RSC Open Stages: Meet the cast – Jérôme

Ahead of our production of The Herbal Bed, we’ve asked our cast and crew to tell everyone a bit about themselves; you can already read about Sarah and Leonie. Next up under the spotlight: Jérôme.

The Herbal Bed by Peter Whelan

Jérôme Le Forestier as Dr John Hall

Your name: Jérôme Le Forestier

You are playing: Dr John Hall

Sum up your character in a tweet

Exacting, caring but humourless.

How similar are you to your character?

I am neither exacting nor humourless (I hope).

What’s been the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

The lines.

What do you enjoy about acting?

The camaraderie and banter during rehearsals and providing entertainment when we go into production.

What’s your favourite part that you’ve ever played?

Difficult as I have had numerous parts that have been great so I’ll give you my most memorable being Heir Winkelkopf in Oscar Wilde’s Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime because it was my first ever time on stage.

What’s your dream role?

I don’t have one, I am happy to do as I’m told 😉 [first I’ve heard of it! – dir]

How have you found being part of the Open Stages project?

Educational

Why should people come and see The Herbal Bed?

It’s a fascinating story and it’s based on a true story which, I think makes it all the more enthralling.

You can see Jérôme – and the rest of the cast – in The Herbal Bed from 21-25 April in the grounds of St Lawrence Church, Abbots Langley (covered seating provided), as well as inside the church.

To book online, go to http://www.abbotslangleyplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or call the Box Office on 0844 804 5354.

In addition, on Saturday 25 April from 2pm to 4pm, ALP are holding a “community showcase” for local groups and societies to present themselves to our community – please come along and see what our village has to offer. If you’d like to take part in the community showcase, email abbotsplayers@gmail.com.

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RSC Open Stages: Meet the cast – Leonie

Ahead of our production of The Herbal Bed, we’ve asked our cast and crew to tell everyone a bit about themselves; you can read the first blog here. Next up under the spotlight: Leonie.

The Herbal Bed cast picture

Leonie Thompson as Susanna Hall

Your name: Leonie Thompson

You are playing: Susanna Hall (née Shakespeare)

Sum up your character in a tweet

A strong woman: mother, daughter, wife & lover. She is intelligent & manipulative; passionate & loving; shrewd & determined.

How similar are you to your character?

Very similar in some ways but hugely different in others.

What’s been the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

Learning my lines.

What do you enjoy about acting?

The escapism from everyday life and the challenge of becoming another character. I also really enjoy the teamwork involved in putting on a production, working with some great people and knowing that I am continually learning and, hopefully, improving.

What’s your favourite part that you’ve ever played?

Well, this is only my third part since acting at school (a long time ago!) but I did enjoy playing the part of Angela in Abigail’s Party – that was great fun!

What’s your dream role?

Any part acting opposite George Clooney!

How have you found being part of the Open Stages project?

It has been an amazing experience! The weekend of workshops in September was an incredible learning experience and it was a privilege to be directed by James Farrell from the RSC in a recent rehearsal…particularly as he was so constructive and positive.

Why should people come and see The Herbal Bed?

I think that this production is totally unique. Colette has shared the knowledge she has gained from the Open Stages project in her direction of this play and the cast have all worked exceptionally hard to ensure that we will all give our very best performances. Acting outside and in St Lawrence Church will add other challenges and very interesting dimensions to the play and the involvement of the community contributes to the innovative nature of this production. I think that people will really enjoy the whole experience!

You can see Leonie – and the rest of the cast – in  The Herbal Bed from 21-25 April in the grounds of St Lawrence Church, Abbots Langley (covered seating provided), as well as inside the church.

To book online, go to www.abbotslangleyplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or call the Box Office on 0844 804 5354.

In addition, on Saturday 25 April from 2pm to 4pm, ALP are holding a “community showcase” for local groups and societies to present themselves to our community – please come along and see what our village has to offer. If you’d like to take part in the community showcase, email abbotsplayers@gmail.com.

RSC Open Stages: Meet the cast – Sarah

We’ve asked our cast and crew to tell everyone a bit about themselves, and we’ll be posting the results up here over the next couple of weeks. First up: Sarah.

Your name: Sarah Cunnane

You are playing: Hester Fletcher (I had to look up the surname…not a great start!)

Sum up your character in a tweet

She’s a maid and is simple, but not stupid. She’s passionate and fiercely loyal to those she loves. Finds it difficult to hide her emotions.

How similar are you to your character?

I’d like to think that I’m a bit more ambitious than Hester. She’s no idiot, but the only real ambition you sense from her is in her choice of dream partner – and, frankly, I think she could do better there, too (sorry, not sorry, Rafe). Similarities-wise: despite maintaining that I have an excellent poker face, I have been told repeatedly and often that I am not very good at not letting on how I feel about something. Particularly in meetings. Especially if I think it’s stupid. Or a waste of time. Or I’m hungry. Or tired. So…most of the time.

What’s been the biggest challenge about taking on this role?

I played the same part when we did The Herbal Bed first time around, so going from knowing the part inside out back to square one was a real adjustment. But I’ve really enjoyed playing Hester again, and the fact that most of the rest of the cast is different means that it’s been a completely new experience and so, hopefully, not just exactly the same performance as before.

What do you enjoy about acting?

You get to do things and say things that you’d never dream of in your everyday life. You get to travel back in time, explore different points of view and mindsets, let go of yourself for a while and become somebody else entirely. It’s adult dress-up, is basically what I’m saying. And that’s brilliant.

What’s your favourite part that you’ve ever played?

Eliza in Pygmalion. It was wonderful to play a woman who knows what she wants and goes out and gets it – and the transformation from the beginning of the play to the end is a huge amount of fun to portray.

What’s your dream role?

Iago in Othello. I’ll take a scheming villain over a conflicted hero any day of the week…

How have you found being part of the Open Stages project?

I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been out and about to see quite a few of them – they’ve all been really entertaining and set the bar scarily high for our own production, curse them. The workshops have been terrific; I’ve learned some new skills and met some great people.

Why should people come and see The Herbal Bed?

It’s a fascinating look at the choices people make and what individuals are willing to put on the line for the sake of love – and it’s all based on a true story. ALP members and groups from elsewhere in the village have worked really hard to put on a fantastic show, and I think their work deserves to be rewarded by being seen by as many people as possible.

You can see Sarah – and the rest of the cast – in  The Herbal Bed from 21-25 April in the grounds of St Lawrence Church, Abbots Langley (covered seating provided), as well as inside the church.

To book online, go to www.abbotslangleyplayers.ticketsource.co.uk or call the Box Office on 0844 804 5354.

In addition, on Saturday 25 April from 2pm to 4pm, ALP are holding a “community showcase” for local groups and societies to present themselves to our community – please come along and see what our village has to offer. If you’d like to take part in the community showcase, email abbotsplayers@gmail.com.