The Algarveans’ production of “A Bunch of Amateurs” for Lagoa’s HUMORFEST opens in just a couple of weeks. Director Paul Kloegman reveals why he chose this comedy and his approach to directing.
“I particularly like A Bunch of Amateurs as it is a wonderful commentary on the phrase ‘art imitating life imitating art’,” says Paul.
Action hero Jefferson Steel arrives in Britain to revitalise his flagging career by playing King Lear in Stratford, only to find that instead of Shakespeare’s birthplace he is stuck in a sleepy Suffolk village with a bunch of amateur actors.
As the play unfolds, Jefferson discovers he has much in common with King Lear and this provides excellent fodder for comedy, especially when his American vanity is pricked by the British amateurs.
“A director’s task is to transfer the script to stage to ensure a compelling telling of the story, be it serious drama or comedy. Theatre at its best is a collaborative process and the director needs a capable team to achieve this. Fortunately, I’ve got an excellent script by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, a hardworking cast and a terrific production, set and technical crew,” says Paul.
“Casting a play ‘well’ solves many directing issues encountered later, but the director must set the emotional temperature of the rehearsal room while leading the production, and must keep interest high or motivation will slump.
“The director is also heavily involved in the technical side of the production: overseeing set design, choosing lights, adjusting sound cues etc, all of which must be finalised during tech week to match his vision. A theatre director has a lot on his shoulders and, when it all comes together, it’s a very rewarding experience.
“As Jefferson Steel would say, misquoting King Lear, ‘The play’s the thing’. And nowhere is the play more the thing than when being performed by a bunch of amateurs.”
Although as another cast member suggests, the audience is the most important element, for without an audience, there is no theatre, no response to the drama. The Algarveans hope to see you in the auditorium on the night.
“A Bunch of Amateurs” will be performed in English at the 300-seat Carlos do Carmo Auditorium in Lagoa on February 27, 28 and 29 at 7.45 pm. Tickets at €12 are available at all Worten and Fnac stores as well as the Auditorium and Convento de S. José box offices, or online at www.ticketline.pt. For all enquiries, visit www.thealgarveans.com