'The Old Bailey Alumni Network' debuts on the ADC stage in a fortnight's time. The show is devised entirely by the show's cast and crew. We caught up with the show's Director, DIXIE MCDEVITT, to find out how the devising process has been going so far...
What material are you currently working with?
We are starting with a group of characters, selected from the extensive Old Bailey Online archives, and their trial transcripts. From this, I (the director) started piecing together a structure for the play, by thinking about the story that emerges when these transcripts are put together. We also have a script supervisor, who sits in on rehearsals and writes up the devising process, updating the script as we work. We began rehearsals with a mix made by the show DJ, Eliza, which is an amazing blend of classical, hip hop and disco, and we are using this music as a basis for the tone of scenes, for movement exercises, and to help us create the party vibes!
What do you expect will change about the project over the next few weeks?
Even in the first few rehearsals, so much has changed! The process of building characters and scenes as we go is very collaborative and fluid, and the actors are already putting their own stamp onto the way we portray these events. Every side of the production is having to bounce off each other constantly — for example, we are using Eliza’s music as inspiration, but she will also have to adjust her mix to fit the timings of the show, and perhaps change the order of songs etc. to fit the tone and narrative arc. I’m sure we will come up against logistical issues of staging and sewing together the events of the play, but I have the utmost trust in our team to work together and create something fabulous!
What are you currently most excited about?
At the moment, I am just absolutely hopping at the thought of our costumes, which are being designed and curated by Ella Muir and her wonderful team. They will be utterly stunning, and I can’t wait to see how they affect the performances of our cast, and hopefully really make them feel inside the world we are building.