Welcome to this year’s Festival Blog. Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting updates from many of the companies presenting work in the 2013 festival. We’ll have news from the cast and creative teams who are busy preparing in the rehearsal room as well as photos and videos of the work in progress.

Check back with us for more as the countdown to the Dublin Theatre Festival 2013 commences!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Desire Under the Elms, The Corn Exchange

This Must be the Place
Eoghan Carrick, Assistant Director

It was, in a way, the culmination of three weeks of rehearsal: interrogating the characters’ voices and their mannerisms, exploring their internal landscapes. The cast, a few days before the photo-shoot, had tried on various pieces of costume Annie Ryan (Director) and Maree Kearn’s (Designer) had discussed trying over the last month. Those few hours were spent searching for that illusive something that would help bring the character to life.

Some characters were found quite quickly: Lalor Roddys onesy was a snug fit and brought out the grotesque of Ephraim Cabot, while his faded old jacket and hat captured the tight-fisted selfishness; the two brothers (Peter Coonan and Luke Griffin) came into focus as Peter pulled on a roughed up red cap and Luke opened a few extra buttons of his shirt to reveal an old yellow T-shirt.
Other characters were harder: Fionn Waltons character, Eben, had to be a mix of his fathers hardness and his mothers softness so the boots he wore, how his trousers fit him and what colour shirt were all much harder to tie down. As was Janet Morans character Abbie because, more than any other characters costume, Abbie seemed to set the time of the play and inform us of the world beyond the farm.

On the morning of the photo-shoot a heavy misty rain covered Dublin. The actors got into their costumes for the day. Dirt was applied to skin and teeth while music poured out of an iPhone sitting in an empty cup. When Rich Gilligan, the photographer, arrived, spirits were high but the low lying cloud masked the mountains in the distance: our intended destination.

We set off and as we climbed in altitude the buildings grew further apart, the mist thicker and the landscape harder to see. Eventually unable to see more than a few meters in front the convoy pulled over to decide on a course of action. When we got out we became mesmerised by the rolling fog. Rich decided to take a few test shots just to see how it would look while the cast explored the uneven tufts of grassy hillside. When we saw the first few test shots we knew this was the place.

The insights we found in the rehearsals before the shoot helped direct us to where the characters might be. The photos that came out of that day have helped us move forward in our understanding of the characters and their world.  Every character in this play is searching for something they can call their own. Watching them emerge from the mist I couldnt help but hear a song from earlier in the morning. Two lines resonated more than any others – they seemed to say a lot about the people in front of me:

“Home. It’s where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there.”

Eoghan Carrick, Assistant Director

L-R: Fionn Walton (Eben Cabot), Janet Moran (Abbie Putnam), Lalor Roddy (Ephraim Cabot), Luke Griffin (Simeon Cabot), Peter Coonan (Peter Cabot)

The team in rehearsals:

The cast with Director Annie Ryan

Fionn Walton and Janet Moran

Luke Griffin and Peter Coonan
The cast with Director Annie Ryan

For more information and to book tickets click here
Desire Under the Elms runs from 2-13 Oct in Smock Alley Theatre (Main Space)

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