The Glass Menagerie is the Young Vic’s 2010 Christmas show for its 40th Anniversary Season. I was teamed up with Adam Penford who compiles education packs for the Young Vic and accompanied him in filming interviews with Joe Hill-Gibbins (Director), Abigail Graham (Assistant Director), Kyle Soller (the actor playing ‘Jim’), and Jeremy Herbert (Set Designer). The finished product will go to local schools as an educational DVD about the show.
“I feel very lucky on this production that we’ve such good people [involved]” said Joe ahead of the first week of rehearsals, “It was actually David’s [Lan] idea [to put the play on] but I knew the play very well and have loved it for a long time”. Abigail echoed his enthusiasm: “it’s Tennessee Williams, the man is a bit clever”.
One of the topics that were discussed, was whether the Slides and Captions that appear in Tennessee Williams detailed stage directions would be kept in. Joe’s response? “I don’t know yet, we haven’t decided.” As it was so early in the rehearsal process this freshness was a common recurrence within their chats with Adam P and myself. Kyle, however, had the slight advantage as he had played his character “Jim” only a few months previously in a different production, “what I found with Jim is he’s a lot more than what appears on the surface, he’s a tip of the iceberg kinda guy.”
One thing that was confirmed was the music which is being composed by Dario Marianelli who won an Oscar for his score in Atonement, “music is a huge part of the play… as soon as you put music under a speech it goes somewhere” said Jeremy.
So it looks like The Glass Menagerie is all set to be a hit this Christmas. When asked if modern audiences would be able to relate to the period piece Abigail pointed out that “the play is relevant to contemporary audiences… everyone has a family and family dynamics are difficult.”
Adam Hipkin for The Young Vic’s Young Council
The Glass Menagerie opens at the Young Vic on the 11th of November and runs until the 1st of January 2011.