‘Acceptance’ for Vibrant 2015

October 28, 2015

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Vibrant 2015 is Finborough Theatre’s annual showcase of new writing. The festival features twelve staged readings between 25 October–12 November 2015. Just Jones & will be presenting a staged reading of ‘Acceptance’ by Amy Ng on Monday (th November (in association with Yellow Earth Theatre) as part of the festival and they’ve been in the rehearsal space at Wells Way Pop Up preparing for their performance.

We spoke to two of the actors involved in Acceptance, Jennifer Lim and Matt Ray Brown about the play and how they have been developing it…

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Who Are You?

Jennifer : I’m an actor, but also a film maker and theatre maker as well. I worked with the writer of this play, Amy [Ng], before. She wrote another play called ‘Shangri La’ and I did a reading of it at The Tricycle. And then I worked with Rebecca [Manson Jones] for the first time last year in Darlington in an R and D workshop on Corialanus. It was a real pleasure to receive a phone call from Rebecca, saying “Would you like to come and do this R and D workshop with us?” And that’s how I got roped into this!

Matt : I’m an actor, based in Cambridge and I’ve known Rebecca for a few years, having worked with her on a previous production, “An Enemy of the People”, back in 2012. So it was great to be asked back to do this. It’s always a pleasure to be asked to work on new writing. It’s something I’ve been involved with a lot throughout my career and with various different companies. I like being at that stage, where things aren’t necessarily set in stone and you can play around with them. That’s really interesting work, to be part of that process.

Jennifer : And there’s also that tension between being accepted conventionally – for instance with Angela’s character, she’s a victim and wanting to be accepted by society. There are myriad levels in this play – and we’re still discovering them.

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On The Process

Matt : You have to make very quick decisions with a process that is so short – we have four days here and then the Saturday before the reading and the day of the reading. It’s finding the things that are there in the text that are clues for each of us – who are we playing? what are their relationships to the other characters? what things can we take for granted? and what are things we learn throughout the time-scale of the play? So a lot of our work has been looking at those things, making snap decisions and comparing what another actor has come up with about their character. And the next day making a new discovery on top of that!

Jennifer : I really like the way that Rebecca works. It’s almost like excavating the play. From day one we work out the chronological order for all our characters. And then we examine the relationships between the characters: how one character feels about another. And what’s lovely with what we’ve been doing is putting the characters in a situation which is not scripted and discovering how that character reacts. It is a process of discovery.

And it’s great having the writer Amy here with us. She is able to answer our questions and it also gives us the chance to challenge her as well – ask why this? and why that? So it’s a process of discovery not just for the actors but for the writer too.

Matt : And hopefully we will help to contribute to the development of the piece.

Thank you Jennifer and Matt for sharing! And click here to book your tickets to see Acceptance at Finborough Theatre on November 9th.

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