Rehearsals have officially started for The Music Box, and a different member of the cast and crew will be blogging each day throughout the next couple of weeks to give our own insights into the creative process. I’m starting the ball rolling with my take on things as co-director.
The Music Box is no easy play to define, nor is it one which can be summarised in a handy plot synopsis. Deliberately deviating from a linear time structure, the first scene may well be in the middle, or even at the end, of each characters journey. But this ambiguity is vital, as much of the play takes place inside the mind of a young girl, struggling to come to terms with her own illness and the confinement which her overbearing mother imposes on her. The only limits to the scenes unfolding in front of us are those of her imagination, as she concocts varied characters to share in her solitude.
All of this may sound impenetrably vague, but there are themes within the text which are familiar to us all. One such element is the transition between adulthood and childhood. Our heroine, Laura, veers between infantile play with her imagined siblings, and a very adult fascination with mortality. The intrusion of a new fantasy in the shape of a boyfriend reflects the changing interests of a girl who is beginning to grow up, threatening the existence of more childish play-mates. Another overarching theme draws the parallels between entry into adulthood, and the transition between life and death. As directors, Emma and I are trying to incorporate these factors into how we approach scenes. Each movement the actors make signify something, and we are using recurring motifs to show how the relationships between the characters are mirrored in each other.
The result is something both beautiful and haunting, and all of us are looking forward to develop this exciting project further.