Monthly Archives: May 2009

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: Challenges

Q: What aspects of your role have you found most challenging?A: Once On this Island is a very celebrated, award-wining piece of musical theatre, so it isn’t something that you want to mess around with. However, what I really wanted to bring to it, particularly after talking to the performers and choreographer, was that I wanted to celebrate black culture, in a way that was a little bit more ‘rootsy’ than it had been done in the past. It was important that in 2009 that we didn’t repre...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: An Unhappy Ending?

Q: In the story Ti Moune is rejected by Daniel and they don’t end up together. Do you still think it is a happy ending because she has helped to change things for the future?&A:* That is exactly what it is, this is a play about story telling and generations telling this story to remind people that these were the mistakes their ancestors made. The fact that they don’t end up together, but in future generations Daniel’s son and the young girl who is from a different caste do get toge...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: Once On This Island

Q: What is it about Once On This Island that interests you?A: I first saw the play when it was being performed in London over 15 years ago and fell in love with it musically, story telling wise; everything about it. It is a very well crafted piece of musical theatre that brings joy to your soul. As it is nearly 20 years old for me now it’s about bringing a 21st century approach to the play with regards to the culture depicted in the play. That has been the biggest thing to bring to the sta...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: The Gods

Q: Why are the Gods important in the play?A: Gods are very important in Haitian culture. Haiti was a French colony island, and Catholicism was brought to the island. As with many cultures (including our own) there are pagan symbols within Christianity. In Haiti, Christianity was brought to the island, but there already existed the idea of the worship of the land, the worship of the sea. Haitians are people who live and die by the land; they live and die by weather that can devastate them in ...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: The Novel

Q: The play is based on the novel My Love, My Love by Rosa Guy. Is the play similar to the book?A: Yes, very similar. Certain aspects of the book have been cut out of the show so it is a very economically written piece of musical theatre. It is almost all sung through from beginning to end with some dialogue underscored and in order to tell the story in an hour and a half, certain things needed to go. That’s been my challenge; I wanted to bring more of the book to the show. The book’s ab...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: The Music

Q: What do you think of the music and how it is used to tell the story?A: The music is a real mix of Caribbean and African feels. If you look at the culture of Haiti you have a real variety, from pure African and Caribbean to French and western music. Stephen [Flaherty – composer, Once On This Island] and Lynn [Ahrens – Book and lyrics writer, Once On This Island] are incredible, they really know their stuff they understand the genre very well. What we have done with the music is beef it...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: Challenges

Q: What aspects of your role have you found most challenging?A: Once On this Island is a very celebrated, award-wining piece of musical theatre, so it isn’t something that you want to mess around with. However, what I really wanted to bring to it, particularly after talking to the performers and choreographer, was that I wanted to celebrate black culture, in a way that was a little bit more ‘rootsy’ than it had been done in the past. It was important that in 2009 that we didn’t repre...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: An Unhappy Ending?

Q: In the story Ti Moune is rejected by Daniel and they don’t end up together. Do you still think it is a happy ending because she has helped to change things for the future?&A:* That is exactly what it is, this is a play about story telling and generations telling this story to remind people that these were the mistakes their ancestors made. The fact that they don’t end up together, but in future generations Daniel’s son and the young girl who is from a different caste do get toge...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: Once On This Island

Q: What is it about Once On This Island that interests you?A: I first saw the play when it was being performed in London over 15 years ago and fell in love with it musically, story telling wise; everything about it. It is a very well crafted piece of musical theatre that brings joy to your soul. As it is nearly 20 years old for me now it’s about bringing a 21st century approach to the play with regards to the culture depicted in the play. That has been the biggest thing to bring to the sta...

Birmingham Repertory Theatre - Latest Posts for News: The Gods

Q: Why are the Gods important in the play?A: Gods are very important in Haitian culture. Haiti was a French colony island, and Catholicism was brought to the island. As with many cultures (including our own) there are pagan symbols within Christianity. In Haiti, Christianity was brought to the island, but there already existed the idea of the worship of the land, the worship of the sea. Haitians are people who live and die by the land; they live and die by weather that can devastate them in ...