Blog: Uncovering The Faction #9

Gareth Fordred is a founding member of the faction theatre co. In the 2012 Rep Season he is playing Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Leicester in Mary Stuart and a reveller in Miss Julie.

Uncovering The Faction #9: The Picture of We Three

‘the expression on someone’s face whilst imitating a bird’

My head hurts.

This probably corresponds with the half-eaten bag of kettle chips. With the hummus trailing over the duvet…

Oh dear.

Now I remember – Balans on old Compton Street. At some point during any faction show I have ever been involved in, our feet find their way to the all-night Eatery of Doom.

Miss Julie is open! (Hooray – but quietly) We have three shows playing in rep – amazing. Having been rehearsing since 1973* it’s now at last time to have our daytimes back, to lift our heads above water and see what the outside world brings. This is at the same time amazing and scary. It means I should probably invest time in finding more work. It also means a lot of time for daytime Neighbours and iPlayer.

Green Room Quiz Update:

Derval Melett’s ‘Rodeo’ quiz was a stonker, as was Lachlan McCall’s ‘Cheese’ quiz.

In Miss Julie, we use a bare stage except for a table and five stools. All of the numerous props are mimed and a continual soundtrack is produced by our three Foley Artistes – Tom, Andy and Jonny -every scrape, bang, tinkle, smash and chink.

My favourite sound effects are:

* Fridge door opening/closing

* Bottle of beer being opened

* A bird’s neck being broken

* Wine poured onto the floor

* and…a mosquito.

It’s all a pleasure to watch, as are Leonie, Cary and Kate’s performances.

There’s a totally different dynamic to this show for us as an ensemble, as a group we all have radically different experiences in the show. It’s not got the same feel as the intensely mad-cap Twelfth Night, or the tightrope tension group scenes of Mary Stuart…it is its own beast. Every night the three speaking part actors (Kate, Cary, Leonie) have made different choices, offers, negotiations with each other – and watching those change and evolve over the course of the run is going to be fascinating. The funniest thing about rehearsing this play has been the Foley sound effects. In a very serious moment, the miss-timing of a bottle opening is pure comedy. And the expression on someone’s face whilst imitating a bird I will treasure forever.

Now the challenge is playing all three on alternating nights – not coming on wearing the wrong costume from the wrong play saying the wrong lines at the wrong time.


The Faction’s Rep Season opens @ The New Diorama Theatre, NW1 3BF

Jan 6th – Feb 18th a cast of 11 perform Twelfth Night, Mary Stuart and Miss Julie

Visit for times and tickets

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