Monday, 4 March 2013

Why Blue? Natalie Remington on ‘An Act of Twisting’

‘An Act of Twisting’ starts at The Rondo, in Bath, this Wednesday (6th March 2013). It’s directed by Hannah Drake, written by Ian McGlynn and features myself (Annette Chown), Lizzy Dive, Kirsty Cox, Laura Fautley and undisclosed males in the cast.

Today I am handing my blog over to Natalie Remington our fantastic Designer. She has a few surprises in store that will transform The Rondo and mean you will see it as never before, so although she won’t be giving away her secrets here, you can find out about how she got involved and her inspiration when designing a dark comedy about torture.

Before I hand over, there’s another member of the team I need to mention: our brilliant lighting designer, Luke Emmett. That’s enough from me for the minute, now it’s over to Natalie:

Eflyer for 'An Act of Twisting'

“Hannah Drake and I worked together twice last year, on June's 'Fertility Objects', and 'Product Displacement' in November. It was soon after the latter that she mentioned she would be directing Ian McGlynn's play ‘An Act of Twisting’, and that she would very much like me to design it, which was nice. I had not seen or read the play previously, although I had seen one of McGlynn's previous works at The Rondo some time before. I find his plays extremely witty and darkly entertaining.  With his company Provocation he approaches difficult subjects with both humour and pathos. This particular piece held me from the start. I won't say too much as I'll spoil it, but let's just say it keeps you guessing until the end.

Lizzy and I in rehearsal, Photograph Copyright Hannah Drake 2013

One of the things I liked about it is that the script is a blank canvas. There are minimal stage directions, and literally nothing is said about staging, setting or context. Hannah and I were very clear that we wanted to work this out for ourselves from the offset - that it was essential for us to have a sense of place and time, even if it is not important for the audience. This helps us to explore the play as we can start to visualise a context.

Sneak peek of Natalie's costume design for the show. Image and design Copyright Natalie Remington 2013

The design for this version of An Act of Twisting is very different to how it was last staged at The Rondo in 2008. Key words are utilitarian, clinical, and stark. I looked at a lot of images of abandoned hospitals, as well as images of 1940s nurses and girl scouts. I was certain that I wanted the girls to have a uniform, but without giving the impression of military. I've been working with a brilliant seamstress called Nel Johnson, and I think they are going to look fantastic.

I've had a great time working on this production - and hope that you will enjoy seeing The Rondo as you've never seen it before.”

Natalie Remington
Designer - An Act of Twisting

‘An Act of Twisting’ runs at The Rondo 6th-9th March, but if you can’t catch us there, then we play at The Bierkeller in Bristol 31st March - 4th April 2013.

If you’d like to keep up to date with the production and see more behind-the-scenes photos, you can do so on the Downstage Write and Provocation Facebook pages or follow us on Twitter.


Rondo Website
The Bierkeller Website
Downstage Write Facebook Page
Provocation Facebook Page
Rondo Facebook Page

The Team on Twitter