Posted on Thu, 2013-02-07 11:41 by Backstage
Last week at the end of a rehearsal of Act 2 scene 1, David asked his “team” as he likes to call us, why Lulu kills Dr Schön. The man, as she explains in Act One, who rescued her as a street orphan, fed her, clothed her and took her into his family. The man who she, beyond all others, is so determined to claim as her own.
It is an interesting question because Lulu does not demonstrate a clear psychological motive for murdering Schön. Wedekind, whose play Berg adapted for his libretto, belonged to a school of expressionist theatre makers who fought against the strictures of psychological realism. So perhaps the answer is that primarily the murder has to happen for the shape of the drama to change; for Lulu’s rise through the ranks of society to turn to radical decline.
Working on Lulu as a staff director is jumping in at the deep end for me. There are so many practical and technical elements one has to ensure are in place in order for the rehearsal to run smoothly that it’s rather alarming when the director asks your actual opinion on some massive question such as the above. Of course it is much better than not being asked, and I am grateful that this is not the kind of rehearsal room where there is such a hierarchical structure that one would not be asked, but it’s hard to change gear in your brain in an instant.
It’s always, maddeningly, much easier to come up with intelligent responses to such a question when David has left the room, and we, the “team” are struggling to work out which member of the chorus can cover a crucial action of another chorus person, should they be ill.
The “team” by the way, are the three directors who serve David in realizing his vision: Caroline Clegg, Associate Director on Lulu and movement coach extraordinaire who has infinite patience when choreographing large groups of people; Dafydd Williams, our trainee Staff Director who’s amazing acting skills move us every time he stands in for missing principals, and me.
Polly Graham, Genesis Assistant Director