Epsilon Productions have recently finished their first week of rehearsals on their latest production Crystal Springs which open at The Park Theatre in London next month. As part of our series looking into the process of putting on a season on new work, we spend five minutes talking to cast members Lucy Roslyn, Tiana Khan, Rebecca Boey and Suzan Sylvester about the production.
So You’re about to go into Week Two of Rehearsals….How’s it going?
Lucy: I had the pleasure to work with the Epsilon team on a scratch night for Chicken Shop a few months back. Those five days were a brief and fascinating glimpse into how they work and the intensity with which they go into a project. I remember thinking how interesting it would be to go into full rehearsals with them and now, with Crystal Springs, it is exactly what I imagined it would be. Initially it is always very easy to feel intimidated in a room of talented people and wonder if you’re the cuckoo, but the ease with which everyone gets on and the openness of the room never fails to amaze me. They have put together a very supportive group and everyone wants to make something exceptional.
Tiana:I have so many positive thoughts and feelings. Meeting the full team (cast, directors, designers, etc.) on the first day was a great way to start. Talking through ideas and plans for set design, sound, lighting and costume has left me eagerly excited to see, hear and use everything.
Pearl: Lying on the floor in a fit of hysterics reciting the lyrics to an angry punk girl song was not how I thought rehearsals for a play on the very sombre subject of bullying and hate, would go. But the mood has been surprisingly jovial throughout the week.
Rebecca:After a week of Epsilon boot camp my body is aching but my mind is buzzing! I’m not sure if it’s the sit-ups or the hysterical laughter that has left my ribs in a universe of agony!
Lucy: Everyone wants to understand and risk something. Even at this early stage of rehearsal you can find yourself in a situation where you suddenly feel very strong feelings for a person when, in actual fact, you only met them the other day and you still can’t remember their last name!
Suzan: Being a dinosaur regards the Internet, this play has opened up a new, somewhat ugly and often superficial world of social media to me. Frightening, as someone in their 50′s,who remembers her family gathering ’round the telly in ’74 to watch our first colour programme – welsh sheepdog trails…the grass was GREEN!
Sounds like it’s been an intense week!
Tiana: We have unraveled so many layers to each character and to each event already, revealing what a dynamic piece this can and will be.
Pearl: The research has been brutal. The amount of young people traumatized after being bullied on the Internet is terrifying. The instant nature of social media and the perennial staying power of any comment or photograph is a scary platform to give to a vulnerable or angry young person. I can’t imagine going through puberty in such a public place. We have started some days discussing the fallout of cyber-bullying and making gut wrenching character decisions, but there has been a lot of laughter. Laughter and hugs. But maybe that’s what happens when you get a group of passionate women in a room!
Lucy:Kathy’s play is a delicate clockwork of tiny moments causing drastic damage, and to discuss those moments and hear them out loud is absolutely fascinating, and heartbreaking.
Rebecca: Jemma is a hard taskmaster but her pushing has unlocked some really interesting depths to my character. And we haven’t even hit the biggest scene for me yet… but you’ll have to come and see the play to find out what it is!
Suzan:For me the most important thing in a rehearsal room is for everyone to feel SAFE and this is happening in spades. I feel we are constantly moving forward on the floor as its happening and not a script locked in someone’s mind.
Final Thoughts as you head into Week 2?
Tiana: This week has been full of challenging work! I’m looking forward to seeing what else we can discover about ‘Crystal Springs’.
Pearl: I want to thank everyone involved for making me aware of such a current problem, and doing so with smiles on their faces.
Suzan: I’m proud to be working with such classy women’
Lucy:It is such a pleasure to be able to do this and I take my hat off to Epsilon for cutting straight to the heart. Bring it on!