O for a Muse of fire…

…that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
William Shakespeare’s Henry V

Mary’s Wedding is a dream play. On the eve of her wedding, Mary dreams one last time of Charlie, her first sweetheart, a farmer-turned-soldier who fought in the trenches of the Great War. In the dream, she jumps between their first meeting and their parting, from Canada to a battleship in the Atlantic and then to France. And when she dreams of his life on the front lines, she takes on the role of Lieutenant Flowerdew, Charlie’s commanding officer who becomes his closest friend during the long years he is away from Mary.

One of the greatest challenges/opportunities with this lovely script is that so much of it, by necessity, must take place in the mind of the audience: the first ride home on horseback, the battles in the trenches, the charge of Moreuil Wood. Emily Nichols has designed a beautiful and clean set for us – evocative of a barn, but not literal in any sense, and so our task has been to find ways to make the wild action of the play live and breathe.

We finished staging the play last night and Saturday we have our first run-through. As we worked through the play for these first two weeks of rehearsal our focus has always been on telling the story in the most dynamic way possible, while allowing the openness of our playing space to assist the intimacy of the production. We’ll find out on Saturday how we did… and whether we’ve made those horses live!

This entry was posted in design, Mary's Wedding, rehearsal, staging. Bookmark the permalink.

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