Guest blogger Jo-Anne Wurster attended the ‘official’ read-through of “After Mrs. Rochester” on Monday August 8, along with sound designer Megan Benjafield, dialect coach John Fleming, and crew member Laurie Williams. Director Laura Roald read the stage directions. Jo-Anne had not seen the script before, so was hearing it totally fresh. This is her report:
I watched Monday’s reading of “After Mrs. Rochester”, with the purpose of writing a blog about it. I was told it could be simple, short, and above all costs, DO NOT GIVE ANYTHING AWAY. Damn. So in that case, I will tell you:
It was a phenomenal experience. A very talented group of actors, crew, producers and director were enveloped in the script, with the lines between human and book completely blurred, not knowing where one began and the other ended. It was as if the script itself was waiting patiently for this particular group, with sets and lights sprouting from the black ink on the page, leaping into our world creating landscapes, lending themselves to intense experiences, with the actors gripping the emotion the lyrics held silent for so long.
I was a witness of watching the words melding themselves into the actors, giving birth to their voice and story, their first moments in this world, in that room, to be taken and nurtured to grow and evolve into a work of life they were destined to be.
Wow – very nice words, Jo-Anne! We are now challenged to make the finished product as beautiful as your first impression of it.
And for anyone who wondered what Jean Rhys looked like, here’s a photo of her, probably taken in the late 1920’s or early 30’s.