Ulster American: Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir’s Assistant Director Blog #4
26 July 2018 ← return to listing
[3 minute read]
This week, Ulster American assistant director, Kolbrún
turns her thoughts to how audiences might respond to this brutally
funny and unrelenting new play by David Ireland.
Suddenly things happen really fast. Gareth Nicholls keeps saying
'it's getting there' and it is, it is getting there
fast. The milk carton in my fridge has the date of the opening
night on it, that's how close we are to being done. The stage
is set, the lights are focused, beards have been trimmed, shoes are
worn in, props finalised, music timed. Later this week the audience
comes in for the first preview and then suddenly, suddenly the
festival is upon us.
I love tech week, it's when all the teams involved in the show
come together to work towards making the show as good as we can
make it. You sometimes forget how many different artists it takes
to make 80 minutes of entertainment until they all rush in on the
morning of the tech. But a show is nothing without the audience and
with this show, more so than any other I have worked on that
doesn't include audience participation, what an audience will make
of it is going to be so exciting to find out. Will you be thrilled?
Angry? Shocked? Delighted? All four? How will you respond?
Image: Lucianne McEvoy in rehearsals. Photo: Lauren
This is the first ever (super dark) comedy I have worked on.
We've laughed a lot. But we've also got used to the jokes, so what
we used to laugh out loud at we now smile at. Getting fresh eyes on
it is going to inform us so much. Robbie Jack had a great way of
describing David Ireland's work; he said that he gives you three
ways to score the goal, meaning unlike a lot of comedy writing that
has to be delivered a certain way for the punchline to hit David's
work is funny whether you play it straight, big or with a knowing
wink and nod. That is a brilliant gift to the actors and director
but it means the work at this last stage is all about knowing where
to pitch it, choosing the way to score the goals.
We know the characters, we know the play, we know everyone's
intent, their flaws, the things they hear and the things they
ignore for one reason or another, their relationships to each
other, where the power shifts, what needs space and what needs
pace. Now the work is about the arc of the show, and the flavour of
it. It is about doing full runs and seeing the entire journey.
Because it is funny but it is also about so many dead serious
things. It is a rollercoaster that swings between the belly
laughing ridiculous and the hold your breath harrowing and both
those atmospheres must be created. I guess we'll only know once
you've taken your seats and the lights come up. But I think we're
getting there. We're getting there fast. See you soon.
Fri 3 - Sun 26 Aug
The Assistant Director position for Ulster
American is supported by
The JMK Trust. Kolbrún Björt Sigfúsdóttir is a
Leverhulme Arts Scholar and recipient of the JMK regional bursary
funded by the Leverhulme Trust Arts Scholarships Fund.