Been quite busy with rehearsals for Top Girls. I don't think I've ever been so proud of a cast that I've worked with. There's not one slacker, weak link, under dedicated person, or anybody who thinks their role is more, or less important than anyone else's. All that makes for a really strong and supportive company, where there's so much attention to detail and specifity, and maybe a little bit of menstrual syncing...
The more we work on this play, the more and more there is to take from it: Sign of the brilliant writing. Act one is such a tricky scene to do - it's been a real technical challenge; being truthful, specific, communicating and engaging with each other, whilst making our own stories clear, talking over each other, cutting in on each other and eating, drinking, and remembering to "get drunk". Brilliant fun.
We did our first full run on Thursday. With just under 2 weeks to go we're in a really good place - so much room to hone in more and more detail. Feel so proud to be part of the cast. The final scene had me in tears, and even again later on when I thought about it. Isn't that the sign of a great play? When it stays with you after the performance? It was so painful, Joyce and Marlene are so hurt, and so unable to connect.
Top Girls is described as a feminist play - that's such a misleading description in its limited dimension. We aren't fed any idealogies, or any rights or wrongs about the roles and rights of women. But we are shown so many sides of the coin, the things to be lost and gained, the pay-offs, the rewards and pitfalls for following your needs, hearts, minds, duties, social conventions, the individual, the collective. It goes on and on.
Listened to this interview with Max Stafford Clark in 2011 - interesting points about how relevant the play still is 30 years on. In his words, "things have changed but nothing's moved on."
Interesting listening from 3:50 and from 21:36...
actor, general alright person and tree-climber extraordinaire.