It would be fair to say that most of the characters in the piece are meant to be real people, in so much as they are realistic, naturalistic and mainly down-to-earth creations. A good proportion of the characters are solitary and their interaction is directly with the audience. Those who we meet in larger numbers are part of social groups; people who should be open and comfortable with each other.
All of this means the honesty of the lines they speak is imperative. And this meant a fair amount of evolution of the script was required once the actors were in place. This was never more true than with the characters of The Caretaker. Originally, he spent most of the performance with the audience. That actor needs to embody that character in a very at ease way.
So once rehearsals were underway we worked with the actors the move the dialogue on, to add nuances and personal touches that made it their own. It was an interesting and collaborative way to work. Though it may well be less time consuming to have an exact script from the beginning and simply hone the performance, we have found this approach much more worthwhile.
In a further twist, the role of The Caretaker ended up being radically rethought. Once we understood the character we were able to find a wider range of methods to represent him – not just through an actor speaking, but through the discovery of possessions and letters by The Caretaker. That would be pretty difficult to scripts from day one but the slow evolution of the piece has made it possible, and very enjoyable!
Tickets are available for the Jan 21st performances HERE.