April 12, 2016, by Michael Jennings
Oedipus – behind the scenes
In this guest blog post, Ella Hiscock tells us what it’s like to be part of the crew of the Oedipus production at Nottingham Lakeside Arts.
Each year, The Nottingham New Theatre and Nottingham Lakeside Arts team up to produce a professional and original performance. So far, there has been an eclectic range of plays, including Dr Fautus, Lysistrata and last year’s enchanting, Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a first year English and American Studies student, I was drawn in both due to my passion for theatre and the incredible opportunity to work in a professional arts centre with renowned director, Martin Berry. This year, we are performing Sophocles’ Oedipus, exploring the excessive use of dramatic irony, the storytelling aspect of the tale and the subject of fate and predestination.
The atmosphere at Lakeside is lovely, and you can gain an insight into the everyday workings of a professional theatre and the different aspects you could be involved in, both performing and backstage. However, it is not all fun and games (which we tend to play a lot of – LET ME HEAR IT FOR MAFIA!) as you will lose three weeks of your usual month-long Easter break, and will spend majority of your day in the rehearsal room working very hard. This hardly leaves any time for work both due to how tired you are after the full day of rehearsals, and the lack of time you are left with amongst learning lines.
BUT… all of us in Oedipus have not spent the time freaking out over our exam pressure and workload; if you are truly committed to acting and enjoy it you will love this experience. Apart from being able to get some great practice in professional theatre, you are able to meet some like-minded students who will really become your best friends. After spending pretty much 24 hours a day running around a rehearsal room killing each other in Wink Murder and arguing over who gets to lounge on the bean bags, you really create a bond like nothing else with these people. Do not worry if you are in first year and have to leave halls as I have done the same and there will be someone older who will take you in with open arms!! Another important aspect is, of course, Martin and his directing technique, as he lets us work together as a team, coming up with a collective idea for how OUR Oedipus will be portrayed, and this makes the performance even more rewarding.
To stay on top of work, you’ll just need to have a structured day. During breaks you can fit in a bit of reading or writing (like I am doing right now!) and once your back from rehearsals you will already be in a productive mindset to get a couple of hours of work done. It is not in any way impossible, and in some ways could be considered easier than doing a play during term time at the New Theatre as you can fully commit yourself to performing, working and making the most of it.
I would recommend it to anyone who wants to gain a memorable experience in the company of other students who love theatre just as much as you do.
Oedipus is at Lakeside from Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 April at 7.30pm, with an additional performance at 2.30pm on Saturday.
Tickets from £10
£5 tickets for University of Nottingham students.
Book online or via Lakeside Box Office on 0115 846 7777
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