Welcome to the SUTCo Spotlight!
James, Eleanor and Isabel, 'monster.' Prod Team
Ahead of next week's show, 'monster.' I sat down with James (Writer/Director), Eleanor (Producer/Choreographer) and Isabel (Production Manager) to see how the process was going.
George: Hey guys, thanks for coming down! Tell us a little bit about the show, I know you don’t like to give too much away…but just a little bit.
James: It’s a suspense thriller, there’s a lot of mystery elements to it as well… It’s a psychological drama, and a very weird play, I’ll say that now. There’s been a lot of moments in rehearsal that have been very funny to us, we’ve been corpsing and laughing, but hopefully that translates to a more interesting and ethereal…I’m gonna go with ethereal. It’s a play about relationships, we’ve got 3 different narratives and character arcs going on at the same time, all intermingling between each other.
G: Eleanor, first time producing…how have you found it?
Eleanor: A challenge to say the least. Juggling the fact that I’m the person to go to if you need help has been like, ‘well…I can’t help myself.’ But, I have enjoyed it overall, obviously there’s been stressful moments, and getting sponsors is always difficult, but I’ve had a lot of support from numerous sources.
G: And the show in particular? What is it about ‘monster.’ that you’ve enjoyed producing for?
E: I think the fact that it’s a new writing is great, when you explain the general plot line to sponsors they’re like, “ohh okay sounds kinda weird…” and they don’t really get it, but you can see the initial intrigue which is nice.
G: And you’ve done some choreographing? What’s that been like?
E: Yeah! It’s also been an extra challenge.
Isabel: You’ve come up with a lot of interesting dance move names…
E: Yes, dance move names. The Siamese Airplane, The Gorilla, The Puma, you know, lots of the classics. It’s been fun to work with the Shadows, and see how they work as actors.
G: Iz, the technical world of ‘monster.’ Second drama studio show for you now, how are you finding it?
I: It’s good fun. It’s really different to Spring [Awakening], because we’ve got a lot more set to work with…
G: More than two chairs…
I: Yeah, exactly. There's a lot going on technically. James’ ideas for sound and stuff which Jack [Goodison] has brought to life for us…
J: Super ethereal.
I: Yeah, it’s been really fun, taking on a lot more this time and being able to play around with it a lot more as it’s a new writing.
J: There’s nothing to base it on, it’s all just your own imagination. It’s been very fun in that way. Lots of creativity flowing.
G: Where did ‘monster.’ First come from? Where was it conceived, and how did it change throughout the years you’ve been working on it?
J: It was originally one, then became two narratives, and these narratives eventually changed so much over the past two years, it’s been bizarre. I came back to it after doing Beaker’s [Place] over summer and a whole new wave of creativity has been introduced. When the third narrative came into it, it cemented it really. I remember at home having a little think in the shower, and saying to myself, ‘this could really work here.’ I filtered the third narrative in and it really worked. From there it grew and developed and became this ‘thing’ which is now so close to happening which is very exciting.
G: So what you’re saying is you had a story and then added these new dimensions and narratives into the original storyline?
J: Yeah, over time the narratives moulded and bended at your whim to work with the show, and then eventually they became the show it is today, well, what it was a few months ago when Iz finally told me ‘you have to have a deadline by NOW.’
G: We’ve touched on it a little bit, but how has the rehearsal process been?
J: Well… unfortunately The Graduate took away a few of our actors…
G: I’ll be cutting that… [I didn’t]
J: Yeah cut that bit out haha [I didn’t], no because of other actors involvement in other shows, we’ve had an even shorter turnaround that we expected to have. After week 3 it really started to get heavy.
I: It’s been nice in terms of having the tri-narrative that you don’t need everyone at every rehearsal, you can have some people in one day and others in on other day. The break for people can be quite good.
G: I suppose that’s good as well as you can get your actors to watch the other scenes and give feedback. I find when you can take a step back and see where the rest of the show is going it’s really helpful.
E: Yeah it’s been good, it’s only in the runs that everyone else has been the other scenes, and everyone’s been amazed at how the scenes tie together and what everyone’s doing in their scenes, and how the narratives are different.
G: Last question, and I know I’m not gonna get a very good answer from this… but any moments to look out for?
*a large moment of silence*
J: Cool weird dances.
I: Listen to the sound. The sound is going to be sick.
*silence as the prod team try and think of interesting moments*
G: ‘Yeah I just can’t think of any interesting moments, in the entire show…’
J: No, nothing at all. Really I’m just concerned about giving anything away. Anything beyond the first few scenes is spoiler heavy. Look out for Waluigi.
J: He’s not actually in it, but there’s a particular movement which resembles one Mario Brother.*
G: Anything else you’d like to say?
*Pippa le Grand, SUTCo Chair enters the room*
Pippa: Jack Hewitt is incredibly weak.
G: In terms of physical strength or acting prowess?
Jack: I mean, neither of them are going well for me.
G: Anything else to add?
I: I think that’s the perfect place to end it.
*I would like to let our viewers know that I am aware that Waluigi is in fact, an evil counterpart of the Luigi, NOT a brother. Apologies to any offence caused.
When asked whether Waluigi was a brother to Wario, Martinet (Waluigi’s voice actor) stated that while he did not know, he felt that they were just "two nice, evil guys who found each other"
Wednesday 14th November - Saturday 17th November 2018
Doors open at 7:00, Show starts at 7:30
£5 adv. Wednesday
£7 (£6 adv.) Thursday - Saturday
Sheffield University Drama Studio, Glossop Road
Tickets available here
Content warning: Distressing scenes, scenes of a sexual nature, themes of mental illness, scenes of domestic violence, flashing lights, and strong language. Age recommendation 14+