choices you were looking for or did they just make themselves known when you were looking at certain people?

ME: I think it was something we were open to, but ultimately it was about getting the best people for the part. That was the overriding thing: to get the best people, regardless of anything else. But by opening that possibility up, it’s really borne fruit for us, so it’s been a really interesting process.

© Michael Cox

A Streetcar Named Desire
1st Sep to 7th Oct, 2017.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 15:12

A Streetcar Named Desire Workshop

Streetcar Ed Resource Web

Book a Workshop!

A Streetcar Namend Desire

Script analysis with director Michael Emans.

By attending the workshop, your students will be able to have an in-depth look at how a director takes a script and makes it into a performance. What clues do you look for? How do you treat dialogue and stage directions? How important is style?

Emans will look at moments within the play and not only explain the process he went through from reading the script to finding the right actors to opening night, but will also show students how they can take scripts and turn them into dramatic action.

Suitable for pupils studying Higher and Advance Higher Drama or English.

Download our accompanying Education Resource (attachement file at the bottom of this page). 

TO BOOK A WORKSHOP OR FOR FURTHER INFORMATION - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Friday, 28 July 2017 13:41

Summer School Fun

July marked the completion of another successful “Drama Matrix”, the fun summer course in Perthshire, tutored by Rapture’s Artistic Directors.  This year students enjoyed the enormous challenge of workshopping a wide variety of exciting play extracts - from Pinter and Albee to Byrne and Miller - while Margaret Milne choreographed two outstanding dance pieces.

One of the overriding themes of the course this year was movement:  students worked very hard with absolute commitment and, on the last night, brilliantly performed a stunning, abridged version of Shakespeare’s The Tempest in masques, based on movement influenced by the teachings of Jaques Lecoq – the famous French physical theatre guru.

One of the many, many highlights of the course was the workshopped extract from Rapture’s latest production A Streetcar named Desire (which opens in September and tours around Scotland until mid-October).  Everyone wanted to know who the cast was going to be in the actual show – well guys, wait no more.  The news is out! See our Facebook or Twitter pages for the latest!

Thanks again for being your brilliant selves. Looking forward to next year!

Can’t wait to meet up with you all somewhere on the tour!!!

Lyn  x

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 08:36

A Streetcar Named Desire

 

Experience the excitement of live theatre in Rapture's vibrant production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire.

Join us for a dazzling trip to the whirlwind world of New Orleans with this sultry and sophisticated new production of a timeless American masterpiece. Fading southern belle, Blanche DuBois, seeks solace with her sister, Stella, after her world starts to crumble. But her downward spiral brings her face-to-face with Stella’s husband, the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. As temperatures soar and passions rise, Blanche and Stanley battle for Stella’s soul.

Immortalised in the Oscar-winning film starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, this is a rare opportunity to see this iconic play, thrillingly brought to life by Rapture.

Streetcar follows in the wake of Rapture's popular and critically acclaimed productions of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Democracy

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 18:37

Who's Afraid of Feminism?

Michael Cox speaks with Sara Stewart about how feminism and modern society have changed the way audiences view Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and the role of Martha.

Michael Cox: When the play first opened there were a lot of charges against Albee that he was a misogynist and anti-women. There were people in the 60s who actually accused him of disguising the fact that it was really a play about four gay men. So, my first question is—over 50 years later—do you see Martha more as a masculine role or do you really think she is a feminine role who’s just strong in her ways?

Sara Stewart: Yeah, okay. I get that argument, and I think there’s an element of truth in the writings of Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward and Edward Albee. They were not allowed to have gay characters in their plays at that time. So, I’m sure they sublimated a lot of gay men into female roles, and thank God they did because some of the best writing for women has come from these gay playwrights who actually allowed female characters to have wit and guts and personality. They are the better writers for women, I think. Now, as a woman, she doesn’t strike me as masculine at all! She’s a fully rounded out person. Actually, I think, conversely, he was highlighting the tragedy of women who were stuck in a position they weren’t able to fully flourish and be their full selves. They were judged on appearances and their ability to have babies and whether they were a good wife or not. I sort of witnessed that in my mother, too. And I’m pleased to say that I do feel that in my lifetime there are all these women in society who have really changed, so that I now can look at my daughter, who’s just coming out of college. She’s 22, and she has a very different set of yard sticks that she’s going to measure her achievements that she values herself with. I find that very…moving.

Michael: Would you say that Virginia Woolf is now a period piece because society has shifted so drastically?

Sara: I do think it’s a period piece in some senses. We did come to that agreement on day one. There are certain things about this play that fix it very squarely in its time, but there are things that are outrageously relevant. There’re just so many different opportunities that are available now that weren’t available then. Martha should have been a teacher at the college. Why did she have to marry into the college? Why couldn’t she have trained to be a teacher herself? So, yeah, there are things that fix it squarely in its time, but there are human truths that are, and always will be, relevant.

Michael: There are also things that happen in this play that a modern audience would probably look at differently than audiences in the 60s. We look at the alcoholism differently. We look at the roles…not just Martha but Honey. I think Honey, in a modern light, is certainly different. I think she was the comic relief then but I think she’s more of a tragic figure in a modern context.

Sara: Yeah, that might be true. Absolutely. Because she’s someone that you sense is a free spirit, and the system is already crushing her. And I suppose sexuality is a big theme as well. Albee’s pretty honest and quite brave, I think, having Nick say that he and Honey don’t really have a sexual relationship. But the fact that Martha is…it must have been shocking in its time…the fact that she is so sexually aggressive and so sexually confident. I just think it’s great, actually. When it was written, they didn’t even think women had orgasms. It must have been so shocking.

Michael: That and homosexuality was a mental illness.

Sara: Exactly. So, the idea that a woman had an actual sexual appetite in itself was really shocking. Whereas now, I think it’s still unusual to portray a middle-aged woman as being a person who has a sexual appetite. It’s still a taboo. So I relish that opportunity.

Michael: And when it’s done it’s usually for laughs.

Sara: Exactly! Oh my God, it’s my casting. I get cast as that a lot, the sort of…the comic MILF. It’s funny, an older woman being a bit sexy or mutton dressed as lamb or whatever it is. We’re not sending Martha up for that. We’re not making her ridiculous in her sexuality. She’s a red-blooded woman.

© Michael Cox

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
3rd May to 3rd Jun, 2017

Thursday, 04 May 2017 14:22

Getting Albee Right

Michael Cox: When did you first decide you wanted to direct Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Michael Emans: I’ve wanted to do this for years. A lot of people have been turned down in Scotland. We put together a proposal which we think appealed, and we got the rights. It’s a feather in our cap that Albee gave us the rights. You feel a sort of responsibility: we’ve got to do really good now. But we’ve got a smashing cast of actors.

MC: In casting, did you have a specific type of person you were looking for, or was it a matter of waiting for the right person to come who was just the character?

ME: A combination of both. You’re looking for actors who can handle text, and you’re looking for actors who have an energy to them, who have got ‘chutzpah’ to them, who’ve got an intelligence to them, who’ve got a sensitivity to language and emotion. So it’s quite a big checklist. You want actors who can do all of that, and that isn’t as easily to find as one necessarily thinks. And the ages have to be right.

MC: It’s a play that’s over 50 years old. What makes Virginia Woolf relevant to a modern audience?

ME: I think people relate to these characters. It’s about relationships at the end of the day. It’s about love and it’s—well, the relationships are somewhat dysfunctional but there’s still love there. But it’s not an issue play. It’s a play about people. The play is so rich. It’s so deep. It’s like an onion—you peel away a layer and you’ve got another. A criticism I’ve heard of the play is that it could just be people shouting at each other for three hours, but there’s a lot of humour in it. It’s a nice contrast to all the dramatic moments—well, the more emotional moments. It’s very extreme—I suppose that’s the mark of a really good play.

MC: This is a play you’ve wanted to do for a long time. Does that initial excitement for the piece still hold, or is there a newfound push to make this play happen?

ME: I think I first wanted to do this almost 15 years ago. I’m older now. I’m actually the same age as George in the play—we’re both 46.

MC: So you were more of a Nick at the time?

ME: Yes. So, I’m coming to the play now probably at the right time. The passion is still there, but there’s more life experience. That’s an important change for me.

MC: Do you think you now have more sympathy or empathy for George and Martha, or are you more suspicious of them as you are more similar in age now?

ME: I see it from both sides, actually. I read some notes that were written quite a while ago, and they talked about Honey being a lesser character. But I think that Honey is key. Every character is key. It’s a play about four characters.

MC: I think that it’s a play that past productions have gotten stuck on Martha so much—they’ve ignored the other three.

ME: Kind of, yeah. She has great lines, and you will always get a powerful actress playing Martha. Maybe in the past there was a value for a play to have a female character that was so powerful. Maybe that’s why so many people were attracted to Martha. Some productions cast her first then cast around her. But this play has four rich characters, so this is an ensemble piece and not just a play about one person.

MC: How has it been tackling such a difficult, highly regarded play?

ME: I have loved doing this. It’s been special. I’m happy we got the three-year backing from Creative Scotland because we’ve built to this point over the last couple of years. Knowing we had that backing gave us confidence to go and do this.

MC: It’s good that Creative Scotland is backing experimental theatre as well as language-based full evenings out.

ME: That’s the great thing. You’ve got Vanishing Point on one end and you’ve got David Leddy’s company Fire Exit, and you’ve got the Lyceum and Dundee Rep and Rapture, amongst other companies. We all do something that’s quite different. That variety is good for audiences. You don’t want everybody doing ‘vast experimental’ stuff. In fact, every one is doing ‘experimental’ work. Until you know the result, everything is an experiment. By supporting different things, you’re bringing more people into the audience. You’ve got an awful lot of companies that do different things, but we compliment each other because of who we all are.

© Michael Cox

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
3rd May to 3rd Jun, 2017

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