The highs and lows of pub life with Anna Friend

For our latest Inside Swindon Theatres Blog we sat down with director Anna Friend to talk about ‘Two’ written by Jim Cartwright. ‘Two’ presented by Schoolhouse Productions is coming to the Swindon Arts Centre on Sunday 28th May, the play follows the high and lows of pub life and all those that ‘ale in her’, two actors play a cast of different characters.  Read our chat below to find out more about the play, the rehearsal process and more!

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Who are Schoolhouse productions and what work do you make?

Schoolhouse productions are in the in house team from The Alma Tavern Theatre, the oldest established pub theatre in Bristol.

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Photo Credit: The Alma Tavern & Theatre

What is the story of TWO?

Two tells the story of a pub and all it’s clientele, in a series of vignettes we meet everyone from the mouthy Moth and Maudie, to the tragic Roy and Leslie all sewn together beautifully by the caustic landlord and landlady’s caustic bickering.

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Photo Credit: The Alma Tavern & Theatre

What first drew you to the piece?

I had worked with this piece several times with students and then at an amateur level but was keen to revive it on the professional stage at The Alma. Also as it marked the launch of the Alma’s production and we are set in a pub, it seemed appropriate.

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Photo Credit: The Alma Tavern & Theatre

How do you approach the rehearsal process?

So this was a fairly intensive process between Steve Cowley and myself, who played all the roles. We actually put the entire thing together in a week which meant that we arrived with all the lines learned and immediately worked on creating the characters through improvisation and workshopping. Once this was established we were able to get the piece up on it’s feet very quickly.

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Photo Credit: The Alma Tavern & Theatre

How do you approach a production with 2 actors playing several roles?

The most important thing is making sure that the changes between characters were seamless and that each scene had it’s own integrity and energy. Costume and props play a large role for each actor to really embody the character but we worked extremely hard on making sure each one had a three dimensional appeal also. It was extremely challenging and great fun.

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Photo Credit: The Alma Tavern & Theatre

What projects are you working on in the future?

We have just completed a very successful run of Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ . We also have a new project which will open in July. Aside from my Schoolhouse Productions I also am Artistic Director of Quirky Bird Theatre which is currently touring ‘That Face’ by Polly Stenham as well as Directing Gatecrash Theatre’s summer production ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ by William Shakespeare which is at the Arts Centre from the 27th – 30th July.

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Two will be at the Swindon Arts Centre on Sunday 28th May.

For more information and to buy tickets please visit: http://bit.ly/2lYMZGH

Follow Schoolhouse Productions on Facebook.

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