With just over a week to go until the performances of Likeminded’s Production Life After Life, I spoke to the director, Christopher Woodward and assistant director, Caitlin Bradley about how the production is coming along and about why people should come and see the play.
So, how are rehearsals going?
Chris: Considering we lost our main actor 7 weeks into rehearsals, things are going really well. The relationship between the 3 actors is fantastic and for me that’s one of the most important things. You need the actors to get on with one another, which then leads to a relaxing and fun environment to be in. The energy between them has been spot on and I can’t have asked for a better team.
Caitlin: The rehearsals are going so good! I am so proud of both Peter and Bob, honestly, I sit beaming with joy watching them act, their energy between one another on stage is powerful and I’ve read and heard this script a million times and it still makes me cry. I just can’t wait to perform it to see what others think because I know it’s a really difficult subject for everyone including myself, as the opening night Friday 12th October will be the 1st anniversary date for the loss of my grandad, I’m not trying to get a sob story in. I just want to people to talk about this topic because 1 in 2 people will suffer with some sort of cancer in their life time... I am not being depressing, I want people to open up to talk about it and this play ‘Life after Life’ says a thousand words.
Are you at the point in your schedule where you thought you would be?
Chris: Never in a million years did I think we would be at this stage where we are experimenting with everything down to improvisation, that’s how comfortable the actors are after 3 weeks it’s astonishing. What you’ve got to remember is; I’ve only had my new main actor Peter Durr with us going on 3 weeks due to the original actor no longer being able to participate, it’s been a blessing, it really has. It’s true what they say, “everything happens for a reason”.
We are well on point with schedule. We have got a lot of breathing space to create something even better than what we have already got and that’s a great position to be in.
Caitlin: Well with regards to what happened I think Peter has been amazing to catch up! Also, Bob too because he has had to change who is he’s working with and it does matter massively because its different energy, different timing on saying the lines it matters greatly. If we had Peter from day one I would be saying we could perform this script blindfolded but unfortunately it didn’t happen like that, but how far everyone has come is unbelievable. I do think it’s because we were having two to three rehearsals a week, which originally it was only one so I do think we have connected more because of having more time each week; so, everything happens for a reason and I believe Peter Durr was made for this role.
How well do you think the journey from paper to production has gone, and how have you found the transition?
Chris: Paper to production has been challenging, yet rewarding. We have learnt so much on this journey and we still continue to learn. You don’t learn this shit in the classroom I’m telling you, it’s hands on, things going pear shaped is were you learn the most. So, embrace the fuck ups I say, it makes you better.
Caitlin: It’s been amazing, I believe it is everything and more than what we expected it was going to be. Chris said from day one to get off script as soon as and it’s so important because when you’re off script, that’s when the real acting kicks in because you see the character within them and it is lovely to watch. For me it’s those little details like for example the costumes for me it makes all the difference when Pete has his gown on with his blue shoe covers, I know it’s Jimmy his character because it changes his physicality. We just need to keep running it now but I believe me we are more than ready!
Are you excited for everyone to see what you have been working on?
Chris: We certainly are, it’s original work, different, we have pushed the boundaries yet again with this play. We can’t wait to showcase what we are about and what we are capable of. With this play it will show with the right attitude, the right team and the passion to fuel your vision, anything is possible. We want to make a mark in the Liverpool theatre scene and earn our stripes which we will come 12-13th October with this breathtaking play!!
Caitlin: Yes, I can’t wait for everyone to see it! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone, I just hope we make Ashley Ali proud!
Why is it important that everyone comes to see this play, and why what can they expect?
Chris: Firstly to support original work, secondly this play is a rollercoaster from start to finish, like that of real life. It’s directed and written for that purpose. Honestly come and see what we are about and embrace to be challenged emotionally. If you don’t cry, laugh or both then you are not normal. I’ve had my actors in bits in rehearsals emotionally as well as myself. That’s how powerful this original piece is. Expect the unexpected and enjoy a Likeminded productions event!!
Caitlin: I think it is important because it is a true subject which is effecting lives like never before, it’s recent and I think so many people can relate to this subject, no in fact I know that everyone in this world can relate because it’s living and dying told by two men who both have different viewpoints.
Please bring tissues because it is emotional but that’s okay, you’re allowed to cry... But, hopefully you will also be crying with laughter. This play couldn’t be more fitting to its name ‘Life after Life’, it is written to have highs and lows just like life and it would mean the world to myself and this company if you would come and show your support to us.
Tickets for this play are available from Ticket Quarter here: https://bit.ly/2yaqnu6 and are selling fast so make sure you get your ticket soon for this amazing play.
Words by Meg Kay
Images by Andrew Smith