I hope everyone is enjoying 2019 so far, as you can imagine it has already been a busy one at 20Twenty, and we are only 2 months in!

The Connections group have been working really hard working on the show as well as fundraising. The group did a bag pack at Iceland a few weeks ago (thank you if you came to support us), and Ben is currently in the process of working on a big fundraising idea called ‘The Job Lot’ I think it will be a lot of fun, so keep your eye out for tickets on sale soon.

Talking of tickets, it is less than a month until the cast perform their Connections 2019 show. Show dates are 8th and 9th of March, 7:30pm at March Town Hall. Our show ‘Class’ by Ben Bailey Smith and Lajaune Lincoln is about a school election:

“It’s school election time and while most of the school is busy enjoying their lunch break, deadlock is taking place amongst the members of the school council. Bitter rivalries, secret alliances and false promises are laid bare. As a ruthless battle ensues, who will win and does anyone really care? A play about politics, populism and the ‘ping’ of a text message.”

This has been a really interesting play to direct for a number of reasons;

1.This is the first Connections play that we have directed where every person has a named character – in our previous plays either there are no named characters and Glen and I distribute the lines based on how the scenes are being played, or there are just a few named characters  – with other cast members playing a ‘chorus’ who all still have lines (again distributed by Glen and myself). The difference between doing a show with no characters and doing a scene with characters is big but both a great to direct for different reasons.

2.This play shifts from a real life world to an online world often and quite quickly, so as a cast we were interested in exploring how that would work – how physical do we want to be with it, or how dependant do we want to be on lights – we won’t tell you what we decided to do, as we don’t want to give away too much!

Because of these reasons I have really enjoyed directing this years Connections show, it is a different experience from previous years, and I feel this year we have gone down a bit more of a naturalistic route. I am looking forward to performing this piece and to taking to a new venue (for us) in Norwich – The Playhouse, which is a lot bigger to what we are used to!

I decided for this blog I would add a little Q+A onto the end. The questions will be answered by myself and by one of our Connections group, so you can get in insight of how they feel about the show!

What did you initially think of the play when you read it fist time?

Geri: I liked it because of the offline/online aspect of it, and the fun we could have portraying it – but it was a hard decision between 2 plays! I am pleased we got the cast to help us choose.

Anya: I thought it sounded like a really fun and engaging story! I liked the dialogue and the characters

What do you think of it now?

Geri: I am enjoying it more and more, after speaking with the playwrights and other directors at the directors weekend it inspired me with lots of different thoughts. Also, seeing the cast work on it gives me different ideas, as we all share our ideas together. We also find comedy in different bits that I didn’t think were funny when I first read it – which is always brilliant to find as you are going along!

Anya: I think now, it’s still fun, but I didn’t initially realise how it goes a lot deeper into the theme of politics and deception and “taking sides”. I think that’s a nice aspect to the show that really makes you think.

How long have you bene doing Connections? 

Geri: This is my fourth Connections show.

Anya: I’ve been doing Connections since we started it at 20Twenty, so from around 2015 time?

What has been the hardest part of this show so far?

Geri: Trying to make sure everyone is seen on a small stage – and then thinking about transferring it to the bigger stage in Norwich!

Anya: For me, it’s been memorising the staging and stage direction. There’s quite a lot of moving involved, and moving tables and chairs, and making sure props are where they need to be, that I always seem to struggle with.

What has been your favourite thing about this show so far?

Geri: Getting it on its feet with the young people – seeing them bring it to life and have fun with it.

Anya: I just love the script in general! Also, this is the first time our Connections group has had a fairly large cast, so it’s been really nice to perform a show tailored to a bigger crew.

If you could stage this show in anyway, how would you do it? 

Geri: I won’t answer as I don’t want to spoil the show! All I will say is maybe more lighting effects…?

Anya: I think I’d keep it simple, but maybe add in one or two abstract and slightly unrealistic aspects to it. I’m not sure how I’d do it, though. I quite like how our staging is now!

Thank you to Anya for taking part in the questions.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to buy your Connections tickets from: geri@20twentyproductions.co.uk or 01354 652769

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