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Friday, 11 November 2011

A Lunchtime Drama

I did something unusual at lunchtime today. Something I have never done before. I went to the theatre. The Playhouse actually, where they were presenting a reading of Harold Pinter's "Umbrellas". A short sketch that apparently hasn't been seen since 1960. It has recently been rediscovered. Quite bizarrely, it was first performed at the Playhouse as part of a bigger revue show all those years ago.
Two actors who are presently appearing at the Playhouse; Ian Bartholomew and William Hoyland performed the sketch under the direction of Giles Croft a couple of times. We then discussed the meaning of the work. Who the two men were and what the metaphor of the umbrella meant. Then the audience were asked a few questions about what lighting might work best, the possible location of the scene, sound effects etc before the two actors came back on stage in costume and performed it again using our input and decisions.

It was very interesting to watch from a performers point of view; being a sort of actor myself, of how an actor thinks about their character, the words that they are saying and how they relate to the other characters and the world they are inhabiting. At the end, I asked Giles if they all wouldn't mind posing for a photo; which was duly granted, as you can see. Ian (left), William (right) and Giles (standing).

If you are at all interested in reading about the history of the sketch and seeing the script for yourself, I have found it on this website.