I had the priviledge to spend time in the company of Thea Sharrock the other week as she gave a masterclass in directing Terence Rattigan.
The event organised by The Terence Rattigan Society and hosted by The Central School of Speech and Drama(or as a friend who’s an ex student talking to me refered to it “School of Screech and Trauma”)
Thea’s a gifted director who has directed numerous successes, most notably in this context Rattigan’s After The Dance at the National Theatre and Cause Celebre at the Old Vic.
We saw a few Central students act out scenes from The Deep Blue Sea and The Browning Version. Thea then directed them and worked on the scenes with them. I hope to direct(After the Dance as it happens) in the near future and watching her interacting and observing the actors was truly a masterclass in how to direct.
It was great to see a director so passionate about Rattigan’s work, and to see young students being inspired by his meticulous and vibrant writing.
I came away with many scribbled jottings in my notebook, which will be put into use I’m sure. A key point she made was that Rattigan’s plays need to be performed at pace. If they are presented in a slow style they become turgid period pieces, rather than the dynamic drama they are.
A pleasure to spend a couple of hours “drinking in” the advice and wisdom on offer.