Looking up from the Gutter

As I said in yesterday’s post, my next dip into the archive has seen me reminiscing over the December 2009 production, Richard Crane’s ‘Under the Stars’. After the successful but troubled production of ‘The Crucible’ that dominated a significant part of that year and didn’t actually go up until mid-September – more of which in a future blog- time was a huge factor in getting this play together. This was no mean feat for the director Pat Williams, but even more of a challenge for its two central performers, Gill Challenger and K Isom. Playing two understudies, Regina and Stella, seemingly at polar opposites of the spectrum in terms of approach to their craft, the weight of line learning was tremendous, with both actors being on stage for the lion’s share of the piece and having numerous scenes together with dangerous similarities in style and substance.

Ably supported by John Mackintosh , James Mercer  and Dot Pullan  with a small team of disembodied voices backstage supplied by myself, Annie Norris and Vicky Pearce, this was another very successful run. Although comedic in many parts there were a number of poignant moments that were adeptly wrung out of the script by two performers who were very much at the top of their game and who worked magnificently together. It is no wonder that they have continued to be the ‘go to girls’ of The Matchbox in the intervening years. Indeed, I have made no secret that, at some directorial juncture in the future, I would like to find a piece that would again tap into the DNA of this experience and place K and Gill together in another play that would give them chance to show off such talents. There were certainly some shades of that alchemy in the last play, let’s hope an opportunity comes along for them to fully revisit it in the near future.

I hope you enjoy this collection of shots whether you were involved or not, it certainly brought a few good memories back for me. And with that said, keep an eye out on your inbox, as promised, there will be some important information regarding our next production in the next 48 hours.

Until then, you take care.

M x

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