Polly Norkett (Arianna) and Hamish Clayton (Edward)

Some Thing New: ‘inviting the audience in’

Polly Norkett (Arianna) and Hamish Clayton (Edward)
Polly Norkett (Arianna) and Hamish Clayton (Edward)

speaks to Alissa Cooper, and their cast about their brand new production ‘Some Thing New’.

Some Thing New was rather spontaneous in its creation. and Alissa Cooper, its creators, excitedly penned its premise after expressing an interest in writing something, taking it to the fringe and then realising that they had very similar ideas about what it was they wanted to write about. Cooper remembers Jeary staying up till four at her house until they had planned it all out.

They have both always been very enthusiastic about writing. says that she and Cooper “like theatre, but when we write we really see the theatre, and to do it with your own words, to create it from absolutely nothing, you can’t get that from doing other people’s work. You’re thinking about the entire picture”.

The premise of Some Thing New is literally about the pursuit of trying to create some thing new. explains that it revolves around “a group of students and one lecturer, who are inviting the audience in. The premise is that you’re coming in to help them to create art. It’s a process, they’re trying to define the art movement of their age, and it’s about creating something original. By the end of the show the set will change, because the audience are making their own stamp. It’s quite character driven, which is ironic because they want it to be about the art”.

Zoe Coxon plays Kat, who is the instigator of the project of creating some thing new, as she gathers this group of artists together. plays Edward, a pretentious lecturer who sees himself as superior to the others. His sort of girlfriend Arianna, played by Polly Norkett, who she explains as being “unknowingly provocative”. Seb, played by Rohan Perumatantri, is the resident poet who is ironically not so great with words and is constantly subjected to periods in the corner. Lastly, Adam Simpson plays Ally, who is far more reclusive and an observer in his approach.

Zoe Coxon (Kat) and Adam Simpson (Ally)
Zoe Coxon (Kat) and Adam Simpson (Ally)

Cooper and Jeary drew their inspiration from great figures and great art movements, such as surrealism and Dalí. says, “we quite liked the idea of older artists and their actual characters that we knew of, but it’s very hard to write what they would have thought, but we didn’t want to put anything in a box, so we decided it would be better if the art movement we were exploring was an original one”.

Some Thing New is not only about artistic process, the rehearsal period has been a process in itself. admits “we came to the readthrough and we essentially didn’t have an end. We found in the auditions that the moment someone was saying the words to us, it completely changed the way we saw the characters, it gave it a new lease of life, we wanted to see what the cast thought of how it would end.”

They are also very keen on instilling feedback, and question and answers into their performance format. Jeary adds, “the entire point of the preview is to get feedback”. Hamish Clayton, playing Edward, agrees that “there is no point in doing a preview if it’s not going to change afterwards”.

Some Thing New is essentially a constantly changing play which will be moulded by the audience which sees it that night. Whilst it still ventures towards a common end and will explore the relationships and power dynamics of its characters each night, Some Thing New promises to live up to its very title of creating some thing new with each performance.

 

‘Some Thing New’ is at the Horsfall Room, St Chad’s College, for three performances on Sat 13 June.

 

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