Today is a special day down at Theatre503. With the set in place, it’s time to start technical rehearsals for Desolate Heaven, the first production in Paul Robinson’s inaugural season as sole Artistic Director. Paul and the cast have arrived and there’s an air of anticipation as they take to the stage for the first time. For Bríd Brennan (Tony Award Winner, Dancing at Lughnasa), it’s her first time on the Theatre503 stage. For Carla Langley and Evelyn Lockley, there’s an extra element of excitement – Desolate Heaven marks their professional stage debuts.
From left to right: Carla Langley, Bríd Brennan & Evelyn Lockley
So how has their first professional experience been? “Since graduating in July, the past six months have been full of ups and downs with auditions, and almost getting that first job, but not quite,” Carla explains as I catch the girls on a quick tea break. “When the audition for Desolate Heaven came my way, I absolutely loved the script and felt really passionate about the part. I feel really lucky to be doing my first professional job with Theatre503 and to have such a good cast, director, and playwright on board. The prospect of only having three weeks rehearsal was quite scary, but the play has really come to life over the past few weeks.”
“Every moment working on this amazing play, from that first audition onwards, has been such an exciting exploration of a truly wonderful story. This process has been such a learning curve and it’s both daunting and thrilling to get to work with such a strong creative team at Theatre 503,” says Evie in between sips of Earl Grey. “Throughout rehearsals it has been wonderful to know that this is new for both Carla and I, and to go through the process together has been a real gift. I can’t wait to continue learning with her through the run.” She continues, “Bríd’s support, advice and encouragement have been endlessly helpful during the rehearsal process. As a young actor, being given the privilege to learn from her is a pure joy. Though I may be a little nervous for the run, I’m also looking forward to every moment.”
As she skips back up the stairs into the auditorium Carla adds, “I can’t wait for the run to start and to see how the public respond to this story and how we’ve portrayed it. I think it will be quite a different story and message to what people are expecting, but that’s what makes it exciting to perform.”
The girls enthusiasm and natural talent shines through as the tech continues and I for one can hardly contain my excitement. It’s going to be a grueling couple of days before the curtain goes up, but when it does, we’re in for a treat. Carla Langley and Evelyn Lockley – remember the names and watch this space…
Desolate Heaven runs at Theatre503 from Tuesday 5th February to Saturday 2nd March 2013, with performances Tuesday to Saturday at 19.45 and on Sundays at 17.00.