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Assistant Director blog 4

Assistant Director blog 4

27th February 2017

It’s been a while since I last shared an update of the myriad of activity here at the New Vic…Apologies for my virtual absence…a lot has happened since we last spoke! We completed our record breaking run of The Snow Queen with more than 42,000 people seeing the show, almost 22,000 of which were local schoolchildren; it is a joy to see our audiences delighting in our annual festive gift. At the end of January we sadly said goodbye The Snow Queen cast along with our extraordinary 24 person strong Young Company.

Our co-production of Cyrano with Northern Broadsides opened at the start of February and has received rave reviews and responses from our audiences. Sadly the show completed its run here last Saturday night and has now set sail on a UK wide tour. Details of the tour can be found by clicking here… 

Meanwhile, we are busy in rehearsals for our next show Beryl which opens this week and runs until the 18 March. Beryl is a warm and witty celebration of the life of unsung sporting legend Beryl Burton. A working class mum from Leeds, she cycled her way into the record books, becoming the greatest ever woman on two wheels. Her remarkable story was, largely, forgotten but as we come to the end of rehearsals we look forward to sharing it with you from the end of this week.

Beryl was written by Maxine Peake, it premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse back in 2014. However this is the first time it has been staged in-the-round – providing us with some really exciting staging options! Often, before seeing a New Vic production, our audiences will ask “How on Earth will they do that? In the round?” Just as we had the joy of putting 101 Dalmatians on stage Beryl presents us with the delicious challenge of staging worldwide time trails and road races across the Yorkshire Dales…..

Our fabulous cast Lucy, Rob, Hannah and Robin have more than risen to the challenges of this piece. These four versatile performers collectively play 39 different characters as they appear through Beryl’s story. The rehearsal room has provided much hilarity….rehearsals are a journey of discovery; raising questions, finding creative solutions, bouncing ideas off each other for creative inspiration, all steered by our director, Gemma Fairlie.

On top of a busy rehearsal room and auditorium our Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme Introduction to Directing course is well underway. We have 10 local participants who gather for twice weekly sessions as we begin to open up the world of directing to them. Oh and if that wasn’t enough…planning is well underway for the next three shows in our season… Dial M for Murder, Anna Of The Five Towns and Around the World in 80 Days…and dare I say it, even next Christmas…

Bryn Holding


Article by Claire Walker

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