How do actors keep busy while stage lights are dimmed and curtains closed? Director of Educating Rita, David Addenbrooke and Lismore Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, Kylie Fuad came up with the idea of engaging their actors in a filmed, rehearsed, abridged reading of Macbeth.
Elyse Knowles (Rita) will play Lady Macbeth and Gray Wilson (Frank) will take on the role of Macbeth. They will be supported by a small group of LTC actors in this 45 minute version of Shakespeare’s play.
‘The stage remains set for Educating Rita while these marvellous actors bide their time’ said Director David Addenbrooke, ‘but there’s only so much rehearsing they can do so the idea is to engage them in a new project to keep them fresh and involved’
The innovative project is a collaboration with Star Court Theatre. Covid19 has hit Star Court Theatre hard as they have had to close for several months. This small business, run by Sarah-Jane Loxton and Sharon Rigby, is trying to stay afloat in these turbulent times for the arts. Sarah-Jane, a local performer herself, is keen to bring live performance back to Star Court once it is safe to do so. In the meantime Star Court Theatre has opened its space for Lismore Theatre Company for this project.
‘I’ve loved being part of various performances with Lismore Theatre Company including last year’s production of The Vagina Monologues so it’s wonderful to work with the Company again- this time in our theatre space’ said Sarah-Jane.
LTC has brought several plays to the larger Star Court Theatre stage in the past and in this time of the one person per 4 square metre rule, the cast can safely come together to keep creating while the company waits to reopen Rochdale Theatre for Educating Rita once it is safe to do so.
‘With social distancing an issue, our own Rochdale Theatre stage was too small for 12 actors. So we are delighted that Star Court Theatre agreed to let us use their stage’ said Kylie Fuad ‘and we will film the performance to be available on line.’
The rehearsed reading of this abridged version of Macbeth will be filmed on August 22 and released online shortly afterwards for public viewing. Audiences are encouraged to follow the Lismore Theatre Company Facebook page for updates.
– Jenny Dowell, Publicity Officer, Lismore Theatre Company