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Leda Hodgson
 
 Artistic Directors
 
West End Live
Workshops
Brighton
2006
Waterloo Place

Belfast


The Balance

This new play is about a man who finds peace with himself.

I wanted to write a comedy that had something serious to say about the way we live and how our actions affect other people. It has disabled characters in it but it is not about disability. Actors do not have to have a disability in order to play the parts. This will be at the discretion of those who wish to produce the play. It has a cast of 14.
 

   I had tinkered long enough with the text
   and decided to have a public reading on
   Sunday September 15th at 1.00pm
   At The White Bear, Kennington

As always, casting was a bit of a problem. I had foolishly written a play for 14 people and I did not want anyone to double up. I also wanted some parts to be played by actors with ethnic backgrounds if possible but gave up on the idea of trying to find seven disabled actors for a rehearsed reading.

The lead character is also a bit of a read but I knew Steve was experienced enough to take it on. Once again, old friends solved half of my problems and the other actors who volunteered were friends of friends. Goldy Notay was recommended by her agency and she completed the company. However, things did not run smoothly.
I really wanted Johnny to read the part of ‘Dave’ but he was not available, so I offered it to Joe. Then Joe got a job but assured me that he could still do the reading weekend. Then 2 other people got jobs.

It is amazing how often this happens. They haven’t worked for months, then as soon as they agree to do something for me, offers pop up from all over the place.

Johnny then became available so I recast Joe. Joe then calls and complains because he doesn’t have such a good part. I did try to point out that it was only a rehearsed reading in a pub in Kennington for £20 expenses but his pride was deeply wounded.

Steve, Johnny and Colin agreed to do some work prior to the weekend, and this was very worthwhile. My favourite moment being a run through for Steve with Colin playing all the other parts.

The rehearsal on Saturday was interesting. Joe had called to say he had to work but could still make the reading on Sunday so Peter Barnes read his bits. Ben and I had already sorted out the staging and lighting a few days earlier so it was just a case of bashing through it a few times.
 

Steve contemplates              


Everyone had a free rein to interpret the parts as they wanted and it was a very productive day. All we were left to do on Sunday was to fit Joe in.
 

 
I was extremely fortunate that everyone who took part was so friendly and professional. There was a good response to the reading and many people took the time to complete questionnaires and give written critic. The feedback was positive enough to encourage me to get on with the rewrites and produce the play soon. I wish to extend my thanks to all those who took part, those that attended, The White Bear and the cast of the show in residence.

 
 

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