STEP UP Creatives ensemble: Goldfish rehearsals by Lesley Emery

Saturday 26th May. Sun shining, top down on the mini and Mumford and Sons playing loud: the perfect start to another exciting day working on Goldfish. After a discussion with Tilly (the director of Goldfish), Tallie and Beth, the two designers for the show, had posted images online to inspire the staging so we started by looking at these.

Ink stains  Blurred train window

Water, blurry images, staining all combined to help us see the many faceted world of the piece. We then started playing with materials and looking at how these could work for particular characters and situations. What could we use to wrap tear or obscure? Melissa stepping under and over sheets of plastic to enter Sue and Johnny’s murky world and Geoff ripping a hole to expose James’ ”real “ life. As an actor you wouldn’t normally be exposed to this process but for me it was a great tool for looking at my characters from a feeling rather than a thinking perspective.

Lunch over we started the thinking work.  Ollie, Jenny and I started to turn the blurry world of You, me and the rest of them into concrete by building up the sights, sounds and smells of Sue and Johnny’s world: the rubbish outside the door, the barking dog, the children playing in the distance. Was there an ulterior motive for Johnny to be with Sue or did they just fall in love?

Becci and I then looked at Rachel in False Witness. She tries so hard to be good as a child but never succeeds in her mother’s eyes. Religion is obviously a key part of their family life but does that lead to an excuse for cruelty on her mother’s part?  Are Ella’s fat fingers mocked or just the cute symbol of a toddler?

As always the time had flown and we had to finish when it was just getting really interesting. Back into the mini, mind racing with homework, body buzzing with excitement. Can’t wait to do it all again on Sunday. Talented people, brilliant writing, so lucky to be part of it all. Goldfish is going to be an amazing show.

Goldfish is a brand new piece of theatre created by the STEP UP Creatives Ensemble from a selection of the winning scripts from the DREAM UP Writing Competition.

The piece explores the blurred and murky realm of memory through a series of stories – diving deep into our ability to remember and examining the powerful part played by others as memories resurface over time.

Guildhall Theatre, Derby Thursday 21 June 7.30pm

Lakeside Arts Centre Friday 22 June 7.30pm

Glentworth Village Hall, Lincolnshire 23 June 7.30pm

Thomas Cranmer Centre, Nottinghamshire 24 June 7.30pm

For more information and to book tickets visit the New Perspectives website

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