People, Places & Things – Five minutes with Jeremy Herrin

The UK tour of People, Places & Things has officially begun and to celebrate we caught up with Headlong’s Artistic Director Jeremy Herrin to get sneaky behind-the-scenes insight into the company’s ★★★★★ smash hit…


Portrait. 2012, Credit Johan Persson/Why did you decide to tour People, Places & Things?
I think it’s important to share this story around the country. It made such an impact when we did it before that, as a national touring company, Headlong should invest in getting the show out and about.

Tell us a little bit about the play.
It’s a tale of one woman’s battle with addiction. She’s a challenging person who happens to be an actress. Her struggle to survive involves her addressing fundamental questions PPTabout who she is, but who is that?

Why is addiction an important story to bring to audiences across the country?
If people aren’t directly affected by it, they know someone who is. We can all relate to a direct or indirect degree.

People, Places & Things was originally a piece of new-writing commissioned by Headlong. What initially attracted you to Duncan Macmillan’s script?
Its humanity, its intellectual rigour, its jokes, its opportunity for great performances, its thrills, its theatricality, its soulfulness, its wisdom.

Who do you think this production will appeal to in particular?
Everyone will get something out of it: first time theatre goers as well as regular attendees. Older audiences will appreciate the conflicts and tensions in the piece and youngsters will enjoy how visceral and explosive it is. And vice versa.

PPT - Social Media

The characters in this production are complex. What do you hope that the new cast will bring out of the production?
Their own insights and truths, to find their own ways of communicating the power of this piece.

What do you hope audiences will take away from this production?
A sense that theatre is the most entertaining and lively way to grapple with complex subjects. That whether we are addicts or not we all understand Emma’s contradictions. Her will to survive and overcome her obstacles speaks to us all about the challenges we face in life and how we all hope to survive with dignity and self respect.


Following a critically acclaimed, sold out season at the National Theatre, People, Places & Things hits our stage 24-28 Oct. For more info and to book, click here.

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Junkyard Rehearsal Diary – Week 6

Honey we’re Home!

Tech week always makes my heart beat a little faster and harder because it means we’re getting closer to finally sharing it with audiences. What will they think? Will they love it, hate it, laugh at the jokes, be touched by the tender moments or will they *blink blink scratch heads* at the whole thing? You just never know! I suppose that’s the beauty and curse of finally opening the doors to meet the unknown.  We’ve been working hard though and it feels so good to meet our gawjuss set in all its glory and enjoy the splendours of the design elements coming together to sprinkle gold dust on what has been achieved so far.

Songs have been changed, text has been slashed and new text inserted, movement has been tightened up, costumes have been poked and prodded – no stone has been left unturned. Everyone’s battered but the commitment to Junkyard continues to drive everything forward. It’s been a tough week and there’s been a fair few changes but nothing has been in vain.

The actors have been absolute stars and I always think of them as a sort of breed of demi-god because the stamina and strength demonstrated has been..well godly lol… Still they experiment, still they remain fully focused and highly charged, still they have fun and look out for each other. They have worked so hard and I’m sure that everything that has been achieved from the 16th of January till now will reap its full rewards. Previews are about to come thick and fast and Press Night forever looms but of course this will only be the beginning. As the weeks pass and the show continues its journey on to Theatr Clwyd and The Rose, Kingston more discoveries will be made and the production will continue to grow and soar. I’m pleased that I’ll be witness to it all.

It’s been so lovely to share a few thoughts over this period and I’ll be sad to say goodbye *sniff sniff.* But it’s time to give birth. One final push and we’ll soon be holding a new baby in our arms:

….Her name is JUNKYARD…

Michal xx

Written by Michal Keyamo
Originally published at: https://headlong.co.uk/work/junkyard


Bristol Old Vic’s Spring Season continues with Junkyard 24 Feb-18 Mar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Meeting Fiz – Junkyard’s Erin Doherty

JunkYard. Photo by Mark Douet _31B5750.jpg

Ahead of previews this week, we managed to pull Bristol Old Vic Theatre School alumni Erin Doherty away from rehearsals for a quick chat about all things Junkyard. Here she fills us in on what to expect from her character Fiz in our latest Spring Season show.


Tell us a little bit about Junkyard
Junkyard is about a group of kids who have been given up on and tells the story of someone coming into their lives and giving them something to believe in (although the path to believing in it may not be as slick as that sentence!)

Can you tell us a bit about Fiz?
Fiz is a thirteen-year-old force to be reckoned with. She makes her own rules, and lets you know about them. She will not be told what to do or how to behave. Fiz lives at home with her Mum and older sister of two years, Debbie. She is determined to end up like neither of them.

How would you describe the music in Junkyard?
Genius.

Are you excited about returning to Bristol Old Vic?
I cannot wait. I love it here. Bristol will always remain a very special place because of training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School for three years, it’s home.

Did you play on adventure playgrounds when you were growing up? Do you have any funny stories?
As a matter of fact, I did! My sister and I went to loads of different ones when we were growing up. I vaguely remember getting the physics of a seesaw wrong once and thrusting my face into the handlebar… I’ve not seesawed since.

What’s been the funniest moment that’s happened in the rehearsal room so far?
I must say, with Jeremy, the rehearsal room is always laughing. He is brilliant and hilarious and it’s infectious.


Bristol Old Vic’s Spring Season continues with Junkyard 24 Feb-18 Mar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

 

Junkyard Rehearsal Diary – Week 5

I can’t believe how quickly these last few weeks have flown by. It feels like only yesterday when we all met for the first time at the meet and greet and now here we are. We have a show on our hands people! 🙂

As last weeks usually go there has been a lot of activity – The musicians joined us for most of the week to rehearse all of the songs and embed them within the scenes; a day was dedicated to hair cuts/dyes and styling (honestly, it felt like Stars in Their Eyes!). We changed and tightened the movement and worked the transitions to make them slicker and more interesting; we had an afternoon of filming for marketing.  Goodness, this week definitely required good organisation. I have to give a shout out to our DSM Jen who has managed the room fantastically with its constant comings and goings (with my help obviously 😉 *cough cough*).

We had our first stagger-through which was really useful for everyone. Jeremy has worked hard with the company on individual scenes so it was great to start pulling all the scenes together into bigger chunks stopping only to tweak bits and pieces. It was great practice for the company and great for us as Creatives to see the full picture. We then dived into our first run through (Eeek!)  joined by a few extra guests from Headlong and I’m glad to say that  it went really well.

Now call me a nerd but I love making notes. I love Detail. Detail Detail Detail. If I could marry Detail I would Lol. But what I love more is when actors implement notes given and you see performances taken to the next level because of those finer details. This was definitely the case when we had our second run-through on Friday which in a way felt like a bigger event –  maybe because it was the final run-through before heading down to Bristol or maybe because we had a larger audience courtesy of the production’s co-producers, which can be completely nerve-wracking but is a necessary stage in any rehearsal process. What is certain though is that everyone Stepped. Up. Their. Game. Listen, if this is what we’re working with at this stage I have no doubt that everyone will knock it out of the park when the show finally kicks of in T – minus 4 days.

Bye Bye London. Hello Bristol. Tech. Previews. Press Night. Here we go!

Speak soon!

Michal x

Written by Michal Keyamo
Originally published at: https://headlong.co.uk/work/junkyard


Bristol Old Vic’s Spring Season continues with Junkyard 24 Feb-18 Mar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.

Junkyard Rehearsal Diary – Week 4

“We’re cooking now” – the perfect statement to round up week four of rehearsals (thanks Kevin) – and we really are cooking up a delicious pot of musical goodness. Every week we’re given new treats; a talented company, a rehearsal set, a trip to the Vench in Bristol and a new trailer. This week we were joined by our musicians and spent half a day, led by our composer Stephen, integrating the band and the company. I’m happy to report that they played nice. N’aww.

As for the rest of the week… we got through the whole play and by early next week – we will have gone through the play twice. We’ve been lucky to have had a five week rehearsal period because it’s meant that the scenes have been given the time and focus that they need. You know one thing that I love about rehearsals is the continuous discovery of story, key moments, character journeys and of the deeper meaning of songs.  There are various modes of storytelling in this production and with the time given we’ve built a strong language – it’s been such a pleasure to be a part of its unfolding.

I can’t wait to share more about costumes. Everytime I go into the production office, I sneak a peak at the rail of clothes – teasing me from the corner of the room – and try and guess what belongs to whom. At least I have a permanent reference by way of fashion vision boards in the rehearsal room to give me a taste of what each character will look like. No doubt, the costumes will play a big part in providing a strong contextual basis for the era in which Junkyard is set, which is important I think – Looking at the ‘then’ to take into the ‘now.’ It will also be interesting to see how the actors transform when they put their characters’ threads on. I have no doubt that they will wear the clothes and not let the clothes wear them. I butchered that quote but you get my drift.

Anywho, week five, the final week in London before heading to Bristol for tech and Press Night. It will be another week of hard-work, discovery and teamwork. *Rubs hands together* Let’s go get’ em.

Michal x

Written by Michal Keyamo
Originally published at: https://headlong.co.uk/work/junkyard


Bristol Old Vic’s Spring Season continues with Junkyard 24 Feb-18 Mar. For more info and to book tickets, click here.