Jason Salmon talks about directing Little Light by Alice Birch which opens next week.
This is the second Alice Birch play you’ve directed. What draws you to her work?
There are several things, the first being how she writes the characters. I find that regardless of the subject of the play, all the characters feel very real; they each have traits that I see in me or those around me which instantly makes me connect with and relate to them.
I also love the language she uses, which is simple yet often poetic, and the more I read and re-read the text the more I find hidden away which is just brilliant. Even after rehearsing for many weeks; the cast and I are finding new ways of looking at it which is adding even more depth to the performances.
What are the key themes of Little Light?
Family, love and loss are all key to the play, as is the past and how as people we all have different ways of dealing with events. The play asks you to consider if there is a “right” or “wrong” way to deal with things, and how much of something is too much?
Tell us about your cast.
It’s a small cast with seasoned SLT member, Kate Monro, and three new members, Elodie, Alistair and Alpha. All of them have been an absolute pleasure to work with and have brought such energy to rehearsals. We’ve spent a lot of time together to really get to the core of the characters, and as a result they’ve delivered honest, touching performances. I couldn’t have asked for more.
What challenges are you finding in directing it?
A big challenge so far has been ensuring that the performances do justice to the script and convey the passion and emotion of the characters without going over the top. I find that when working with material like this it can be easy to go too far and cross the line into performances that lose the reality and become caricatures.
Also as it’s the first show of the new season, and our 50th year, I’m keen to maintain the high quality that we have here at SLT and get the season off to the best possible start!
‘Little Light’ opens our 2017 Season and plays in the Upper Hall at Stanley Halls from Tuesday, February 7-11. Tickets are available here.