Mirabelle Gremaud chatted to LLLC’s Emma Clarendon about Wise Children and bringing Emma Rice’s production to cinema screens from 3 October 2019.
Hi Mirabelle, for those who don’t know what is Wise Children about?
Wise Children is a brilliant novel written by Angela Carter and adapted to a play by Emma Rice. It is an effervescent family saga that manages to celebrate the lore and magic of show business while also exploring the connections between parent and child. Two twins, Nora and Dora, born in Brixton, are raised by their incredible Grandma Chance after the sudden death of their mother. From a young age they discover the magic of dance and theatre. Together they are invincible and keep the fragile balance between the blissful and disgraceful sides of life, having to deal with their eccentric uncle and their absent father.
How was it being part of the production?
It was like a dream. I had never been in such a production before. Having the chance to work with Emma Rice and Ian Ross (composer) was a true delight. But also sharing the stage which such talented and experienced actors and actresses was a very privileged position to find myself in. Emma always puts emphasis on keeping the playfulness between the actors and all the technical team working on the production. We literally play games before every show. The atmosphere of work is great. During the rehearsals we also discussed a lot about the book and the characters which gave everyone a deeper understanding of the story. I do love detailed work and that production was
magic and curated in every detail. Costumes, set, lighting, music, songs, dances and of course the script beautifully and precisely written.
What did you enjoy the most about performing in Wise Children?
I loved the rehearsals period. When everything was still to be discovered, but the direction was clear. Everyone working, playing and researching together. Emma uses all the talents of her actors. So in the play I got to perform all of my skills. I could sing, act, play the harp and do my acrobatics. I feel completed. All the work I have done, the discipline I have in my practice, finally paid off. But I think what I enjoyed above all, was again to have the chance to perform with such a talented, varied, and experienced cast.
How does it feel knowing that the production is being screened in cinemas?
I am very excited. Theatre is not often being filmed. So as the performer you don’t get the chance to see how it looks from the outside. You can only feel it and imagine the bigger picture. It is also my first appearance ever in cinemas. So a big step for me. It’s been filmed in one of my favourite theatres, the beautiful York Theatre Royal, which will only add more magical aspect to the filming I think. I cannot wait.
Will you go along to a screening? I would so love to go, but I will be performing on the 3 rd of October. I am part of Wise Children’s second production Malory Towers written by Enid Blyton and
adapted by Emma Rice. We will be in Oxford on that day.
But I will surely watch it on BBC iplayer.
Why do you think its important that productions such as Wise Children are screened in cinemas? It’s important for the audience to see that behind all the make-up and special effects you find in
movies, there is always a simple actor playing and bringing the fiction character to life. Theatre is a great place where dialogue with the audience is very direct. They can feel and live the story as it unfolds.
They can also see the fragility of the actors standing in front of them ,which I think is one of the best part of the experience of going to live theatre.
Screening theatre plays, makes them accessible to a wider crowd who might not know much about theatre or isn’t maybe interested. If the experience turns out to be enjoyable, they might as well go
to a real theatre next time!
For those going to the cinema to watch it what can they expect? Wise Children, Emma Rice says, is a love letter to theatre. They can expect a unique and special moment where story telling takes over and transports them in a very colourful world . It’s pure, funny, surprising, crude, strong and direct.
By Emma Clarendon
Wise Children will be screened inn cinemas on the 3rd October. For more information visit: http://www.wisechildrencinema.com/