Directed by Simon Meredith and Kyle Miley with permission from Samuel French Ltd.
A young executive reaches breaking point and decides to disappear, he pays a visit to a master of the craft in the form of a seafront fortune teller in Southend. Haunted by visitations from a pathologist who swears he is already lying flat out on her slab, he begins a nightmarish journey to the edge of existence that sees him stripped of everything that made him who he was.
There are no scheduled performances of this production.
Simon Meredith - How to Disappear - A work in progress 15/09/2011
The start of the process: Auditions for this production were great fun. Attendance was really good, with lots of very impressive people. As ever, it is a matter of finding the team of actors who you may think will work well together. As it turns out, we plumped for a cast with Sam Stevenson as the main protagonist (Charlie), surrounded by some very capable and experienced performers. Early Rehearsals: Early rehearsals went very well indeed. Everybody in the cast is incredibly enthusiastic about the play and care very much about finding the truth of their characters. Blocking has been a pleasure, with many good ideas from everyone becoming incorporated into the overall vision of the play. I want it to come across as very claustrophobic so that it relates to the mental state of the hero Charlie, so the set and movement are small and gives us the opportunity to concentrate on the subtleties of the interactions between Charlie and the other characters. I must mention that having Kyle Miley with me as assistant director has been invaluable for bouncing around ideas and other more technical aspects of the show. We hit a major hiccup in the third week of rehearsals when poor old Sam was diagnosed with glandular fever! This meant that he couldn’t reasonably continue in the very complex and substantial role of Charlie, and I had to find a replacement. Luckily, Alex Deutsch came to the rescue and was more than keen to take over the part. It is interesting how it changes the production when you have to re-cast a part. Alex is every bit as suitable, but for very different reasons. That was a few weeks ago now and things are going from strength to strength. We have blocked the entire play, worked out some quite complex scene transitions and have solid ideas for set and sound (just a matter now of finding people willing to tech for us!). We are seeing how it will really look in its finished form - little moments here and there are working extremely well. I am confident at this point that it will all come together. Once we get past the difficult hump of ‘books down’ and really start flying then I’m sure it will get very exciting indeed! At the time of writing this we have about six weeks until performance night. Fingers crossed.....
Simon Meredith - Change in Date 17/10/2011
Due to a double booking at the venue, the performance of 'How to Disappear...' will now be Monday 24 October, starting at 7-30pm. Doors will be open at 7-00pm and tickets are £5-00. Please note that there will now only be one performance.
Steve O'Neill - Scene One
GRIPPING, mesmerising and a little bit confusing, this play could quite easily have been called The Hollow Man if someone hadn’t already nabbed the name. Charlie Hunt (Alex Deutsch) dragged me back to those halcyon days of my corporate America experience. You don’t go to a function for the social, you’re there for the networking; who can I exploit to climb the corporate ladder? Who can I tap for the next job? What can I say to impress the CEO? Alex, who looked like he really had gone without sleep for six weeks and really was in terminal decline was absolutely fantastic as a man consumed by the corporate dream and, ultimately, consumed by the corporate animal when he realises that his life really is empty after the death of his mother. He must have been exhausted at the end of the play; I know I was. It is his mother’s “friend” Mike, the poetic arranger of new identities beautifully portrayed by Peter Beebee, who finally tells him, too late, that life is in the little things and not in the empty world of corporate greed. Confusion crept in for me when Charlie started having conversations with the pathologist (Sophie), ably played by Rachael Cheeseman. Apart from Alex, Peter and Rachael, the rest of the cast [Moira Clark, Chris Tucker and Paul Mole] took on numerous roles, all different and all accomplished with great aplomb. For me one of the most hilarious of these was Paul Mole’s London Underground lost property philosopher. Simon Meredith’s direction was spot on; there were some truly inspired moments and the play’s intensity was well offset by the humour that ran through it. Although very dark, this was actually very funny. The only thing for me that was a bit disappointing was the size of the audience. This really is a play not to be missed. You can catch it on the 21st at Avonbourne School or on the 24th at The Winchester. Steve O'Neill.