Some days you are pigeon. Some days you are a statue. What day is it when you have to direct Neil Reading in a fat suit?
Natalie Beech’s script called for a man of much girth but the Cup of Androgyny brought forth nought but the sleight of waist. None of this has phased Hannah Torrance in the slightest. “It’s quite a chilled first day.” She explained how they read through with everyone trying the different characters. Only once did it feel right. “Because it’s such a wordy play we’ve just been line running and line running.”
Watching her direct shows the deft touch she has. She’s happy to let things go and give gentle nudges on the steering wheel to bring things back towards her vision. Usually she is writing for 14/48 and finds the directing much more relaxed. But surely directing is dealing with everyone’s problems.
“I don’t feel like that. I go to the design team and say ‘I’d like this’ and they go either yes or no and you accept it. Then you do the same with the tech team. And then you tell the actors what to do and sometimes they come up and go, ‘Or… what about this?’ And you go yes that’s chuffing beautiful let’s run with that. So it feels like I’ve done not a lot.”
But Torrance can pretend it’s all been plain sailing. We need to know about the true horrors of 14/48. Neil Reading in a fat suit.
“He’s enjoying it a bit too much. I’ve sent Sue (Reading’s partner) a picture and said ‘I think you need to come mentally prepared to see your future’.” When Reading does get past puberty and acheives this new level of midrift girth he will be a happy man.
“I’m can’t decide what’s more disturbing,” says Torrance. “If it’s when he’s absentmindedly rubbing his belly or if it’s when I walk back into the room and he starts rubbing his moobs.”
5th May 2017. 16:25.