Getting to know The Laramie Project

Photo by Briony Latter

The De Montfort University and Curve collaboration, The Laramie Project continues in rehearsal this week. Cast member, Kirsty Mealing took some time out to let us know how she’s been getting to know the piece better and developing her many roles.

I don’t think I have ever been quite so grateful to be doing a play, let alone being introduced to one, as I have been with ‘The Laramie Project’. The more and more we have been looking at the script and giving life to the characters, the more I’ve realised quite how much the play is about people. This is Verbatim Theatre: every word is what a real person has said, so every single word is important. As Joe said in his previous blog entry, you do feel a responsibility to do your character justice in their portrayal. And that doesn’t mean you should be the perfect mirror of them, it means you should say every word as though they are true ,and honest, to you. I think working on my characters and developing them with each rehearsal has allowed me to realise the honesty in which they speak, and it feels incredible!

Individually, the cast have been watching Louis Theroux’s documentary, where he visited the Westboro Baptist Church. It has been difficult to even be able to compute how these people can hate so much, and so passionately. Watching the documentary has definitely put fuel to the fire in the scene in which Fred Phelps , his followers, and ‘Angel Action’ go head to head: it’s becoming a really powerful moment.

One role I have been anxious to get ‘right’ is Reggie Fluty, the 39 year old Police Officer who dealt with Matthew’s body at the fence. As her story develops, you can see that she is a perfect example of how one horrific crime can affect the people in the community. What I love about her is her dedication to her job, she tries to help Matthew wholeheartedly: it’s immensely refreshing to play someone with such a big personality who is willing to put herself at risk in order to do her job to the of her abilities. I am genuinely proud to be playing her.

We are getting our character costume pieces this week, and I’m excited to see what Reggie and the other people I am playing will have. It’s just so exciting to see everything get pieced together now.

The Laramie Project runs at Curve 12 – 17 March.
Tickets only £5 or play and a pint for £7.

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