August 2020 in Myatt's Fields Park
An impromptu staged reading of an (almost) all-female, socially distanced version of Love's Labours Lost played to little boys on bikes, parents with toddlers, local retired people, artists and the local community in lockdown London.
Directed by Rosie Hilal
AN ELECTRO-MUSIC TRAGEDY IN VERSE
Adapted and translated by Rosie Hilal from Jean Racine's 1690 tragedy, Berenice
HISTORY OF THE PRODUCTION SO FAR:
A huge thank you to our audience, our followers, our supporters, and to all our cast and team during Voila:
Artistic director, translator, exec producer - Rosie Hilal
Composer & MD- Tomas Wolstenholme
Director - David Furlong
Assistant Producers - Fanny Dulin, Phil Morris, Amber Savva, Kai-Gene Meisenhauer
Movement - Jenn Kay
Choreography - Jose Triguero
Costume - Charlie Baptist
Make-up - Kyla LaGrange
Lighting and Tech - Berta Pibernat-Trias
Cindy-Jane Armbruster - Phenice
Ariane Barnes - Arsace
Amanda Maud - Paulin
Matt Franco - Antiochus
Rosie Hilal - Berenice
Sam Lawrence - Titus
For a full list of thank yous to everyone who has helped develop the show, please go to our facebook page (Theatre Forge) or check out our social media.
Becoming Berenice at Voila! Europe festival 2018
Selling out three nights at the spacious Applecart Arts venue in East London we delighted new audiences, French and otherwise. Videos of audience responses can be found on our facebook page and social media! We have had interest from other venues and are exploring funding opportunities (as the show is large for a fringe production and we operate an Equity Contract policy). We are looking to publish the script along with a full run very soon!
Longfield Hall rehearsals and RADA industry sharing
Rada development gave us the opportunity to use their space again, this time to stage a public reading of Becoming Berenice which was attended by industry and academics from the French department of Cambridge University. The translation was well received and further development of the show encouraged. We thank all the actors involved on our facebook page (search Theatre Forge).
Women At RADA reading
Subsequently we were invited to perform a staged reading as part of the Women at Rada series. Their mission is to perform 100 plays written for or by women, to prove that these plays exist in their plenty.
Lucy Sheen, Sadie Clarke, Vivienne Gibbs, Jordan Mifsud and Gary Merry all rehearsed and performed this beautifully.
RADA script development
Lloyd Trott at RADA kindly offered to help us develop the script. RADA studios welcomed us and we culminated a week's hard graft of working through the entire play with three hoops and a scarf (!) with a staged read-through at the end of the week.
Alex Guelff, Pia de la Borde, Rebecca Scroggs, Olivia Vinall joined the FORGE crew as new members. We continued exploring the abstract movement and physical relationships of the characters.
Circumpherence Theatre Space - Physical Workshop
I was invited to borrow Circumference's temporary rehearsal space in King's Cross (). We used hoop and rope to explore the physical language of Becoming Berenice, with actors Imogen Daines, Viv Gibbs, Will Wolfe-Hogan and Cindy-Jane Armbruster.
Artists in residence at Theatre Deli - Scriptworkshop 1
Not only did we explore the first draft of the translation in Theatre Deli's South London venue in local Burgess Park, but we also transplanted rehearsals onto the playground to see how this abstract outdoor venue might support the heightened text.
Verdict: Racine, unlike Shakespeare, is not suited for outdoor performances- the delicate rhymes and rhythms benefit from a more intense focus in an enclosed space.
We made sure our cast could bring their kids to the workshop as we believe in supporting parents in the performing arts.