Welcome to the new series of Playhouse blogs, over the next few weeks we’ll follow the creation of Salisbury Playhouse’s main house summer production, Howard Brenton’s Epsom Downs, which runs in the Main House Wednesday 2 – Saturday 26 May 2012.
The cast arrived in sunny Salisbury last Monday (2 April). After a traditional Playhouse ‘meet and greet’ with plenty of coffee and biscuits, the cast were taken off on a whistle-stop tour of the theatre before reading through the play together for the first time. At the end of the day the team jumped into a mini bus for a visit to Horses First Racing, a local race yard in Sutton Veny where they were treated to a private tour of the centre and had a chance to have their questions answered by staff and managing director Eamonn Wilmott, who’s enthusiasm and love for horses and the racing world inspired everyone.
For the rest of the week it was back in the rehearsal room, and by Easter weekend there were already calls for more Kermit the Frog toys to be ordered (you’ll have to see the show to find out why!), extra pockets to be added to costumes and a catalogue of crowd and horse sound effects being compiled.
Directed by Artistic Director Gareth Machin, Epsom Downs is Gareth’s first production at the Playhouse and having gathered his creative team, including Designer Tom Rodgers and the Playhouse’s own Alex Twiselton (Sound Design) and Peter Hunter (Lighting Design), started rehearsals last week.
In the meantime we’re busy making friends with the racing community and planning exciting things for opening night!
The cast: Lucy Black (Miss Motrom and as cast), Frances McNamee (Primrose & as cast), Mark Meadows (Mr Tillotson and as cast), Simon Muller (Sandy and as cast), Valentine Pelka (Pearce and as cast), Michael Roberts (Lord Rack and as cast), Paul Slack (Blue and as cast), Lorraine Stanley (Margaret and as cast) and Ben Wigzell (Jocks and as cast).