As we draw nearer to our first show of semester two, have a read of what the production team have to say about working on Psyche with 3BUGS Fringe Theatre!
“Psyche is the brain child of Alex Wilcox and I scrolling through every fairy tale and myth we could find to make into a physical theatre piece of cuteness that we came up with on one afternoon at a bus stop. Over the summer a lack of commitments meant that I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of empty space in my head for my imagination to run wild and begin conjuring up some of the images and aesthetics of Psyche whilst Alex and I formalised the script. After 3Bugs decided that the show sounded somewhat viable and potentially entertaining it was a whirlwind from there on in. Auditions were that week and by that time the following week we had a beautiful cast of seven bright eyed and bushy tailed members unaware of the torment I was about to put them through!
“Our first rehearsal was meant as an introduction to lifting in pairs and lifting as a group. I look back now and wonder if I threw them into the deep end a little too much, as some had no physical theatre experience whatsoever. But, immediately the cast understood the physical commitment this show would take and after only a few rehearsals each of them trusted one another and myself (still unsure if that’s a good thing or not!) to catch them, throw them and lift each other way above their heads even when terrified of heights… sorry Rosie! One of my main mantras is that no matter what gender, size, shape or age you are with a little bit of belief and some pixie dust anyone is able to lift and be lifted and that has been proven no doubt by this amazing group of people. Not long into the process we had to say goodbye to our initial Second Sister which was enormously sad and a little bit of a knock back considering this show is such an ensemble show through and through; some cast members never leave the stage and those that do only have a quick and short breath before trotting on with their ant puppet then being lifted and twisted to become an eagle. But when we finally found Katy as our official and final Second Sister and she fitted into the cast like a glove, learning the techniques and style of the show as quickly as anyone else, we knew that this thing we were making was real and had the potential to be something quite special.
“It is now the Christmas holidays and I have been without my patient little guinea pigs for over two weeks and I can’t tell you how much I miss their enthusiasm and pure respect and kindness towards each other. But week zero rehearsals are exactly 8 sleeps away and I cannot tell you how excited I am to shimmy out the old workouts and get them back and ready for the 17th – 20th of January, four days of me as an emotional wreck; nervous, ecstatic, passionate, unbelievably proud and undeniably terrified… and that’s if everything goes to plan! I cannot tell you how much I have loved creating this little piece of theatre with everyone involved and truly hope for those that come and see it that they too will feel that a little bit of sunshine has been shared with them.
“Alex as Dramaturg, Alice as Musical Director, Katie as Stage Manager and Sarah as Producer have each been an absolute dream to work with each of them bringing their own amazing skill set and throwing in ideas, encouragement and glitter when the rest of us are dead on the floor. Without them this show would be a couple of people skipping about in a room, and I love them to pieces.” – Laurs Oakley, Director/ Movement Director
“What is a Dramaturg? That’s a common question I get (and ask). Essentially I’m just an extra pair of eyes and ears and one extra brain, one a bit further outside the rehearsal bubble. That rehearsal bubble is looking very cool though. Most of all I’ve spent time, one on one, with each member of the cast. Besides it being fun to get to know them all, they have been exciting to work with. We’re finding a lot of unexpected things out of these age old words. A lot of emotion, a lot of humanity and some really dumb jokes. No character is perfect, no message is perfect, no story is all encompassing (or not by today’s standards). We’re making a story about love, jealousy, family but we’re also making a story about stories. I like stories. So come watch and enjoy this story that we’ve been having so much fun creating.” – Alex Wilcox, Dramaturg
“Appearing sporadically armed with a tattered script and a keyboard, I have floated in and out of rehearsals, contributing the odd dun-dun-duuuuuh at the opportune moment and watching how ‘Psyche’ has materialised from conception to production. Congratulations to all cast and crew who have run round rehearsal rooms, perfected the splits and executed complicated lifts whilst I sat at the keyboard, lifting nothing more complicated than a cup of tea.
With instructions in the early script such as “falling music down and down a scale until near the bottom we hear crashes and screams and plain old death” and the classic “music is s**t scary now” there was a lot of opportunity for ‘Psyche’ to develop its own musical language. The earthy, mythical world Laurs and Alex conceived lends itself to folky, gypsy-jazz inspired sound world, with the occasional glimpse of theatre glitter *cue the glockenspiel*. Improvisation is a very distinctive feature of both folk and jazz musics, and this script invites musical ‘noodling’ and jamming. As such, the music is never the same twice! The realisation of this score – for which almost no notated music exists – has been made possible by the incredible musical talents of Will Tuckwell (guitar), Jacob Standbridge (trumpet, percussion) and Stuart Emmerson (melodica, percussion), affectionately known for this production as The North Road Gypsy-Jazz Band.” – Alice Brown, Composer
“Hello, producer here! Many and varied have been my responsibilities so far and I have loved them all! Right from sending many an email to many a personage and organising our variety night, to standing in a pitch black room for an hour holding a jar containing fairy lights whilst a Dramaturg attempted to take photos of it. I cannot emphasise enough the commitment of both the cast and the crew who have worked tirelessly to create a truly beautiful show and one that I can truthfully say is quite different to anything I have seen in the Guild to date. A huge amount of love and respect to the lovely Laurs whose talent and concept for this piece is remarkable and Alex who has brought the magical (and occasionally ridiculous) language to life. A huge shout out to Katie, Elliot and Ben our stage management crew who have done an incredible job with set and props (wait until you see the ants – they are adorable) and Alice and her North Road Gang for bringing all of the jazziness. Last and not least to our wonderful, wonderful cast, without you there would be no show and your talent and downright adorableness and hard work has been the best and I love you all. This is gonna be a great show so please come, I promise you will like it. Much love x” – Sarah Alwright, Producer
“It’s been a joy so far to Stage Manage Psyche, and I only wish I could have been in rehearsals more often! Who would have guessed my degree would have got in the way of me making ant puppets? Every rehearsal I see, the cast have gained confidence when executing the fantastic lifts and movement, the beauty of the script is only becoming more prevalent with every minute spent with Laurs and Alex, and I simply can’t wait to see what strange things Jade and Joe are made to experiment with in the rehearsal room. I must commend my fantastic assistant stage managers, Ben Cammack and Elliot Mitchell, who have really thrown themselves in to not only prop-searching, but prop-making! You’ll have to come and see the show to see what beautiful props they’ve spent hours (literally!) making, but let’s just say they’re get you quivering with excitement, and sure to hit the spot *wink wink prop puns you’ll only understand if you see the show*! We hope to have some beautifully painted flats ready for the show too, and I have to thank the members of ArtSoc (and a few others) for their dedication to helping us make Laurs, Alex, Sarah and my vision literally come to life. The talent in ArtSoc will transport you to a heavenly skyline heard of in Roman myths, but soon plunge you into the Underworld (with some pretty fairy lights too to keep it fun). I must congratulate Laurs on her wonderful direction. So rarely have I seen such a fun, yet dedicated atmosphere in a rehearsal room. Also, well done Alex for Dramaturg-ing those actors into whatever a Dramaturg does – the language is sublime and I have feeling that’s down to you, Wilcox. I cannot wait to see the production fall into place in the next few weeks as finally we get to combine acting, gorgeous music and set. You really would be a love-sick fool to miss it.” – Katie Webster, Stage Manager