Glasgow Theatre Blog had the chance to talk to Rebecca Norris, co-creator of The Wedding Reception coming to Eastwood Park Theatre this May.
Tell us a little bit about the play.
The Wedding Reception is a unique immersive theatrical dining experience. It invites you to be a guest at a surprise wedding reception for newlyweds William and Kate. You join the family (and a few uninvited guests) through two hours of a muddled attempt at traditional wedding celebration rites where nothing seems to go as planned. They cry, laugh and dance, and hopefully you will too! (maybe not the cry bit).
And your role…
Four actors play nine roles in The Wedding Reception. I play two roles: Lynn (the mother of the bride) and Marge (the groom’s aunt). Lynn is a great role to play She’s a wonderful and warm northern lady. A bit of a mum to everyone and will talk about anything. Nothing is off limits with Lynn. Aunt Marge is much colder. A stuck up ‘wanna-be’ who’s faked most things in her life to get her where she is today.
How has the play been received so far, has it been different in different locations?
The Wedding Reception has been performed all over the UK, including Scotland and Wales – although this is our first time in Glasgow. We have even been lucky enough to do tours across Australia and a show in Singapore. Depending on the location, we change a few references in the show for audiences to relate to but on the whole we’ve found wherever we are the universal truth is that everyone loves a good wedding so everyone always has a great time.
What is life like backstage on tour?
Backstage on tour can be a bit crazy, really. We have a lot of quick costume changes throughout the show so backstage can be manic. Especially when we are out and about on tour and the size of our changing area can vary quite some bit. We’ve all been very close together in some shows.
Touring can be demanding, how do you keep your performance fresh/look after yourself when you’re having to travel as well as perform on stage at night?
Keeping this show fresh isn’t so much of a challenge, as it’s very different to traditional theatre shows. The audience members are not just watching a show, they become an integral part of it so with their input we never perform never same show twice. It certainly keeps us all on our toes. Good planning and keeping it all in good fun is key to staying healthy and fighting fatigue on the road. We spend a lot of time in each other’s company so trying find ways of making long journeys and mundane jobs fun is really important.
Can we go back a bit and talk about what inspired you to become an actor and the path you took to become one?
I didn’t get into acting until quite late – I was 30 before I’d even considered it. Although I remember having a love of theatre when I was younger, I never considered it to be an option. It was only by chance that I did a workshop in Brighton which actually changed everything. Suddenly my sole focus and drive was on acting. I went to drama school and worked full-time while attending to fund myself. Once I graduated I tried to make sure each job I got would lead to another until it became my full-time job and I’ve never looked back.
Any advice for aspiring performers?
It’s never too late! If it’s something you have a passion for then go get involved. Maybe do some courses and see where it takes you.
Finally, why should people come along to see the play? And where else can we see it?
Everyone should come to see this play! – though it’s PG, because of some sexual innuendo and partial nudity. That aside, each show is truly different as audiences react in various ways to being swept up in the raucous action. Whatever happens though, one thing’s for sure – it will be an unforgettable experience.
You are all invited to the most madcap marital celebration of them all and get to eat a 3-course meal as well.
We are playing at Carmichael Hall in Eastwood Park Theatre on Saturday 12 May at 7:30pm.
We’re also visiting:
Birmingham REP (10-11 May)
Greshams in Ipswich (18 May)
Bedford Swan Hotel (also 18 May)
Hadley Park House in Telford (19 May)
AFC Portchester Club House (22 June)
Nottingham Theatre Royal (6 July)
– and Edinburgh Fringe 2-27 August.