Of course, we all shamefully neglected this blog during the process because we were all so preoccupied with the process.
Biljana Srbljanovic has written a beast of a play – it is complex, gorgeous and incredibly difficult. When we started rehearsals for this, five weeks ago, we all knew that we were drawn to the play – we found it compelling, strangely funny, and deeply disturbing – but I don’t think we could have articulated exactly why. We just knew that we wanted to engage it.
Over the course of a five-week rehearsal period I’ve started to see clearly the arcs and through-lines that run through this play, and we’ve worked hard to highlight those moments of connection. The scenes are at first glance so disjointed – after every murder, they reset to ground zero, and the kids play out another terrible wonderful game – that it is hard to find a progression through the play.
And part of our job is to help an audience through it – to make sure that they are taken care of during the journey so that they don’t emerge on the other end with no idea what happened to them.
For me, the key in here is the relationship between Nadezda and Andrija – it is through watching them grow and trust and like each other that I start to feel the full weight of the play. And I’ve always loved the idea of an outsider who upsets the standard order of a play and thereby allows us into it. Nadezda does that for us – because she also is learning the rules of these stranges games, she allows us to learn them too. And that is no small gift.
I look forward to continuing to hear more from our audiences as they respond to the play.
Have you seen it? Leave comments here!