Aaron Douglas will star in the world premiere production of Money by Isla van Tricht, a new co-production from represent. and Southwark Playhouse.
The production opens the company’s reimagined inaugural season with a repertory company, which also includes two further plays – Stephen Jeffreys’ Interruptions and Albatross by Isley Lynn performed live this autumn.
represent., a company with the aim to increase access to the industry for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, provide the cast with an acting apprenticeship where they can develop their craft, earning a London living wage. Money is available to stream 26 April – 15 May via Zoom. Tickets are on sale here.
You’re starring in the digital run of Money, what can you tell us about the play?
Money is an interactive digital play written by Isla Van Tricht, that explores the grey area of accepting money from an unethical source and the pressures of capitalism. Set within an intimate digital space, with the domesticity of a small-scale charity; The Nyoni Youth and Community Project. We’re introduced to five big characters that all provoke the audience to think about the different sides of the moral dilemma of accepting money and gives them the opportunity to get involved and internally debate.
Tell us a little more about represent. and what it’s like to be part of their rep company?
represent. are a diverse theatre company that want to bring the experience of reparatory theatre to working-class artists and those from lower-economic backgrounds. It’s been a brilliant learning curve, to adapt to multiple scripts at once and build stamina as we gear towards a repertory season. (Before Covid happened, of course.) It has been a joy to watch everyone grow and learn so much in such a short space of time and get to grips with the challenges of learning text/plays quickly in rep.
This is the first of three planned productions, why do you think it’s the ideal play to launch the company?
Despite the nature of covid, it has meant we still got to connect digitally as a company and be able to build up bonds, connections and keep rehearsals going.
The big benefit of Zoom over the physical space is that it is more accessible to a much wider audience than we might have reached. Given represent theatre’s emphasis on helping and supporting working class artists it gives our families and others a chance to engage and watch the play where they may have had to travel, book overnight, and be able to experience the work we’ve done directly from their own homes.
This makes it an ideal launch pad for represent to get the name and ethos out to as many people as it can, whilst offering up something unique and current.
The audience will play an important role in determining the ending, what challenges does that give you not knowing how the play will end each night?
Zoom plays often were trying to be a play meant for the stage, squished into the confines of a digital screen which meant many left feeling the lack of ‘live’ action that you get from a theatrical production. With the alternative endings and giving the audience a chance to choose how they engage with the show, it creates a genuine ‘live’ and deterministic experience of ‘different every night’ that makes theatre so thrilling and engaging.
What has it been like preparing and rehearsing for a digital stream?
One of the unique things about rehearsing a digital stream is being able to combine the subtleties of ‘screen acting’ and live theatricality of the stage. Playing everything smaller and in a much more intimate space.
Using our individual home backgrounds as ‘sets’ or mini windows into the character’s lives and finding ways of picking a place in our own homes to use as a ‘performance space’ has been a fun challenge. Separating ‘work space’ within the home environment, as many that now work from home have to adapt to, has made me consider my working practice as an artist internally as well as what we require from a physical space and resources too.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to watch Money?
Firstly, absolutely do book a ticket! Secondly, for anyone that enjoyed the drama of ‘Handforth Parish Council’ and/or misses the theatre, Money hopes to recreate that sense of suspenseful action from the comfort of your own home.
As well as being able to support represent that in turn wants to lift up those from a lower-socio economic background, that have been hit during the pandemic and want to see a strong return to the industry and this is the first of a collection of plays moving forwards.