We caught up with Alex Johnson, director of Constellations, which runs from 27 February- 3 March 2018 at the Landor Theatre, Clapham.
Click HERE for tickets
Q: This is your first time directing for PLOS. What was behind your choice of play, in Constellations?
It’s just a brilliant piece of writing. It’s funny, poignant, believable and truly unique. Nick Payne has taken a love story, the most cliched and overdone of all stories, and found a remarkable new take on the format. It’s a play that isn’t scared to be clever and discuss big themes. You have a fantastic combination of mind-blowing scientific theory and a very relatable human story.
Q: PLOS is used to staging productions with large casts, but Constellations only has two cast members, so quite a departure for us. What sort of challenges does this present?
I suppose the only real challenge was at the audition phase where we saw loads of great performances and had to make some really difficult decisions. Otherwise, it’s been a delight to work with a small cast and it opens up plenty of opportunities.
We’re performing at the Landor Space, which is a lovely intimate black box theatre. We’re also performing in traverse style, with the audience on both sides and a narrow catwalk stage. The audience is extremely close to the actors, who never leave the stage during the show, so it’s extremely intense and there’s really nowhere to hide. We could never to this type of production with a larger cast – there just wouldn’t be the space.
Q: What’s been the aspect you’ve enjoyed most about the production process?
Working with the actors. As a director I just love playing with creative actors, which is the best way to describe Alex and Emily. They’re not afraid to experiment and take risks in rehearsals, always finding new ways to deliver the script. It doesn’t matter if you try something and get it wrong nine times, if you then get it bang on the tenth time. It’s always bittersweet in the final rehearsals leading up to production week where the actors take full ownership of the play and the role of the director becomes basically redundant!
Q: Can you give us a summary of the plot (without spoilers) in three sentences?
Marianne and Roland meet at a barbeque. They fall madly in love and live happily every after. Or do they?
Q: How do you think audiences are going to react?
I think they will laugh, I think they’ll be impressed by the risks taken by our staging and I think they’ll fall in love with the characters of Marianne and Roland.
Q: What one word best sums up the show?
*Click HERE for tickets – Friday performance almost sold out!*