Interviewer: As stage management, what are your main responsibilities?
Lizzie: Start from the top! I' m the company stage manager, which basically means I head a team of two, three, including myself, so there' s the Deputy Stage Manager who' s on stage, and the Assistant Stage Manager who' s Debbie here. And as a team we help co-ordinate everything that comes out of rehearsals and make sure everybody knows, and make sure everything that' s needed goes back into rehearsals, and when we' re running the play, that we run it, and make sure everything happens when it should happen. Co-ordinators I would say primarily. And you' re more specific, as an ASM.
Debbie: As an ASM, sourcing things that come out of rehearsals, so if they need certain props or if an actor needs something particular to help them be that character, or whatever, we then have to go and source and bring back that prop so they can use it in rehearsals and furniture and things like this and a bit of research sometimes to find out specifics about the time or certain things that they need. And then during the run of the show, an ASM will generally be doing scene changes. With Gem there wasn' t any scene changes which was great! But just on hand to make sure the actors have got everything they need to go on stage with their props and their costumes are the way they should be. But generally, and during interval, change the scene of the play as the director needs it.
Interviewer: Did the actors have any difficulty walking on the curvy set?
Lizzie: I think initially they did, but then most of the action was done centre-stage which was a lot flatter, and actually it wasn' t as steep when you got on it.
Debbie: I think a lot of them were surprised actually.
Lizzie: You got used to it and you didn' t notice it at all, and where it got very steep you didn' t really go anyway.
Interviewer: What was Black Mary actually cooking and what were the actors eating?
Debbie: Her character was cooking baby Lima beans and ham hocks. But what they' re actually eating...
Lizzie: We couldn' t do that because we had vegetarians.
Debbie: ...we had vegetarians, so we had vegetarian sausage, which is really quite nice actually, they really enjoyed it. And the beans were white, broad beans, which is basically a Lima bean. But we went through a couple of experiments to see...
Lizzie: And it was a weird recipe of chilli sauce.
Debbie: ...Yeah, it was sweet chilli sauce, hot chilli sauce, salt and pepper, which they loved, they absolutely loved it!
Lizzie: Sounds revolting quite frankly.
Debbie: Sometimes Joseph, who played Soli and Cobna who played Citizen wouldn' t eat before the show because they were looking forward to their food! I cooked, I got a recipe for cornbread, so I cooked that traditionally, and that was really all that they ended up eating.
Interviewer: Cos we noticed that it didn' t smell of anything, we couldn' t smell the cooking.
Debbie: Sometimes we got a comment on its really good and other times... I don' t know.
Lizzie: Sometimes you could smell it.
Debbie: It didn' t look very appetising, but they did enjoy it so...!!!
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