So! I finally took the plunge and announced our 2019 show! I’m really delighted with the choice after 4 months of searching. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t find a modern play with increased cast size, relatively simple set and an engaging storyline…at least not one as good as ‘Elephants’! And I'm pretty sure that was my problem. By searching within the same genre and constantly making comparisons, I was setting myself an impossible task. The thrill of the first production – particularly when it got such a fantastic reception – was always going to mean that everything else was a poor second. By choosing ‘Dear Brutus’, I feel like I’ve moved into a different realm, both in the style of the play and in Barrie’s magical storyline! Other than the quality of the production and of the acting, there are very few comparisons that can be made with ‘Elephants’.
‘Dear Brutus’ does still provide all the essential elements I was looking for – comedy (both dark and light), pathos, and depth in Barrie’s intriguing exploration of human nature. That’s not to say I’ve picked an easy option by any means. We have given ourselves a challenge in a much more complex set than last year and I’m already working on how we’re going to ensure the audience feel the J.M. Barrie fairy tale magic! We will also have to haul out the period costumes and ensure that our performers are comfortable with early 20th century sensibilities. We’ll have a larger cast to work with and therefore much more organisation to do. We’ve also moved venue for both rehearsals and show, so we’re working with a more convenient rehearsal space and a much larger theatre space. This provides many advantages but many new challenges too. I do love a challenge though and I can’t wait to see how everything comes together.
As the play is out of copyright there are options open to us with certain aspects of it. Barrie was a firm believer in his work evolving as it was performed and indeed there are marked differences between his original stage production and the published version of the play. There have been many variations over the years and I will take lots of time to study the play and the possibilities before deciding what to do with our ‘Dear Brutus’. Of course, being out of copyright also saves us a bit of money, although that genuinely was not a concern in my decision-making. I would have been happy to pay performance rights for the perfect play and I'm just lucky that the one I chose doesn't require it.
I am a firm believer in doing my research and have joined the J.M. Barrie Literary Society with a view to picking their brains about the author. I have also discovered some incredibly interesting fairy folklore in my exploration of the play’s themes. It is amazing what you learn when you are studying for a new production and I can’t wait to delve into the J.M. Barrie story.
Our audition date is set and our venue booked. I’m just ironing out all the finer details before we launch the auditions to the world. I can’t wait to see our auditionees having fun with the fantastic characters that Barrie has created. This will be our first set of auditions for 3-T and it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking. Hopefully lots of people will want to be a part of our exciting new project and join the Threepenny family for ‘Dear Brutus’. Keep watching this space to follow how we’re getting on!