Written by Finegan Kruckemeyer, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing is a modern day fairy tale epic about the search for happiness, self and a place to call home. Aussie Theatre’s Craig Dalglish, sat down with Director, Noel Jordan, to discuss Barking Gecko Theatre Company’s current production.
What excites you about the show?
I love the fact that this play has the ability to entertain an 8 year old as much as a 48 year old. There are a number of incidents and character revelations that we can all relate to whether it is the notion of the search for love or family or a place to call home and all told through a big adventure tale.
Finegan has said he is looking forward to his play “being interpreted for an Australian audience”. How is this interpretation different/similar to other productions?
Without having seen the one in America or Argentina it is hard to comment. We were fortunate to spend a week in creative development with Fin doing further editing and refining of the text which was about 90 minutes long. Our 60 minute version moves along at a cracking pace whilst still retaining the unique touching moments of wonder that are the hallmarks of Finegan’s work.
What do you hope audiences take away from the performance?
A rediscovery of the joy theatre and the intimacy of story telling.
As director what has been the hardest thing?
Theatre by its very nature is a collaborative exercise and this production has involved a collaboration of many people with great ideas. A director must tread a fine line of listening to his collaborators and encourage a shared ownership of the work whilst at the same time remaining truthful to their own vision for the work and a faithfulness to the intentions of the text.
Rather than easiest I would say by far the most fun you have with a group of artists creating a show is the discovery of how you might stage a work. Coming up with the war scene on top of a kitchen table was challenging and great fun at the same time. We did it in sections and just kept building and refining and audiences seem to be responding well to all our detailed work and comment that this is one of their favourite moments. This type of feedback is truly rewarding.
Can you tell us about the cast and what it is like working with them?
A thrill. All actors work at different paces and have different needs and this group were incredibly dedicated. All of us came in with a genuine shared love of Fin’s script and story and just wanted to do the best job possible and everyone has dug deep. I really believe the results of this hard work show on stage.
How did you get into directing?"From way back in primary school I was writing, directing and performing in my own plays"
From way back in primary school I was writing, directing and performing in my own plays – so it was only natural I should end up directing. For a long time I would spend half my time performing and half acting and then later in my career I moved into producing so it has been great to return to directing on such a special play and with the support of a newly regenerated company under John Sheedy’s direction.
Who/ what has been your greatest influence in pursuing your career?
I was lucky to be taught by some of the best drama teachers in Victoria who really helped shaped my ideas and skill base. They encouraged their students to be involved across all aspects of performance often from a devising base that I loved.
What advice would you give others looking to a career in directing?
You learn by doing and seeing as much as you can. Even mediocre work can inform your own aesthetic as a director. Just find people that inspire you and tell compelling stories. If the story is not interesting then it wont engage your collaborators or your audience.
What is next for you after This Girl Laughs, This Girls Cries, This Girl Does Nothing?
Like the characters in the play the next chapter is unclear at this point. I am returning home to Melbourne after an absence of ten years and I will see what options come my way before I make a decisions on what the next phase of my career will be. Directing jobs are limited in this country for freelance artists but I am definitely planning to work with this group of artists again in the coming few years. It was too much fun not to do it again.
Subiaco Arts Centre – 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco
Tuesday 10 — Saturday 21 July. 10:30 & 1:00pm
Tickets through BOCS or (08) 9484 1133