"You’ve got people at the sides, almost at the back, and everyone in front of you. The groundlings, who give such good energy, and we’re using them as the sea. This landscape on a Scottish island and they are the ocean, we keep looking out, so we can use them a lot..."
As we near opening night, Josh introduces us to the world of the production, through music, costume and setting.
Time: 4 minutes 50 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: And can you tell us a bit about the actual world of production, because you said it is set in 1979?
Joshua Lacey: Yes. Originally Emma Rice wanted to set it in the Falklands War, and then she realised very early on that the Falklands was a grey and cold area. Everything was too grey, everything was too grey and cold. And so she wanted to set it in Scotland, which is the grey and the cold and set in this boat, this love boat which she imagined, this cruise ship. She is thinking of the Costa Concordia, that ran aground a few years back, and tragically people died because the Captain was ‘show boating’. And she thought, ‘That’s the love boat: that’s the colour, that’s the life and the soul'. So that’s the cruise ship that runs aground, and Feste’s on there and the colour and the vibrancy that’s washed on to this grey, cold, loveless island. And so you have the lovely juxtaposition there. So it’s ’79, that time when [it was] kind of pre-analogue. Music was guitars and drums and folky, she wants to get that folk in. And our composer Fluff [Ian ‘Fluff’ Ross] is really bringing that in with his original score. So it’s gorgeous. You have a bit of Salsa in there, from the boat you have a bit of the Latin American. Then you have the folk and the Scottish from the island. So it’s a lovely, lovely mix of music. And that’s the world. And the costume, you’re talking flares and that kind of thing.
RK: Are we going to have a Salsa/Scottish country dancing jig?
JL: I can’t tell you, you’ve got to come and watch! but there is a little mix mash going on, yes!
RK: And it seems to me that music seems very important to this production.
RK: Can you tell us a bit about the soundscape to this one?
JL: Oh yes. Well, as I say, Fluff is amazing. He’s worked with Emma Rice quite a lot doing Kneehigh, and they did Flying Lovers here last year in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. For a young gentleman, he is just incredible. He’s multi-instrumentalist, he’s just made some beautiful little ditties in this, as you say they’ve got this kind of folky feel. He goes into some Rock and he goes into Disco, goes into Latin American. And you have this pulse all the way through.
RK: And have you had a chance to get into costume yet? Or have you seen your costume yet?
JL: I’ve seen a drawing of it, I’ve seen a drawing, but that’s Lez [Brotherston] our designer. I haven’t been for a fitting yet, but I’m sure things will change and adapt. I think I might see it this week. But for me, the costume, that’s at least 80% of the character. As soon as you see that and get it on, there you go, you can play with that, that’s it. I always find that with the costume, you go, ‘There’s the walk, there it is! It’s going to work, it’s going to fit. I’ve found another little thing I can use, a little nuance'. So yes, I’m looking forward to it, I really am.
RK: And obviously you’ve been at the Globe before, as we said. You played Cloten in Imogen last year. So how do you think that experience of performing on the Globe stage will prepare you this time?
JL: Well, just knowing the space, knowing the space. Obviously it is in the round almost, isn’t it? You’ve got people at the sides, almost at the back, and everyone in front of you. The groundlings, who give such good energy, and we’re using them as the sea. This landscape on a Scottish island and they are the ocean, we keep looking out, so we can use them a lot. But it’s just a lovely space. The pillars and just the movability, just the constant...you can’t stay in one place too long, because you’ll lose the people behind you. It’s such a lovely thing to just look around, use your back, so it’s nice.
RK: And what’s been a high point from rehearsals so far?
JL: I don’t know why I’m hesitating! It’s just on a nice level, it’s rehearsals. For me it’s work, it’s a grind, you’ve got to do it, you’ve got to do your job. You come in and you work hard. You’ve got to find what you’ve got to find. The high point is, I’m loving the music. It’s the whole process. I’m working, I’m grateful to be in work, so that to me is a high. You know, to turn up every day here, the history of this building, to contribute to Emma Rice’s last season, it’s that. That’s a high point for me, I’m very privileged.
RK: And in her rehearsal room, I guess work hard and play hard, which is nice.
JL: Absolutely, well that’s the motto of life you know! Jack Nicholson’s motto was, ‘Everything counts in work’. And everything does count. I always think you’ve got to come in and throw as much...to the wall as possible...
RK: I’ll just amplify that!
JL: Amplify that, sorry! Throw as much...poo to the wall as possible and you’ve got to see what sticks. You ain’t saving lives, it’s not going to kill anyone. Just get it out there, because you might find something that works. It’s a play, we’re playing. We’re like children, yes paid to play!
RK: Well, thank you so much for joining us.
JL: It’s a pleasure!
RK: And we will catch up at tech week or first week of performance.
Thanks to Janet for the transcription of this interview.