Director of The Last Stand ready for ‘laser emotional engagement’ at first rehearsals


Excited to start rehearsal for The Last Stand on May 8th. It’s been a long time in the making. I first encountered the play at the Wexford Playwrights Workshop in 2021 and we optioned it soon thereafter. It has been through the ringer with Louise (our dramaturg), has had a workshop reading and recently Dominic and I have made a few key changes. With new work it never ceases to amaze me that no matter how watertight you think it is going into rehearsals, leaks can sprout once you get it on its feet. There is no substitute for that laser emotional engagement you get on the floor with the actors and you just have to trust that all the pre rehearsal work on the script has given you a scaffolding from which you can erect the edifice of a production. I’m in the almost unique position of working for the first time with all the actors (except Sharon Clancy who is doing one of the voice overs). I’ve been around so long (!) that I’ve usually worked with actors on multiple occasions unless they are just out of college. Anyway, it adds a particular sense of anticipation to the proceedings and I’m looking forward to meeting everyone on Monday next. The sound is a crucial element for this production and we hope to get the recordings done early next week so that the actor playing Hooks, Morgan Jones, can get used to interacting live with the recorded callers. It will be tricky not just for him but for our stage manager, Jack, who will be operating the QLab. So the more time they have to get used to each other’s rhythms the better. Roll on Monday.
Ben Barnes, Director, The Last Stand