Rikki Henry and The Suit in Paris

Rikki Henry went to Paris to assistant direct on The Suit – and wound up featured on stage in the production! We sat down with Rikki to chat about his experience…

Tell us about your background – when did you first get involved with theatre? And how did you come to work with the Young Vic?

I studied Film Production at the University for the Creative Arts. I went on to do Young Vic director training in 2008, then was given to the opportunity to work on other shows and projects.

What has it been like working with Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne in Paris?

An adventure.

Had you seen any of Peter Brook’s work before?

I saw Fragments when it came to the Young Vic.

Has the rehearsal period been different from rehearsing for a play in the UK?

Yes. It is not quite a process you learn, but one you live. Sounds pretentious (sorry!).

Is this the first musical you’ve worked on? Has working on a musical been any different from working on a straight play?
The idea I think was actually not to make a musical but to make a piece of work with music, so that it is like speaking, but better.

Walk us through a day in the life of an Assistant Director – what is a typical day for you like when you’re rehearsing?

There is often a lot of working and reworking of elements in the play. So we start of just working thing out. I wouldn’t say it has a typical stance, it just haofrd work, a process  trying to find magic. Sometimes we do exercises, some times not, sometimes it one actor working at a time on music, or character etc..

What do you like most about The Suit?

Its heart. The emotional colours that have been found. Like the introduction of classical music.

Did you know about Can Themba before you worked on The Suit? What have you learned about his life and work?

I was told to do some research on him and his work before I arrived, I read as much as I could about him. He’s a great writer. A lot of love and death.

The Suit begins Monday the 21st of May at the Young Vic, and tickets start at £10.  Learn more about the show and book here.

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