Hanna Ellis on - Tess Moffatt
Greetings readers! I'm Hanna Ellis and I played Tess, one of the Girton girls -the one wearing the forest green uniform- dare I say she was a fashionista.. Blue stockings was by far my favourite production with the B-it Theatre company in the years I have been a member and it was such an honour being a part of it.
In particular my favourite aspect of the show was working beside the rest of the cast. We all get on so well and rehearsals were hilarious and so enjoyable (obviously increasingly enjoyable once we knew our lines..!). Sam created a heavily dialogued play into a watchable, and entertaining production, giving it his own personal touch, this wowed us all and we all loved acting in such a classic piece. The backstage crew did an amazing job finding all the 'vintage' bits-and-props and this added something extra to the overall feel of the performance. I'm sure you noticed the bright attire of the Girton girls and these we handmade by Laura along with a number of other costumes and details. Thank you Laura for all your hard work, amazing!
I really loved being a part of this performance and once it was over I felt serious withdrawal symptoms! I think I am right in thinking that everyone else agrees and this is all down to Sam being an awesome director and having everything organised for us, you really outdid yourself this time, thank you!
Metaphorical hats off to Sam.
Final thoughts from the Director
From obtaining the rights to the show, to getting the Youth Theatre to learn the myriad of complex lines, to working out how to actually stage the thing, Bluestockings was far from straight forward.
On reflection, I have realized that it is for these reasons it has been my most rewarding and interesting show to date. For the previous two years (Alice and Grimm), although we produced two fantastic shows (don't get me wrong -brilliant in fact!), I headed towards my comfort zone, the comedic and surreal, an area those who know me will appreciate came quite naturally. The challenge with this show was to honor the brave women who stood up and chose education and to fight for the right to graduate, as well as painting a picture of real life at university. Simply put, it was a serious play about serious issues, I couldn't simply douse it in pop culture to get everyone laughing. The superbly written script helped no end when it came to engaging with this tension. We are very thankful to Jessica Swale firstly for her brilliant script and secondly for letting us perform it so soon after its debut at The Globe (Aug 2013). This play also bought with it challenging set and costume design but as ever Laura was up to the task and delivered, the costumes were hand made and a delight to behold. Also big thank you's to Danger and Doug on lights and sound as well as Peri and Harry the stage mangers and the wonderful backstage crew.
This show was tough, I knew from the beginning I was asking a lot of the group, but I didn't for one moment doubt that they could achieve great things with it. I must confess their were times, like any show, when lines hadn't been learnt and cues and blocking had been forgotten, but hey, that's theatre and when it mattered, boy did they show up and deliver.
Without hesitation I would declare every show they did a success. They had good pace, fantastic emotion, lovely comic relief and they carried each audience with them throughout. When we finished on the Saturday night, I was so proud of what the Youth Theatre had achieved. They had succeeded in honoring the women and the play, but they had also grown as individuals and as a group.
It is always special for a director to see his cast hugging and crying after a show has ended. It means his cast cared about what they had done. For me that was very special and this play and the 2013/14 cast will live long in the memory. Well done everyone!
So, what on earth do we do next year. . . ?
Sam DH - Director