The Thespians’ next production is ‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright, directed by Julie Root. We asked Julie a few questions to set the scene.
What is ‘Two’ about?
‘Two’ is both witty and thought-provoking; set in a traditional northern pub it follows an evening’s events as seen through the eyes of the pub-goers and the troubled landlord and landlady. It features 14 diverse characters; some endearing, some to be wary of and others just intriguing, all of which you recognise as people you know, met or have seen before in your local pub and all played by only two actors, Rebecca Sharratt and Steve Marsden. ‘Two’ is a play that is engaging throughout with a remarkable blend of humour and bleak sadness, proving that what you see on the outside doesn’t always match what’s on the inside.
You’ve mentioned that just two actors play all the parts. Is this a challenging play to direct?
This is a challenging play for both the actors and director because the different characters need to be clearly differentiated without being merely caricatures. To enable the pathos to be effectively communicated the audience needs to find the characters believable. However both Steve and Rebecca are experienced and talented actors and I’m confident that they will be successful in their characterisations.
Which are your favourite characters in the play?
I think probably the landlord and landlady because their creation is more detailed. I can identify with the facade of friendliness and bonhomie they are forced to present to their punters even when they are aching inside.
Have you been involved with other Thespians productions?
I joined the Thespians in 2003 and have been fortunate enough to play a number of challenging and enjoyable roles such as Mrs Shankland in ‘Separate Tables’, Mrs Allonby in ‘A Woman of No Importance’ and more recently Mrs Robinson in ‘The Graduate’. Although I have directed numerous productions whilst teaching Drama in Kirklees Secondary Schools, this is my debut for the Thespians. At last, having retired from teaching in the summer, I felt I had sufficient time to meet the demands of directing a play at The Lawrence Batley Theatre.
‘Two’ runs from 23-27 November. To book tickets, call 01484 430528 or visit www.thelbt.org