With just a few weeks to go until curtains are raised on ‘Bouncers & Shakers’, we spoke with first time director, Veronica Montalbetti on her experiences in the director’s chair, the creative process and why she chose Bouncers as her debut piece!
Why bouncers / Shakers? I have seen Bouncers performed a couple of times and it is lots of fun. There are so many moments the audience can relate to, I sat watching, thinking “oh yea I’ve met that guy” or “I’ve cried over that boy”. There is also a darker side to both plays that give them depth and layers that draw you in. So, although the shows themselves are short, they tend to stick with you for a long time afterwards. The plays rely completely on the actors to bring the stories alive and it’s fascinating to watch: no set, no props, just four actors / actresses using their skills to bring a variety of characters to life. It is a really exciting production for me and New Stagers to be involved in.
What’s the most challenging aspect of directing Bouncers / Shakers? Comedy is always a challenge, but with Bouncers / Shakers there’s an extra layer of complexity given that the actors are required to play multiple characters. We have spent lots of time working through the different characters, working out motivations, physicality, accents, all of which has helped to ensure the show is both engaging and visually stimulating.
The plays are also highly choreographed, which meant having to repeat scenes over and over to make sure cast are spot on with their movement, timing and delivery. Although it can be time consuming, it’s actually really enjoyable for me as a director as I get to laugh at the same scenes over and over again! I particularly enjoyed making the boys do simple things such as sit down as their female characters. I don’t think I’ve ever had to say “put your legs together” as much!
What’s your favourite scene from Bouncers? Oh there are so many brilliant scenes to choose from and that is why I love the play so much and chose to direct it. If you ask this question to anyone after seeing the show I can guarantee they will respond like this: “The porn scene! Oh no wait the bit in the loo… or the fight scene… or when the boys are chatting up the girls! AAHHHH too many”!! Well at least, I hope that will be the reaction!
Who’s your favourite Character… Judd, the Bouncer. He initially seems like a bit of a fool with only one thing on his mind but having spent time with the play there is an undercurrent of uncertainty and needing to belong which in a play where characters can be a bit one dimensional adds a layer of interest to him. He also has some of the best lines. Oh and the Swedish porn stars…. I say no more!
Why come & see the show? I want the audience to have fun, to laugh out loud and feel up-beat when they leave. I want them to enjoy the experience of watching a minimalist play, of using their own imagination and personal experiences to fill in the gaps. With Bouncers and Shakers you should come away feeling as if you’ve been in a bar/nightclub, met a load of different people, spied in on some private moments and laugh at the in jokes, when in fact all there is is black set and four actors. We are also creating an immersive experience with our front of house, so the audience should feel part of the show right from the start.