We worked really hard on the physicality of seven year-olds. We had to work on letting go of inhibitions we’ve gained as adults and tap into the quirks and restlessness we had forgotten, so that’s been challenging but also really fun. It’s been great to get a glimpse of my cast as they might once have been as children. We wanted to make sure that the actors were convincingly children without being caricature or over the top.
It’s set in the Forest Of Dean so we have had a accent challenge as well. The script itself is written in that accent so any decision to move away from it would mean basically rewriting the whole play. The accent does get stuck in your head after a while and takes a while for our brains to switch back to our own accents!
I’ve staged the show in the round as I really wanted the audience to feel part of the world around the children, there in the forest with them. Staging in the round does come with its challenges however, as actors have to often face directions which don’t always feel natural in order not to block the audience out of the action.
Lighting a stage in the round comes with its own challenges as well, so we’ve used a lot of cross stage lights to make sure we capture all the possible angles, as well as the LED lights SLT have to add colours that represent the forest and the summer’s day.