If you’ve ever had the uncomfortable feeling that life’s passing you by (which, let’s be honest, we all have from time to time), you’ll be able to relate to Eventide, a new play by Barney Norris and Up In Arms Theatre, directed by Alice Hamilton. Inspired by the writer’s own country upbringing, it’s the story of three people struggling to adapt when the life they thought they knew – and assumed would go on forever – comes to an unexpected end.
The cast of Eventide includes Hasan Dixon, James Doherty and Ellie Piercy – Ellie recently took time out to answer a few questions about the production.
Was there anything in particular that attracted you to this production?
I thought it was really exciting to do a piece that’s new and to work with Barney and when I first read it, I realised how easy it was to hear the voices of real people who had a lot of fascinating things to talk about. I know that Barney’s previous work has been so wonderful and so I felt excited to explore this new horizon with him.
The world premiere of Eventide. What has been the general vibe during rehearsals?
Surprise, I think we have genuinely, constantly felt surprised. The initial read feels like years ago and our first week felt like a huge exploration of stuff we hadn’t thought about at all so we felt surprised about the journey we needed to go on. And now what is going to be the surprise is the audience’s power within the play which I am now starting to really factor in. So there is feeling that this is something which I think really connects to the piece that we have got this sense of how something works well and you get to grips with it but then you hit something else in life and it re-jiggles your past view.
You play the role of Liz “a church organist who can’t get a gig“. What can you tell us about your character and how she fits into the storyline?
Liz is someone who does a lot of things on her own. She has got her life quite set up with lots of coping mechanisms. She belongs to a quite isolated world following some dramas she experienced early on in her life. She is not of the world the play is set and she is viewed as an outsider but she is not conscious of that. Because she is English and so from the same country, she’s got a sense of connection with the world the play is in but it is not at her roots. She has also got interesting relationships with the people there that are based on routine and the equivalent of roots but don’t have the same value as the others do. She is someone who comes in and sheds new light on situations but it’s also a very particular light that is a challenge to the world that she is confronted with and confronts.
What is at the heart of Eventide?
Life moves on do you?
There is a lot to see in London – why should everyone get along to Eventide?
Because it has never been seen before. Because it is exciting and because it captures humanity at its best.
“Take a chance, seize control of your own destiny, and stop dwelling on the past – but at the same time, respect the background and history that have brought you here, and made you the person you are. That important and inspiring message, which we all need to hear now and again, runs through the very heart of this moving and genuine play.”
Read our review of Eventide by Liz Dyer
Up in Arms and Arcola Theatre present in association with The North Wall
The world première of EVENTIDE By Barney Norris
Directed by Alice Hamilton
Designer James Perkins
Lighting Designer Simon Gethin Thomas
Sound Designer George Dennis
Producer Chloe Courtney
Cast: Hasan Dixon, James Doherty and Ellie Piercy
23rd September – 17th October, 2015 at Arcola Theatre
Then on national tour until 14 November
24 Ashwin Street
London E8 3DL
Monday 28th September 2015