Breaking the code

As you may remember, I directed a production of Breaking the Code a few years ago, and had a hugely satisfying time, with a great cast, and a gloriously intimate space. I was nervous about seeing another amateur company take this on, especially when I saw the venue, which is such a theatrically unfriendly space. The mismatched curtains and a huge space between the audience and the cast didn’t help make a shared experience. It was very much them and us. I’m guilty as a director of putting much business in to a performance that will bring out the character and plot. Sometimes the text is just the surface. I think the director’s role is to illuminate the words and characters. It’s not just get them on, sit them down, and then get them off, however slick that is and however faithful that is to the text. You really have to be responsive to the space and the audience. I’m not sure if Hugh Whitmore is still alive but I’d love him to add an epilogue to this brilliant and challenging play, as so much has changed. I did enjoy seeing this and there were some excellent performances. a good few prompts and rather too many moments of an empty silent stage, but at least this play still has a life.