Theatr Clwyd present Jumpy by April De Angelis in the Emlyn Williams Theatre, Mold, Flintshire, Wales – running from Thursday 10th March to Saturday 2nd April 2016 and Press Night on 15th March at 7pm.
Director Lisa Spirling; Assistant Director Sarah Bradley, Designer Polly Sullivan, Lighting James Whitesides, Sound Designer, Richard Hammarton.
Sara Stewart leads the company in the role of Hilary and is joined by Ciara Baxendale (Lyndsey), Charlotte Beaumont (Tilly), Steven Elliot (Roland), Laurie Kynaston (Josh), Charlotte Moore (Bea), Kerry Peers (Frances), Laurence Ubong Williams (Cam) and Philip Wright (Mark).
Well, that’s the thing, with children you can’t take them back and exchange them.
Hilary is 50 and life is passing her by. Her job is under threat, her marriage is sustained only by habit and, worst of all, her 15 year old daughter Tilly is breaking all the rules and driving her mother frantic.
Jumpy is a comedy of a mid-life crisis, teenage rebellion and mother-daughter relationship in meltdown.
Laurie Kynaston plays the part of Josh and recently took time out to answer a few questions about the production.
You are playing the part of Josh in JUMPY – what can you tell us about him and how he fits into the storyline?
Josh is Tilly’s very patient boyfriend; he’s a quiet young man who most of the time lets everyone else speak for him because he doesn’t want to make a fuss.
Charlotte [Beaumont] and I have worked a lot on trying to make the relationship seem genuine and balanced, and tried to bring mannerisms out in Josh to suggest why he would stay in a relationship with someone who, on the surface, seems so different to him. I think Josh brings an element of normality to quite a heightened group of characters, and I think he will have the audience fighting his corner, alongside his parents who always try and do what’s right for him, even if not in the most conventional of ways.
Can you tell us about JUMPY rehearsals?
When we first read through the play as a company, we asked a series of questions every time we thought something wasn’t immediately obvious to the audience. These questions ranged from ‘what is the relationship of the people we have just met on the stage?’ to ‘what is the name of the dog they are talking about?’ or ‘what day of the week is it?’. This was extremely helpful because we set ourselves the task of answering every single one of the questions by the end of the four week rehearsal period.
In order to answer all of these questions, Lisa [Spirling] used a range of techniques to explore the text. Personally, my favourite technique was the use of improvisation and ‘thought runs’. In a thought run, you as the character verbalise your whole internal monologue, as well as sticking to the dialogue. This was extremely helpful because there was no right or wrong answer and you could just spout all of the things that people are too polite to say out loud. It ended up with everyone on stage speaking over each other with random thoughts, and it was great to be able to hear what everybody was thinking.
We also used a technique where we would physicalise the text by pushing and pulling at each other every time there was a new thought. This brought a brilliant energy to the room and helped us understand everyone’s status in the scene.
The Stanislavskian technique of ‘Hot Seating’ also came into use when we would sit as our characters and have questions fired at us from Lisa and Sarah [Bradley]. The questions would be anything from where we grew up, our earliest memories, favourite holidays, relationships with people on and off stage, and where we saw ourselves in the future. This was exciting because they were mostly things that weren’t at all mentioned in the script, so it gave us a creative freedom to figure out our own characters’ histories.
What is at the heart of the storyline in JUMPY?
Jumpy is a coming of age story that deals with a generational gap between parents and their children. The story focuses around a mother and daughter living under the same roof but leading completely separate lives, and all the explosive events that happen there.
Tilly is dealing with the daily struggles of being a teenager, while Hilary is experiencing her own difficulties reaching middle age. It is incredibly funny, sincere and truthful.
Why should everyone get along to see the show?
The play is a brilliant piece of new writing which will really resonate with people simply because it is so honest, heartbreaking and superbly funny.
We have a terrific cast and company, it has been designed to look and sound beautiful and with the hilarious story to match I truly think it is a show not to be missed!
Laurie Kynaston returns to Theatr Clwyd, after making his acting debut here in The Winslow Boy, to play Josh. His other theatre credits include Resurgam: One Night in Chelsea and This Smudge Won’t Budge (St. James Theatre). His TV work includes Cradle to Grave, Murder Games: The Life and Death of Breck Bednar and Our World War. Film credits include Gutterdammerung, Gloves Off and They Found Hell.
Emlyn Williams Theatre
Box Office: 01352 701521
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10 March – 2 April – 19.45