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The Last Five Years Rehearsals

I have never worked on a musical quite like The Last Five Years before. When I Rehearsals Instadid the likes of Sister Act the rehearsal room was often full of people, lining the walls waiting for their moment. It was large and noisy and busy.

By contrast, in rehearsals for The Last Five Years there have been 4 of us in the room: myself (playing Cathy), Adam Williamson (playing Jamie), Gary Redpath (director) and Ryan Quinn (Musical Director and piano). It’s a more intimate, collaborative and intense process than I’m used to.

I’ve been so impressed with Gary’s direction. His staging is in the round, which means the audience will surround the stage. It’s the first time I’ve worked like this and it allows for very naturalistic movement making the scene seem more real for me as an actor. Gary has also found a lot of movement in the songs and the show is very energetic.

Ryan, the MD and pianist, has been tireless, working on our show alongside BVD’s sell out production of RENT, leading to some very long days! He’s collaborated closely with myself and Adam on the feel and pace of the songs and has assembled a fantastic live band for the show. We heard a preview of the strings at a rehearsal – it’s sounding lush!

Rehearsals 7

Adam, who is playing Jamie, is one to watch. He is incredibly energetic and committed. During the show I can’t look at him much of the time (as he’s in a different timeline from my character) but it’s hard not to watch! His voice is perfectly suited to the part and he soars across Jamie’s songs with ease.

We rehearsed the show in order but left the duet, The Next Ten Minutes, to last. This gorgeous song was what got me interested in the show in the first place and it’s a beautiful, romantic moment in the middle of the show.

As for me, playing Cathy has lived up to my expectations. The emotional and vocal range of the songs is a challenge but one for which my previous performances, and life experiences has prepared me. Anyone who likes my voice will, I hope, enjoy the show immensely. It’s been interesting exploring the narrative of the songs and discovering that the songs I enjoy the most shift and change from one rehearsal to the next.

A big thank you is due to Belfast Voice and Dance Academy in Finaghy who have been incredibly generous in sharing their rehearsal space with us throughout August. They run classes and summer schools for children and teenagers, including two sold out productions at the Grand Opera House Baby Grand this summer. Check them out!

I hope to see you at the Belvoir Players Studio on 11th or 12th September. Click here to get tickets!The Last Five Years Banner

 Secrets from behind the scenes…

• I smashed the glass in the picture frame during a run of “Still Hurting”. Whoops!

• Adam has been playing a character inspired by Adam Ant in Peter Corry’s Red Velvet Cabaret when he’s not in rehearsals.

• The photos in the album used for “I Can Do Better Than That” include my actual baby pictures!

• Adam has been getting all method and writing in Jamie’s prop notebooks.

• Ryan reckons the show is “totes emosh” – bring your tissues!

Lynne G
September 3rd, 2015 at 8:34 am

Sounds fantastic, can’t wait to see it

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