Was this your debut as a director?
Yes! I do have a background in acting, but it is the very first production I am directing.
How did it all start and how long did the preparations for the play last?
A friend of mine just told me at the pub a few days before Christmas holidays: “Hey Delphine, would you not fancy directing a play next term?” And it started! I held auditions first and then we started working in late February with all the cast. Over the past two months, we’ve become a very close-knit team.
As this play is a free adaptation of the Oresteia, there was also a lot of scriptwriting involved, which means the actors received their final scripts not too long ago!
Tell us a little bit about the play from the director’s perspective. What does the play mean to you?
First, it is hard work! Constructing a show with such a big cast is quite a challenge. But it is very exciting to have all this energy to work with. Greek tragedy demands a lot of investment and vulnerability from the actors, and this is what I have strived to explore with them.
What ‘Cursed’ means to me: ‘The Oresteia’ is a classic of theatre and a hard one to address. We have decided to adapt it because I want to take the challenge of stripping the story to its essential, and that, as one would say in French: ‘Ce n’est pas gagné d’avance!’
Would you say giving new life to ancient Greek texts was challenging?
Oh yeah. It is challenging. And it is far from being over! I want to be respectful of the tradition but at the same time I really want to create a unique show that will not resemble any other production. This is a difficult balance to find!
What inspired you to work on this play, and what influenced you in the process?
Today’s societal system! ‘The Oresteia’ particularly interested me because of the variety of issues it addresses. While dealing with very intimate family matters, it also gets to grips with politics! The thin line between the private and the public spheres caught my full attention.
My main inspirations in the rehearsal process were the different exercises and techniques I learnt in acting school in Geneva. I also put to use my training at RADA over last summer, including the techniques of different theatre practitioners.
Further, my actors influenced me a lot. We didn’t build the characters for them, but I didn’t work against them either: I worked WITH them.
The course I am studying played a role in this production as well. I have been inspired a lot by what I have learnt and read since last September.
Do you, as the director, personally identify with any of the characters in the play and why?
No. As a director, I don’t think it is part of my job to identify with the characters. As a young woman, however, I do.
Do you have any expectations for the audience response?
It would be a mistake to expect any specific response from the spectators. We will let the audience surprise us!
The show is going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer. This is an amazing opportunity and we are all very excited to make the most of this experience!