Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Dunwich Horror Production Blog: In the beginning...

Hello Folks and Folkettes

With the first month of rehearsals for our October production wrapped and the Summer break upon us I'll be using my newly granted access to this here blog to discuss some of the aspects of the production, and to test my access thought I'd give you a little preview of what to expect before the big opening come October,

I'll be discussing such things as why I chose such a work to adapt, a little summary of previous adaptations of HP Lovecrafts work, the perks & perils of adapting a work, and the actual directing process itself from my view as a first-time director but long-time directee.

I'd like to start by sharing the story of how this production came to be,
It all started way back last Summer in the aftermath of the aftershow party for Much Ado About Nothing; the morning after a jolly good night those of us who had spent the night had gathered around the table for breakfast the next morning,

Naturally the conversation shifted to past productions and performances and eventually one of our number uttered the question that set this whole thing off,

"Why aren't there more horror plays?"

This simple little question led to a discussion on the fact that it's quite hard to do serious horror on stage especially as an amateur group, without the right effects, budget and all that jazz what is meant to be chilling and terrifying can come across as camp and cheesy,

Some of our number who had been part of a horror production in the past had just such an experience, the director wanted to do a serious psychological horror while the cast saw the material as more akin to a campy Hammer Horror production.  But funny enough when they performed it in said campy Hammer style the audience responded quite well...which is more than can be said for the director...

But I digress, during this production I had been pondering throwing my hat into the directing ring for a while but had been stuck for a decision as to what to perform, did I want to try my hand at legitimate theatre for my first go?  Or something more comedic?  Either way I wanted to do something that I could put my own unique spin as a director on.

Funnily enough given what kicked this discussion off I had considered looking into horror as a genre for this very reason but had shelved such an idea due to lack of existing adaptations available.

This discussion going on around my slightly sleep-deprived brain gave me just the inspiration I needed! As such I declared to the original question-asker that as there was not enough horror productions I would put one forward as my first directing attempt!  To top it all off I would make sure it was to be performed in the aforementioned vein of the Hammer horror films, even if this did mean adapting it myself.

Of course the problem there was having made such a declaration; that in hindsight no one may have even heard given the various level of consciousness and sobriety at the table; I had to then find something to adapt.

Eventually I found just the thing that would be Lovingly-Crafted and Horribly Performable...

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