Tag Archives: Lauren Daley

REVIEW: The House of Bernarda Alba – Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow

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It’s heartening to know that the future of Scottish acting is in safe hands. This production of Scottish playwright Rona Munro’s adaptation of Federico Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba is the perfect showcase for the nine young actors in this final performance for Motherwell College’s BA Acting degree.

Originally set in Andalusia, Munro’s resetting of the play to the East End of Glasgow has retained Lorca’s central story but added a vividly familiar depiction of  the female members of a crime family in the aftermath of a murder. The play ramps up the claustrophobic atmosphere as mother Bernie tightens her stranglehold grip on her daughters as she tries to retain a tenuous hold on both them and her hard-won lifestyle.

Munro plays upon the exclusion of male characters from the action: slowly and climatically building up the tension as the women remain trapped together, the feelings of repression, the unrequited passion and displays mental fragility are all acutely displayed.

As head of the household Bernie (a role written large by Munro), Dawn Chandler manages to rein in a character who could so easily have descended into parody, to deliver a performance which wrings every drop of venom from every line as the formidable she-wolf slowly consuming her cubs.

The interactions of the sisters perfectly reflect the often brutal but ultimately loving relationships that exist between siblings. That said, some are more successful than others: Noemi McShane delivers a nicely nuanced performance as the mentally fragile Marty but her child-like looks render her slightly miscast as the older sister of flighty youngest Adie. As Adie, Christie Brown manages to perfectly convey those particularly annoying “in your face” traits of idealistic teenagers who think they know everything about love and are willing to do anything in its pursuit. Lauren Daley turns in a convincing, naturalistic performance as both the put-upon care-worker and pensioner family friend. Credit must also go to MJ Deans as Bernie’s long-term friend/employee Penny – capturing that West of Scotland former good-time girl teetering on the tightrope wire of a friendship on which her livelihood depends with aplomb.

These young women give hope for the future of Scottish theatre and I personally look forward to following their careers with interest.

INTRODUCING NEW SCOTTISH TALENT: Lauren Daley

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  • One thing Scotland can be truly proud of is the wealth of acting talent at the highest level. One of its newest shining stars is Airdrie’s  Lauren Daley. Lauren is currently training for her BA(Hons) Acting at Motherwell College, and as she approaches graduation and the all-important Agent Showcases in London and Glasgow, I am delighted to announce that she will be writing a column for Glasgow Theatre Blog. Lauren’s column will provide a unique insight into the realities of life as a young performer and the sheer hard work, dedication and effort that it requires. The column will be essential reading for any aspiring acting student or the theatre-lover looking for an insiders view of the profession.

    In anticipation of the first column, I’ll hand over to Lauren to introduce herself:

    “Performance has always been a massive part of my life. I think it all started when I got a microphone stand from Santa when I was about three and I took it upon myself (roping in my big sister) to provide the entertainment over the course of the rest of the festivities, and then all year round.

    My parents have really influenced me as they have always been very fond of the theatre, taking me to plays, pantomimes and musicals all over the world. I remember sitting in the audience at “Grease” when I was very young thinking “I want to be on the stage when I grow up” and this has been my philosophy ever since.

    I was very lucky to have attended a small primary school in Airdrie who loved performing arts and putting on a good show. This only encouraged me further as I joined drama classes and dance classes in my spare time. When I got to high school, my love for the theatre and performing was very much embedded in me and I knew that it was all I wanted to do. I have never been able to picture myself in an office or a 9 to 5 job. At high school, my passion was nurtured by my wonderful drama teacher Daun Ferguson, who taught me for all of my six years at Airdrie Academy from first year right through to Advanced Higher Drama.

    I always knew that when I left school I wanted to apply to drama school but the question was which one? In sixth year I found out about the Acting and Performance course at Motherwell College and I was keen to find out more. I applied and was asked along to audition, and as soon as I walked in on that April morning, I knew that this was where I wanted to train. I started Motherwell College a year after the new building opened, which was probably a big part of my decision making to go there. The classrooms were all custom built with a great studio space kitted out with mirrors, lights and tiered seating. I then discovered the dance studios and knew that this was the place for me. Finding out that Motherwell College run the BA (Hons) Acting course was also a massive plus. Although you need to audition each year to progress through the course, I knew that it was a challenge I had to set myself and luckily was accepted into the course this year straight after my HND.

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    The training I have received at Motherwell is first class. From every day classes, to shows and workshops, the opportunities provided are incredible. I have also been extremely lucky to have been taught by teachers who have trained in Estill voice training. This has been massively beneficial for me as it has really allowed my voice to become an instrument that I can understand and adapt depending on characters I am playing. Estill was something new and extremely different to anything I had done before as it really teaches you how to use your voice safely and effectively, by understanding how the voice works. This knowledge will stand me in good stead for future performances and it has made me much more versatile as an actor. As the degree course at Motherwell is affiliated by Northumbria University, we had the opportunity to perform in Newcastle in November which was absolutely brilliant.

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    I am now looking forward to our Agent Showcase in Glasgow and London in March and also our final production in May. I am excited to get out into the industry despite it being well known as a difficult industry to crack, as this is what I have worked for my whole life.”

    All images courtesy laurendaley.net