Kevin Evans is better known as the brains behind A Small Mind at the Theatre, but he’s headed over to us here at On Stage Northants to share his journey as a Rookie Director for The Playhouse Theatre…
You know that point of no return when you have said that you would do something and it dawns on you what you have committed to?
Episode One: The Stark Truth
Well, it has been a few weeks now since I said that I would like to make my directorial debut with the play Theatrical Knights by Keith Lipscombe at The Playhouse Theatre Northampton, and I don’t think that point has arrived yet. I am ready for it to begin, I actually want it to happen now and not in a few months. The itchiness is there to get hold of it, meld it, mould it.
There is one concern that I have, however, this is one that I have no control over (and I will address this in episode two), so I leave it in the back of my head and in the meantime revel in the excitement, allowing it to boil and simmer that soon I will be getting my hands on something I can craft and contribute to all of my own.
I have been involved with The Playhouse Theatre since just July 2016 and a viewer of local theatre since March 2014, so it has been a rollercoaster of activity in a relatively short time compared with the stalwarts that surround me and create the pieces that I have spent these past years watching.
At The Playhouse, I picked up and continue to carry a huge mantle of responsibility, the get bums on seats guy, press and publicity. My predecessor was a huge act to follow and I could never hope to fully fill his shoes, so I attempted to do stuff my own way and have since muddled through with what I hope to have been varying degrees of success.
Part of the role that I inherited (and one of the more challenging aspects), was also destined to have the greatest impact over the next year or so – being part of the play selection committee. I had rarely read plays and hadn’t much at all since school, and even that was a mix of loving (Peter Shaffer) and loathing (Shakespeare), so the prospect of reading quite a few was a bit daunting, however slowly but surely it all weaved into place, the 2017/18 began to open up before me. One (Ying Tong) was a script found in a charity shop, another was inherited from a previous year license issue (Brief Encounter), two were suggested by other directors (Make Way for Lucia and Dracula), one trawling online for ideas (The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband) and the final one, the one that I picked up to run with (Theatrical Knights), submitted unsolicited by email.
So here I am two weeks from audition night with the script to the left of me and audition pieces to the right of me. As the pieces slowly but surely come together, I wonder now whether at some point soon the stark truth of what I have volunteered myself to do will fully realise itself?