Midsummer will see Out of the Box taking to the stage for our third production; The Audition by James Johnson. This fascinating, and at times disturbing, psychological drama follows Lauren, a young actress who is responding to an audition call from Stella, the director. The audition is unlike any other, as Stella pushes Lauren to her physical, emotional and ethical limits. As Lauren is tested, her resolve and determination to overcome adversity grows, challenging the seemingly cold and impenetrable Stella and setting up a battle of wills between the two.
Out of the Box regular Lisa Hewitt will be playing Stella. Lauren will be played by newcomer Grace Waite. Simon Harvey will be putting the women through their paces as director.
Performances are in the Room Upstairs at Lincoln Drill Hall on 21-22 June at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 from the Drill Hall – http://www.lincolndrillhall.com/events/out-of-the-box-theatre-company-the-audition
The buzz is spreading. Lots of people have heard about ‘the naked play’, but what is it all about? We shall reveal all… (pun intended!)
THE HISTORY The Blue Room is based on the play La Ronde, written in 1897 by Austrian dramatist Arthur Schnitzler. La Ronde examines the sexual morals and class ideology of the day through a series of sexual encounters between characters of different social classes. It was not performed publicly until 1920, having been deeming too sexually explicit. A film based on the story of LA Ronde was released in 1950.
THE PLAY The Blue Room takes the characters and storyline of LA Ronde and updates them to a modern setting. The daisy-chain of relationships which gave the original play its name is retained and made even more apparent by the use of two actors to play all the roles. David Hare’s version was first performed in the West End by Nicole Kidman and Ian Glenn, with direction by Sam Mendes. It was famously described by critics as ‘theatrical viagra’.
THE NUDITY Much has been made of the nudity , so it’s only fair to let the audience know what to expect. Firstly, it is not pornographic! The characters are all lovers and each scene features the characters before and after they have made love. Couples usually have no reason to hide their nudity from each other, especially in the privacy of a bedroom, so the play takes the same attitude. That is not to say the actors are naked all the time! In fact, there are only two or three scenes where anyone is nude. However, instead of stripping off for the benefit of the audience, the characters are naked for each other. This leaves the audience in the position of voyeur or Peeping Tom, watching and listening without being seen.
THE MORAL ISSUES La Ronde was written against the background of Syphilis, which was rife at the time. Attitudes towards casual sex caused it to reach almost epidemic levels. A hundred years or so later, sexually transmitted diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, are still a blight on society. The Blue Room reflects on this. However, we have noticed another sexual ‘disease’ emerging in society; the rise of aggressive sexual behaviour. Date rape and sexual assault are becoming major problems and we have chosen to reflect this in the performance. The causes of this behaviour, whether it’s the media, internet porn or society, is not for us to judge, but we hope that our production of the Blue Room will provoke debate amongst our audience.